Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Permanent Pre-Pubescence

All of our problems today come from trying to maintain an unsustainable form of social economy, and yet the moaners want more of what they think other people have.

Instead they resort to tortured logic:

In practice, liberalisation and austerity are making matters far worse. In Greece, Ireland and Portugal, adjustment packages imposed from the outside but with the collusion of domestic governments have resulted in sharp falls in economic activity, large rises in unemployment and painful social dislocation. Government deficits have risen.

Work by Research on Money and Finance and others has shown that the build-up of debt in peripheral economies was not the result of government profligacy. The fundamental cause has been diverging competitiveness between the economies of the periphery and those of the core, above all Germany. By heavily repressing the wages of its own workers, Germany ensured that there was no chance for peripheral economies to compete, locked as they were into monetary union and unable to devalue their currencies.
So if you don’t buy the line that it’s all the fault of people trying to take the giveaway monster, then at least blame Germans for “repression,”

AKA harmonizing their wages with the rest of the zone.
This divergence of competitiveness resulted in entrenched structural imbalances between core and periphery, leading to surpluses for Germany and deficits for others. These deficits in peripheral countries were matched by borrowing abroad resulting in accumulation of private and public debt. When the sub-prime crisis struck, public deficits soared as private liabilities were taken onto government books, tax revenues fell and social security payments rose.
Which is another way of trying to say that governments borrowed more because there was no income left to tax. This may be the first time any main-line European brain has thought of this concept. Too bad that the conclusion drawn isn’t the obvious one: that spending is too high. In fact the though is being used to prop up an even stranger and less plausible argument: that wages and prices should be fixed after the fashion of wartime America and corroded Marxist-Leninism, and that German wages should be structurally fixed higher for similarly simplistic social effects.

So if the European states are all hunters, without also mentioning the Dutch, the Germans should (for the sake of equality of outcome) set out unarmed. Nonetheless in the interest of public self-pity, even those they employ should imagine that they are Bambi in this scene.

As always, even the “austerity” of curtailing middle-class welfare by trying to get a grip on public service pensions, staff size, and the like is characterized as a political fascism:
As the eurozone crisis worsens, proposals to resolve it are becoming increasingly authoritarian. Two in particular are now widely advocated by commentators across the political spectrum. First, that technocratic governments should be installed to carry out necessary reforms in stricken economies. Second, that in the short-term the European Central Bank could halt the crisis, if only Germany could be persuaded to drop its opposition.
Hilariously, the Bundesbank’s only real position is to not lend for the sake of public spending, but only debt restructuring.

This, of course, cannot stand. There’s a political cadre to fund, and votes to buy at a tense, critical time. The really funny part is that the same Germany that it is imagined could be compelled to go naked in order to clothe her neighbors is now a straw-man synonymous with “the bosses”, like the purposely misunderstood “1%” of the Occupy Wall Street complex of economic illiteracy, demonization and ignorance.

How far do you get saying “you’re just plain evil because of who you are – now buy me lunch and give me your shoes” ?