The ongoing economic recession has inevitably given rise to austerity measures across the board the best known examples being Greece and Spain. Austerity in this sense simply means cutting back and living well within your means to be able to balance the books, which is what individuals who have perhaps lived beyond their means for too long do but is it the best option where countries are concerned? Some economists believe in austerity to reduce budget deficits and cope with crises, others claim the resulting cuts to welfare programs and unemployment create serious social and humanitarian problems. Research the nature and effects of austerity measures and write an essay concerning them. Although an argumentative essay on the topic is also possible it isn’t to be recommended at this level as it would be too hard.
- What is Austerity? By Justin Kuepper; http://internationalinvest.about.com/od/gettingstarted/a/What-Is-Austerity.htm
- Cost of Austerity Measures is Poor Health; by: Alan Tovey; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10025126/Cost-of-austerity-measures-is-poor-health.html
- Austerity; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10025126/Cost-of-austerity-measures-is-poor-health.html
- Greeks Protest Against Austerity Measures; http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/04/29/300812/greeks-protest-against-austerity-measures/
- Research Shows Austerity is Bad for Our Health; http://www.euronews.com/2013/04/29/web-austerity-is-hurting-our-health-say-researchers-/
- EU Countries and Their Austerity Measures http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8876889/EU-countries-and-their-austerity-measures.html
- Capitalism in Crisis: Richard Wolff Urges an End to Austerity http://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/25/capitalism_in_crisis_richard_wolff_urges ( This is a roughly one hour long but excellent video)
- Europe Strikes: Is Austerity the Answer? http://www.france24.com/en/20100929-debate-Europe-Economic-crisis-Reform-demonstrations-part-2
Note to the student or teacher: you should plan to spread this activity over two or three days; listen to one video and take notes then read and annotate one of the texts. Continue in this way until the research is done. Coming back to the same topic day in and day out will greatly enhance learning and the rewards will be considerable. This activity could also be assigned as a project at an advanced level.