Youth unemployment is already unworkably-high, particularly in the PIGS. For that reason, I don’t think the existing economic strategy has a prayer of staying in place.
Capitalist Democracy apparently can only deliver a workable solution when there is a vibrant, politically-aware and -active lower class…and in particular, crony capitalism does not work. The rise of communism in the 20th century, and of Islamic theocracies in the last 40 years, alternatives which came into being mainly because people were willing to risk their lives to get something other than crony capitalism, are your proofs.
The West can chant and propagandize all it wants, about the glories and supposed efficiency of the unfettered, laisse-faire free market, and “free” trade. But the fact is that it is crashing down around our ears.
1) Cheap grain from “free trade” has put hundreds of millions of 3rd-world subsistence farmers out of business.
2) Educated, energetic trained youth cannot find jobs, or start their own businesses, that pay above a subsistence level, while banking corporations enjoy unlimited 0.75% loans, and a huge military and prison system to enforce their property rights.
3) We’ve seen a steady drift, from corporate leaders who had technical skills and came up through the ranks, to leaders who were from a sales and marketing background – that is, who knew how to sell rather than knew how to make a better product – to leaders simply from the banking industry.
America, in particular, has leadership as corrupt as it has ever been, put in place by an electorate that can’t be bothered to learn the facts, or make it to the poling place. (E.g,, Texas would be a Democratic state, and presumably have policies considerably less anti-Latino, if the registered Latino voters only voted at the same rates as whites. Texas moving back to the Democratic party would immediately mean passage of a common-sense amnesty program, at the national level. But instead, we have the costly, distracting dogfight of today.) Capitalist Democracy depends on an informed, and at least marginally-altrustic, electorate.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan told the 1984 NYU graduating class that people should be less obsessed with the Soviet Union, because “history was moving away from it with astonishing speed”. One suspects we may be in the same situation, now, with respect to the West’s laisse-faire capitalism and system of “money”.
The question is: what’s next?