I was for it before I was against it. I thought the concept of a European Union would offer the ultimate testament to the wisdom of our Founding Fathers. Then I saw the leaders of the European Union use it to muscle American companies (e.g. Microsoft) into regulatory submission rather than focus on a necessarily slow absorption of 27 different countries, each with more than a millennia of history, culture and politics.

Instead, the EU moved with the speed of the market, in part because the market was driving the union. In 2003, the Euro began replacing the national currency of some of the EU members. Today, 17 of the 27 countries use the Euro. Significantly, the United Kingdom opted out of the Euro, and as things stand today, that looks like it might have been a smart move.

I just spent two weeks in Italy, one of the countries that booted its own currency for the Euro. For those who don't remember, the Italian Lira was one of the most laughable currencies ever to exist. Near the end of its existence, it took on almost the demeanor of play money, with thousands of over inflated Lira equaling a single dollar. The first time I visited Italy in 1987, I discovered how unserious a currency the Euro was. Many Italians would gladly accept my dollars in lieu of Lira. Along with the bulk of the EU, Italy gladly jettisoned the much mocked money in hopes of gaining some respect with the Euro.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).