In the middle ages, the Europeans nations were no richer than the Asians.
After the industrial revolution, the European's, especially the British, output, was at a guess, 20 times that of unindustrialised nations. We could out compete our rivals.
These rivals have now caught up, aided with our foreign aid, stupidly.
In order to pay for our imports, we have to do something either new, better or cheaper, which we can sell to others.
Very unfortunate, but you can't keep spending more than you earn, without going broke.
When the government wants more growth, it means it wants more economic activity. It doesn't mean what it should mean, which is increased wealth.
The focus and priorities are all wrong.
In order to increase wealth, you need to consume less than you produce. Live below your means. Either that or steal it, or receive foreign aid.
Where we are now, massively in debt, we need to live below our means, just to get less poor.
That's no fun. Voters don't want to hear that, so politicians don't say it. Or in DC's case, say it, but don't do much about it.
The Greeks were told "You have to pay the government more, than the government will give you back, as we have to pay for the past". The Greeks rejected it.
The Greeks will probably default, unless they can get other Europeans to pick up the tab.
I'm interested as to what happens next. Will they be unable to borrow, and be forced to live within their means? If so, I think it would be the best thing that could happen to them. Or will the debt cycle start anew?