The New York Times reports today that the entire country of Italy is in a funk. A recent poll reports that they are the least happy people in Western Europe. So what’s the deal? Was Under The Tuscan Sun selling us a song-and-dance?
Much of it can be summed up by “it’s the economy, stupid.” As Ian Fisher reports, Pensions, public debt and the cost of government are among the highest (in Europe). The latest numbers show a nation older and poorer — to the point that Italy’s top bishop has proposed a major expansion of food packages for the poor. Worse, worry is growing that Italy’s strengths are degrading into weaknesses. Small and medium-size businesses, long the nation’s family-run backbone, are struggling in a globalized economy, particularly with low-wage competition from China.”