European Clown Car Continues Wobbly Trajectory
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  • TimG

    200 years ago a room full of white men could gather and make decisions that the populace would generally accept.

    When the same kind of elites put together the European Union they had their hands tied by an activist populace who would dump them from office if they gave away too much.

    What should have happened is the European elite should have walked away from the project given these constraints. Instead they pushed ahead with the naive belief that people would come come around to accept their vision of a United States of Europe.

  • Eurydice

    Some additional EU headlines from last week – is it any wonder that the rhetoric has now turned from auterity to growth?:

    Euro-Region Manufacturing Output Contracts for Seventh Month

    German Machine Orders Fell in January as Domestic Demand Waned

    French Unemployment Rate Jumps as Economy Stalls on Euro Crisis

    French Consumer Spending Drops as Job Losses, Budget Cuts Bite

    Italy’s Jobless Rate Surged in January to Highest Since 2001

  • pashley1411

    via Meadia is ignoring the inception of the Eurozone, which was a free trade agreement that metastatized into a political entity, treating an government agency gone amoke like it was something more than it is.

    Like all bureaucracies, the EU grew until it ran out of money, and now is in crisis, just like, for instance, a town budget that suddenly discovers it really doesn’t know how to operate a, for instance, waste water facility.

    The damage will be greater, but the dynamic is the same.

  • Andy Freeman

    > Europe is rich and Europeans are smart

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    Europe is rich by world standards, but by US standards….

    As to their “smart”, they can do technology at medium scale but ….

  • Robert

    The European Union is what a complex political organization looks like when its founders don’t understand constitution making.

    Actually, I’d say the EU is what results when you make a shotgun marriage out of a raft of different nationalities, each carrying loads of historical baggage.

    Perhaps Europeans really are transnational if you restrict your gaze to the mandarinate level. But down where the schnitzel/pasta/moussaka gets made, these are very different national cultures — and expecting them all to behave like their transnational elites is an idea so stupid only a Eurocrat could believe it.

  • Trouble is, the European Union ain’t very unified. The member states have not granted the EU any of the powers of a real government, like taxation, armed forces, a diplomatic corps and the ability to make an EU foreign policy. No European country trusts “furreners” (the rest of the EU) enough to cede any important sovereignty to the EU “government”. The Euro is/was an attempt to cede monetary policy to the EU, and it ain’t working out that well. We have EU banking types (ECB,IMF,etc) bearing down on the Greeks to balance their budget, at the same time we have The Economist claiming that “austerity” is bad for economic growth. Until they work that one out, they ain’t going nowhere.

  • Master of Disaster

    Without the European Union, how do you keep Germany down and pacified until they are demographically insignificant? That was the whole point of the union.

  • gringojay

    EU’s heyday lifestyle looked so cushy I envied it. Now everyone gets to see how they staged their magic performance by blowing smoke in their own eyes. Ideally USA can learn from that botched fiscal folly.

  • Eurydice

    @#6 David – the member states have granted more to the EU than their electorates might know and/or understand. There are EU regulations for almost everything – immigration policies, enviromental standards, agricutural quotas, health issues, all sorts of issues related to commerce and consumers and, of course, budget deficits. Since day one there have been ongoing efforts to “harmonize” the members’ tax systems, and that fight is being waged. Armies and diplomacy aside, for the EU states sovereignty is a thing of the past.

  • Eurydice

    Ooops, I meant to say about tax hamonization that the fight is *still* being waged.

  • jkñ

    Europe is rich and Europeans are smart. Yes, but smart europeans live in the USA

  • jkñ

    and expecting them all to behave like their transnational elites is … but one in America most europeans prospere. For sure sweedish perform better than the reast but overall there are no great differences

  • Medelsvensson

    In inception, ideology, and execution both the EU and the Euro are *French* projects. What else do you need to know?

  • Snorri Godhi

    “Even simple decisions are hard; when life gets complex and truly difficult problems like monetary union come along, the European political system is unable to cope.”

    This seems to imply that there are too many procedural constraints on EU decision making.
    If this interpretation is correct, then I beg to disagree: the disadvantage of the EU wrt the USA, as I see it, is that there are too few substantive constraints, ie no constitutional limits as to what aspects of our lives the EU can interfere with.

    Not that substantive constraints are the solution to all problems, as demonstrated in the USA by the abuse of the commerce clause. What is really needed is a counterbalance to the governmental tendency to expand its own powers. Brussels is full of bureaucrats working full time on regulation: why not put at least half of them to work on DEregulation?

  • “The European Union is what a complex political organization looks like when its founders don’t understand constitution making. Even simple decisions are hard; when life gets complex and truly difficult problems like monetary union come along, the European political system is unable to cope.”

    I am a Quality Manager and auditor in an industry where this is critical or people die in an immediate and visible way, complete with smoking hole in the ground.

    This is a great description of a political system that lacks any auditing of process, or that has a very poor quality system. This to a good Quality Manager says exactly what is wrong with the EU – and incidentally how to make it right.

    Unfortunately making it right would be likely to involve a large number of people reversing (bad) decisions close to their hearts. It would probably involve asking people to do things in an accountable way that they would hate, and sack those that won’t or can’t manage their own responsibilities.

  • Bonfire of the Idiocies

    God is great, beer is good, politicians are idiots.

  • /Quote Eurydice
    @#6 David – the member states have granted more to the EU than their electorates might know and/or understand. There are EU regulations for almost everything – immigration policies, environmental standards, agricultural quotas, health issues, all sorts of issues related to commerce and consumers and, of course, budget deficits. Since day one there have been ongoing efforts to “harmonize” the members’ tax systems, and that fight is being waged. Armies and diplomacy aside, for the EU states sovereignty is a thing of the past.
    /end quote.
    OK, so the European nations ceded the right to determine the wording of marmalade jar labels to the EU. And they did get most, perhaps all, EU countries to allow citizens of all EU countries free access to their country, and the right to take a job therein. Big deal. The EU doesn’t have the power to levy taxes, run a foreign policy, raise an army, (or a navy or an air force), or negotiate a concordat with the Vatican. Until it can do these things, it ain’t a government, it’s a well paid debating society.

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