Can Europe find a way out of this mess?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne … rmoil.html
The socialist president of France got an immediate invite to the white House by Obama. Is anyone surprised at our nations leader cozying up to a socialist?
I think you'll find that such an invite from the President is not unusual when European countries elect new officials. David Cameron also received an invite when he took office and he is a conservative.
Ah well that is the ill conceived Euro gone and probably by Christmas!
We are living in interesting times methinks
That's an old Chinese curse isn't it Case1worker? Well I look forward to the end of the Euro and the EU in its current form, but all change seems to involve pain for some reason. Why can't Europe just go back to the old idea of a 'Common Market'in an orderly fashion? I don't think too many European citizens really signed up for a United States of Europe!
I think a lot has to do with not listening to the people but imposing their own will leaders have to stay in touch with reality and stop trying to make a better mousetrap
Well France is now in a situation where they have voted in a President who openly admits that he hates rich people but wants to go back to incontinent public spending. This is truly scary and economically illiterate, as where does he think the money is coming from? We truly have become a continent of welfare junkies, seemingly unwilling and unable to take responsibility for our own lives and income. It seems to be fashionable in Europe to hate rich people, even when most of the people peddling this idea are wealthy themselves. I think that it is short sighted pandering to public opinion - there are good and bad wealthy people and being poor doesn't mean you are automatically a saint.
This hate strips aspiration from peoples lives, and just helps to lock them into their prison of poverty. Without allowing the wealthy to tax dodge etc, we should be encouraging wealth creation, education, aspiration, social mobility, entrepreneurship and we won't do this by automatically linking the word 'rich' with 'bad'.
Allied to this is the "money is evil" meme, which really does my head in.
Money per se isn't evil - in fact it's the last bastion of freedom IMO.
Fractional reserve banking and market manipulation, on the other hand - now you could definitely make a case for that being evil. Although these things couldn't wreak the damage that they cause (or will cause in the future) without ordinary people's lemming-like willingness to buy into whatever bubble happens to be "in" at any given moment.
I disagree that the policy is economically unwise (as an economist) austerity measures have thus far only pushed countries into recession again, (asking the UK for example) as the old axiom goes you have to spend money to make money.
None of the successful European economies are practicing austerity even Germany ant the truly stable and unaffected countries like Norway and Finland are the ones which are as socialized as possible while still being capitalist. Seeing France get a socialist President then (who is not a real socialist anyway) bodes well not ill.
I would love to hear from some Scandinavians as to what life under their "socialist" countries is actually like on a day-to-day basis. As it is, the rest of us only have the media to go on, which occasionally gives dribbles of insight but doesn't show the whole picture (and is hugely biased most of the time, let's face it).
I suspect that if Norway/Sweden/Finland are stable compared to France and Greece, it has more to do with other factors like low population (= less competition for jobs).
Well from what actual economic data shows things are going well on a macro economic level, these countries are actually less fertile, less mineral wealthy etc. and yet not only are their economies stable but they are able to properly care for their citizens, with excellent health, excellent life expectancy, excellent quality of life, low crime rate etc.
All these countries have one thing in common their political system and pretty much nothing else and economic analysis as well as international bodies have all credited their political system for their success so I think theorizing that something else is responsible is a bit of a stretch.
As I see it these countries have performed well while less socialized countries have failed indeed almost all the fastest growing economies show leftist politics and almost all the economies suffering big time are those closer to the right, pretty big coincidences as I see it.
Except small populations and (whisper it low) national characteristics that probably (I'm guessing here) tend towards a love of order and consensus. With a few notable exceptions, like Anders Brevik.
Being facetious, you could also come up with a list of other things that Scandinavian countries have in common:
Lots of trees and lakes
A diet rich in fish
Edgy fashion sense
Do Norway, Sweden and Finland have fast-growing economies? Or just stable ones?
Germany is probably closer to your definition of "right" these days than it is to "left", but it seems to be doing OK.
And I'd also say that there isn't much difference between "right" and "left" anyway - ALL European countries have a massive amount of state spending and state regulation (so does the US, come to that).
Perhaps you could argue that the aforementioned state regulation is actually fascist rather than leftist (the word "fascism" does after all come from the Latin "fasces" or "bundle", meaning - in this context - a bundle of power encompassing the state, banks, corporations and the media).
Well for starters as far as left and right it depends on where you stand without a doubt Germany is much further to the left that the US far further than Obama. Scandinavian economies are growing socialist economies are growing very fast.
I would also like to have it explained to me how government is responsible for the economic crisis (national debt being a separate issue).
Taxation. People who are excessively taxed have a lower disposable income, which means that they can't spend as much on goods and services.
Excessive regulation. This might give jobs to civil servants, but it also takes away jobs from the private sector, since companies either relocate to other countries where there is less regulation (and taxation come to that), or would-be entrepreneurs are put off from even starting a business. Small companies can't afford to comply with regulations at all.
Central banks. These are either government-owned (like the Bank of England) or have private companies under a sort of government umbrella, like the US Federal Reserve. And it's government regulations that tell us that we have to use "x" currency, issued by "y" central bank.
Why is national debt a separate issue? I'd have thought it was very much bound up with what we're discussing. Put it this way, there's only so much debt you can accrue before people either stop lending to you or stop using your currency as a reserve currency. When it comes to countries' national debt, I don't think we've reached the end of that particular story yet. When the end does come, it will be very unpleasant, because the debt bubble has been so long in the making (think decades and even centuries). And to a great extent, you will have government-mandated fractional reserve-based fiat currencies to thank.
Like I and Innersmiff have said, it's not *just* governments. But you can't leave governments out of the equation. That's just plain naive.
Our British government is spending more than the last Labour government certainly, so their austerity measures are not as austere as they seem.
But spending money you haven't got to get you out of a crisis? This is what got us into this mess in the first place.
People seem to forget what this crisis is, this is purely a private sector crisis, government spending has nothing to do with it. I am not a liberal (I am a real horn headed socialist) and I don't approve of government spending under the current system but to suggest the crisis is caused by government spending is simply incorrect. If you want to blame someone blame the private sector and most importantly blame the greed before responsibility attitude of the shot callers within the private sector.
Nah, sorry - don't buy it.
The libertarians will be along in a minute to say it's all the fault of government, but in truth it's a mash-up between government and the larger players in the private sector whose interests coincide, mostly at the expense of small businesses and individuals. And we as individuals also have a part to play, partly because nobody is taught any real economics (unless they take the trouble to learn it for themselves) and partly because people love to chase dreams and illusions.
It is the unholy marriage of big government and big business - one can't exist without the other.
Corporations lobby the government to get bigger and create the economic environment to benefit their particular interests, and also lobby the government and media to blame the resulting economic crises on capitalism and greed so as to expand the power of the government, and so on and so forth . . . until the system collapses.
Oh wait, this picture lays it out quite nicely.
I freakin' LOVE Venn diagrams - they get the point across so succinctly
Strangely I agree Innersmiff It's just you want to get rid of the government part while I want to get rid of the big business part.
Agreeing that the system is rigged is half the battle! We can then discuss solutions.
I would argue that the corporations would have never have got to that size without the government to crush the competition through regulation and manipulation of the money supply in the first place, so a stateless society would make the market look a lot different. I believe that the government in fact inhibits the consumer and workers ability to hold corporations to task for their immoral practices, and really, there is nothing inherently wrong with a large business, as long as they don't violate liberty. Government in order to exist HAS to violate liberty.
Well I have never disagreed with the first problem. On the other hand you and I have very different definitions of what is acceptable liberty, I have no problem with paying taxes for example nor do I have a problem with them as moral concept the thing is while I agree that big business can corrupt government to do it's bidding I have seen with my own eyes that big business is quite capable of oppressing people without the protection of a government, thus as a socialist I believe big business should be owned by the government and thus it would have no recourse or want to subvert the government which is in turn restrained by a robust constitution and the lack of profit first motivation.
I don't think you can get rid of the profit first motivation, and it doesn't go away under Socialist systems. That is ultimately more dangerous because the massive state power is an even greater incentive to take advantage of. It is a monopoly worse than a corporate monopoly because it is enforced by guns.
I will be sorry to see the euro go. It saved so much hassle when travelling. Also, without it, I will have to add six or so more currencies to my invoicing!
Well, at least moving to other currencies will give me a way to sneak in a rise in my fees without it being too obvious...
But countries like Greece need their own currencies back, so that they can make themselves competitive again. 'One size fits all economies' was never going to work really.
But yes it will be inconvenient, but maybe more jobs will be created in the bureau de changes?
I think the price of having fascists in power is too high to pay for any outcome.
However, I'm sure fascist policies will create more jobs in lovely spheres such as armaments!
I'm sure having lots of currencies will create more jobs for bean-counters to keep looking up conversion tables!
I guess my response to currency explosions will be to tell clients they can either choose to pay me in sterling or US dollars or they can choose to take their custom elsewhere.
I'm not sure that a country getting its currency back means that they automatically have to have a fascist government? I don't think that extreme governments at either end of the spectrum are good for countries or people, a diverse mix of views somewhere around the middle is good for me.
I think that the Greek people have kicked back against having an EU technocrat being parachuted into their government and what they regard (rightly or wrongly) as the EU cracking the austerity whip, which they perceive as undemocratic, and previously marginal parties like the fascist and the communists tend to benefit from this unfortunately.
Most of us tend to short term thinking, and people in Europe now seem to want to go back to the way things used to be before the crash. But this didn't work and a whole new financial paradigm is needed to get us back to growth and abundance.
Yay but not yay really. I will enjoy watching it collapse, like how I enjoy overblown blockbuster movies crash and burn, but what I'm worried about is what the CRATS suggest to replace it. It seems like it was built to fail.
from a non-european traveler's perspective, the eurozone was pretty convenient.
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