Here is a chart I found from 1995 to 2010 on GDP growth in Europe:
It seems that the average is between 0 and 1 %, while inflation ranged between 4 and 1 %:
I’d really like some statistics going back just from 1900 to 2010, but of course, I don’t wanna pay a lot. At least, this is something the European statistic department could provide for its taxed citizens. But well, even that is a lot to ask, I think.
If I find more, I will of course make an update. But the gist is plainly visible. In 10 years, we have around 0.5 % less growth than inflation, meaning that we actually (and the state) lost wealth, ripping off creditors and the savings of people alike.
If we have 2 % inflation and 0.5 % growth, we lose a net of 1.5% wealth per year in order to reduce our debt. Of course, this hits the poor earlier then anyone else. Just to make it more plain, you lose 1.5 % of your net wealth per year due to the inability of government to allow for more growth and present a balanced budget.
Of course, there are even more factors that play a role, but this very “aggregate” simplistic model shows that something is going horribly wrong.