Francois Hollande yesterday successfully ousted Nicolas Sarkozy from the French presidency, winning a run-off election between the two by a vote of 52-48 percent. The Center for American Progress’ Matt Browne noted that Hollande “is a pragmatic progressive who realizes that austerity alone hasn’t worked, and that what Europe needs is a realistic strategy for job creation and economic growth.”
Indeed, the French vote, alongside elections in Greece in which voters abandoned pro-austerity parties in droves in favor of extremists, was a stark reminder that voters have no patience with forced economic sacrifice that isn’t paired with efforts to boost growth and create jobs. And here are three charts showing that the austerity policies adopted by European nations have certainly not delivered. The first, from the Financial Times’ Martin Wolf, shows that austerity goes hand in hand with a contracting economy:
This chart shows that the U.S., which hasn’t embraced austerity, is doing better than both the Eurozone and the austerity happy United Kingdom:
And finally, the Washington Post’s Brad Plumer flags this chart showing that, according to the International Monetary Fund, “Income and employment don’t fully recover even five years after the austerity program is enacted”:
Of course, European leaders are not the only ones slow to learn the lessons that failed austerity is teaching. After all, despite seeing what has happened in Europe following severe budget cuts, American Republicans are still pushing the same medicine.