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The European Union, National Governments, And The Mob


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#21 Ssnake

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 0411 AM

It's the Perception part of that index that bothers me. Countries can appear cleaner or worse, depending on whether the press is highly sensitive or puts a lid on stories. Then again, I have no better alternative to offer that would hold up to rigid social science, if there was such a thing.


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#22 Panzermann

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 0451 AM

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The East European countries (incl Greece) were enthusiastically invited to the EU and I really don't see any of the current problems as surprising at all. Did the eurocrats really expect the European nations, with millenniums of individual history, to just blend in as colourless standard Europeans dancing to any tone the Eurocrats may play on their whistles?!


Yes.

But really, it's not just the Eastern European cleptocracies. A veteran Finnish MEP described recently how different Brussels is nowadays compared to 20 years ago. "Back then, we were co-operating eagerly and in high spirits, figuring we were doing history building united Europe. Now, goal is to squeeze every bit of short-sighted advantage for your own nation."

 

 
Uk, France and Germany are the leaders I think in squeezing all the others. Especially Germany being the self-proclaimed export champion in the world.

 

Recently Finland was EU council president, and launched a motion that would have forced EU's internal tax havens to be more transparent. Motion was defeated, mostly thanks to our enemies, the Swedes. Apparently there are way too many big Swedish companies which benefit from the murky taxation scenes, even though it costs EU billions upon billions.

 
IKEA is one of the prime examples of creative tax accounting and moving the profits around until no taxes are paid. But I am sure Germoney has also worked against more transparency. Germany actually being a tax haven as well, when you want to put up with the much too complicated tax laws in Germany and use every loophole. (there is more tax literature, laws regulations etc published in Germany annually than the rest of the world combined)


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#23 Adam Peter

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 1322 PM

The East European countries (incl Greece) were enthusiastically invited to the EU and I really don't see any of the current problems as surprising at all. Did the eurocrats really expect the European nations, with millenniums of individual history, to just blend in as colourless standard Europeans dancing to any tone the Eurocrats may play on their whistles?!

 

EU, or whatever you may call the next try to create an Empire, will never be more than the nations behind it can and will carry. If limiting EU/the Empire to whatever relatively uniform nations could unite on it actually could be quite strong, but instead you have expanded the whole package to nations not possible and not willing to unite in any foreseeable future and just to complete the blunder, has combined this with a systematic erosion of the basis of EU - the nations!

 

I still feel almost as much a European as a Dane, and used to be an enthusiastic supporter of EEC/EU, but now I have lost all illusions - I sincerely hope we ASAP can make a DEXIT and follow the Britons. And I don't give a damn who will buy our exports, that is just a challenge to be met sooner or later. The current economic system of transporting junk across Europe in trucks driven by underpaid Bulgarian truckdrivers will have to stop anyway as will shipping junk halfway around the globe just to consume/waste it. 

 

If the old core countries of EU will carry on in their old dream of "free trade solves anything as long as it is inside EU" go on, I will opt for jumping off.

 

But if we could start all over again with an Union focusing on what Unions do best - dealing with external challenges - I would gladly join. Just tell what it costs to build ten supercarriers and an army for permanently beating the shit out of anybody needing it - but leave it to the nations to manage their daily lives. And I'll gladly pay three times for the next gadget produced in my hometown and repaired in the neighbouring town.

The wall Denmark first will hit after DEXIT will be that your money will be too strong, hindering your export on the China-pressed prices dominated markets. Part of the German Export Miracle is that the EUR can't be too strong due to the Lower Countries.

 

Want to see a successful example of a country run on high added crime? See the USA.


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#24 Yama

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 1510 PM

The wall Denmark first will hit after DEXIT will be that your money will be too strong, hindering your export on the China-pressed prices dominated markets. Part of the German Export Miracle is that the EUR can't be too strong due to the Lower Countries.


What about Sweden then? :)

 

Problem with EU is that it is built bass-ackwards compared to USA. United States had the constitution first and then states could join if they felt like abiding to common rules for all. With EU they will try to expand first by offering 'Union Lite' and then attempt to make it more integrated by proposing 'New Union' for existing members. What goes wrong here is that many nations which were happy to join 'Union Lite' or were content under 'Union Classic' don't want to hear anything about 'New Union'. This creates a many-tiered union where countries have different 'membership levels' and it's impossible to effectively synchronize anything.

 

Of course, Finnish politicians solved this simply by lying to the people, and once they had eagerly voted 'Kyllä', informed them that "Oh, by the way, now you also accepted X, Y and Z, sorry, no take-backs."


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#25 Redbeard

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 0813 AM

If outside EU you at least have the opportunity to devaluate your currency. Everyone knows that just doing that is like pissing your pants in frosty weather but it also is a valid question if the worshipping of a stable currency policy at some times can be paid for to costly.

 

Anyway the costs of a possible DEXIT will not so much be in the exchange rate of the Danish Crown (DKK), that can be fixed, but that Denmark to an extreme degree relies on international trade and most of it with other EU countries (mainly Germany and Sweden). And on top of that a frightfully large part of the goods shipped around the globe are done so on Danish owned ships.

 

A few decades ago GB was the main trade partner (bacon and butter) and who knows who it will be in 20 years. Even if EU has some years of fortune and good growth I can only imagine that the markets outside EU will be relatively much larger.

 

My main point or hope would not be new markets however but a challenge to the global economic system where underpaid labour produce junk in one part of the world only to ship it half way around the globe to be consumed and thrown away in our part of the world (where hardly anyone has a regular job of producing something). That simply isn't sustainable and we will have to take the consequence - even if Denmark will be one of those countries needing the biggest change - we have done it before!


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#26 Yama

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 1555 PM

Euro has really screwed us ever since Great Recession. You don't hear too many people praising nowadays how joining Euro was the greatest idea ever.

Of course you could always do like Sweden, and just violate the rules and not join the Euro.


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#27 Adam Peter

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 1704 PM

I was in a position to see into books of Hungarian companies, they sure could do things with the money they left at banks for converting EUR from sales to HUF to pay who made possible those sales ...

 

Interesting enough, Missisipi is not seen as a problem for USD, especially compared to Alaska... Or, looking at the whole, California compared to Alaska...

 

Edit: source


Edited by Adam Peter, 30 January 2020 - 1705 PM.

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#28 Redbeard

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 0833 AM

Introducing a common currency without control of the economies involved was of course asking for trouble. I guess they did so because nobody really wanted to hand all control over to EU and the "Union hormones" in EU were also too strong to control. The result could be compared to giving each household access to its own money printing machine. Most households would stick to the agreements about how much money to print, but others couldn't resist the temptation to "fix" the counter on the printer - no big surprise.

 

Perhaps the problem goes back to EUs origin - an organisation to increase trade between a number of nations and believing this would effectively prevent said countries to go to war with each other again.

 

EU-aficionados often claim this as the ultimate proof of EUs worth, and it certainly is true, that Germany, France and UK hasn't been at war with each other recently, but I rather think it's because USA hasn't allowed any such war and right now Germany, France and UK doesn't really have the will nor the capacity to wage any serious war - with anybody.

 

I'm not in doubt that EEC/EU has increased European trade (and blocked trade with the rest of the world) and this was how EEC membership was "sold" to the Danes in 1972. As late as 1986 the PM said "The Union is stonedead!" and a few years after we had to vote about Euro and the Union. It was a clear no to Euro and only a yes to Union after four reservations de facto exempting Denmark from the Union. I think people voted no not because of hostility towards other European nations but because the politicians were seen as dishonest. For decades they said we didn't have to worry about a possible Union, but then suddenly said Union has to be pressed down our throats like we were geese for foi gras.

 

Had the Union produced significant results the sentiments might have changed, but it didn't. It almost collapsed because of Greece "fixing the Euro-printer", it couldn't "fix" Libya, it couldn't fix Syria and it can't even protect European borders from migration, and we haven't even mentioned Putin yet.

 

In the old days USA would come and "fix it", but Europe should have seen it already when Obama refused to risk any American blood and money for fix Syria - a destabilised Syria wasn't a main problem for USA but it was for Europe. With a little more European due diligence we hadn't spent so much effort in discussing the wallpaper in a newer built Union castle but instead built up brute military force with which to defend our interests. Imagine if Europe had secured a safe zone in N Syria and a no fly zone over the rest and it wasn't Russia and Turkey waging war by proxy in Libya, but Europe restoring order and policing as long as it takes??

 

Now Trump says things "slightly" more directly spoken (Thank God for that) and the first small steps to "leaving home" has been taken, but if the Eurocrats still dream of a Union they should ask for a time out and go back to each nation and raise the contributions to a military force strong enough to beat out the shit of anyone needing it and close enough to be cared about.


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#29 Jeff

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1113 AM

but then suddenly said Union has to be pressed down our throats like we were geese for foi gras.

 

 

Nice one!  :D

 

The rest was well said.


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#30 Adam Peter

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1154 AM

Why would the US fix Syria? The mess there is their tool for protecting Israel from Iran, and protecting the Chinese economy from the ME oil. They can weaken the EU politically? Why not do?

 

Immigrant crisis? Western Europe badly lacks workforce for their services-driven economy (the USA is same boat with the hated and yet employed Mexican aliens) for low level occupations. Look how silent Germany is. Replacing a Hungarian cleaner with a Syrian one means they don't have to pay for raising a child in Hungary, who later maybe go working to Austria or Canada.


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#31 Yama

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1218 PM

EU-aficionados often claim this as the ultimate proof of EUs worth, and it certainly is true, that Germany, France and UK hasn't been at war with each other recently, but I rather think it's because USA hasn't allowed any such war and right now Germany, France and UK doesn't really have the will nor the capacity to wage any serious war - with anybody.
 
I'm not in doubt that EEC/EU has increased European trade (and blocked trade with the rest of the world) and this was how EEC membership was "sold" to the Danes in 1972. As late as 1986 the PM said "The Union is stonedead!" and a few years after we had to vote about Euro and the Union. It was a clear no to Euro and only a yes to Union after four reservations de facto exempting Denmark from the Union. I think people voted no not because of hostility towards other European nations but because the politicians were seen as dishonest. For decades they said we didn't have to worry about a possible Union, but then suddenly said Union has to be pressed down our throats like we were geese for foi gras.


EU did a huge mistake when it for some reason decided they absolutely need Denmark, and then sugar coated their Union treaty with all kind of special exemptions which are source of trouble unproportional to their utility. I guess the idea was that once Danes are in, rest of the Nordics will follow. Instead they fully only got Finland and its economic success in the Union hardly encourages others to become more integrated.


Edited by Yama, 31 January 2020 - 1555 PM.

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#32 Redbeard

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 1035 AM

Why would the US fix Syria? The mess there is their tool for protecting Israel from Iran, and protecting the Chinese economy from the ME oil. They can weaken the EU politically? Why not do?

 

Immigrant crisis? Western Europe badly lacks workforce for their services-driven economy (the USA is same boat with the hated and yet employed Mexican aliens) for low level occupations. Look how silent Germany is. Replacing a Hungarian cleaner with a Syrian one means they don't have to pay for raising a child in Hungary, who later maybe go working to Austria or Canada.

Exactly, Syria and its trouble are of no particular interest to USA but has had great impact in Europe. But Europe doesn't have the will nor the ability to clear up the mess in its own backyard. 

If you wan't workforce it is not the immigration as it has been in the last decades that will solve it. Too many people from greater ME or Africa simply have too few qualifications for the present jobs and in a place like Denmark it is way too easy to just live from welfare. In Denmark the Ministry of Finance has estimated that immigration to Denmark each year cost 34 billion DKK (4,5 billion €) - that is something like 150% of the defence budget!

The numerous workers from East Europe is another matter, they actually work and do it well, and either go home after job done or stay and fit in nicely. Very welcome - as long as they follow the rules.

Free movement of labour is one of the big issues of EU and in theory labour should always follow the local rules and agreements but in reality it has lead to most unskilled jobs here being taken by underpaid East Europeans and often working under horrible conditions. 

The problem is not just EU but also that we here for convenience prefer to give unskilled people welfare instead of providing them unskilled jobs (we aren't all rocket scientists) but  EU certainly doesn't help by providing a new proletariat and I simply don't get how the current leftists, who at least pretend to take care of working peoples interest, can be pro-EU. There hasn't been a more effective suppressor of workers interests since Crassus defeated Spartacus in 73 BC.

There are tendencies of many of the skilled East Europeans going back to work in their home countries as conditions improve. I find that perfect. for said East European countries - how can they develop if all their engineers work here? And here we will have to do without - we could start by drastic cuts in the public sector - that would provide workforce by the millions. 


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#33 Ivanhoe

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 1057 AM

Exactly, Syria and its trouble are of no particular interest to USA but has had great impact in Europe. But Europe doesn't have the will nor the ability to clear up the mess in its own backyard. 
If you wan't workforce it is not the immigration as it has been in the last decades that will solve it. Too many people from greater ME or Africa simply have too few qualifications for the present jobs and in a place like Denmark it is way too easy to just live from welfare. In Denmark the Ministry of Finance has estimated that immigration to Denmark each year cost 34 billion DKK (4,5 billion €) - that is something like 150% of the defence budget!

What's increasingly interesting is the concept of "backyard" isn't necessarily geographical, any more. The US now has impactful immigration from nations where we've had our hand in it (Philippines, Vietnam, Cuba), and nations which aren't even on page 1 (Haiti, Nigeria, China).


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