What Europe can learn from Alexander Hamilton

Jeremy Cliffe in New Statesman:

It says something about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s genius that he even managed to make fiscal integration catchy. In his musical Hamilton, the eponymous treasury secretary raps:

If we assume the debts, the union gets
A new line of credit, a financial diuretic
How do you not get it?
If we’re aggressive and competitive
The union gets a boost
You’d rather give it a sedative?

Miranda picked his subject well: resurrecting Alexander Hamilton from the economic history books and remaking him as a Broadway icon. Hamilton deserved no less. From a post-revolutionary muddle of individual American states he forged a coherent and unified nation, defying states-rights zealots such as Thomas Jefferson and using debt mutualisation to bind the new federation together. Even today, American power and prosperity rests on Hamilton’s intellectual victory over Jefferson. It is much harder to imagine a hit Broadway musical about Olaf Scholz, the former mayor of Hamburg and Germany’s current finance minister: “I’m a Hanseat/Saving’s where I’m at/That dude Salvini will make me rupture a spleen-i/If he persistently defies the Stability and Growth Pact.” If Europe was ever to experience a “Hamiltonian moment”, a grand mutualisation of debts forging a world-beating, unified economy, it would probably have begun in 2018. Unfortunately, it did not.

More here.

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