How savage has European austerity been?

Thanks to Tyler Cowen for this revealing insight – this is not at all what the media tells us about the tragic “austerity” program:

To be sure, there are particular small countries which have made serious spending cuts, in the Baltics most of all. But sometimes one hears it said that an anti-austerity strategy must be EU-wide as a whole, or that austerity is “a failed strategy for the eurozone,” or something similar. So perhaps it is worth looking at some numbers for the larger picture. Here is a graph which puts the matter in some perspective:

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