David Rieff Slams European Welfare States

Foreign policy analyst and author David Rieff was interviewed today at Big Think on topics ranging from the American missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan to this week's G-20 summit to his latest book, Swimming in a Sea of Death.


Mr. Rieff has been noted for his challenging statements especially when it comes to foreign aid in the Global South, but it's never without a dose of rigorous and bold analysis that he weighs in. Watch for the exclusive interview with Rieff later this week on Big Think.

On how the readiness of the European welfare state to confront the crisis moving forward, Mr. Rieff had this to say:

"There are two problems with the EU. The first is that the welfare state that they've created is not one that can be supported in a region of declining population. In effect, there are not enough young people to support all these old people in the style to which the welfare state accustoms them. That's the first problem. The second problem is there are a series of countires that--countries particularly in the East and the former Warsaw pact bloc--who very quickly got in debt. And they're going to have to be bailed out by the rich countries in Western Europe and that's going to create tremendous stresses on the system, the equivalent after all in Europe to the subprime crisis in the United States."

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