PDA

View Full Version : The European Union is something very precious



Paul Pless
10-12-2012, 08:14 AM
Could the Nobel Committee get any more boring, and dare I say, irrelevant?

The Bigfella
10-12-2012, 08:34 AM
Wankers of the highest order

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-12-2012, 09:46 AM
A commentator elsewhere has remarked that the period since the EU was founded has been the longest peace in Western Europe since the death of Marcus Aurelius.

If it has slipped your memory, that was 180 AD.


"In the second century of the Christian era, the Empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilised portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury. The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence: the Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority, and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government. During a happy period (A.D. 98-180) of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this, and of the two succeeding chapters, to describe the prosperous condition of their empire; and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall; a revolution which will ever be remembered, and is still felt by the nations of the earth."

It has taken us 1,832 years to get back to where we were in the age of the Antonines.

Don't knock it.

Gerarddm
10-12-2012, 09:48 AM
True, true, Andrew. On the other hand, it might have been more meaningful earlier on. Now it smacks of a favor you'd do for a friend when they are down and out, or on their way there.

Orange
10-12-2012, 11:02 AM
I sincerely hope that the Europeans are able to find a solution to the economic mess they find themselves in. The single currency Euro though is appearing to be one of the larger mistakes made in history. To issue an award for this apparent blunder, that could lead to conflicts, and many living in poverty for a generation is bizarre. Thought this quote about sums it up:

"Latest EU Failure: Deficit Targets"

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/10/10/latest-eu-failure-deficit-targets/

excerpt:


...This news is depressing enough on its own, but more depressing is the frequency with which the confident forecasts and carefully negotiated agreements of European leaders turn out to be worthless trash. Is any sentient being on planet Earth when yet another European agreement and policy consensus turns out to be a tissue of lies and false hopes? Does a solitary person anywhere believe one word EU leaders say about the state of their economies?Can anybody anywhere on earth recall such a train of stupid policy decisions, foolish assumptions and failed fixes as the member countries of the eurozone have made since Francois Mitterand demanded the establishment of a single European currency as the price for German unification?

Kaa
10-12-2012, 11:25 AM
A commentator elsewhere has remarked that the period since the EU was founded has been the longest peace in Western Europe since the death of Marcus Aurelius.

Which I would attribute to three main causes: (1) Huge scale of contemporary wars (compare to small medieval armies traipsing the countryside) and the memory of WW2; (2) Threat of the Soviet Union; (3) Nuclear weapons.

By now I would also add globalisation (and, in particular, economic integration) to this list.

Kaa

Kaa
10-12-2012, 11:27 AM
I sincerely hope that the Europeans are able to find a solution to the economic mess they find themselves in.

The problem is simple: it's called living beyond your means. To paraphrase Maggie Thatcher, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money" :-D

Kaa

Donn
10-12-2012, 11:52 AM
A commentator elsewhere has remarked that the period since the EU was founded has been the longest peace in Western Europe since the death of Marcus Aurelius.

Greek riots:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_SztyNXoXoZE/TKMECRJgQCI/AAAAAAAAABs/CzvnOVdE39k/s1600/greek-riot-pic-reuters-389159773.jpg

French riots:

http://arntrnassets.mediaspanonline.com/radio/n00/416385/french-riots--youtube.jpg

British riots:

http://media.naplesnews.com/media/img/photos/2011/08/09/british_riots_t607.jpg

Spanish riots:

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTcQhmidDhJPCJpB6H_UorxTg9ZCg7R0 8tpqcFG6fpgesccUAMhog

Italian riots:

http://internationaltimes.it/wp-content/uploads/Italy.jpg

Paul Pless
10-12-2012, 11:55 AM
Gosh Donn, from looking at those pics, you'd think the G20 was in town, or maybe Angela Merkel. . .

leikec
10-12-2012, 12:00 PM
Gosh Donn, from looking at those pics, you'd think the G20 was in town, or maybe Angela Merkel. . .


Or there was a dramatic ending to a soccer game....

Jeff c

peb
10-12-2012, 02:54 PM
It is one of several really bad awards of the Nobel peace award.
I could see it except for the fact that the EU created the EUro, which is the most dangerous thing to European peace since the USSR. A single currency across a zone without mobility of labor and with large economic disparity was bound to cause havoc. Many wars in Europe have resulted from less economic/social tension than what the Euro has given us.
Luckily, after the first half of the 20th century, Europeans have a great distaste for war. We should pray that this distaste continues in the face of the social unrest that is just now starting. But all it takes is one charismatic mad man to be added to the chaos we will soon witness...

They should have stick to a European wide free trade zone, but the single currency was madness.

Peerie Maa
10-12-2012, 03:01 PM
It is one of several really bad awards of the Nobel peace award.
I could see it except for the fact that the EU created the EUro, which is the most dangerous thing to European peace since the USSR. A single currency across a zone without mobility of labor and with large economic disparity was bound to cause havoc. Many wars in Europe have resulted from less economic/social tension than what the Euro has given us.
Luckily, after the first half of the 20th century, Europeans have a great distaste for war. We should pray that this distaste continues in the face of the social unrest that is just now starting. But all it takes is one charismatic mad man to be added to the chaos we will soon witness...

They should have stick to a European wide free trade zone, but the single currency was madness.

One thing that the EU guarantees is both mobility of labour and freedom to trade on a level field across the EU. That part of your analysis is wrong, you may need to rethink.

wardd
10-12-2012, 03:15 PM
The problem is simple: it's called living beyond your means. To paraphrase Maggie Thatcher, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money" :-D

Kaa

that seems to be the problem with any current economic system

peb
10-12-2012, 03:18 PM
One thing that the EU guarantees is both mobility of labour and freedom to trade on a level field across the EU. That part of your analysis is wrong, you may need to rethink.

Mobility of labor requires more than laws, it is cultural. Trust me, people in southern Spain or Greece will not move to Germany for a job. Nor do I believe they would be welcomed in large numbers ( but that may be overstated on my part).

There is no mobility of labor in Europe,

skuthorp
10-12-2012, 03:25 PM
Quote peb: "Luckily, after the first half of the 20th century, Europeans have a great distaste for war."

Governments in general have had an aversion to all out war ever since the example of Hiroshima. In a nuke conflict the first targets would be those same politicians that started it and most would be atomised in the first half hour. It tends to concentrate their minds somewhat. But 'conventional' proxy wars or irregular actionsin someone else's country are all the rage from AK to us and the US.

Peerie Maa
10-12-2012, 03:33 PM
Mobility of labor requires more than laws, it is cultural. Trust me, people in southern Spain or Greece will not move to Germany for a job. Nor do I believe they would be welcomed in large numbers ( but that may be overstated on my part).

There is no mobility of labor in Europe,

Peb. Where do I live?
This will give you an insight about mobility of labour in the UK.
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2009-10-28d.295951.h&s=EU%2Bmigrants

skuthorp
10-12-2012, 03:34 PM
Sure doesn't look like that to me. There've been plenty of wars since Hiroshima, just not in Western Europe.

Kaa

Quote me: "But 'conventional' proxy wars or irregular actionsin someone else's country are all the rage from AK to us and the US."

skuthorp
10-12-2012, 03:41 PM
Not against nuclear powers, is it any wonder that those in power in Iran see a nuke as good insurance? MAD, or even a sniff of it, is a great disincentive. Even the India/Pakistan thing has quietened down since both have the bomb.

Peerie Maa
10-12-2012, 03:48 PM
Eyeballing it, the EU residents in the UK are what, 1.5-2%? That's not much at all.

Kaa

Still 1.5 - 2% more than peb's no mobility of labour.

skuthorp
10-12-2012, 03:48 PM
Sorry for the generalisation, war as a distraction only works as long as it doesn't arrive at the perpetrators place courtesy of a big missile. I do't count some civil wars, though these also have often been 'proxys' for bigger powers.

Peerie Maa
10-12-2012, 04:00 PM
Oh, of course there is some mobility of labour starting with the prototypical Polish plumbers in London. But then there's some mobility of labour between Mexico and US regardless of the lack of a legal framework :-)

The real issue is whether the mobility of labour is sufficient to permit a common currency zone. You happen to know the answer to that? :-)

Kaa

I'm not even sure that mobility of labour has much to do with the problem. I think that the issue was the fiscal probity of some of the member states, and the efficiency of the wealth generation of the different economies. If for example Greece was depopulated of its wealth generators by having them move to Germany and the UK to work, how then would the Greek industry or economy function?
You have true commonality of currency and mobility of labour, but that does not stop some of your administrative areas running out of money.

peb
10-12-2012, 04:15 PM
I'm not even sure that mobility of labour has much to do with the problem. I think that the issue was the fiscal probity of some of the member states, and the efficiency of the wealth generation of the different economies. If for example Greece was depopulated of its wealth generators by having them move to Germany and the UK to work, how then would the Greek industry or economy function?
You have true commonality of currency and mobility of labour, but that does not stop some of your administrative areas running out of money.

If there is to be free trade ( most often a very good thing) between two areas, you must have one of two things to provide elasticity and adjustment for economic imbalances that will occur: mobility of labor or an adjustable currentcy exchange between the areas . Otherwise envision earth quakes occurring: lots of tension builds up until it is released suddenly with great violence.

And it is way too simplistic to blame the problems on certain country's lack of fiscal probity. First of all, Spain never was that bad from a governmental standpoint until the financial collapse of their real estate bubble. Secondly, only the common currency allowed the easy money for governments to dig as big of hole as Greece.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
10-12-2012, 04:16 PM
Still 1.5 - 2% more than peb's no mobility of labour.

There's a damned sight more than 2%.....
Frinstance (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/13/french-elections-how-london-vote) 300 to 400 thousand French registered voters in Greater London alone. To say nothing of the omnipresent Poles, Slovaks and the famous bouncing Czechs.

Peerie Maa
10-12-2012, 04:26 PM
If there is to be free trade ( most often a very good thing) between two areas, you must have one of two things to provide elasticity and adjustment for economic imbalances that will occur: mobility of labor or an adjustable currentcy exchange between the areas . Otherwise envision earth quakes occurring: lots of tension builds up until it is released suddenly with great violence.

And it is way too simplistic to blame the problems on certain country's lack of fiscal probity. First of all, Spain never was that bad from a governmental standpoint until the financial collapse of their real estate bubble. Secondly, only the common currency allowed the easy money for governments to dig as big of hole as Greece.

So, why does it work better in the US federation of states than it works in the European equivalent. Both have common currency and mobility of labour. So what difference caused the differing result?

peb
10-12-2012, 04:32 PM
So, why does it work better in the US federation of states than it works in the European equivalent. Both have common currency and mobility of labour. So what difference caused the differing result?

There is true mobility of labor in the US. I have seen tent cities in west Texas towns populated by masses of laid off workers in the old rust belt (early 1980s), cities like Dallas Fort Worth are populated by people from all over the country, cities like Detroit have vast empty areas.


But, I personably think it is declining. There seems much less williningness to pick up and leave areas of high unemployment than 20-30 years ago. More and more it seems like people settle in an area at the start of a career and tend to then stay. If I am right, it will not keep working in the US.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-12-2012, 04:50 PM
In 1945 there were, I think (I stand to be corrected) six functioning democracies, based on univseral adult suffrage, in the world.

A soundly based democratic system based on universal adult suffrage is a precondition of membership of the EU.

Today, every state in Europe, both East and West, with the solitary exception of Bylorussia/Belarus, is a functioning democracy with universal adult suffrage and no member state of the EU has suffered a reversion to any other form of government by, eg, a military coup. Any such reversion would result in expulsion. Turkey, to name but one, revised its consitution, increasing the freedoms of the invividual because it seeks membership of the EU. So did all the nations of the former Warsaw Pact.

THAT is a good reason to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU.

peb
10-12-2012, 05:01 PM
Andrew, I understand you point, and as I indicated in my first post, if it wasn't for the Euro, I could find myself agreeing. But my contention is that by creating the Euro, they put everything else, including peace, at risk.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-12-2012, 05:05 PM
peb, I agree that the Euro, a currency not backed by a fiscal and political union, was an unwise move, but I don't think it will cause wars.

PeterSibley
10-12-2012, 05:19 PM
A commentator elsewhere has remarked that the period since the EU was founded has been the longest peace in Western Europe since the death of Marcus Aurelius.

If it has slipped your memory, that was 180 AD.


"In the second century of the Christian era, the Empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilised portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury. The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence: the Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority, and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government. During a happy period (A.D. 98-180) of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this, and of the two succeeding chapters, to describe the prosperous condition of their empire; and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall; a revolution which will ever be remembered, and is still felt by the nations of the earth."

It has taken us 1,832 years to get back to where we were in the age of the Antonines.

Don't knock it.

Thank Andrew,

Americans like war ,it's always in someone else's country .

peb
10-12-2012, 06:22 PM
peb, I agree that the Euro, a currency not backed by a fiscal and political union, was an unwise move, but I don't think it will cause wars.

My point is that wars and revolutions in Europe have been caused by less economic stress than we are about to see in some countries. I am not predicting war, but a lot of social unrest. All caused directly by the creation of the euro.

And I disagree that a political or fiscal union could have or will solve the problems. The economies are disparate and the societies too distinct.

seanz
10-12-2012, 06:30 PM
My point is that wars and revolutions in Europe have been caused by less economic stress than we are about to see in some countries. I am not predicting war, but a lot of social unrest. All caused directly by the creation of the euro.

And I disagree that a political or fiscal union could have or will solve the problems. The economies are disparate and the societies too distinct.

Edit, no, I just can't be bothered...........

Meli
10-12-2012, 06:45 PM
Mobility of labor requires more than laws, it is cultural. Trust me, people in southern Spain or Greece will not move to Germany for a job. Nor do I believe they would be welcomed in large numbers ( but that may be overstated on my part).

There is no mobility of labor in Europe,

That's complete nonsense.
Many europeans move around for work.
I've done it, My mates in Kos do it, I've worked with Italian girls in london and french girls in greece.

When was the last time you were living in Europe Kaa?

When I lived in Holland and moved back to the UK, my moving crew consisted of one Italian guy, One German guy and a black frenchman from marseilles.

Waddie
10-12-2012, 06:50 PM
peb, I agree that the Euro, a currency not backed by a fiscal and political union, was an unwise move, but I don't think it will cause wars.

In the good old days Greece could have just devalued it's currency; but now it has to hand out pay cuts and curtail benefits, none of which actions are popular. Whether these problems could ever push things into war is an interesting question. I believe the most likely outcome - which could cause warlike actions - is that ethnic regions, like the Basque region of Spain, will seek independence. They are already clamoring for more autonomy. Depending on how far these issues are pushed, war could be the result. Many people in Northern Italy would like to succeed from Southern Italy. There are ethnic enclaves all over Europe, which only hang together because it is seen as viable. It's all sort of a modern Austrian-Hungarian empire. If that ends, independence movements will gain momentum.

regards,
Waddie

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-12-2012, 07:07 PM
With respect, Waddie and peb, much as I like both of you, trust me on this - nobody in Europe is going to start shooting one another over these issues.

For this, I believe we may thank the EU.

Meli
10-12-2012, 07:19 PM
In my travels in Europe I met many, many young Americans.
Never having had a war on their own turf in the last 4? generations, they simply seem unable to grasp the concept that a social and economic structure that shares the wealth around is what keeps neighbours happy and peaceful.

Our parents remember the alternative too well.

seanz
10-12-2012, 07:23 PM
In the good old days Greece could have just devalued it's currency; but now it has to hand out pay cuts and curtail benefits, none of which actions are popular. Whether these problems could ever push things into war is an interesting question. I believe the most likely outcome - which could cause warlike actions - is that ethnic regions, like the Basque region of Spain, will seek independence. They are already clamoring for more autonomy. Depending on how far these issues are pushed, war could be the result. Many people in Northern Italy would like to succeed from Southern Italy. There are ethnic enclaves all over Europe, which only hang together because it is seen as viable. It's all sort of a modern Austrian-Hungarian empire. If that ends, independence movements will gain momentum.

regards,
Waddie

Could also describe the USA.......

peb
10-12-2012, 07:23 PM
With respect, Waddie and peb, much as I like both of you, trust me on this - nobody in Europe is going to start shooting one another over these issues.

For this, I believe we may thank the EU.

All it will take is a country in extreme and seemingly ending economic distress and a charismatic mad man. I do not believe it will happen, but it is certainly within the realm of possibilities.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-12-2012, 07:31 PM
Ah, but, peb, that's just the difference. These days, the neighbours won't let that happen. We are across one anothers' borders all the time and so are our leaders. The fences are just so much lower now. If we see a neighbour going a bit loopy, we nip across and help them sort it out. This is absolutely down to the EU.

peb
10-12-2012, 07:43 PM
Ah, but, peb, that's just the difference. These days, the neighbours won't let that happen. We are across one anothers' borders all the time and so are our leaders. The fences are just so much lower now. If we see a neighbour going a bit loopy, we nip across and help them sort it out. This is absolutely down to the EU.

I hope you are right, if the neighbor is tiny Greece, yes. When it is Spain or Italy?

Btw, who were the 6 countries with universal suffrage before WW2

PeterSibley
10-12-2012, 07:54 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_women%27s_suffrage

Donn
10-12-2012, 08:19 PM
With respect, Waddie and peb, much as I like both of you, trust me on this - nobody in Europe is going to start shooting one another over these issues.

For this, I believe we may thank the EU.

Y'all may not be shooting at your neighbor countries, but you sure are acting pretty violently against your own governments and law enforcement agencies.