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Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be?
May 31st, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Europe's financial crisis is a warning siren for the U.S., but many Americans aren't listening.

A new Gallup Poll shows only 16% of those surveyed say they're following the news about Europe's crisis "very closely."

33% say "somewhat closely," 21% say "not too closely" and 29% "not at all."

This poll also shows even though all Americans aren't paying attention, 71% are concerned about the impact of the European financial crisis on our economy - that includes 31% who are very concerned.

It's been suggested that Americans' concerns about Europe might be higher if more people were actually paying attention.

And it's too bad they're not.

What's going on in Europe is a big part of the reason why we've seen such recent volatility in U.S. markets.

And if it continues, we could see a drop in U.S. exports and less European investment in the U.S. Also, U.S. banks could decrease lending here at home due to worries about Europe.

Meanwhile things are going from bad to worse in Europe. on top of concerns about Greece's debt crisis, Spain is dealing with a huge banking crisis.

Many of Spain's large banks are crippled by bad debt and money is fleeing the country in massive amounts.

Portugal, Ireland and of course Greece have already had to seek international bailouts due to high borrowing costs by the government.

But in the case of Greece, the citizens made it very clear in the last election they are not interested in the government spending less money. They want their handouts come hell or high water. Sound familiar?

Oh, and our government isn't paying attention either. Many of the things leading Europe deeper into crisis are running rampant here - and Washington does nothing.

Here’s my question to you: Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Pay attention everybody, especially investors.The money trail leads us to the worlds markets and our own. Unfortunately there is only one drain, and we will all go down it together.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  2. Oliver El Paso, TX

    Jack, we in the US deal in American dollar so when the Euros is having problem we not see it, When I visited Europa,
    I believe the exchange of the Euros against the american dollar was to high, those country were over inflating the euros, they were trying to make up lost revenue.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  3. Paul P.

    Of course we should, its a global economy and its important to understand what is happening outside of your country's own border. Its an interconnected world now and nothing happens in a bubble anymore. By understanding world economics better I think we can get a better understanding of our place in the world, our limitations and the context within which we live and hopefully realize that 5 or 6 percent GDP growth and a 4 percent unemployment rate simply aren't realistic goals right now, they're fantasy numbers.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  4. Ed from Texas

    Geoge Harrison once sang, "With every mistake, we must surely be learning." But apparently not. We repeated the mistake of Vietnam with the invasion of Iraq. Europe is repeating the mistake of the Great Depression: austerity will not get you out of recession and lead to even worse. And it will affect our economy.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  5. jk in MN

    I'd rather America was focused on how they are going to rebuild infrastructure and deal with the long term unemployed instead – the two problems could be worked on if we weren't subsidizing the defense contractors, the oil industry, etc. You know – industries that really don't need it.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  6. Mike in Minneapolis

    Absolutely not. Most Americans don't understand the US financial crisis. The last thing they should be doing is filling their heads with ideas about what's going on there. It will only be a matter of time until those ideas are coming out their mouths.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  7. Ed in Harrisburg

    Americans are focused on their smartphones and lattes and not on world affairs or the economy. This is not news. It used to be that we were "Ugly Americans." Now we are Ugly and Fat Americans, not giving a damn about anyone but ourselves while pointing the finger at "those people" for our worries. Americans need to wake up and see themselves not as a aloof elite group,but as an interconnected part of humanity and part of the human financial eco chain. We need more collaborative economic enterprises and think about the global economy or we shall be at the short end of the stick.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  8. ken from connecticut

    yes, because its a preview of what is going to come here, and happen here. I't's like a storm comming and no one checks the weather, it starts raining and you forgot to buy an umbella. Some of us are going to get wet!

    May 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  9. Karl in Flint, MI

    I guess we could focus on it, but unless you are a Mitt Romney type or a Wall Street banker, there isn't a lot we can do about any of it. We would be better advised to focus on our own financial situation here.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  10. Jim in Concord, nc

    Absolutely! The world is far too interconnected for this not to matter. I'm frankly astonished that this is so far below most people's radar.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  11. Tom in Desoto, TX

    It's been a world economy for some time now, ignoring Europe's financial crisis could easily affect us for some time to come.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  12. Jeff In Bishop, Georgia

    Mr. Cafferty, we all should be paying attention. Europe is the USA's crystal ball as long as the idiot progressives and capitulating RINO republicans continue to embrace entitlements and empower the nanny state.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  13. Larry from Kansas

    Jack : It's just another excuse for walll street to bob up and down and finally sink into dispair for the american people. We do not need to focus on Europs financial crisis to solve ours.We cannot continue to police the world.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  14. Phyllis G. Williams

    Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be?

    Of course. America is named the "Big Brother" of the world, so although you may
    not be able to help them with cash, you all can share ideas for progress.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  15. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    I am not a proponent of isolationism, but the Legislative and Executve branches of our government should be planning contigency plans to protect our economy if such an event occurs. To do nothing is like sticking our head in the sand as a rhino charges us from behind. Oh boy, is that going to hurt.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  16. Rich in Gainesville FL

    We have civil servants and elected officials who have the expertise and wisdom to know how best to protect our country and our economy and jobs from any potential fallout from this crisis. Right? We do, don't we?

    May 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  17. Jenna Roseville CA

    Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be?

    Jack,

    Of course we should be concerned about Europe, but also Asia, Africa and our friends in South America.

    What most Americans don't give is that we live in a global society and that we are all pretty much joined at the hip. To think that we are not shows our ignorance. What we need to remember is how beholding we are to other nations with all our loans (CHINA and MEXICO) and how other nations are dependent on us for their loans with us.

    It doesn't surprise me though Jack, just look at how many Americans are Republicans, voting against their own interests..Americans for the most part are lazy or just really don't care.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    May 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  18. Richard Texas

    Americans should be very concerned because what happens in Europe effects us here in America. Many investment companies have assets at stake in Europe. If their stock market crumbles ours crumbles and if you remember correctly part of the TARP package was given to 43 foreign banks in France, Germany, Canada and the UK to shore up their banking systems so our tax dollars are keeping them open. If those banks fail that 70 billion in TARP money is gone and we are next.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  19. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    On opening day of the Europen common currency September 11th 2001 President George Bush invested $50 billion dollars of taxpayers money to buy Euros @ $1.49 per dollar. If the Euro fails to be Americas common Europen currency for trade all future transactions will have to be conducted in separate currencies, a much more complicated process.

    While home prices in the U.S. have taken a catastrophic dive. Home prices in Greece have not changed at all despite their failing economy.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  20. Ann from Charleston SC

    Americans aren't focused on Europe's financial crisis because it is easier just to blame Obama or Bush. However, we most certainly should be. Our economy is tied to Europe's economy – and to the rest of the globe. What happens elsewhere will have an impact on the U.S.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  21. David, in hot and sunny Tampa

    To a certain degree, Yes.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  22. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    An embarassly large majority of Americans don't even understand our own monetary system, let alone one in a foreign country. I think the people that are the most focused on European financial gyrations, are the money brokers who make their living off of exchange rate differences. The rest of us have our own problems with hyper-toxic big banks and crooked congressmen stealing our treasury blind.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  23. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Hi Jack, most of us are in enough financial trouble ourselves without worrying about what problems people across the pond are doing. Our country is almost $16 trillion dollars in debt with no end in sight. How about this, lets stop sending money to other countries and start manufacturing products here and then we could help Europe.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  24. James - Alexandria, VA

    Yes everyone should be. This is exactly what is going to happen here if the North American Union is established. And just so you know Jack, Greece will not be allowed to leave the EAU because it will cause a domino effect as others will leave and it will drive up the value of the dollar which will eliminate our debt.....and no one wants our government actually paying its bills. After all the ones who controls the debt controls the nation or nations. Maybe you should be reporting on the NAU than wasting your time posting stuff about how the veterans love Romney and how the U.S. is the 11th happiest country.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  25. Loren, Chicago

    Yes, there are lessons to be learned in each country and how it manages its finances. Look at Greece with its socialist governments and how bloated the bureaucracy has become and how entitled public employees feel. Or you can look to Germany and see its strong manufacturing base and the cooperation between government and business that ensures that workers are fairly paid and have a social safety net to protect them.

    The U.S. faces a choice of the direction to go, and I can only think that one path leads to a Greece-like future, while another, though represented by neither of our Presidential candidates, could lead to a Germany-like economic future.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  26. Mel - Houston

    Yes, what we see happening there is almost certain to happen here. The Republican want to introduce severe austerity programs if they win in November, but; how have those same programs been received in European countries. If it happens here you better get used to riots just like you see in Greece. The only difference is that every one in America has a gun or two, or three.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  27. Bill of New Mexico

    With a sick economy like ours, you got to be worried of anything hurting it.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  28. 1grasshopper

    Maybe we should be but it seems more prudent for us to concentrate on our problems first.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  29. Annie, Atlanta

    I have to answer your question with a question of my own, Jack. What is going on with American media? It's infotainment at best. How can the American public be informed when our media no longer thinks it's necessary?

    May 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  30. pat in michigan

    Yes we should be .CNN should really examine just what has led to the problems in Europe and why they are on deaths financial door.In the old days it was called a "White Paper". Just state facts and let us draw our own conclusions.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  31. Ed from California

    Jack, we have our own crisis right here in America. Two unending wars, millions of houses in foreclosure, jobs that are now in Mexico and communist China, 30 Million Americans out of work or working for low wages. The Mitt Romney's of the world that have screwed us all out of our retirement saving (by making investments in good companies, then putting them out of business, just so he makes a buck). What do we care about Europe, when we are all worried about the U.S of A. Mr. Boehner, "Where are the jobs"???

    May 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  32. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Unfortunately, we are so overburdened with across the board middle class problems, we are too busy to see any looming disaster headed our way that may be even worse than what we are now faced with. We can only hope that it won’t come across the pond.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  33. Pete in Florida

    Yes we should, but about half of us won't even be aware of it until FOX News and Rush Limbaugh start blaming Obama for it 24/7. My only question is, how bad do things have to get over there before John McCain and the Repubs start singing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Europe"? That'd be a catchy little theme tune for their convention, don'tcha think?

    May 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  34. Boomer in Mo

    Probably, but I've just about quit listening to the news. It's either bad or about American politics. I'm taking the summer off from all of that because its depressing.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  35. Richard C.

    We have enough serious problems right here. We cannot fix Europe's socialist, nanny-state problems. We can only stop our slide into masssive debt and give away programs, ergo, vote Obama out of office and establish programs to solve illegal immigration, government hand outs to companies that cannot compete, like Solyndra, and revise the tax code.
    Malvern, PA.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  36. Sandstone

    "Yes I do in a small way, as it could effect my pension!"

    May 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  37. sylvia from san diego

    Of course but unfortunately, many American's are not educated on Global events and can't even locate Europe on a map. They will get a "crash" course once they begin feeling the effects of the Piigs going bankrupt.....

    May 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  38. Larry in Houston

    Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be ?
    Answer : Washington has a 1 track mind right now and it's about politics & the Election in November. A "drop in U.S. exports" ? That means more people will be buying from the wal-marts – stuff that is made in other countries. ""U.S. banks could decrease lending here at home"" ? what do you mean, "could decrease lending" ? People and Business people have been having trouble with that Issue for a while, now. Where have You been, Mr. Cafferty ? After November comes & goes, SOMEBODY had better get this Debt under control, because this country will be in some sort of trouble, eventually. (to say the least) The GDP will NOT be able to sustain it, if it keeps on, within the next 3 to 4 yrs.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  39. clephas

    A lot of it is that the American mindset tends to overlook the interdependence of the US economy and those of the Eurozone. Americans don't want to admit to themselves that a failure on the other side of the world can send us all sliding into hell, because that would be admitting that America isn't independent, powerful, and economically safe from the headwinds of the greater world economy as they wish it to be.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  40. Nick @ Mammoth Lakes, CA

    Would it matter if we were? We have next to no influence over how Europe handles its economy, how its banks inform us of their weaknesses, or how its governments handle its budgets. Would it have an impact on how we invest, assuming we had anything to invest? Fortunately US regulations require our financial sector to be more transparent so we can judge their exposure to risk in Europe. Not so for the individual European financial institutions.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  41. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    America should be concerned, and if we elect a corporate fat-cat like Romney, then we're gonna experience what Greece has been going through on a more volatile scale. Frankly, the Democrats are the only ones trying to make any effort to head off the crisis before it gets 'Greece bad'. Wonder when the GOP will throw in their lot? Wait, I know..NEVER

    May 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  42. hank

    most Americans thinks we are along in the world they pay more attention to reality shows,dancing with the stars,etc etc etc.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  43. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think what we need to worry about is being talked into another war and running it on a credit card. Because if that happens it will not matter what happens in Europe are economy would have already went over the Cliff.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  44. Name*Virginia. Atlanta

    We need to study what is going wrong in Europe. They tried the austerity route that the Republicans want to try. President Obama chose a different way, trying to help everyone be able to support a decent lifestyle rather than hope a few wealthy folks will allow it to trickle down. We have experience with that not working and putting 99% of in financial stslate or worse. Under President Obama, our growth is yjree times the aberacgehas averaged

    May 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  45. Mark , Oklahoma City, OK

    Jack, the Great Depression was a Worldwide Depression that effected everyone on the planet, but somehow the arrogant, self-absorbed Americans that we are seem to think that this time all of Europe can fall off a financial cliff without dragging the rest of us over the cliff with them. Sadly, we are woefully uninformed.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  46. thom richer

    It is a "Global Economy," is it not? American and world corporations and banks along with ours and their governments have sought this greed motivated endeavor of world domination through economics for decades without our notice. Germany and others failed at world domination by force and now big banks and world corporations seek the same end by economic control. Should we be concerned as Americans? Absolutely. Especially due to the fact that we lead the way to economic global dominance. Are we concerned enough? Absolutely not. This kind of thinking is considered crazy and eccentric. Little credence is given to it. Yet, each and every day, laws are passed in the favor of Corporate America and the nation's 1%, while more taxes, fees, regulations are levied and personal rights are taken away or made more restrictive for America's working and lower classes without notice or opposition. Global/World Economy is a mere synonym for World Dominance.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    May 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  47. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    Well Jack, it's all possibly big fa-sod, and what good would it do for Americans to worry about anything, worrying never solved anything and is quite unhealthy. Maybe the whole world just needs to go bankrupt and start all over again, survival of the fittest and money doesn't count for anything, it wouldn't be boring and maybe the environment will be saved.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  48. Mr. D

    Talk about a full plate. As if we do not have enough to worry about in our own country, we collectively have to worry about the whole world and how to keep it glued together. Pardon me while I bury my money in the backyard and have a drink.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  49. Bob in Ohio

    The company I work for sells products in several European countries. Other than myself and my fellow employees I know of no one else who cares what is happening in Europe. Americans are too self-centered to realize that unlike Las Vegas " what happens in Europe does not stay in Europe".

    May 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  50. Name*Virginia. Atlanta

    I goofed and hit publish mid sentence. We have had small but positive growth where Europeans had mostly negative growth and those with positive growth all together averaged less than 1/2 %. Vs our almost 2%. It tells us which track I'd correct and people who at attention will choose President Obama.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  51. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    Europe is an interesting case, because in order to get to stronger unity, its debt needs to become less secure – giving an interest to would be European patriots to buy it up and push for something more along the lines of the United States. Abigail Adams made her money speculating on Revolutionary War debt. We need more Abigails – but such speculation is not for the faint of heart. The downside for the US is that a strong European Union makes American Debt and the American Dollar less of a global sure thing. When they finally do get their act together, it will cost us money – although it will be good for American jobs to have to actually make something rather than simply selling the ability to tax the children of the rich (which is essentially what US debt is).

    May 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  52. Larry in Houston

    Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be ?
    Answer : Yes – – – example : under Bush # 2 regime : it was always, "cut taxes" give the people out there A Stimulus" We've heard this and he's done this for 8 years, off & on. During Clinton's regime : Raise Taxes ( for everybody) and we end up with a "Surplus" after his 8 year regime. So, if Romney wants to Lower or Cut Taxes, and give us peons a so called "stimulus" thinking that an extra hundred bucks or so will most likely be spent, then we most likely will be 18 trillion in hawk by the end of his term. Vote Democrat – 2012

    May 31, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  53. Gigi Oregon

    Americans are to smug. We would rather fight among ourselves than learn any lessons. The Red party want to blame the poor, middle class and let corporate America buy and sell our country for their profit.. And the Blue party who want to take care of the poor, orphan ,widow, elderly and the stranger in our strange country have little hope against the Capitalist. Our towns and small cities are falling apart along with our schools, roads, bridges and damns. All in the name of Capitalism. America is tattered, torn, polluted, war hungry and broken.

    "Pride cometh before a fall". Rome was not built in a day and when it fell, it never recovered it's glory.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  54. Joshua Stevens, New York, NY

    Any American who doesn't think that paying attention to the European economic crisis is going to be sorely surprised when some of its worst effects hit over the next couple of years.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  55. Vicnoho NYC

    Of course we should; where do you think all the bailout money went?

    May 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  56. Joshua Stevens, New York, NY

    Any American who doesn't think that paying attention to the European economic crisis is important is going to be sorely surprised when some of its worst effects hit our country over the next couple of years.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  57. JM from DFW

    Only if you are invested in the Financial Markets.

    If you don't have a job, and you have a difficult time making ends meet, you are not concerned about Europe going broke!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  58. aram barnett

    Of course we should be concerned about about the finanical crisis in Europe but time and time again its been proven that american and dull and unaware of there global community. American are stupid in general

    May 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  59. Peter A

    Sure we do. But as long as Obama and the Democrats run this country, it will be played off as no big deal. Europe is foreshadowing exactly what will happen to America, but lets not focus on that silly stuff, the "war on women" and "birthers" are much more important.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  60. Jan

    We, the people, are a reflection of those we've elected. Is it any surprise no one is paying attention. Our elected officials have no clue and neither do we...

    May 31, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  61. Joseph Kraatz, Oceanside, CA

    Americans are totally worn out hearing about the European problems and their dysfunctional governments. Also, our government is no longer capable of governing. The divisiveness in this country is truly frightening!!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  62. Alan

    Is there anything most Americans can do about it? No? Then why focus on it?

    May 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  63. Name*Nick V, Ontario Canada

    Absolutely Americans and us Candians should be concerned. Let Europe be the chem lab experiment for us in north America. Fortunately for us this is all it is. For Eurooe it's D Day

    May 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  64. David Peltier, Augusta Georgia

    Of course, we should be focused on Europe's economy. They are our allies and a major part of the global economy. If the Eurozone goes bankrupt , we are aren't far behind. Whatever affects them will surely affect us in the end. Unless you are willing to pay $4 at the pump, you better pay attention!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  65. William

    Of course we should be concerned, (the sun never sets on the English Empire)!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  66. Jerry Mund, Appleton, WI

    Absolutely. The European economy is circling the drain and since our economy is so fragile they will take us down with them. In 6 months our economy will be unrecognizable. I am 100% in gold and silver and I'm staying there.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  67. Stefan

    How do you expect the Americans to be more focused on the events in Europe, when the news networks spend 23 hours a day reporting on sex scandals and stupid politics at home and only 17 seconds on international affairs. Unless its about wars a d bloodshed?

    May 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  68. Michael Langwiser

    You can watch it but theres nothing that we can do about it.The Europeans don't even understand how bad shape they are in. They regularly lie to each other and want Germany to finace them. The idea that Germany will be in charge of Europe was beaten out of the German culture in WWII. This circus will continue for the forseeable future.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  69. Catie

    Fiddle-de-dee, I don't think we should be too concerned about the European mess. I have followed it, and there is a pattern: first, a new event that shakes everybody up; second, a lot of hand-wringing by the media; third, a meeting or two by the European leaders; fourth, some dilly-dallying and posturing by same, then finally: they come through with a proposed solution, everybody breathes a sigh of relief and the markets go up again. A couple of weeks later, the cycle repeats. I've given up worrying every time it happens: the Germans always eventually shoulder the responsibility and none of the Europeans want to lose the European Union.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  70. worldlypatriot

    Jack: Before he departed office, former Sec. of Defense Bob Gates warned: The USA can be a Superpower, or a welfare state, but not both.

    Currently, we are heading down the path of the European nations, many of them, including France, being "welfare states." This is why all Americans should be intensely interested in the crisis in Europe. We have to make a choice, very soon. Superpower status, or a welfare state!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  71. Ron WPAFB

    The way the Republicans have played around denying jobs programs for 3 1/2 years, they're not interested in Europe! It may well be to late, Jack. Our Economics here in the US and Around the world is deeply flawed. CEO's can't keep getting absurdly high bonuses and not paying the workers. It is so one-sided and you would think that CEO's would be smart enough to figure out that workers can't afford Health Insurance and put money into retirement accounts while paying insanely high education costs to put all the children the Religious Right want us to have while denying us birth control! ANd if they can't afford all that, how are they going to buy cars and high end clothes and on and on! IT JUST DOESN"T WORK MATHMATICALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Our Republican Controlled House may very well be Nero, fiddling while the US Burns! Europe's woes is exactly where we are headed! The saying that,You just can't fix stupid, is amazingly true when you consider the GOP!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  72. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    During the great depression many people who suffered financial losses leapt to their death in a final act of selfishness. Nowadays when it comes to regulations and restrictions that would prevent the kind of "bets" that got the global economy into this mess in the first place, many bankers and politicians essentially tell us to "take a flying leap." That is what my focus has been on, both at home and abroad.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  73. Mark from Boston

    Jack,

    MOST Americans pay our representatives to focus on these issues, so we can handle the matters most important to our families. Should you or I be focused on cooking our own food in a restaurant... fixing our car at the auto dealer? Maybe politicians should be paid on commission. You don't get paid if you don't get anything done.

    Mark

    May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  74. Nancy, Tennessee

    Didn't think much about Europe. I thought they will have to fend for themselves in this global economy that has turned everything upside down. Part of the problem is China is beginning to get part of the pie and they have more people to suck up the resources and wealth of the world. We didn't pay attention when China's population was exploding and now that has come home to bite us. The jobs are going to China because they have people willing to work for wages that wouldn't buy bologna and bread for a family in the United States. The economy here is suffering from lack of jobs.. No handout is needed if a man can feed his family from his paycheck.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  75. mikerwinna

    The irony here, Jack, is that "Europe's financial crisis" pales in comparison to ours. Yes, of course we should be more interested than we are.. but even those who are paying attention fail to recognize one simple fact: At $15 Trillion, the U.S. government now owes more than $45,000 for every man, woman and child who can claim U.S. citizenship. That is far more than Greece; far more than Spain; and far more than any European nation, on a per capita basis. The point is that if there is a "European crisis," the one here in the U.S. is far greater in scale. Ignorance is bliss.. but it won't change the facts. And when facts catch up to us faster than our own awareness (or ability to plan ahead), look out!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  76. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Absolutely. Anyone considering voting Republican could see that their policies were a mistake not only in Herbert Hoover's day, but today as witnessed in Europe. The President, Paul Krugman, and legions of economists begged Europe to stimulagte the economy not shut it down. They get the message now. There is no comfort in, "I told you so."

    May 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  77. Michael Brunette

    Yes, Jack, of course we should be – However, since most Americans cannot identify the 50 States in their own country, why would we expect that they would have the slightest clue of the countries included in Europe? No clue, means no interest! Perhaps if you tie the question into a celebrity question – then Americans might develop an interest. We are so shallow in our interests – aren"t we?

    Mike

    May 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  78. Jim

    Jack,

    We in this country have a history of ignoring crises in Europe. Just look at the run up to WWI and WWII. Yes, we should be paying attention. Of course, this leads to the next question: What can we do about it? Not much, it seems, except move our investments into treasury bonds, or maybe the mattress in the master bedroom. The yield is about the same.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    May 31, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  79. John

    I lived in Spain for 12 years. My friends were teachers, carpenters, college students, clerks in stores, etc. I can tell you that they were much more aware of politics in the US and the rest of Europe than we are aware of what is going on in other countries. We think we are the only ones that matter and so we ignore the rest of the world. Even the news there is more informative about world issues. I used to know al of the names of Europe's leaders and many of their members of parliament, as well as US political figures. So did my friends. But now that I am back in the US, I am not quite as ignorant as my friends, but have to really search to find good information about issues affecting other countries and their governments. We are woefully lacking in our knowledge and interest in the rest of the world unless it directly affects us.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  80. Les Thomas

    Austerity is the parroted word in Europe. Wouldn't we all like that word to be magical and work around the globe? If we don't pay attention now, we face surprise. And we don't need anymore surprises. Forewarned is forearmed. Greece remains the grease and the Euro zone needs to focus on them as we cautiously watch.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  81. Petro in Los Angeles

    Compared to other "developed" nations, the American people know little about global affairs. It could be ignorance, but most likely arrogance. Ah, good ol' American Exceptionalism. The shining castle on top of the hill mentality made sense shortly after WW2, but not anymore. We caused this global catastrophe and yet we don't care. Not only should we care about Europe and the rest of the international community, but we should take the best socioeconomic, sociopolitical, sociocultural, and socio-everything parts of other countries and incorporate these characteristics to the best of America.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  82. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Most Americans like myself have never exchanged an American dollar for a Euro or vice versa, but if Europe's financial crisis doesn't improve our currency could drastically depreciate as well which could change our monetary system. Instead of the dollar that says "In God We Trust" it could be exchanged to "In China We Trust" and that's a concern.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  83. Kevin

    Stop blaming us...I cant find ten minutes of relevant and quality news on American TV. I get the Euro news from other means (i.e. BBC world news) which is a shame. The major news outlets spend to much time on one or two stories all day and breeze through everything else. Show more news and we will be more informed.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  84. marty

    Its called cognitive dissidence, Jack. Like the Titanic thepeople won't wake up until the cold water hits them.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  85. Nick Barnets

    "They want their handouts come hell or high water" -Mr. Cafferty with all due respect, this is quite an inaccurate, and misinformed statement about Greece and if anything, it reflects the fact that in the US we should absolutely be paying more attention to the European debt crisis.
    Less government spending was only a small part of the terms of the bailout agreement between Greece and the "troika" (EU/ECB/IMF). Much of it was an agreement to make huge cuts in both public and private sector wages and drastically increase taxes (23% VAT, numerous new "solidarity taxes," a gas tax that's resulted in $10/gallon prices). That contributed largely to the much deeper crisis Greece finds itself in today, nobody has anymore money to spend so thousands of small businesses (the backbone of Greece's economy) have had to close, and to the suffering of Greek people that they rejected in the May 6th election. Take that into account when you think it's about "handouts"

    May 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  86. Randy

    No, the neocon dual citizen bankers are the ones that live in this "global market" that both republican and democrats shill for. After all, isn't that really what our military is running around the world attacking people for? Making the world "safe" for the global capitalists?

    May 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  87. Mark in Houston

    Why should anyone in this country be concerned....None of the current inhabitants of DC or their wannabes have the slightest idea how to solve the problem. It's a second page topic with the media, doesn't attract viewers...so all we hear about is abortion, gay rights, and birther issues. That is what the majority of us have knowledge of....the important stuff that will probably take us out ...is a no no topic.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:48 pm |