The current austerity policy in Europe may be well-intentioned, Sen writes, but it’s interfering with “a more urgent priority…the preservation of a Democratic Europe.”
And while some European countries do need reforms, this reform must be timely. “The cause of reform, no matter how urgent, is not well served by the unilateral imposition of sudden and savage cuts in public services,” Sen writes.
Sen takes us through a quick history of economic thought, reminding us of Adam Smith – often mistakenly seen as a free-market guru – who wrote about the need for public goods and markets’ failure to provide them. European governments must not forget what democratic governments are about in favor of unilaterally imposed cuts to public services.
Can Europe save its democracies?