Europe and the United States have been struggling to recover from the economic crisis over the past three years. Their problems may differ, but European and U.S. leaders have often adopted “strikingly similar” tactics to solve these problems.
The first tactic is working around the clock. European and U.S. leaders are occupied with myriad affairs every day, and their time is usually fragmented for different affairs. However, they are always willing to spend a great deal of time solving tough problems.
On Dec. 31, 2012, U.S. congress members discussed all night long on Capitol Hill to reach a “fiscal cliff” deal, and U.S. President Barack Obama also suspended his Christmas vacation and returned to the White House. They had not reached the deal until the early morning of Jan. 1. Burning the midnight oil is also commonplace in Brussels
The second tactic is delaying. European and U.S. leaders know that time can change everything, and like to use dallying tactics when it is time to act.
The European debt crisis erupted at the end of 2009. Greece’s debt was not too large, and the crisis would have been resolved if European leaders acted quickly and applied drastic remedies in a timely fashion. However, rich countries, particularly Germany, were unwilling to spend too much bailing Greek out, and delayed their aid again and again. One cannot put out a burning cartload of wood with a cup of water.
The U.S. “fiscal cliff” had shown early signs and did not appear suddenly. However, as the Republican and Democratic parties could not reach an agreement on deficit cuts and tax hikes, the two problems combined at the end of 2012 to form the formidable “fiscal cliff.”
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