Wael Ghonim in The New York Times on optimism in Egypt It was easy for Egyptians to be pessimistic about their revolution yesterday, even as they voted in Parliamentary elections; they've gone months without real change. Yet, "when it comes to Egypt's future, I am an optimist. Revolution is a process; its failure and success cannot be measured after only a few months, or even years. We must continue to believe," writes Ghonim, an engineer and internet activist. Ghonim outlines the demands of revolutionaries for the military to cede control and open dialogue with young protesters. He lists his reasons for optimism, including a young and newly outspoken generation, a proliferation of mass media, and "a new sector of civil society." "The issue is not absolute optimism, but optimism through action. Beyond a demonstration or a sit-in or a march, our revolution will succeed only if we transform anger and fear into real actions intended to solve real, specific problems."
Austin Goolsbee in The Wall Street Journal on growth in Europe Goolsbee, a former economic adviser to President Obama, opens with a description of Bavarian king Ludwig II's misguided and incomplete construction of Neuschwanstein, a 19th century German castle on which Disney's theme parks are based. These days, "Europeans argue that the crisis comes from too much spending in the South, so they demand cuts. They believe that cuts can restore stability to the euro zone, but the endeavor feels increasingly Ludwiggian," Goolsbee argues. He says that reductions in excessive spending won't solve the crisis unless southern Europe finds a way to spur economic growth. And he uses historical example to show the dangers from regional economic imbalances. "Without growth there will always be another fiscal crisis ahead for yet another country unable to balance its budget but prevented from devaluing and exporting its way forward," he says.