Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Straw Man Of Europe

Last night, the Republican candidates' debate proved to be more a contest of ignorance between the questioners and the candidates than it was any sensible policy arguments by anyone.  It was sad to watch a panel of clueless "financial" reporters lead the contingent of equally lost presidential wannabes into a scrum over who could promise most forcefully to - never, ever, ever, ever, never - bailout Europe from its current currency crisis.  It was a tie between the idiocy both of the question and the unanimous response.  Neither should elicit anything from us but guffaws all around, and perhaps some concern that one of these dolts might actually get elected to the highest office in the land.  Think we're in trouble now?

As we have said here in an earlier post, the Euro experiment carried a fatal flaw from its very beginning.  There can be no prospect for long term success with any system that seeks economic unity in the form of a common currency, absent political unity.  We have made our own version of this sort of sovereignty surrender mistake through trade and labor standards dissolution, by way of NAFTA and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. They are different iterations of the same false step aimed at enlarging and facilitating market growth.

More on all of this later, when time permits.  For now, though, please put me on record as noting that the only way in which it is even conceivable that we could offer anything like a "bail-out" to Europe in this particular situation would be to lend that continent our Constitution.

Here is that earlier post on the subject of the Euro, if you care to read it again:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Debunking Exercise

So, by now everyone has heard - endlessly - from the scaremonger, panic stampeding Republicans and Teacans that unless we adopt stringently austere contractionary policies now, America will turn into umm .... Greece or maybe Spain or maybe even Italy. The ensuing horrors would be endless and awful, they say.

And, of course, we would deserve these punishments for our persistent crazed attempts to do what we can to maintain a middle class in this country. That is, for continuing to press for creation of well paying jobs - and lots of them, insuring good schools, nutrition and health for all children, as well as insisting on maintaining a secure and stable income stream and health care system for the elderly.

I have two questions.

Why do these people hate children, workers and elderly Americans so much? I dunno.

But I sometimes think they should be made to answer after at least five minutes of personal face time in front of a mirror.

How is America like Greece or any other Eurozone country? Not at all.

Only the economically illiterate imagine the slightest comparison is valid. The literate who say so, by contrast, are consciously spreading unfounded fears to force acquiescence to their own self-interested, greedy policies. I hardly know a better definition of evil. It makes you want to ask a strongly implied third question.

Why do these people hate America so much that they would make us out to be economically on a par in any way with the likes of Greece or Spain or even Italy?

The Eurozone countries are basket cases for having surrendered autonomous monetary power to the euro system, without simultaneously forging political unity and responsibility for overarching social needs. The dracma, the pesepa, the lira, the franc, etc. have all gone away. The euro is now the common currency of the sundry European countries. And its supply is controlled through the operation of a euro central banking mechanism, outside and beyond the control of individual members of the zone. That means there is no longer any independent state capacity for financing governmental activities.

However, all social needs such as transportation (railroads, roads and bridges, air travel infrastructure, etc.), schools, health care, old age income maintenance, armies and navies, and many, many more remain the function and duty of individual nation states.

We are like this in no way whatsoever. It would be as if overnight the federal government informed, let's say, um .... Alabama, that from now on you will be responsible for all social security, medicare, medicaid, transportation, education, flood control, defense, and on and on, expenses. But we will control and limit the overall amount of dollars you will have to do all these things.

Who in their right mind could wish such a stupid state of affairs be visited upon us and our people? Yet, that is precisely the kind of policy course Republicans and Teacans, especially, advocate. A thoroughgoing decentralization of governmental functions. They call it federalism, they don't call it catastrophe or disaster, but that is precisely what it would be.

So, it is, at the end of the day, incumbent upon the rest of us to ask the strongly implied question.

Why do these people hate America so much?

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