spin cycle: internal devaluation

Welcome back to Spin Cycle, where we talk about the worst things people in the news are saying to us instead of throwing ourselves onto an electric barbed-wire fence.

What do you picture when you hear the term “internal devaluation?” I really tried to picture something. I gave it a good honest try. But the only thing I could imagine was seven billion pairs of human eyes glazing over.

When you run into a term like “internal devaluation” — boring, vague, full of bland syllables — you should fight the urge to fall asleep in your chair because it usually means that the person speaking to you is hoping you won’t notice something important. It’s like she’s saying, “HEY, DON’T LOOK OVER HERE. It’s super boring and you probably wouldn’t understand anyway.”

Don’t listen to her. You’re smart. Go on, have a look.

Europe is short on cash. Some countries are trying to fix this problem by “easing regulations” on businesses (or “stripping away workers’ rights,” depending on who is speaking), which the countries hope will make the businesses more profitable, which would bring some extra money into the local economies. They’re calling the regulation-easing/rights-stripping policy changes “internal devaluation.”

So: What’s being “devalued” is work. Or people. Depending on who’s speaking.