Alternative Assignment for Walk the Talk:
Right now, several countries around the world are suffering from severe budget deficits and slowing economic growth. For instance, in Europe, the European Union recently agreed to yet another round of bailouts for Greece (in essence, the third bailout in slightly over a year), in an attempt to keep them from defaulting on their sovereign debt. Greece has managed to rack-up a massive debt load for a country that only has 7 million citizens. Additionally, Greece society has a history of valuing leisure time, avoiding taxes, and receiving generous entitlements from their government. Thus, a major decision needs to be made by European leaders. With other European Union countries such as Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain in similar dire financial straits, the European Union (and its major players, primarily Germany & France) must decide how to proceed, and when this bailout insanity will end. Some of the other Southern European countries (Italy, & Spain, in particular) have a history and a culture similar to Greece in that they value free time, leisure and vacations, and generous public entitlement programs. Germany, on the other hand, is a country that is extremely productive, efficient, and fiscally prudent. About 75% of German citizens oppose any further bailouts to other European countries. Yet, if the Euro (the common EU currency) is devalued considerably, it could hurt all European countries including Germany. Hence, the ethical debate here is whether or not Germany and to a lesser degree France, should be the main financiers that prop up the entire EU. What responsibility (if any) do strong members have for maintaining the general overall health of the Euro. Also, is it fair that a common currency is used with countries with wildly different work ethics, cultures, and productivity levels? What do European leaders need to do in the future to get on a path to fiscal sustainability? (Explain in...
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