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Photo courtesy of Robert Wallace

As an undergraduate, I studied Fine Art History of the ancient world, which included the artistic and architectural splendour of the Greco-Roman empire. Today as I listen to the news of the economic state of modern-day Greece and Italy, it’s sad to think these two countries stand at the brink.  Several years ago, I read The European dream : how Europe’s vision of the future is quietly eclipsing the American dream by Jeremy Rifkin (2004). The book jacket summary read,

“While the American Dream is languishing, says bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin, a new European Dream is beginning to capture the attention and imagination of the world. Twenty-five nations, representing 455 million people, have joined together to create a United States of Europe.” “The European Union’s $10.5 trillion GDP now eclipses that of the United States, making it the largest economy in the world. The EU is already the world’s leading exporter and largest internal trading market. Moreover, much of Europe enjoys a longer life span and greater literacy, and has less poverty and crime, less blight and sprawl, longer vacations, and shorter commutes to work than we do in the United States. When one considers what makes a people great and what constitutes a better way of life, observes Rifkin, Europe now surpasses America. More important, Europe has become a giant laboratory for rethinking humanity’s future. In many respects, the European Dream is the mirror opposite of the American Dream. While the American Dream emphasizes unrestrained economic growth, personal wealth, and the pursuit of individual self-interest, the European Dream focuses more on sustainable development, quality of life, and the nurturing of community. Rifkin draws on more than twenty years of personal experience working in Europe, where he has advised heads of state and political parties, consulted with Europe‘s leading companies, and helped spur grassroots environmental and social justice campaigns. The author delves into the history of Europe, from the medieval era to postmodernity, to capture the soul of the new European consciousness.”

Such promise – what’s gone wrong? Why weren’t there warning signs? And if there were, who chose to ignore them? More importantly, what can be done to reverse Greece and Italy’s misfortune before it threatens to de-stabilize the economies of Europe and quite possibly the world?

Share your views – what do you think needs to happen to heal Europe’s and the world’s economic woes?

Until next time,

Your Boomer Life Partners

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