Germany – a most dangerous and ridiculous nation

Germany’s domination of the EMU is clear both in political and economic terms. The current political impasse within Germany will not change that. Once resolved the on-going government will continue in the same vein – running excessive fiscal surpluses and huge external surpluses. It can sustain those positions because it dominates European policy and can force the adjustment to these overall ‘unsustainable’ positions onto both its own citizens (lowering their material living standards), and, more obviously, onto citizens of other EMU nations, most noticeably Spain and Greece. If it couldn’t bully nations like Greece, Italy, Spain and even France, Germany’s dangerous domestic strategy would be less effective. If all EMU nations followed Germany’s lead – then there would be mass Depression throughout Europe. This dangerous and ridiculous nation is a blight. Only by exiting the Eurozone and floating their currencies against the currency that Germany uses can these beleaguered EMU nations gain some respite. When the Europhile Left come to terms with that obvious conclusion things might change within Europe.
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    Posted in Eurozone | 19 Comments

    Still on holiday

    The blog is on holiday until Wednesday, December 27, 2017. All the best from my local beach. Music hints if you click on …
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      Posted in Admin, Music | 1 Comment

      On holiday

      The blog is on holiday until Wednesday, December 27, 2017. All the best from my local beach. Music hints if you click on …
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        Posted in Admin, Music | 2 Comments

        The Weekend Quiz – December 23-24, 2017 – answers and discussion

        Here are the answers with discussion for this Weekend’s Quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you haven’t already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of modern monetary theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.
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          Posted in Saturday quiz | 3 Comments

          The Weekend Quiz – December 23-24, 2017

          Welcome to The Weekend Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention or not to the blogs I post. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.
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            Posted in Saturday quiz | 10 Comments

            Lack of universal health care due to application of spurious ‘sound finance’

            I have been reading several reports in the past week – ranging from studies using dodgy input-output tables to claim the regions that voted most enthusiastically for Brexit will suffer the most – part of the never ending ‘modelling’ of the alleged disaster – to reports by the historians tracking the impact of austerity on the rise of the Nazis in pre-war Germany. All interesting. I am particularly researching the way in which the Common Agricultural Policy impacted on Britain and why it will be good to be free of it. But one report struck me as fundamental to the way in which neoliberalism has led societies astray and damaged the most defenseless citizens of the world. On December 13, 2017, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation (WHO) published its latest – Tracking Universal Health Coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report. This is an audit report to keep track of the progress towards the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which were agreed upon in September 2015. One of those goals is health and well-being and within that ambit comes, among other targets, universal health care provision. We learn that “at least half of the world’s population cannot obtain essential health services” and health care service deficiencies are chronic at the poorer end of the income and wealth distribution. The reason is not a lack of real resources to be deployed. Rather, these appalling results are persisting because governments apply neoliberal ‘sound finance’ principles to their spending choices (with the IMF bullying them to do so). So we find major cuts to health care service provision in nations because they claim they cannot raise enough revenue to pay for the provision. In currency-issuing nations, no matter how low the average income levels are, that sort of claim is always spurious.
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              Posted in Economics, IMF | 9 Comments

              The latest scam from the European Commission – the ‘roadmap’ – Part 2

              This is the second part of my two-part series analysing the latest offering from the European Commission on Eurozone ‘reform’. Today, I consider the two ‘concrete’ proposals to emerge from last week’s – Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union – policy package. The two ‘concrete’ proposals are: Creation of a European Monetary Fund to absorb the intergovernmental European Stability Fund and the integration of the Fiscal Compact into the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Neither are reforms worth considering. In general, they reflect a desire by the European Commission to further extend its control and to make it harder for Member States to act unilaterally. Given these are the only two actual action plans that the European Commission has proposed in its latest salvo to extend the monetary union, one has to conclude that there is little chance that anything progressive will come out of this process. And, that should inform the Europhile Left that they are on the wrong horse. They seem to have a blind faith that pressure will eventually force the European Commission to come up with policies and structures that would deliver progressive outcomes. That faith is delusional. It would be better for the Europhile Left to come to terms with that reality and get behind progressive movements that seek to restore national (currency) sovereignty, which will allow the current Member States to restore full employment and start rebuilding some prosperity.
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                Posted in Eurozone, Reclaim the State | 8 Comments

                The latest scam from the European Commission – the ‘roadmap’ – Part 1

                Scam merchants come in many forms. We keep getting ‘official’ requests fir bank details from E-mails that wouldn’t pass a primary school spelling or grammar bee. Creeps prey on old people to rip them off in ‘essential’ house repairs that are neither essential or actually repaired once the money changes hands. Fake charity impersonation is another. The sad and lonely regularly get duped on dating and romance WWW sites. Employers often pay below legal wages and conditions. Banksters fake loan documents and push credit onto the ill-prepared and vulnerable. The ratings agencies corruptly provide AAA ratings for money. And it goes on. And then we have the European Commission. This is one hell of a scam agency. They regularly conduct expensive ‘reviews’ or whatever, hosting meetings with fine food and wine for the Euro in-crowd, and swan around Europe between fine hotels on generous expense accounts. Out of all this come ‘grand statements’ full of motherhood statements, such as the 2005 “Priority” statement: A deeper and fairer economic and monetary union. Then we had the 2015 – The Five Presidents’ Report: Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union – which inspired zero confidence that anything was about to change. Reform proposals come out of Europe on a regular basis but none get to grips with the problem – the euro itself! And the latest scam from the European Commission is their self-named roadmap for – Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union – policy package. Scams come in many forms. This is one of them. The really sad part is the Europhile Left think that the latest statement is a mostly a ‘step forward’ and that there is hope. Sorry. One word. Germany. This is Part 1 of a two-part blog analysing the latest ‘proposals’ from the European Commission.
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                  Posted in Eurozone, Reclaim the State | 9 Comments

                  Infrastructure report for the US – dire degradation of public infrastructure

                  I recently wrote about the degraded infrastructure in Europe as a result of years of unnecessary fiscal austerity – see Massive Eurozone infrastructure deficit requires urgent redress. Not only is the public amenity degraded but when transport cannot access key international trading routes (for example, bridges across the Rhine), then industrial prosperity and exports are undermined. The Eurozone nations are sinking into a mire of both human and physical infrastructure decay and the negative consequences will reverberate for decades to come. This is a global phenomenon. Recently, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its – 2017 Infrastructure Report Card – for the US and the results are dire. This Report comes out every four years and provides a good guide to the “condition and performance of American infrastructure”. It gives grades (like “a school report card”) “based on the physcial condition and needed investments for improvements”. Overall, the US, the richest country in the World, was awarded a D+, which means “Poor at Risk” or mostly below standard and “approaching the end of their service life”. You don’t really have to be an engineer to appreciate this. Any drive or walk through a US city these days will allow you to see this decay. It is totally unnecessary, totally preventable and very damaging to the well-being of the people and firms that rely on the public infrastructure for their own activities. Myopic and ridiculous.
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                    Posted in US economy | 13 Comments

                    The Weekend Quiz – December 16-17, 2017 – answers and discussion

                    Here are the answers with discussion for this Weekend’s Quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you haven’t already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of modern monetary theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.
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                      Posted in Saturday quiz | 6 Comments