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Well I'll be - Greece might actually do it...

That pretty much sums up the EU. Great idea, but he application of it got messed up along the way. Too many social issues as well as economic were not addressed as the zone was enlarged over the years.

The Brits -- in their role as Trojan horse -- pushed for rapid enlargement, having in mind a kind of free trade area. The Germans and French were a bit more conservative, having in mind more a community of similar countries.

Still if any good is to come from this, the EU will be reformed and hopefully a stronger entity in the long run.

It's really been the political and financial elites that have gone for the European idea -- not so much the people. Maybe this has benefited European ruling classes more than the people. In addition to any ruling class benefit, there's been this nebulous political and cultural idea of Europe as a unity -- a reincarnation of medieval Christendom (which explains why the Turk will never be allowed to join save for his risible "associate" status). To what extent Europe is a unity can be debated -- the German people don't feel any great sympathy for, or solidarity with, the Greek people for example. Whatever the case, the idea of "Europe" needs to be critically re-examined. Among other things, is it going to be in thrall to a financial overclass, with all the inequity and turbulence that that implies? Or is it going to be structured along more social democratic lines, with the people not subject to the buffeting and stomach-turning roller-coaster ride the Americans are having to endure?
 
As opposed to the state government elsewhere? Look at Texas, completely incompetent state government; absorbs 40% of new jobs. This is just how democracy works. There is no real pseudo meritocratic pre-selection process to select candidates.

Let me ask you a rhetorical question - when Kennedy met with Brezhnev for a week just before the Cuban missile crisis, what do you think happened?

I'll give you a preview. Brezhnev said "if this man controls the button for half of the nukes of the world, we are all doomed"...

You made the point a few posts ago that it was a shame the US couldn't drop Alabama and Arkansas, and when I showed that they were actually doing very well as far as debt is concerned, you made it about unemployment. When you found out Alabama and Arkansas are not doing too shabbily with unemployment (especially Arkansas), you made the argument about bad state governments elsewhere. I think you would be better off just admitting you were wrong than trying to shift arguments to unrelated things ad infinitum, especially given the poor quality of your shifted arguments...are you really trying to say that the USSR was better off than the US??
 
Perceptively written piece by James Meadway.

The realisation is dawning across Europe that Greece will have no option but to default on its debt. The Greek national debt is currently at 189 per cent of GDP, and interest payments alone are forecast to hit 15 per cent of GDP next year. There is simply no way it can be repaid. Greece will have to default – cancel a major part of its debt.

For the last year, the august international bodies gathered in the Troika – the EU, IMF, and the European Central Bank – have skirted around this issue. Continual bailouts have been paid in the hope that Greece may, by some miracle – it has never been clear what – suddenly find itself solvent. We are reaching the end of the line for their denial of reality.

This is not a Greek problem. The structure of the eurozone laid the foundations for the debt crisis, with massive surpluses in northern Europe recycled as massive debts and deficits to the south. When the financial crash of 2007-9 broke out, pushing up sovereign debts everywhere, the whole uneven structure crumbled, leaving southern countries with unmanageable burdens. But it is Greece that is expected to bear the brunt of the eurzone’s failings. It is not a big enough economy to do so. It will default.
 
The issue reminds me of a nursery rhyme :D (slightly modified) ...

Greece fell down and broke it's crown,
And the world came tumbling after.
 
From free Greek to free Greek, the word was spread that bold Leonidas and his 300, so far from home, laid down their lives, not just for Sparta, but for all Greece and the promise this country holds. Now, here on this ragged patch of earth called Plataea, Xerxes' hordes face obliteration!.Just there the barbarians huddle, sheer terror gripping tight their hearts with icy fingers, knowing full well what merciless horrors they suffered at the swords and spears of 300. Yet they stare now across the plain at 10,000 Spartans commanding 30,000 free Greeks! [Faces the army] Haroo! The enemy outnumber us a paltry three to one; good odds for any Greek. This day we rescue a world from mysticism and tyranny, and usher in a future brighter than anything we could imagine. Give thanks, men! To Leonidas, and the brave 300! To victory!.........Amen
 
Why doesn't the EU just let Greece fail already instead of throwing good money after bad?? If you cutoff aid, then you can filter that aid for recovery from default.

Perhaps because the Eurocrats and European heads of state don't really have any ideas -- they have just wanted to maintain the status quo and hope that a miracle would somehow occur; so they have procrastinated and prevaricated, kicking the can a bit further down the road. Also, Greece is just the first break in the dike: it will be followed by Spain, Portugal, Italy .... If it were just Greece, there wouldn't be so much angst around. Sooner or later Euroland will have to be reconfigured. The lack of ideas and political will bodes ill.
 

Diego Calderon

Grad Student
Perhaps because the Eurocrats and European heads of state don't really have any ideas -- they have just wanted to maintain the status quo and hope that a miracle would somehow occur; so they have procrastinated and prevaricated, kicking the can a bit further down the road. Also, Greece is just the first break in the dike: it will be followed by Spain, Portugal, Italy .... If it were just Greece, there wouldn't be so much angst around. Sooner or later Euroland will have to be reconfigured. The lack of ideas and political will bodes ill.
Seems like at this point the biggest problem with the global economy is the politicians standing in the way of a true free market system. At the same time, the EU would have never been built without some sort of structure. Such a Catch-22 IMO
 
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