Daily Archives: February 17, 2015

Population Decline and the Great Economic Reversal

By George Friedman

In recent weeks, we have been focusing on Greece, Germany, Ukraine and Russia. All are still burning issues. But in every case, readers have called my attention to what they see as an underlying and even defining dimension of all these issues — if not right now, then soon. That dimension is declining population and the impact it will have on all of these countries. The argument was made that declining populations will generate crises in these and other countries, undermining their economies and national power. Sometimes we need to pause and move away from immediate crises to broader issues. Let me start with some thoughts from my book The Next 100 Years.

The Political Debut of Europe’s “Generation Austerity”

A news bulletin from the Guardian:

Brussels, February 12: The new Greek government’s confrontation with its Eurozone creditors over its campaign to relieve its staggering debt burden while also relaxing the terms of five years of austerity resulted in stalemate late on Wednesday …. It appeared that Alexis Tsipras, the new Greek prime minister, ordered his finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, to stand firm against the pressure to make any concessions.

New Politics for Old in the Cradle of Democracy

On January 25, 2015, the Greek people elected a team of politicians who imagine themselves – probably correctly – as harbingers of a generational change that is swiftly taking place everywhere throughout Europe.

The generation of politicians who have directed Europe’s centrist parties for the last quarter-century came into office convinced that the collapse of Soviet Communism was a happy outcome for all. It would be a long time before anyone looking forward to a political career in a democracy would play with the notion that, after all, there might have been something to be said for the wisdom of Karl Mark, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin or Leonid Brezhnev. Pictures of these worthies came down from the walls in the offices of History Professors throughout the free world.

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