Good intentions are bad for debt crisis and unemployment

Everybody is warning that bad times are coming. Politicians, entrepreneurs and citizens. We are facing a tough economic era. As the minister of Economic Affairs Maxime Verhagen said: “We will all notice something of the deteriorating economy”. 'Isn’t that nice, what a lovely Christmas thought to think about while shopping for holiday presents.

Who is thinking of Italy and Greece?

Just like the message on Christmas Day by the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde: ‘The world economy is in danger’. Just when you are devouring an extensive Christmas dinner which has cost you quite a lot of euros. But are there really people who think at that moment: I wish I had not bought those present for under the Christmas tree and I wish I had shopped at the Aldi? I wonder. Admit it, in the end we are all selfish. As long as it not about the actual euros in our own wallet, it is a ‘distant show’ for many. That is a bad thing, because according to the news we will all lose out. But take Spain, Greece and Italy, they are in a condition that is much worse. The news even read:‘Poor Christmas for Italians’. Did anybody think of the Italians during Christmas dinner?

Speaking with one voice

According to Christine Lagarde, Europe should reach an agreement and create a better schedule to deal with the debt crisis. That seems like a good plan to me as well. But whether it is achievable? These days it is difficult for neighbours to speak with one voice during the monthly meeting in the community center because everybody is only thinking about themselves. Let alone that Europe would speak with one voice. But miss Lagarde, it is still a nice thought for the upcoming year.

Happy new year?

So those are some pleasant predictions for the future. Everybody is always looking forward to the new year, at least I do. I get the feeling I can start all over again with some good resolutions. Be nicer to the world, stop smoking and spend less money on useless things. If everybody would act upon the first resolution it would be wonderful. But the other two would be bad for the economy. If everybody stops smoking and closes his wallet it will not improve much of course.

Be nice or be selfish?

The budget deficit is expected to rise to 4,5% this year. That is 0,3 percent higher then was assumed on Prinsjesdag. That is a setback of no less than 1,8 billion euro. If I and many others with me would stop smoking then that would also put less excise tax in the bank account of the government. And if everybody would only buy the bare minimum then the predicted rise to half a million of unemployed could rise even more.

Does that mean I should keep on smoking and buy useless things? Or should I let go of my first resolution and be selfish by keeping my own wallet healthy and therefore deteriorate the world economy? What do you think?