Thursday, January 17, 2008

How to Succeed in Europe without Really Trying, Part 1

“We must invent new methods of intervention… we need protection, to defend national and European products in the face of foreign competition… It is time for a real European economic patriotism to be born.”

- Dominique de Villepin, French Prime Minister, in his book “European Man”

Though it has a disturbingly air reminiscent of National Socialism, it’s stood to reason what this amount to: no change in methods, no adaptation to the ways of the world that don’t involve keeping the poorest of the world aid dependant and unable to trade, and hypocritically criticizing the US’s 5% tariffing with:

The EU runs two sets of protectionist policies that could be almost designed to wreck the trading chances of those of the poorest countries that have comparative advantages in food and textiles.

First, there are the trade restrictions. Though the EU has a low industrial tariff of five per cent, its agricultural tariffs are far higher. These average 20 per cent, but rise to a peak of 250 per cent on certain products. For example, the tariff on Bolivian chickens is 46 per cent, and on Bolivian orange juice 34 per cent.
As with everything else. Which brings us to the comparatively inconsequential nature of a suit harassing an American software company. What’s even more repellant is that they see no difference between a potential rigging up of a trade restriction against a struggling farmer as they do with Microsoft. What it appears to show is that they have no passion for the concept of legality, of the possibility that there might be a bump in the road that comes with the freedom to innovate, and that that igniting an hypocritical argument over trade is a perfectly acceptable instrument to protect the secondary members of the political cartel – Europe’s industries.

Who can read this as anything other than a court demanding a bribe or tribute in the manner of a petty dictator who believes in laws only being useful toward their ends?
"'It would have been preferable if these issues could have been resolved amicably with Microsoft,' said Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes. 'But that has not proved to be the case. Therefore we have opened these formal investigations. That does not prove there is a violation. We will only be able to come to a conclusion after investigations.' The legal battle that ended last year involved the bundling of a media player with Windows and the availability of information required to make rival software operate smoothly with Microsoft products. In September, the Court of First Instance, Europe's highest after the European Court of Justice, endorsed the commission's 2004 decision to impose record fines on Microsoft."
THEY state yet Spectrum as a organizational shambles created by nation-state contract manipulation, but still underestimated the over-runs by nearly one-half.
LOSER: Geopositioning

GOAL:To create a 30-satellite geopositioning -system to provide greater accuracy than GPS or GLONASS, generating income from premium services that rely on encoded signals.

WHY IT’S A LOSER: Galileo is way behind schedule and over budget; meanwhile, GPS and GLONASS are -improving, so Galileo will never obtain the competitive edge that would have made it profitable. Also, its organizational structure is too complex. To succeed, it would need a single authority with wide operating latitude.

PLAYERS: The 27-state European Union and the 15-state (not perfectly overlapping) European Space Agency

STAFF: Too numerous and too dispersed to count

BUDGET: €5.4 billion (about US $8 billion) and counting; originally €4 billion
From billions to yet more millions...
According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, industry experts together with EU finance gurus have told their superiors that the current estimated cost of €3.4 billion may be radically exceeded. The final price will be at least €5 billion ($7.4 billion) and could climb to as high as €10 billion, according to the information. SPIEGEL also writes that an expert report produced for the German government likewise claims that even in a "best-case-scenario," the Galileo project will swallow up €1.5 billion ($2.2 billion) more than planned.

Experts say that the cost explosion is the result of a compromise, hammered out in November and December, securing EU-wide funding and dividing responsibilities. The agreement was hailed as the final hurdle still standing in front of the project's final completion, but one Galileo specialist told SPIEGEL that there are still many technical challenges awaiting the project.
Those “technical challenges” include, technically, having a project at all, even if it is 4 times over budget and 6 years late.

In spite of the fact that the system is supposed to benefit THOSE nation-states, and even THOSE INDUSTRIES ginning up the delay and over-runs, they still engage in a feeding frenzy no different than the one banishing farmers in the developing world to a mediocrity they can’t evade. Galileo is for THEM, and they can’t even set aside their vulgar habits.

So when the same extraordinary nagging is used in they notion of what’s acceptable in an assymetrical trade war, so to with the bleating, nagging, and hand-wringing that goes on over the predatory nature of trying to capture hearts and minds not for their own sake, but to take it away from others, and in particular against the United States, ginning up a state of false righteous indignation over extraordinary renditions that they oppose but want for their own protection, to overbearing criticisms of anything else done on the behalf of the stability of the western world of which they are a parasitic and populous free-rider. Using law and emotion as a fig leaf does nothing for the making of a good society, and just further convinces the population that their cynicism, and the lack of the patriotism necessary to develop a social contract that comes with it, is well founded.

In other words, if they don’t believe in the humanity of your decision making, why believe in anyone else’s? Sound like business as usual for something they’re trying to sex up as a brave-new-whatever of “ever closer union.”

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