Pilgrims pray in the Shrine of St. Pancras at the end of a pilgrimage in La Roda de Andalucia, Spain, May 13. Spaniards, who have the highest unemployment level in the eurozone, take fresh sprigs of parsley to the saint to ask for jobs and good health.
Government leaders in the United Kingdom and Western Europe should heed the Vatican’s advice to the United Nations about the urgent need to create jobs to boost the global economy.
Those two regions are among the last bastions where the Austerians still hold sway. Think David Cameron in London and Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Austerians is the term Paul Krugman coined to describe the Serious People who believe government debt is a bigger problem than massive unemployment.
Debt is a concern but getting people back to work is infinitely more important for now.
But these Masters of the Universe still cling to this counter-intuitive, now discredited austerity view in the face of mounting evidence that their programs are a failure.
The Vatican’s observer to the United Nations surely understands this issue better than most Euro economists.
He told an international labor conference in Geneva, Switzerland, that job creation must become a key part of any UN plan to lift people out of poverty around the world.
Upwards of 50 million jobs will be needed each year over over the next 10 years to keep up with growth in the world’s working-age population.
Youth unemployment in Spain and Greece approaches 50 percent. If these young people lose all hope, what is to stop them from taking up their pitchforks and torches and overturning their national governments?
This intelligent, articulate, truth-telling Vatican diplomat echoes his new boss, Pope Francis, in saying “human beings are considered as consumer goods, which can be thrown away.” Amen to that.
It is useful to note that five years since the beginning of the global financial crisis that nearly 200 million people are still out of work. This must end.