Thursday, August 11, 2011

550 Words: EU vs US - A Tale of Some Very Stupid People

If it was only the EU falling into dysfunction, we might not have to watch London set on fire. If it was only the US falling into dysfunction, we might not have seen the Dow Jones fall 12%. But together, irresponsible governance in the cradle of the Free Society has brought the world to a state known by its technical term as a clusterf-ck. I know what you’re thinking. Nothing has fallen apart yet. And you’re absolutely right. Nothing has...yet. And it probably won’t...probably. We are still as close to the edge of a global meltdown as we were three years ago.But we can back off the precipice at any moment. There is only one factor that can stops the world from stepping back from the brink of disaster at any moment it wants:

Stupidity. Massive, neanderthalic stupidity.

The European Union is a country with no government. The United States is a country with a government that refuses to govern. The European Union’s crisis would end tomorrow if European countries agreed to a single monetary policy. The United States’ crisis would end tomorrow if Republican politicians agreed to raise taxes. We live in stupid, stupid times.

Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal were all living with goods and social safety nets bankrolled for them by Germany and France. By allowing Southern Europe joining the Euro, the hope was that the boost in the value of Southern Europe’s currency would give all four countries the impetus they needed to revitalize their economies and build an industrial base; but these Mediterranean countries are now more sluggish as ever. The EU’s economy is dragged down by four countries with no major industry, no incentive to create industry and no dependable source of income (except tourism). Why did the EU’s two powerhouses allow this to happen for decades? Because France and Germany wanted to rebuild themselves as Europe’s industrial powers - and they did. France and Germany make and sell what Southern Europe buys. And since Southern Europe can’t pay for the things France and Germany sell them, France and Germany will be forced to pay themselves for the Southern European debt which France and Germany created. The stupid hurts.

For thirty years, the United States Government has run massive credit debts. At any point, these debts could be paid off if the Republican party simply agreed to raise taxes or cut defense spending. Republicans like to argue that spending cuts on social programs could do just as much to curb spending, and they’re absolutely right. So why did Bill Clinton do a lot more to curb social spending than George W. Bush ever did? Republicans railed against a health care bill - that will save America money in the long run - on the grounds that it was too expensive. Simultaneously to this, they were demanding the extension of a tax cut that would increase America’s national debt by another trillion dollars. Year after year, we see evidence that the majority of America’s debt is caused by Republican insistence on tax cuts for the rich and all the complications that ensue from there. Yet the Republicans persist in this and in spite of their idiocy manage to fool half of Americans into approving of wealth accumulation from which they’ll never benefit. As H. L. Mencken (himself a conservative) said, “No one has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”

I really don’t have much more to say about this, so I'll let Red from That 70's Show have the last word:

No comments:

Post a Comment