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There is little hope for any country until it finds leadership that realizes that it does not have to be subservient to global markets and the current fashions of economic "philosophy" and that to be subservient is a political decision. Within their borders they can decide. Decide wisely and they can make a beginning of an end to the current misery. This is far from equally easy for each country, but smaller countries can band together with other small countries.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 10th, 2011 at 10:47:22 PM EST
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The problem is that politicians are rarely experts in technocratic matters (or even others matters - but they're good at getting elected). Not even Gordon Brown really knew, he is a classic case of the "useful idiot".

For advice on what to do they call in "experts". In the case of economics and finance they call on the Banks and credit houses as that is where the expertise resides. Unfortunately the advice given is extremely biased towards promoting the well-being of the institutions the experts represent which, given that these institutions are both predatory and parasitical on the country, means that the advice given is actually harmful to the interests of the country the politicians represent.

I do not believe the politicians understand this. So blaming them for the policies they promote kinda misses the point.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 03:29:54 AM EST
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That's a key insight Helen.  We need a generation of political actors that are extremely sceptical of this kind of 'expertise'.

Ireland was the most egregious case of this, and arguably the blanket Irish bank and bond guarantee in 2008 was the decisive initial act in ensuring the 'no bank left behind' policy at the expense of misery for the citizenry of the entire Eurozone.

by Pope Epopt on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 05:50:09 AM EST
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We need a new generation of political leaders. This one is totally inapt to deal with reality.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 08:06:49 AM EST
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And the next generation of apparatchiks is being groomed from the ranks of youth organizations and student politics.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 08:09:42 AM EST
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They might get shocked out of their assumptions before grooming is over.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 10:02:03 AM EST
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There are three roads to ruin: by gambling, which is the quickest; through women, which is the most pleasurable; and through taking the advice of experts, which is the most certain.

- Charles de Gaulle

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 05:48:30 PM EST
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I was not blaming the politicians, regardless of the contempt in which I hold their "leadership". Rather I was describing the sad situation and the path out of it. It is not necessary for political leaders to be "experts" in economics to lead their counties out of darkness. It is necessary that they realize, in Mig's words, "Economics is politics by other means", and to realize that being accessories to the looting of the people they are supposed to represent is unacceptable.

Economics is the problem, not the solution. The solution is to realize clearly that economics must be subservient to the political needs of the nation rather than to the interests of finance. When we grant TINA we fundamentally corrupt judgement. Judgement is based on emotional responses: this is food -- yum! this is a predator -- flee! We have allowed that judgement to be made by a tiny group of banker predators and the rest of society is, to them, just food. That is why policy is so confounding to the majority. They don't understand that the reference for judgement is not their broad interests.

I cannot complain too much about having allowed the disastrous developments of the last forty years. While I suspected and then believed that the policies being pursued were wrong-headed I did not understand why. That has made it difficult to mount a cogent critique. It is easier now that the system is destroying itself, but still far from easy.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 09:35:56 AM EST
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It is necessary that they realize, in Mig's words, "Economics is politics by other means", and to realize that being accessories to the looting of the people they are supposed to represent is unacceptable.

I mean it more in a Clausewitz kinda way...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 09:54:56 AM EST
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And that is how I meant it...

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 12:30:33 PM EST
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It would be unseemly to have agents of the state or crown going to individuals and shaking them down for all of their liquid wealth, so they use economics for the same purpose, but better. Better because through economics they can get people to make their assets liquid in anticipation of gain, though that ruse is now wearing thin.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 12:35:35 PM EST
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Yes, but these people who can make a difference are surrounded by so many layers of buffering to prevent reality seeping in that they are effectively sealed off from it.

then having the ability to forensically analyse the trail from advice to destruction and realise they're being lied to; well at that point they'll find themselves re-shuffled or sacked or have an aircraft accident (just kidding folks).

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 12:39:06 PM EST
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A large part of the problem is that for current leaders to accept that the economic theories they have been faithfully attempting to implement are actually harmful and only serve the very wealthy, they would have to accept that they are accomplices. Most would not like to think that of themselves, so they cling to the old theories, by the lights of which they remain virtuous.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 01:46:38 PM EST
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