Relax, folks, there is

Discussion in 'Just Talk' started by Deleted member 33931, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. fillyboy

    fillyboy Screwfix Select

    OK, someone's got to say it and it won't be DA or Jack.
    Tony to Angela (although I do realise this is highly unlikely)

    "Two World wars and one World Cup"
  2. Or it could be that the assertion in your original post was merely that. It didn't deserve a reply, any more than any other amount of wishful thinking.

    I replied to JJ's comment, yes. Tell me my reply to his post was not valid.
  3. btiw2

    btiw2 Screwfix Select

    Do you not think so? Fair enough.

    I liked this post:
    I avoided the topic because it turned into Bormann and end of WWII stuff. Bormann has a habit of bringing out nazis, illuminati nuts and conspiracy theorists (and even if the Nazis legged it to Argentina with Elvis and JFK surely they're dead by now?).
    Also when looking at economic consequences of past conflicts, discussions have a habit of ending up arguing about slavery reparations, the role of colonialism etc so I decided to:

    But PJ's stance is interesting and if there's a civilised discussion to be had then it's probably about the Euro.

    PJ wants a star-trek like one-world government without currency and without star fleet's military focus - or something like that.
    There's not a book or a roadmap or even a name for PJ's ideology - just long-term guiding principles.

    One might have thought that a common currency across an important part of the globe (sorry disc - I'm not sure whether I'm a flat earther too) would be a step in that direction.

    The Euro has a disconnect between political and economic integration.
    This creates real problems in the Eurozone. You can't get away from it DA - the Euro has the potential to be a real mess (which we'd be caught up in regardless of whether we're in the EU).

    It sounds like PJ's solution would be to have less economic integration rather than more political integration - but this seems to be the opposite of his ultimate goal.
    I think there's a paradox here. It's interesting to me and I hope PJ expands on his thinking regarding the Eurozone.
  4. Ok, btiw2 - you and PJ have your discussion, and I may read it - if I can understand it.

    The more fundamental point was, is Merkel just out for herself (and Germany) or for the EU (and the world) as well, for what I would consider to be humanitarian reasons. Ie - developing the economies of all the EU countries for the common good, while promoting the highest standards of human rights.

    You know, so we can all be safe and fairly well off.

    I very much consider her to be the latter.

    I also consider her to be the single biggest antidote to the emergence of the extreme far right. Yes, boring, I am talking about Brexit and Trump. (You can argue - with some justification - that Brump does not necessarily 'represent' the far right, but their ideologies of jingoism, isolationism, intolerance and anti-immigration are what's emboldening them. I won't mention Hitler, I promise, but history is in danger of repeating itself. There is nothing special about Europeans in this, or even with Brits any longer. What we were once praised for nor longer exists in virtually half our population. We have witnessed it in little over 20 years ago in Europe itself.

    The EU has the potential to be a real mess? I won't argue with that - it's a statement of the obvious, isn't it? The break up of the EU has - in my opinion - the almost certainty of being a bludy great big and, almost certainly, very deadly mess.
  5. btiw2

    btiw2 Screwfix Select

    Sorry, by Eurozone, I mean "countries that use the Euro" - not the EU. The EU is largely about trading standards and economic mobility with a bit of social redistribution thrown in, or maybe it's an evil superstate that wants to ban British kettles - one of the two.

    In a democracy the leader of a country should carry the will of their people (another topic on which we frequently disagree - but hear me out).

    Concentrating on the person of Merkel isn't helpful, we should ask about the German/Spanish/French/Italian/etc people and their principles.

    Consider the UK.
    If a factory closes in Newcastle then the taxes from people in the south can help soften the blow through benefits or by spending on northern infrastructure.
    People in Newcastle can move further south for employment and know they'll speak the language, they'll have similar working habits, etc.
    The people of the south and north both see themselves as British. They probably think of themselves as British before Geordie or Cockney (especially as many people in those areas may have moved in from elsewhere).
    If the economy is looking dodgy in the north then people don't rush to move their money from northern banks to southern ones.
    This social and political uniformity means it obviously makes sense for the north and south to share a currency (optimum currency area).

    But we saw in the last financial crisis that the German people do have mixed feelings about difficulties in other nations.
    Greece/Germany is quite different to the Newcastle/London situation.
    Maybe one day people in the Eurozone will see themselves as European first and German/French/Italian second.
    I think that'd be kind of nice - in a one-world, hippy sort of way. Anyway - back to reality.

    Germany is the exporting powerhouse of Europe. Productive, educated workers making things the world wants to buy.
    But in the past they ended up with peseta, lira and other currencies they didn't know what to do with. There's only so much olive oil a German needs.
    So they sell those currencies, but who wants them? The price of the peseta goes down. Order is restored.
    After the Euro the Germans get paid in (from their point of view) a proper currency. A currency they can pay Germans with.
    So the currency flows into Germany, and flows, and flows... (Happy Hans)... until... what?
    The Greeks decide to move to Germany and build BMWs? The Germans don't want that (it's not clear the Greeks want it either).
    The Germans throw money into Greece to pay Greek benefits bills? Nein! Yell the Germans - have a bridge, a youth sports stadium, or something else cheap and shut up.

    I think either a financial crisis will turn the Euro into a failed currency (although it might live in parallel with re-introduced national currencies), the other nations will learn tricks from the Germans (but they'd better do it fast), or we'll see greater social/political union of the Eurozone.
    But I don't think the Germans would sing Ode to Joy if they get stuck with the bill of bailing out other counties.

    So instead of the Euro being the stabilising antidote to nationalism you desire it becomes a point of contention - a flashpoint.

    Of course, all the problems go away if we just do away with currencies altogether as PJ suggested. Don't they?
    Deleted member 33931 likes this.
  6. I need to read that again, maybe a couple of times. Too much to take in and just respond, not reply.

    Some very good points made. But is Germany/Merkel out for themselves at the expense of all?
  7. btiw2

    btiw2 Screwfix Select

    I can't make sense of the question.

    Are all Germans out for the themselves at the expense of all? Some Germans? Germans compared to which other nationality? What precisely is meant?

    Obviously I don't think all, most or many Germans are sociopaths.

    But how far does their benevolence extend towards southern European nations, and is it more or less than appropriate? And how do we calculate appropriate?

    fillyboy quite likes the economist Mark Blyth.
    So here's a quote from Blyth to save fillyboy the effort (for background a "transfer union" is when a rich region keeps putting money into poorer regions):
    So the Germans have this thing about "we don't want this to become a transfer union" .
    What do you think you are in?
    At the end of the day you are transferring labour, skills, responsibilities.
    It goes with the gig.
    And you did an undervalued exchange rate by having your super efficient economy buried in all these less efficient economies so that you can sell more BMW's to the Chinese.
    The quid-pro-quo for that sometimes is that when Greeks get into trouble you need to pony up the cash.
    Don't kid yourself otherwise.
  8. I have to say I'm in the JoT camp here to a major extent too - I cannot pretend to understand the complexities of the economics involved, even in your very clear post.

    And ditto to PJ's highly-selective 'understanding' of the situation, which I said does not 'deserve' a reply - by which I mean a reply would be meaningless and pointless.

    Back to basics... I can fully understand that Germany is loath to damage itself on behalf of the weaker countries, especially if damage caused to these weaker countries is to some extent self-inflicted (yes, I am talking Greece in particular). So what does the EU (mainly Germany) do? Essentially force Greece to get its act together is a long painful way.

    What brought this situation to a head in the first place? The world-wide 'credit crunch'. Again, although I 'understand' the basics of what happened there, I would not pretend to have a grasp of what economists are struggling with.

    So I see this is pretty fundamental terms - would Germany be successful outside the EU? Too bludy right. Would they be more successful than a Britain outside the EU? Far too bludy right. Might Germany get on quite well with Greece and other countries crumbling around them? Too bludy right.

    So what is it that prompts Merkel, in particular, to not only try and instil discipline into the weaker economies but also do so with the added constraints of human and worker's rights?

    If there is a single politician/political leader/president/prime minister/chancellor who has virtually universal respect across all political spectra, it is Merkel. And that included Trump - before he became president himself and realised she saw right through him - and loathed what she saw.

    Who does not respect her? For me, there lies the answer.

    With apologies for being so basic about this complex situation. But then, when some of the u-s (you know who these are now, don't you) like to portray her with a Hitler (DAMN!) moustache, then 'basic' it'll have to be.

    Basic = I know what sort of world I want to be part of, and it's not run by Trump, Le Pen, Farage, Gove, Johnson, Fox, Davies, Mogg, IDS et al.
  9. joinerjohn1

    joinerjohn1 Screwfix Select

    Ok, ok, I was wrong.. German tourists don't reserve sunbeds at all. They certainly don't go straight to the front of queues, and definitely don't nick food at breakfast when they're going out on holiday coach trips. I only dislike them because my dad told me that during the war, they bombed his local chip shop, leading to the great fried cod shortage of 1941. ;)

    PS, German banks ain't bothered at all if Greece defaults on any of it's loans.
  10. btiw2

    btiw2 Screwfix Select

    It's probably my fault. I'm not explaining myself well.

    Clearly I don't think Merkel is Hitler, or evil, or heartless.
    This isn't that sort of conversation. But JJ's back. Perhaps he can help?

    I just think the German people need to inject a little realism into their view of the world.

    Basic: Germany can't tell south Europe to "sort itself out" whilst benefiting from removing the tools that would allow south Europe to do so.

    Germany was sick of getting paid in "funny" money (pesetas, lira, drachma etc). The Euro was great for Germany because those countries had to pay in "real" money to them.
    But losing currency control meant that the south Euro countries couldn't just print money (colloquialism!) any more.
    When it goes on for too long and there's a financial shock Germany then turns around and says "sort yourself out". Try austerity.

    No Deutschland. You wanted (and benefited) from the single currency so it's your job to set up social payments for the hard times too.
    The Germans are unwilling to do that.

    It's like when people in the UK get the benefit of a good education, work hard in a stable economy with secure citizens as customers, make some money... and then turn around and claim the taxes are too high (that built the opportunities they benefited from).

    Soz. That's what society means. We are our brother's keeper. You too Germany.
  11. P J Thompson

    P J Thompson Active Member

    Loving it :D
    I post that Germany has low bond yields.....and that's claimed to be an assertion.
    I post that the euro benefits Germany by artificially keeping it's currency low compared to where it would be if it had the DM....and that's an assertion.
    I post that Germany benefits from interest on the bonds of Southern European countries....and that too is an assertion.

    Not worthy of consideration or comment in the context of DA's post..."wishful thinking". Despite these things being accepted economic truths.......

    Cheers DA, you've done a great job of proving my point about how your world view is built on sand and how you refuse to even consider it may be wrong.

    You flat earthers are so yummy Scummy :)
    longboat likes this.
  12. btiw2

    btiw2 Screwfix Select

    Was that in the Batter of Britain? (groan).

    Did the Germans then urinate on the chip shop monument too?
  13. Yes, you do seem to be lovin' it, in an alarmingly obsessive way.

    What I am saying is that your assertion that your selective 'facts' (let's say they are facts) actually make a greater point is moot.

    Do you want to trade 'facts' about how Germany effectively 'gives' as well as 'takes'?
  14. fillyboy

    fillyboy Screwfix Select

    What are your thoughts on Wolfgang Schauble.
  15. joinerjohn1

    joinerjohn1 Screwfix Select

    No doubt after the UK leaves the EU,, Germany will be doing a lot more of the giving DA. (and Merkel will still be taking in economic migrants by the million (and still telling the rest of the EU "This is an EU problem") )
  16. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    So, you're now stating that your ignorance is caused by others ignorance, what a pathetic excuse!
    You started off by saying:
    You won't pretend to understand something, then proceeded to garble on about that something that you don't understand and then blame others for your lack of comprehension.

  17. fillyboy

    fillyboy Screwfix Select

    Are you suggesting he's as thick as a whale sandwich?;)
    longboat likes this.
  18. Harry Stottle

    Harry Stottle Screwfix Select

    It wasn't all caused by the EU, but if they hadn't joined the eurozone their floating currency would have helped them to keep their heads above water and probably compensated for their black economy etc.
  19. joinerjohn1

    joinerjohn1 Screwfix Select

    Nah, whale sandwiches , just ain't that thick. :p:p:p:p:p:p
  20. fillyboy

    fillyboy Screwfix Select

    Harry, every government (possibly excluding Germany?) borrows money, they issue bonds, other countries (mainly China) buy them and pay a fixed interest rate. Greece was traditionally a 'junk' bond, it paid a high interest rate because of the likelihood they would default.
    The credit agencies set the rating for different countries.
    When Greece joined the Euro, they were treated as if they were Germany, cheap cheap loans, they were in the mighty euro.
    After the financial crash and the s--- hit the fan, things had to be looked at differently.

    Since then, Greece has been 'given' over 240 billion euros in bailout money, but here's the rub, less than 10% of that has actually gone to Greece, the rest has gone to the banks that lent Greece the money to cover interest payments, it's quite simply all about re-financing banks, the debt is substantially larger than it was five years ago, under the current terms, it can never be paid off, it can only get larger. Most European countries and the IMF want to see a substantial debt write off (the only possible solution).
    BUT, there's just one stumbling block, Germany.
    That's right, Frau Merkel, or Mother Theresa as DA likes to think of her does not want a penny of that debt written off.
    There's a lot of press about how Greece had it coming, not collecting taxes, corruption, how much of it is true? or at least exaggerated? I suspect there's an element of truth but I've been around long enough not to believe everything I read in the papers, left or right, (or anything on the BBC)
    Anyway, Greece, pensioners are starving, children are being taken into care because their parents can't afford to support them and there's rioting in the streets.
    I can picture DA gazing misty eyed at a picture on his wall of Mrs Merkel whilst raising his right arm and clicking his heels together, because, as he says,
    it's for the greater good.
    Deleted member 33931 likes this.

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