October 1st, 2013
11:02 PM ET

What I'm reading: Why the public is scared

By Fareed Zakaria

"Any economist will tell you that part of the reason the economy hasn't recovered more quickly and that consumers and businesses aren't spending is that they're scared," argues Ezra Klein. "They're scared that the economy will crater again, that the euro zone will fall apart, that Bank of America will go down, that we'll dip back into recession. And Washington is scaring them further. At a time when our politicians might be called upon to solve extraordinarily difficult problems, they can't even be trusted to pay the bills."

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“The bulk of Greek debt is now in the hands of official creditors, and many thought that with elections in the rearview mirror Germany would show some flexibility – after all, Merkel strongly opposed the private sector restructuring until she turned around and made it happen,” writes Charles Wyplosz for Bloomberg. “In brief, the time has clearly come for creditor countries to forgive part of Greece’s debt, because nobody believes that the government can bring it to a sustainable level on its own.”
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“The Egyptian army has intensified the blockade along Egypt’s single short border with Gaza. Over the past weeks, the army has destroyed hundreds of tunnels through which Palestinians smuggle fuel and other necessities in short supply because of Israel’s siege,” writes Jonathan Cook in The National. “Egypt has established a 'buffer zone,' as Israel did inside Gaza a decade ago when it was still occupying the enclave directly, to prevent more tunnels being dug.”

“That has plunged Gaza’s population into hardship and dealt a severe blow to the tax revenues Hamas raises on the tunnel trade. Unemployment is rocketing and severe fuel shortages mean even longer power cuts.”


soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Chukwuemeka

    Hamas has never believed in the existence of Israel and so it is no surprise the Israelis are in support of an Egyptian government which is aggressive towards the regime in Gaza. We know very well that Hamas has always supported the Egyptian Brotherhood which is bolstered by the Bedoins as its fighting arm. Perhaps in all of this a more quite and calm region would come out of this scenario. Lets us keep an eye on Hezbollah as they can spring a surprise in all of this confusion.

    October 2, 2013 at 3:01 am | Reply
  2. Chukwuemeka

    The American economy has lots of people scared because they realize it is not easy to wish the Republicans away. After the shut down during the era of President Clinton and they were voted out of the house the Democrats failed to capitalize on this by keeping them out permanently. Now, everyone has to eat the humble pie and suffer the same fate. A shut down speaks more volumes as it shows the disdain and lack of respect politicians have for the people. I hope Americans are watching and know the direction to vote when the time comes.

    October 2, 2013 at 3:23 am | Reply
  3. Heinz

    EU (euro zone) is doing fine and will not fall apart. EU has now bigger economy as USA. The main problem for US economy were unnecessarily lots imports (also from non-alliance countries) and not enough exports. This way, no economy can be healthy.

    October 2, 2013 at 4:32 am | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Wrong, Heinz. The Eurozone is not doing quite that well. In fact, the member countries would do better if the Eurozone were to dissolve and each go back to their old currencies. Unifying Europe has never been a good idea as both Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler learned that the hard way!

      October 2, 2013 at 10:54 am | Reply
  4. j. von hettlingen

    No doubt Israel is relieved that the Egyptian military is active in the Sinai, by making life difficult for smugglers, who had been able to provide for the Palestinians in the Gaza strip. Unfortunately it's ordinary people who have to bear the brunt of the blockade. The hardship will only deepen resentments and nurture hatred of Israel.

    October 2, 2013 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Ironically, the Palestinians in Gaza will blame Israel for their hardships while it's their own democratically elected Hamas that rejects any possibility of a peaceful solution with Israel and Egypt that is defending its servicemen and its civilians from the Palestinian terrorists based in Gaza.

      October 2, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  5. Amanda

    America also has great companies with great products, i.e.: Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Cadillac, Motorola, Chevrolet, GMC, Lincoln, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Ford Motors, Harley Davidson, Denver Electronics, Texas Instruments, ... it is not everything European!!

    October 2, 2013 at 9:57 am | Reply
  6. ✠ RZ ✠

    1. You borrow a lot of money and buy a chunk of Mexico. Of course the Mexicans have to agree to it, but they could always use the cash.
    2. You move all the Cubans to their new country in Mexico.cubsns and Mecicans get along just fine.
    3. You move all the Jews from Isreal to Cuba. Now they have their own island close to Florida and Hollywood, and yes they can bring their wall.
    4. Then you sell off Isreal to the Muslims and use the money to pay down the loan borrowed to buy the chunk of Mexico.
    5. Then you pull all the US forces out of the Middle East.

    Although all the above is completely unrealistic and will never happen, it would certainly be better than the past, present, and future reality. What a shame.

    October 2, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Reply

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