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The Demise Of European Countries

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Anthony Parsons, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    As a side shoot to the thread about the demise of the United States thread, I thought it apt to review further considerations here into what is going wrong in the world of finance, beyond the US aspects now, as to anyone who follows such global investment and financial markets would well know by now, its not the US any longer, its European countries.

    Reading, listening and watching global economists talk about the current situation of financial impact that is flowing across major markets, they all keep falling back to Europe now, not the US. Sure, the US absolutely started this off, and there is a snowball effect, however; the US are not to blame for the situation European countries put themselves within... its more just that these countries are falling over as a result of their poor policies and economics, which have only survived as long as they have due to the strength of what the US financial economy was at that time.

    The US is showing growth, amongst all the negativity and volatility of markets, the US economy is by itself stabilizing / growing slightly. What's keeping the US and other markets volatile presently, is specific European countries which policies have severely been exposed for the inept forethought along with financial mismanagement that continues the GFC, and thus continuously hindering the US and other countries growing.

    Keeping current at the time of posting this, I believe there are many news articles that aptly represent the issue, though I have chosen this as the most unbiased I could find, yet provides the largest demographics of the globe for GDP and overall forecasts: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com...ly-close-to-recession/articleshow/9671315.cms

    Is it really the US now, or actually Europe and the snowball effect? The US is to blame for their capitalistic view and the GFC, no question about it, however; they don't own responsibility for Greece's economic policy to retire at 55 and pay taxes if you want earning under x amount, and all the other nonsense policies and way of life that Greece has stumbled through upon. Not a dig at Greece, just one example of the several countries within the EU causing major issues into prolonging the mess the US started. Greece would have fallen at some point though with these policies, regardless if the US fell or not.

    Whats your thoughts and opinions, shifting away from just the US?
    (And for those thinking I'm excusing the US, I am Australian... so no, I'm not excusing US politics for creating this mess)
     
    ::abdo:: and Alien like this.
  2. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Whilst I don't have time to write a full responce to this as im heading for some sleep, the largest contributor to the problems in the EU was the euro. The lack of controll a government has over its currency means poor management of economic policies realy does cause some hurt and causes no end of problems when trying to solve an economic crisis.

    If greece was using its own currency, it could print more money, devalue its worth, but pay off some of the debts. However as they are in the euro, they can't, and they are essentially stuck with an unpayable debt.

    Add this in with the lack of exports from greece, and all of a sudden the benefits of devaluing the currency also hit home.
     
    el canadiano and Anthony Parsons like this.
  3. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Absolutely Slavik.... I believe something they just didn't think about when changing to the Euro from country specific currencies at the time. They literally put the burden of responsibility for fiscal policy onto other European countries, if one did stupid things or has poor money management skills. So happens, several of them have fallen for many reasons, thus impacting global markets and now seems to be the primary reason for global stagnation is in European specific countries.
     
  4. grant sarver

    grant sarver Well-Known Member

    Ah! Then the answer is centralized government! Actually I think it is unworkable to have one without the other. Monetary policy is just one part of part of centralized planning.
     
  5. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    I don't know if it is that they didn't think about it as much as they maybe could not foresee a situation where countries in the EU could possibly default. I don't think it was only in the US that "modern economics" believed that recessions (and depressions) were simply not possible in "advanced" countries and some intervention from other countries (or, God forbid, the IMF) and whatever mini-recession popped up would correct quickly and things would continue (with unicorns and puppies everywhere).

    But, from what I understand, I think you both are spot on- the common currency, without a real political union that make the individual countries obligated to pay what they can for other EU countries (read that as Germany having doubts about wanting to bail out the bad choices of other countries), ironically makes a crisis like this more difficult to solve.
     
    Anthony Parsons likes this.
  6. erich37

    erich37 Well-Known Member

  7. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    I like Jim Rodgers... he should be running the fiscal policy in the US at present.

    Take all the assets off those who caused the issue by borrowing money they couldn't repay, banks, wall street and people uniquely who were outright greedy and just wanted more... strip it all from them, then use all that money to pump back into those who have done the right thing, not spent frivolously, borrowed more than they could pay, etc etc... to boost up what they've lost... write the debt down as a percentage per capita / GDP in each country, regardless whether in debt or not... even if it means it works out putting them in the black, then implement strict fiscal policy in all countries that failed and start over.

    I don't see how the US can recover, Greece, Ireland, the list goes on... you cannot repay what you just do not have. Write it all off equally across all countries, so everyone benefits on paper, then start at that new point and do it right.

    Like Jim said in the above video... let those with Lamborghini's lose them who have ripped others off to get them.
     
    erich37 likes this.
  8. SchmitzIT

    SchmitzIT Well-Known Member

    What ticks me off most about the Greek situation is that the average Greek appears to be totally unwilling to give in anything to improve the situation, tells the European countries that are pumping billions into Greece to **** off with their demands for fiscal responsibility for Greece, and yet, at the very same time expect those other European countries to keep the money flowing into them.

    **** 'em. Either they wisen up and get in line, retiring at the regular European age, pay their taxes like the rest of us, cut down the government costs like the rest of us (government workers in Greece apparently get 13+ months of salaries a year, and are paid extremely well), or they provide some form of assurance for the money (Crete would do), or they should just be tossed out of the Euro and they can figure out how to do everything by themselves.

    The latter will never happen, as that would mean that the whole Euro (which was a bad idea to begin with) would collapse, and the power-hungry europhiles are just too damn scared of losing their comfy little tax-free lives to let that happen.
     
  9. erich37

    erich37 Well-Known Member

    as Marc Faber said: "the greek will not be able to produce enough olive oil in order to pay back their debt........"

    the bailout-money is not going to the average hard-working people in any country, it is going to the Mafia...... same as in any other country.
     
  10. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

    I'll give you a different take on the European situation...

    Nearly every area of Europe has been part of a past empire that has been one of the predominant empire on the Earth. There time came and went, just as out time in the US is fading now.

    The European Union was an attempt to become a world superpower again through collectivism. It was poorly thought out and is failing before our eyes.

    It was an attempt to retain power on the world stage, but it was half-hearted. It was more than a free-trade zone and less than a federation. It was an abdication of economic sovereignty while jealously guarding political sovereignty - as if the two could be separated.

    Europe, I think, would have been better server to go all in, creating a United States of Europe. I never understood why this didn't happen. Trust issues? Too attached to antiquated monarchies? I don't know.

    The lesson I take from it is that when its your time to step off center stage, as it appears for us, fighting it only makes things worse. Let me explain that statement.

    The US has the largest, most powerful military on the planet. For good or ill, we have the military capability (albeit not the strength of character or stomach) to defeat the entire rest of the world combined. And we have paid dearly for that capability.

    The budget cuts we need to make to survive as a nation will be drastic. There can be no sacred cows, not even the military. We are going to have to rethink what the capabilities of our military needs to be in the future. Do we really need to be the sole military superpower in the world, able to project overwhelming military strength to any part of the globe within hours? Or do we need to become more regional, and retreat back to the boundaries of the Monroe Doctrine? Or do we retreat further to a more isolationist military stance, able to secure and protect our borders.

    These are questions we will have to answer through the lense of not being the economic superpower of the world, but the debtor of the world. Putin rightly called us a parasite on the world economy. Goodness how I hate agreeing with a defacto tyrant and closet Marxist.

    So for Europe the question is what to do with the EU? The model clearly doesn't work. The question is whether you just dissolve and and let each nation fend for itself or whether to go all in and solve the problem together as a single economic AND political union.

    Our side is too screwed up to offer you any advise. We lost the moral high ground on economic policy years ago. But I am curious what Europeans think. Is the EU salvageable? Can it exist in its present form? Should it be scrapped?
     
    Digital Doctor likes this.
  11. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    No no and yes

    The only reason the EU hasn't disolved is because the banks who run the EU (and it is the banks who run it) cannot afford for a break up, they have too much money vested in the system to allow the system to dissolve.

    England is not going to be a part of the EU for long either is current polls show anything to go by, the majority of Britians think it is a waste of our money, when we have our own problems to solve.

    Next ellection I think will be won by the first (large) party to suggest withdrawal from the EU. As much as it hurts me to say it, the BNP policies actually look rather good at the moment, if you took some of their policies and applied to to the conservative party, England would be onto a winner.
     
  12. grant sarver

    grant sarver Well-Known Member

    Yeah, they kinda thought they could get married ........gradually!
     
  13. MGSteve

    MGSteve Well-Known Member

    Spot on - same with the other countries. At the end of the day you can't have countries like France, Germany, Italy and Greece all bound by the same controls when it comes its currency. Different countries have different needs and the Euro is too rigid.

    Oh dear, voting BNP is the worst possible thing anyone could ever do and frankly anyone who says they would really doesn't understand what they stand for as a party. The EU isn't the problem though, its the Euro that is. We benefit alot from the EU membership and gain alot when it comes to trade with the EU. Yes we put a lot in, but we also get a lot out, directly and indirectly.
    Personally, I'd like to see a bit more of a legal disconnect from the EU, but that's another issue.
    That did rather annoy me as well. During the riots in Greece, you'd see people protesting against the reforms and you'd think "why they hell do you want your country to default on its debt". Putting aside the knock-on effects it would have across the EU & Eurozone, it would screw Greece even more than they are already. Think things are bad now, try it if the country goes bust.
     
  14. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Unfortunately we put a lot in (between 4% and 20% of gdp depending on what you read, but even 4% of gdp is still 80 billion plus, and get very little out in real terms.

    Have a read of this.

    http://www.brugesgroup.com/SingleMarketAndWithdrawal.pdf
     
  15. SchmitzIT

    SchmitzIT Well-Known Member

    The EU should realize that it overshot it's original goal and go back to what it is good at.

    Dismantle the whole EU institution, and go back to being a free-trade union. The powers-that-be in the EU seem to think that the EU ought to be another US. What they somehow fail to see is that that will never ever happen. Heck, the EU pisses money away by the bucketloads just by refusing to settle on a single language. Or a single location (thanks, France. You want Stratsbourg to be important, YOU pay for the fricking circus to move back and forth every other week or whatever the heck it is).

    The European countries are too heterogenous, and too chauvinistic to ever function as a single entity. Bloody look at the recent history. While some countries were strongly in favour of boycotting Iraq, others were busy selling arms to Saddam. Some EU countries are strongly backing Israel, while others already signed their support for when the PA will unilaterally declare a state of Palestine. Some countries are squeezing their subjects for ever more taxes, and raising the retirement age while others are sipping Ouzo and refuse to work a day longer than 55.

    The EU failed. The citizens of the EU have a totally different opinion about it than the handful of people driving the EU. The EU was supposed to be a new democratic body rivalling the promise of the US, and instead is now racing to get ever-more un-democratic, blatantly ignoring referenda held in various countries in which the growing of the EU is shot down by the population, or re-organizing referenda until the outcome is as the bureaucrats desire.

    At the same time, not a crisis is left to waste to keep the horrible legal EU juggernaut rolling forward, taking ever-more sovereinity from the individual countries and signing it over to the EU. George Orwell is spinning in his grave.
     
    Forsaken likes this.
  16. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Yep, I think that unification of what the EU is, was also the same decision to kill country independence. The Commonwealth functions as a 50+ global superpower of the world, both economic and military force overall, with 1.3+ billion people. Not sure why any country would want to become, or try to follow, in the footsteps of the US as a collective. The Commonwealth hasn't, and seems that most of the countries run independently well, being policy, law and financial. China is the next largest, yet only one country, with 1+ billion people, and is the worlds financial superpower today.

    As stated in the opening post, figures this morning still show growth in the US, being that whilst new housing figures are down in the US, 20+ of the US banks have now been removed from the list as "within trouble" financially, and are now back on their feet and growing. Saying that, there are still 800+ banks on that list that are still in trouble. Maybe too many banks is the actual issue! Not sure on that...

    A majority of EU countries also seem to be functioning well independently, yet are being dragged into the mud due to other countries.

    I completely agree that Greece needs to get their head out of their backside and wake the hell up to themselves, get a grip on the reality of working for a living, not living life for a living. Even that doesn't seem to be doing them favours for life longevity vs. other developed countries who mix work and leisure within moderation of one another.

    That I would agree and disagree with Fred. What the US thinks its capable off, and what the US actually is capable off, are two very different things. I have trained with US soldiers on joint operations here in Australia and around the world, also served in combat with US troops, and let me just say... the casualties to US troops just from training exercises in this country were enormous, let alone their lack of discipline and casualty rates in combat zones.

    The UK have the best troops in the world, followed by Australia and a few others... and the US is down the list somewhat.

    All the bombs in the world won't kill a determined enemy that is smarter and more resilient... has Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan still not taught the US population a thing? Or are you simply being fed BS via the US media vs. actual losses and fatality figures in direct comparison to the enemy being fought?

    This is why the US military budget is so large compared to other countries... because the US tactic is to rely on equipment, instead of relying on the soldier to achieve the objective. Put money into the troop, you get a constant, stead, efficient return. Put money into equipment (bombs, fighters, naval, etc), you get an expensive bill that requires ongoing maintenance costs, breaks down often and if dependent upon, now everything behind it is suddenly weakened.

    Question with a question... I hate these myself, though feel it is apt to this first question. Is the US salvageable?

    My answer to the first question: I think the EU is salvageable, just as is the US... but more they're going about it the wrong way, hence return to above video posted by Erich, which has a real world solution IMO, the only solution maybe, on how this is going to get solved without dragging it out for decades (plural).

    Can it exist in its present form? I don't believe so, and I think they need to rethink the structure of what they attempted and come out with a less dependent method upon fiscal countries vs. debtor countries.

    Should it be scrapped? Not sure if that will solve anything or actually make it much much worse. I think like any new model, and lets be honest, the EU is a new model still.... that it needs refinement and to improve from its experiences... this being one such experience it had not encountered at the time or was prepared for.
     
  17. erich37

    erich37 Well-Known Member

    ready for world war 3
    ?

     
  18. Jason

    Jason Well-Known Member

    I won't argue what country has the best military, troops, etc. as that's rather subjective and pointless -- a lot of inherent bias. But as someone who has served in the U.S. military, as a Corpsman attached to a Marines unit in Afghanistan and Iraq (where we also closely worked with soldiers of other allied nations), and now get to deal with manpower and logistic issues when I do reserve time twice a month, I think you're way off base -- just based on my experience.

    We're not perfect, and you'll never see me claim otherwise. I also won't claim our way is the right way, but in terms of discipline, I'd say the U.S. military overall is head and shoulders with the UK and Australia, and that's based on my experience of having worked along side individuals from both within the last 10 years.

    As for casualties, the U.S. has more troops on the ground engaged in hostile actions, than the two countries you chose to list. That's a fact. Does that make the numbers any better? No, but it partially helps explain the differences. For every 100,000 serving (active duty), 13 percent of the 802 deaths this year were attributed to hostile action (19 percent if you want to include terrorist attacks), 12.1 percent were accidents (which includes car wrecks, etc. here in the states), 7.7 percent illness (e.g., cancer), 6.9 percent self inflicted (e.g., suicide) and the remaining being pending/undetermined. 802 out of 1.6+ million is still a lot when we're talking deaths, but given the actual breakdowns and the conditions under which most of those lives were lost, it's hardly just a matter of a lack of discipline in the field. In fact, less than half of those deaths occurred in the field or training exercises, but rather events beyond the persons control. The enemies numbers are much higher, so if you want to go by body count, then one could argue the means justify the results. I won't do either.

    I also won't go into whether the U.S.' methods are effective. My only qualm was with equating those deaths in large part due to a lack of discipline. Sorry, but my experiences tell me different, and the numbers don't fully support that theory.
     
  19. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

    Agreed, Jason. The UK and Australian armies aren't nearly the best in the best in the world. Case in point, the North Korean Army head to head vs. the UK ends in a bloodbath... and not for the North Koreans.

    A military is the sum of all of its parts: personnel, equipment, training, logistics, intelligence, mobility, and response time. The US in currently unmatched in that regard.

    The being said, the military is a tool of foreign policy. The finest paint brush in the hands of a rank amateur isn't going to paint a masterpiece. The US military, as a tool of bad foreign policy, will be ineffective. That is the lesson of Vietnam. For the most part, it was the lesson of Iraq. Bush screwed the pooch on that one most of the time. He had a rare moment of clarity when he ordered the surge and that turned the tide.

    Afghanistan is another story altogether. Bin Laden is dead. Destroy the Taliban without mercy. Then leave. Don't engage in nation building in tribal territory. It will never succeed.

    Getting back to the UK...

    [good natured jesting follows...]

    In our first two hurried year history, we kicked your butts twice and bailed you out twice. So we're understandably confused by the claim that you're the best. :p

    Military folks have long memories. We still tell WWII jokes.

    The beginning of call German recipes: First, take over a French kitchen...

    Classified in a French newspaper: For sale, vintage WWII rifle. Never fired. Only dropped once.

    What jokes do you tell about us?
     
  20. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Cool way of looking at it.
     

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