Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's The Politics, Stupid!

Everyone's taking potshots at the eurozone these days and  given the number and  clumsiness of European "leaders" running around in the open it's like a turkey shoot down at the country fair.  Even those who couldn't hit a barn at 100 ft. can go home feeling like sharpshooters.
 
Nevertheless, analysts from outside Europe's "hard core" have it all wrong.  They presume the eurozone to be all about finance and monetary policy and, having made this fundamental mistake, conclude that the euro is untenable, no more than a rickety structure about  to crash as weak-link peripheral countries like Greece and Ireland (or even - perhaps - Spain ) buckle under the strain of their large debts.

However, the establishment of the European Union over fifty years ago and the adoption of a common currency are not guided by money and economics, but a common vision for peace and prosperity after centuries and centuries of constant, bloody war.  Since 1300 AD (at least) there has never been a period of 50 consecutive years of peace in Europe - except now (excluding the "police action" in former Yugoslavia).  That alone says a lot.

There is no way that Europeans and their leaders are going to let the euro and the EU collapse;  there is simply way too much at stake.   Does anyone seriously think the Germans - to name only one nation - want the EU to fall apart?  The Europeans who arguably suffered the most as they lost not one, but two world wars? C'mon..

To paraphrase Bill Clinton, it's the politics, stupid!

So,  here's my wish for Christmas 2010 : Peace On Earth.

Have a wonderful holiday, all.

7 comments:

Lord Blagger said...

The wars have been exported.

Iraq, Kosova, the Balkans, Siere Leone, Malaysia, Oman, Korea, Afgahnistan, ...

Nothing like playing away from home

Crito said...

The mixed blessing of the Big Gorilla on the other side of the Pond. Takes the heat off of European interference or neglect in things like the Balkans mess.

The US seems to have not learned the lessons of empires past. Here comes the new collapsed Empire. Let's hope Europe can adapt and keep it together afterwards.

Peace

But What do I Know? said...

Good point, Hell--the euro can be fixed, it just requires political will and an acceptance that losses need to be shared. The details matter but not as much as the realization that Europe needs to stay together. . .

Hellasious said...

"..losses need to be shared."

In a world of fiat currency.. WHAT losses? It's all funny money, anyhow.

Brian Woods said...

Hell,

Best wishes for the holiday season.

'See' you in 2011.

@ LB: "Nothing like playing away from home."

Yep, so long as you have the fuel for them plane things! How long would it take to invade **** if you had to do it like the British did a little ways back?

The EU: Yes it will continue, the structuration (sic) is bonding nicely. I'd be a tad concerned about the deficit in the emergency sensor department. Also, they forgot to fit a reverse gear and the US tow tractor needs some maintenance!

Best wishes all.

Brian

Tiago said...

There was an article today in de Volkskrant (a respected Dutch newspaper) about a poll done in Germany: 49% would like to see the Dmark back.

http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2680/Economie/article/detail/1185740/2010/12/26/Helft-van-Duitsers-wil-D-mark-terug.dhtml

It is too soon to say that Europe is going the nationalist way, but there is a very strong chance that that happens.

The interesting thing is that the PIGS still see (the people, not the elites) the Euro as something good. The core seems to think otherwise: again, I mean in both cases the people in the streets. The elites (everywhere) are still totally invested in the Euro. Interestingly I think, from a *short term perspective* the people has it swapped: clearly the euro is currently benefiting the core (a weaker currency benefits their exports) and causing harm @PIGS (too strong, no devaluation possible).

In the long term we will see. Obviously I do not share your optimism.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who values the western values of democracy and accountability is against Europe.
The EU parliament is a toothless appendage there for PR sham reasons, and all the big decisions are made by an unelected beurocracy and a group of appointed, unelected, undemocratic EU commissoners led by corrupt big business deals.

People in the UK have recently been shocked to find 40% of all their meat is hallal killed - because of the EU and there is nothing they can do about it.
http://ukipliverpool.org/content/have-you-eaten-meat-has-died-agony-week-most-probably

Of course this applies to any issue - the EU is a source of corruption ever pushing for more power.