The Euro Game Is Up!

Wow. Someone in the EU actually gets it. Jesus, and here most of us thought they had all given up!


.........................
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

       
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Posted on Nov 30, 2010 3:17 am by Samson in: | 96 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
Wow. He really didn't mince words there did he? :lol:

I remember a few years back when Europe decided to band together to create the Euro project, my first thought was how are they going to reconcile everyone in every European country to adopt a single international currency and completely abandon their individual identities along with their respective currencies, flags, anthems, and every other form of nationalism. Go figure, eh?

       
If it was "just" adopting an international currency, there wouldn't be a problem. Anyway, he really didn't mince words. Am I the only one that noticed that there was no one sitting anywhere near him? And those across the lobby (all 5 of them) all had the "oh, great we're going to have to listen to more of this guy's bullshit" look on there faces? :grinning:

       
:lol: I noticed that too, but I was thinking it just looked like there were that many vacancies of seats around the whole place. And, yes, it did look like the rest of them mostly had a pretty good idea what to expect from his speech when he was first yielded the floor.

You know, at this point it's going to eventually be almost as much trouble unadopting the Euro as it was to adopt the currency in the first place for most of you folks. :(

       
They're not going to unadopt the Euro. Paradoxically, the two countries that actually had currencies that were actually worth something (UK and Germany) both opted out of the Euro. Or at least use their traditional currency as well as the Euro. Either way, the fact that the pound and the mark still exist weakens the Euro, at least slightly.

       
You guys should watch some of his other speeches too. This guy hasn't given then an inch at any point. I really thought sanity in Europe died with the formation of the EU. I wonder if there's a Nigel Farage waiting for us here in the US too. God knows we need someone like him in Congress.

       
The EU is just big dipping pot for politicians over there anyway. For instance, it pays english farmers not to farm. Figure that; people are starving in the world yet the EU is paying to have food production minimized so that other parts of Europe can make money from exports across the country.

       
Dallen: Well, yeah, I understand that England and Germany opted out of the Euro (from what I understood, basically by popular demand), but all the other countries previously had their own currencies regardless of their valuations that some folks might just want back once they realize how worthless the Euro is about to become... As for the pound and the mark weakening the Euro, only in so much as it didn't manage to concur them. The dollar still exists too as does the yen and yuan and the peso and... well, you get the idea, ultimately none of them weaken each other solely by their existence.

Samson: He definitely hit them with both barrels at once. I don't know if our congress could handle that much directness without members screaming about sanctions and such. ;)

       
That doesn't sound all together different from our own government subsidizing farmers to leave fields fallow for one season. You pretty much have to, but there's no financial incentive to do it, and if you don't, you get a dustbowl like we had back in the 30s. Ironic as it may be, that IS something I favor a bit of government regulation in so that we don't wind up ruining the entire food supply.

Most of the stuff Farage talks about goes way beyond that though, like when they wouldn't even let Ireland hold elections until they approved a budget the EU was happy with. Any country willing to give up their sovereignty in the name of the EU probably deserves to go under. The Europeans obviously didn't learn from their own history at all.

       
Oops, sorry, prettyfly, I didn't see your post there while I was writing that last one because I'd opened this thread and the other thread at the same time and it looks as though you posted while I was responding to Fury.

That's hardly the only oddity of the EU and it's policies at this point. In fact, I'm not even sure it's the oddest of them. :lol:

       
And Samson snuck one in on me too...

Is that what he's talking about? Hell, here our government will not only subsidize farmers to leave certain fields fallow during certain seasons/years, they'll even directly pay you to grow certain crops that don't have as much interest at market to keep the produce sections of the grocery stores more balanced.

Funny, the bit about not having learned from their own history is exactly what I was thinking when I was commenting that they'd basically voluntarily given up their nationalism and individual identities. Hasn't there been something on the order of a half dozen dictators over the years who've tried to conquer all of Europe at one time or another? Had any of them succeeded then surely that would've had the same unifying effect but instead of them being called EU like some bizarre new symbol on the periodic table of elements, they'd have all been a single country: Roman, British, French, Italian, German, whichever...

       
Conner: The reason the pound and the mark weaken the euro is those were the countries the weaker economies (like say France) were hoping to tap when they invented the euro. Yes, it was by popular demand that England opted out, (the pound being worth about 3-4 dollars, and about 2.5-3 euros; who could blame them). Germany's situation is a bit more complicated. The German's wanted to keep their currency. France and a cabal of little tiny countries no one's ever heard of tried to force the euro down their throughts; and Israel and the United States, and to a lesser extent the UK said that it was in their collective and individual national interest for Germany to keep the mark. Guess who won?

       
Well, despite the claims of our opponents, no one's yet really proved that Israel and the U.S. don't know what we're talking about. ;)
But, okay, I'll concede the point that the pound and Mark (I really thought it was Marc :shrug:) weaken the Euro by still existing because without them the Euro's primary purpose was defeated before it really began.

       
He starts out with pointing out democracy taking a hit.
The Euro government as anything but open. One has no right to check up on what is going on! Half the EU budget goes to subsidize farmers who can't support themselves, and they have to grow crops nobody wants because that is what they get paid from the EU to grow, and it all goes on the rubbish heap.
And the wasting of money! Gawd! Remember when the whole cabinet what not, moved every other month, the whole shebang, just because the seat of power was not agreed upon.
And when the chairman gives France an upbraiding because they are behaving like bigot nation from the forties, she has to take it back since none is allowed to rock the boat.
Argh!

You know Prostitution and Politics are the two oldest occupations in history. Oh wait, they are one and the same. :D

       
Ah, but one generally chooses individually to get fucked by a prostitute, every else gets a say in which politician gets to fuck you... ;)

       
Well, the EU makes me happy to be in a small country that doesn't have to go through all that bullshit.

       
But, I thought you were in Australia.....

       
Exactly...the states are a nuisance still but nothing approaching the mess the EU creates.

       
I don't even think our own government with 50 states is as big a mess as the EU has become.

       
I'm not sure Australia really qualifies as a small country, Otherwise, I will concur that EU has definitely made a bigger mess of things in an amazingly short time span than most other governments of the world have managed in centuries.

       
Mohammed [Anon] said:
Comment #20 Dec 1, 2010 3:56 am
Conner: The reason the pound and the mark weaken the euro is those were the countries the weaker economies (like say France) were hoping to tap when they invented the euro. Yes, it was by popular demand that England opted out, (the pound being worth about 3-4 dollars, and about 2.5-3 euros; who could blame them). Germany's situation is a bit more complicated. The German's wanted to keep their currency. France and a cabal of little tiny countries no one's ever heard of tried to force the euro down their throughts; and Israel and the United States, and to a lesser extent the UK said that it was in their collective and individual national interest for Germany to keep the mark. Guess who won?


I don't know where you all got the idea that Germany is outside the euro zone. Most of my EUR coins have the German eagle on them. The D-Mark came to an end in 2002. This was the whole point of the Euro project! If Germany had declined, there would have been no Euro, and likely no German reunification.

The pound is worth about 1 Euro give or take a few cents, which is about $1.30 to $1.40 (the dollar fluctuates a lot these days). Also, the absolute exchange rate isn't what determines the strength of a currency, its stability does. At about 83 Japanese Yen for a dollar, no one is seriously arguing that the yen is a weak currency, right? Neither dollar nor Euro nor Sterling is very stable these days, all three of them steadily losing ground vs Asia.

I'm not sure about the UK having a stronger economy than say France. Before the crisis hit, the France had either a larger GDP per capita than the UK or about the same, depending on the source. Since the crisis hit, and the UK housing bubble burst, it's looking a lot bleaker. The UK has a deficit of more than 11% of the GDP and a national debt of more than 70%, figures as bad as those of the USA these days, but without the political and military clout to be able to tell creditors to uhm... persuade creditors if need be.

You all get all your news about the EU filtered through fleet street, which is frankly biased, and has an agenda. The UK doesn't want to be part of Europe, but also doesn't want to be left behind, so it's in there always seeking to throw a spanner in the works. We don't really notice much of a mess, to be honest. No more than in the UK or the USA, in my experience. A war between France and Germany is pretty difficult to imagine these days, and I can drive from Cadiz to Tallinn without having to stop at borders or go through customs (and starting next month, pay with the same currency) and I can order stuff from Poland without paying import duties. All things these things were different when I was a kid. I consider the EU a success. The EU "government" has little power, because of its confederate, not federal model. The power lies with the governments of the member states.

National identity turns out not to lie in a currency, and posting stern uniformed men at a border does little to protect it. It's mostly language, ethnicity and history. The French are still arrogant bullies, the Italians still sly and scheming, the Dutch are still without culture, and the Germans are still wonderful, industrious people with a great sense of humor and a lovely cuisine. National identity in Europe isn't as strong as in the USA anyway. Sometimes it follows national borders, but often it's much more regional than that.

Lately, due to the crisis, some liberals and left wing populists have been voicing their doubts about the EU. They see it as a libertarian force, and I think some of their voters fear they can't compete in a larger, open market. Contrary to what you all might think, it's not a left wing liberal project.

       
Mohammed [Anon] said:
Comment #21 Dec 1, 2010 4:07 am
I'm not sure Australia really qualifies as a small country, Otherwise, I will concur that EU has definitely made a bigger mess of things in an amazingly short time span than most other governments of the world have managed in centuries.


A country isn't just square miles. Australia has a population of 22 million, about the same as Taiwan.

       
Well, I don't get my news about the EU from much of anywhere these days as I pay little attention to it. However, this Nigel Farage guy has been making speech after speech about how bad it is, and the responses he gets from some of the other guys in the assembly are indicative of the fact that he's right about what he's saying. Nothing I've found before or since has contradicted anything he's commenting on. He certainly doesn't see them as libertarian, but as liberals/progressives. Or dare I say, approaching fascists.

It also seems to me like the EU has more than just a confederacy level of power if they can badger Ireland into revoting on a treaty they didn't want or badger them into passing an approved budget before the EU would allow them to hold elections. That kind of power in a true confederacy doesn't exist, and national sovereignty actually has meaning.

As far as being able to bully our creditors, I seriously doubt we can just thumb our noses at China and get away with it militarily. Although a war on that level would probably do wonders for our economy the same way it did in WWII.

22 million people is small. That's not even half the population of the state I live in here in the USA.

       
mohammed [Anon] said:
Comment #23 Dec 1, 2010 12:04 pm
Nigel Farage can be compared to certain militia men I've heard arguing for their state to secede from the union. The man legitimately represents the point of view of some voters, but he is very far off the main stream.

Often he sounds like he's on cocaine to me. A number of things he said were very strange. The EU has no
say in elections in member states, Portugal does not have a national debt of 325% but has economic figures comparable to the UK of mr. Farage. It's not really fair that Portugal is being lumped in with Greece and Ireland, as its government responded quite responsibly to the crisis. Speculation on a government bond crisis is becoming a self fulfilling prophecy there. His ad hominem attacks on mr van Rompuy and the entire nation of Belgium were not exactly civilized.

       
Well someone sure seems to think they do.

The Telegraph said:

Portugal's public debt is expected to reach 86pc of GDP this year. The Achilles Heel is private debt and reliance on foreign bank funding. Combined debt is 325pc of GDP, compared to 247pc for Greece.


The 325% figure is apparently their combined public + private debt, which IMO fits precisely what Farage has said. He didn't say it was their public debt, he called it their debt levels, which is entirely accurate. Wasn't that hard to confirm.

I will concede that he shouldn't have been insulting to Van Rompuy, but a quick scan of various websites discussing the subject suggests that Farage was also correct about Belgium having no government for the last 6 months or so. Who knows, that might turn out to be a good thing for the people of Belgium. Just like it might be a great idea for our own government to be forced to shut down while our budget mess gets sorted out.

       
Edited by Samson on Dec 1, 2010 12:25 pm
Mohammed [Anon] said:
Comment #25 Dec 1, 2010 1:34 pm
Private debt includes mortgages, corporate loans etc, and aren't really relevant to the government bond crisis or the Euro. Again, similar to the level of the UK (300% in 2009 according to Reuters) and the US (350% according to Credit Suisse). I'm not a financial expert, so I couldn't tell you how important these figures are, or whether they're good or bad, just that they look similar to me. It could be one of these things that's not a problem for a super power, but a major problem for a country the size of Portugal.

There's Euroscepticism, which is a main stream political view in Europe, and there is xenophobia, which I'm afraid mr. Farage represents here.

       
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