A lesson from thinking about economics is that the evident truths are, on closer inspection, just plain false or even silly. This piece in the New York Times looks like a sketch out of the Daily Show where a somber "analyst" makes grave statements without realizing how hilariously ridiculous it all is. According to the reporters, the problems of Spain, Portugal, and Greece are that:
i) "You can’t build an economy on real estate, finance and tourism."
ii) "...it’s an absurd idea to have the same currency in a country like Greece or Portugal as in Germany, which has totally different habits and culture."
iii) "They lived on a bubble of credit and real estate development that sent wages and debt soaring."
iv) Deficits and debt are high.
These reporters were looking outside their window to face Manhattan just as I am right now. Funny that they didn't notice that the city in front of them has:
i) An economy built on real estate, finance and tourism.
ii) The same currency as Alabama, Alaska, and California.
iii) Very large increases in credit, real estate development, wages and debt in the last decade.
iv) A huge amount of debt and current deficits in the state government.
Jon Stewart couldn't have done it any better.