Without question the Eurozone is in serious crisis, but that should come as no surprise. Collapse of the agreement is becoming increasingly possible, but the significance of such an event is highly debatable.
The countries on the continent have never been a close-knit family to say the least. Binding themselves together in economic unity took an enormous leap of faith that may well have been only wishful thinking.
The infighting has been escalating for a good deal longer than just the immediate crisis. Should the EU revert to the several nations with independent economies and facilitate trade among themselves with various agreements, it would not bring about the end of the world. The EU, after all, has been in existence for less than 15 years.
Why then is so much attention being given to the issue? The stock answer is the ripple effect on our own economy, especially the threat of losing exports that many say are crucial to our recovery. While no economy exists in total isolation of global markets, and the impact would definitely be felt, it is questionable how severe that impact would be.
The EU accounts for a scant percentage of our GDP and it is doubtful that it would all suddenly disappear should the union break up. A few economies would probably collapse, but that has been happening since capitalism first took root.
Not only would the others survive, once freed of the albatross of imprudent neighbors they would likely grow stronger. The net result in terms of our trade balance could be negligible. That brings us back to the question. Fretting over Europe’s woes provides distraction from our own.
We simply cannot afford the luxury of such distraction. That we are so concerned with the fate of the EU merely underscores the fragile state of our own economy. If instead we put all of our energies to finding solutions to our problems the future of the EU will become moot.
On the other hand, should we allow our economy to continue its backslide, even a miraculous resurrection of the Eurozone would be of little comfort.