Workers across southern Europe took to the streets last week to protest the region's growing unemployment and government spending cuts.
No one is forcing us to follow the dictates of our own homegrown versions of Merkel, although there are plenty of them around, including in Congress, who are as adamant, powerful and potentially obstructive as she is.
While serious questions remain over the cost of obtaining money for Ireland when that moment arrives, the sheer fact that Ireland can now talk about leaving behind its official lenders is highly significant, and not just in Ireland, but further afield.
Who wins tomorrow's various elections matters, but whether the collective victors can work with one another to address our nation's most pressing problems matters even more.
Public debt has become the main argument against the welfare state. But the two are barely related.
It's not just the European economy that is in crisis. The very idea of Europe has lost its shine. "Europe" once meant a more egalitarian and more tolerant model than the free market orthodoxy reigning in the United States.
In the age of globalization, when Europe gets the flu it is impossible for American corporations not to catch a cold. The euro crisis is now turning into a full-fledged European recession and it is causing a direct hit on American companies.
Is it likely that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is flirting with five-year highs right before we are about to go into recession? The answer is obviously no, but there is another factor that has been introduced into the equation.
Greece, widely regarding the starting point of European civilization, is now at the forefront of protecting its wildlife. The future of the euro is not the only thing hanging in the balance should Greece go under.
If I had to bet on the winner, I'd choose London as the best place to start a business in Europe, as the conditions for entrepreneurs are similar to those found in U.S. startup hubs like the Silicon Valley or NYC.
Europe's politicians have lost sight of the real problem -- the structural problems stemming from high administrative burdens and the unpredictability of tax systems that ultimately result in too-high production costs, which in turn stifle creation and restrain innovation.
Some pundits do not understand the complexity of eurozone politics, do not grasp the technical complexities of the economics or understand the stakes. But then I get the sense that many Europeans don't either. And Minc is right: Progress has been made.
What future awaits a society in which the youth only have two options: disappear, or adapt to work conditions that are more often than not abusive, and which require the support of their parents?
We can no longer ignore the fact that the national debt is becoming so large that just spending more and taxing less, and paying the interest on the ever-increasing resulting debt, can soon bankrupt America.
The European Central Bank is the one entity that is theoretically free to make an "independent" decision about what it is to do, as it is not directly controlled by other governments or the European Union administration and parliament.