According to an estimate of the U.S. Congressional Research Service, the global financial crisis destroyed 40% of the world’s GDP. Since then, stock indices show a significant recovery of the lost wealth; however, analyses are likely to show that, on the whole, the response to the crisis (government stimulus packages and especially bank bail-outs of worldwide estimated $14 trillion) redistributed wealth upward. In the U.S., unemployment has exceeded the 10% mark and one out of every nine people receives food stamps. In South and East Asia, the unemployment level has risen to approximately 60 million people. Investors and financial sector institutions were not the only ones hard-hit by the crisis. Indeed, the stimulus resources for Main Street were dwarfed by the bail-outs and guarantees for the culprits on Wall Street whose recklessness brought down the financial system. As a result, the ordinary citizens on Main Street – those in sectors of the real economy, such as manufacturing and services – are carrying the burden of the destructive forces unleashed by an inadequately designed and regulated financial market.
The case for a green economy that works for allarticle
By Klaus Linsenmeier, Executive Director, Heinrich Böll Foundation North America
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