Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rise in Jobless Poses Threat to Stability Worldwide

PARIS — From lawyers in Paris to factory workers in China and bodyguards in Colombia, the ranks of the jobless are swelling rapidly across the globe.

Worldwide job losses from the recession that started in the United States in December 2007 could hit a staggering 50 million by the end of 2009, according to the International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency. The slowdown has already claimed 3.6 million American jobs.

High unemployment rates, especially among young workers, have led to protests in countries as varied as Latvia, Chile, Greece, Bulgaria and Iceland and contributed to strikes in Britain and France.

Last month, the government of Iceland, whose economy is expected to contract 10 percent this year, collapsed and the prime minister moved up national elections after weeks of protests by Icelanders angered by soaring unemployment and rising prices.

Just last week, the new United States director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told Congress that instability caused by the global economic crisis had become the biggest security threat facing the United States, outpacing terrorism.

“Nearly everybody has been caught by surprise at the speed in which unemployment is increasing, and are groping for a response,” said Nicolas Véron, a fellow at Bruegel, a research center in Brussels that focuses on Europe’s role in the global economy.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

Priest David Thatcher said...

Wow, undoubtedly know a lot more about Woodrow Wilson than I do, but your assessments seems off to me. First, Wilson was extremely reluctant to get into WWI, and only did so after Germany threatened our shipping (for a 2nd time), and conspired to induce Mexico into the war with promises of recovering USA territory. Second, Wilson reduced tariffs, a conservative fiscal policy. Third, did not Wilson lobby against the punitive aspects of the Treat of Versailles? (The USA never signed off on it, anyway.) Fourth, wasn't his monetary policies an important control on banking, restoring confidence after some huge scares?

I never studied him or WWI in detail, so I could be off.