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You know Greek productivity figures better than me. 15% down means how many more to go, until competitiveness is reached?

Wage suppression is retarded, stupid, idiotic, moronic, inane and does not work.

Wages as a share of GDP have to remain somewhere around 70 % for a modern mass-production economy to function. Inequality has to remain at lowish levels for a modern mass-production economy to function.

Attempting to reach "competitiveness" by murdering Greek unions and reducing the Greek labourers to slave wages will destroy the Greek economy. The only way to restore Greek competitiveness is to raise German wages to the point where Germany becomes less competitive with Greece. Reducing the Greek to slavery is also cold-blooded murder of a couple of tens of thousand Greek citizens, going by the Russian experience as a standard for the human cost. But we have already established that you don't give a shit about that.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:01:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Germany becomes less competitive with Greece"

Hum i cannot wait to buy expensive German olive oil.

Bavarian Feta cheese anyone ;-)

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 07:09:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another insightful comment.

So, do you agree or not that Greece needs to "improve its competitiveness"?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 07:36:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece becoming more competitive means that Germany becomes less competitive.

There are two ways in which that can happen: Germans can pay themselves more, or Greeks can pay themselves less.

In the former case, everybody wins (except the banksters). In the latter case, everybody loses (including the banksters).

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 07:54:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I dont see Greece competing much with German products, are making Audi more expensive will help the Greek auto industry ??
macroeconomic fallacy, this blog use to be much more interesting, but at least this tread is funny.

What do you say to Dexia's "banksters", as many bank Dexia as lended to Greece.I guess all these banks will be soon only shadow of themselves (retail part only) if Greece default, and there will not be anyone left in Europe to invest in wind energy.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:21:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you want to have a laught about Dexia? Check this out.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:26:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there will not be anyone left in Europe to invest in wind energy

You are aware banks are divesting from their project finance businesses?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:29:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I dont see Greece competing much with German products, are making Audi more expensive will help the Greek auto industry??

Paying German Audi workers more will allow them to buy more olive oil.

The solution to this crisis is to give Germans more money so they can import more.

What do you say to Dexia's "banksters", as many bank Dexia as lended to Greece. I guess all these banks will be soon only shadow of themselves (retail part only) if Greece default, and there will not be anyone left in Europe to invest in wind energy.

Ah, finally, a clear admission that this entire manufactured crisis is about camouflaging a bailout of German, French and British (in roughly that order) banks.

Thank you so very much for admitting that. Can we please stop pretending that it's about Greece now?

If you want to bail out Dexia because Dexia does business you like, then bail out Dexia. Don't invent an elaborate Ponzi scam that involves reducing Greek wages to Egyptian levels and appointing colonial viceroys to formerly sovereign European countries.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:39:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
just for the record, I left that bank two years ago...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:18:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wage suppression is retarded, stupid, idiotic, moronic, inane and does not work.

Which basically points to the other alternative - leaving the Euro and going the massive inflation route.

Aside from that, I don't buy your categorical "does not work". "Never" is a pretty big word.

Oh, and my question was simple functional and not advocating a specific policy or course of action. Your inference is wrong.

by cris0 on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 08:57:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It has never worked in the two hundred years in which we have had monetary production economies.

And yes you were advocating a policy prescription, because your question is gibberish without the implicit assumption that German wages will keep dropping. If German wages increased by forty or so per cent, Greek wages could perfectly well go back to where they used to be before the crisis and Greece would still recover its competitiveness.

Alternatively, if Greece exited the Eurozone, defaulted on all foreign debt and printed Drachma to sustain its internal economy, wages could also go back to where they were, and Greek competitiveness would be restored through floating the currency.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 09:41:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
again, you are jumping to conclusions.

But regardless - the scenario of yours is certainly debatable, except for the fact that we don't live in a vacuum.

My job isn't going to disappear to Greece (If you'd be so kind as to raise my salary by 40%), my job is going to disappear to China, Taiwan, maybe even Egypt or Malaysia.

Until that issue is solved we have to account for it.

We can't just all descend to the level of Greek productivity and then live happily ever after.

Of course you could then start the money printing presses again to tackle THAT problem - but in the process I would not only find myself at the same or lower standard of living than before (as inflation would eat up all those gains) - I also would lose a good part of whatever meager savings I might have in the bank. Thank you very much.

by cris0 on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 10:21:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My job isn't going to disappear to Greece (If you'd be so kind as to raise my salary by 40%), my job is going to disappear to China, Taiwan, maybe even Egypt or Malaysia.

No, because we devalue the Euro at the same time.

You get to keep your job, you get to buy more stuff from Greece. A Greek chap gets a job selling you stuff.

Everybody wins.

Except Josef Ackerman and his friends, but fuck them.

in the process I would not only find myself at the same or lower standard of living than before (as inflation would eat up all those gains)

No, you would have a higher standard of living, because you would not be giving away part of your national product for free (which is why you do under a mercantilist currency policy like the one Germany currently pursues).

I also would lose a good part of whatever meager savings I might have in the bank.

Yes. That is a feature, not a bug. Money in the bank produce nothing, create nothing, run nothing. You should only keep money in the bank in order to have liquidity. Savings should be invested, not merely deposited in a bank where they do nothing other than draw an excessively generous government subsidy.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 10:37:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the face of a generalized deflationary, depressed economic environment?

Have you studied any economics at all?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by redstar on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 09:42:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perfectly possible, sadly, in the case of a collapse of the exchange rate, such as what you would see under a poorly implemented fuel rationing scheme in a country which is import dependent on fuel and has a primary trade deficit and no access to hard currency borrowing.

You need to distinguish between imported and domestic inflation. The domestic economy can be in deflation (that is, the absolute nominal markups, including wages, can be falling due to a general industrial depression) while the consumer price index shows runaway inflation due to deteriorating terms of trade.

It's not the sort of inflation the BundesBank idiots think of when they say inflation. But then, the BundesBank subscribes to a remarkably simple-minded theology. So that should, perhaps, not be surprising.

It is, however, more probable, that the state will use the newfound freedom to conduct economic policy to increase nominal markups and wages. You have to have a pretty extreme commitment to austeritarian idiocy to allow domestic deflation to persist in an environment of hyperinflationary foreign accounts positions.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 09:54:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece isn't Argentina, but it isn't exactly Zimbabwe either, far from it. No one knows what will happen in the event of a default, no matter how good the modelling, it's as simple as that.

Remember, the scarecrow being bandied about here is "hyperinflation," not simply a bout of high inflation (which actually would be welcome news not just for Greece but for most of Europe).

But, I think we both can agree that whatever the result, the real shame here is that the Greeks didn't just tell the ECB, the IMF and the EU to shove it up their ass and default two years ago, we'd all be better off, not just the Greeks. Though this result was perhaps not unpredictable given the craven clientelism of the PASOK elite, the sort of uncertainty that scenario would have brought about made it difficult for them to remain in control of the money levers to keep their partisans on side and in power. Papendreou...well, enough said.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by redstar on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 01:04:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least we can say "I told you so". I made this pic on May 2 2010.

   


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

by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 01:35:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sigh

You might want to stop thinking in scholarly rules. This isn't the economy 101 exam. We have a political as well as an economic problem here.

The debate was about what Greece would do to restore productivity and/or competitiveness and get a grip on its debt.

Why on earth would Greece, in your opinion, want to go the "New Drachma" way? Even though that is, by all reasonable predictions, incredibly painful?

The only advantages are that Greece could

  • create high inflation in a number of ways
  • print serious amounts of money (which creates high inflation as well).

The only reason to go New Drachma is that it wants one of these badly enough.

As long as Greece actually strives for a hard currency, it could stay in the Euro just as well, default or not.

The nice thing about inflation for politicians is that it is comparatively easy to implement, politically, and that it solves their competition problem.

by cris0 on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 10:48:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Going to the New Drachma is necessary, but not sufficient, to implement a full employment policy.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:32:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The debate was about what Greece would do to restore productivity and/or competitiveness and get a grip on its debt.

No, that was the debate you wanted to have.

The debate we are actually having is about what the Eurozone should do to counter foreign accounts imbalances.

The debate you wanted to have is about Greece, and Greece alone.

The debate we are actually having is about both Greece and the countries who run a persistent CA surplus against Greece. And the optimal solution to the problem is for them to reduce their surplus - or, to put it in Swabian Housewife Economics terms, to reduce their competitiveness.

Why on earth would Greece, in your opinion, want to go the "New Drachma" way? Even though that is, by all reasonable predictions, incredibly painful?

Because being a German colony is more painful.

If Greece had gone full Argentina two years ago when this manufactured crisis began, it would be out of the woods by now, and the pain would have been considerably less than what it has already experienced, nevermind what attempting to comply with increasingly ridiculous creditor extortion will require.

The only advantages are that Greece could
  • create high inflation in a number of ways
  • print serious amounts of money (which creates high inflation as well).

  • Devalue its currency relative to the €-Mark, thus pushing the unemployment created by Hartz I-IV back to Germany, or to whatever suckers stay in the Eurozone.
  • Reassert sovereign control of its domestic economy.

    (Oh and your second bullet is bullshit - printing money does not create inflation. This is the sort of Swabian Housewife Economics that caused the crisis in the first place.)

    As long as Greece actually strives for a hard currency, it could stay in the Euro just as well, default or not.

    A hard currency confers no benefit to Greece. For that matter, a hard currency confers no benefit to 99 % of Germans either. But the Germans get to vote for their governments, a luxury the Greeks do not enjoy these days.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

  • by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:33:48 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It's not a political problem really, is it? So much as it is a diplomatic problem.

    Relatively soon, Berlin will be fairly well isolated, albeit still (for now) in the center of the EU. In a few short months, Frau Merkel will no longer have diplomatic cover via a partner in Paris.

    What is the end game?

    The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

    by redstar on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 01:06:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Eurointelligence: A deal that would turn Greece in a eurozone colony (17.02.2012)
    Hollande's top economic advisor prepares entente with Merkel

    In a display of pragmatism Francois Hollande ignores Angela Merkel's support for Nicolas Sarkozy and asks his top economic policy advisor to underline the common ground between the French Socialists and Germany's current government. In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Michel Sapin, a former Socialist finance minister, stressed that Germany was right to insist on budgetary consolidation and that Hollande would be serious about solid public finances. But Sapin stressed growth was needed to achieve that pointing out that you cannot get a country's finances back on track with a growth rate of 0.5% for five years. Sapin also stressed that Hollande would not seek a change of mandate for the ECB because under Mario Draghi the central bank was doing excellent work. This point is noteworthy because the Socialist's programm foresees that the inflation fighting mandate is extendet to growth enhancement.

    Also, Merkel's popularity soars to two-year high (AFP via Google)
    As some European neighbours criticise Merkel's hardline austerity-driven solutions for the sovereign debt crisis, 64 percent of her constituents said they approved of her job performance, according to the poll for ARD television.

    It was her highest share of the electorate since December 2009, three months after she was elected to a second term.

    ...

    Respondents said they admired Merkel as "honest and not seeking her own advantage" (73 percent), for taking "correct and decisive action" in the eurozone crisis (61 percent) and for "not acting like a partisan politician but as someone who is above the fray" (55 percent).

    LOLWUT?
    Eight[y]-five percent appreciated "how she represents our country in the world".


    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 02:21:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Which basically points to the other alternative - leaving the Euro...

    As J. Edgar Hoover used to say: "The wish if father to the thought." There are obviously MANY other alternatives, starting with making the ECB a true EMU central bank, serving as lender of last resort and creating money as needed by the real economy. All of these things are normal functions of central banks, but the ECB, at German insistence, is a grossly deformed central bank.

    Could somehow Germany be ousted from the EMU it could be run as a sane monetary union. My own recommendation has long been that France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland should form their own monetary union, a SEMU, with their own money, the Seuro, or southern euro, and an SECB, or Southern European Central Bank, that would implement a surplus recycling mechanism as Keynes advocated at Bretton Woods. Run along sane lines this could be a great boon for all members.

    Were this to happen, then, one by one the remaining countries in the original EMU would find themselves now in the position of deficit countries WRT Germany and could opt to join the SEMU. This would, in the end, deprive Germany of the ability to rape its neighbors by controlling the monetary policy of a union that was conceived, at least by the non-German founders, as a mutually beneficial organization. Then your beloved Deutchmark would be so strong that your exports would collapse, but the rest of Europe would fare much better.

    The non-German founders of the EMU thought that, in the face of necessity, Germany would come to accept as changes policies that would have brought about a much fairer monetary policy. Current events are clearly showing that these expectations were folly. As soon as the CDU became dominant politically in Germany the fate of the EMU was sealed. Those Germans in control do not appear to care one bit about the welfare of any but the financiers and uber wealthy and the majority of Germans are just being 'good Germans' and going along quietly, mostly, without realizing the price they are paying.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:22:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    >Those Germans in control do not appear to care one bit about the welfare of any but the financiers and uber wealthy and the majority of Germans are just being 'good Germans' and going along quietly, mostly, without realizing the price they are paying.>

    Did you just compare a economic policy you don't like with support of the holocaust?

    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:28:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No. I compared my estimate of the apparent response of the majority of Germans to an economic policy that is unjust, punitive and damaging to foreigners to the response of the majority of Germans to Nazi policy towards minorities.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:39:24 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    In other words, you minimized the holocaust. Just swell.
    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:47:06 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The devastation currently produced in Greece is certainly comparable to what was happening in Germany prior to Kristallnacht, though totally different in character. In the case of Greece people are being thrown out of work and every means of helping them is being attacked or dismantled by the Troika. We will be lucky to get through this without a humanitarian catastrophe.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:58:20 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Now you are smearing the greek, too. No, I don't a a massacre of Alabaniaas or gypsies or wahtever is likely in Greece.

    though totally different in character.

    In other words, not comparable at all..

    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:06:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Well, I suppose that massacres of minorities is a worry if the right wing gets sufficiently empowered, but the immediate threat to which I referred was starvation coupled with lack of heat and medical care.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 07:47:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Getting the power cut off, getting people fired and bashing the health care system in the name of 'reform' is a vastly more subtle but still effective way to bring about a humanitarian catastrophe. Afterwards all can lament together "How could we have known?"

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 07:50:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    When you realize that the history in Greece was much more about famine (700k dead or 12 to 15% of the population) than it was about gunshots or hangings or the like) you realize there is some resonance there.

    I don't understand the Greek politicians at this point. It's pretty clear that Germany will never agree to the ECB issuing Eurobonds.

    When the people's lifetime savings run out in a year or so, the Greek pols will have absolutely no choice.

    by Upstate NY on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 09:47:28 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Now you are smearing the greek, too.

    I will ask our Greek posters to indicate if they so construe what I said. I don't know whether you are being hysterical or obtuse.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 07:52:47 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I don't think someone comparing everything, but everything to fascism or the trail of tears should call others hysteric.
    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 08:07:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The critical words here are 'humanitarian catastrophe.'

    I've said before there's a good case to be made the results of German action against Greece - and let's be clear that this action is being led by the German financial and political class - is a crime against humanity.

    Whether or not it's 30s style Hitler/Franco fascism is irrelevant. It's obviously old-fashioned colonial economic dictatorship with a nasty dose of racism mixed in.

    The effects are literally disastrous.

    Or perhaps you're not bothered if people die?

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 08:27:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    >Or perhaps you're not bothered if people die?<

    Actually I laugh. Dastardly. And twirl my moustache.

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:33:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Let's take that as a 'no' then, shall we?
    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:35:46 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I made no comparison to fascism. My comparison was between the response of the majority of the German people in the mid '30s to the actions of the Nazi government to the response of the majority of the German people today to the actions of the current CDU government. The CDU is not fascist, but the actions of its political and financial leadership towards the Greek people are inflicting great harm to which that portion of German society that supports the CDU seems callously indifferent.

    Plus there is a self-absorbed arrogance in much of the commentary I have seen that seems to minimize, dismiss and/or objectify the consequences of these policies on the average Greek, who has, perhaps, a similar degree of influence on the actions of their government as does the average German worker on their government, or perhaps we should be comparing the average unemployed workers.

    The response of much of the press and most of the conservative leaders seems to be to scapegoat the Greeks and other peripheral peoples and to steadfastly refuse to consider that German actors had a role in the events leading up to the crisis. You would think that Greek criminals broke into German banks and made off with billions of euros. No acknowledgement that, in order for Germany to run a trade surplus others have to run a trade deficit or that my surplus is your deficit. Instead it is all moral framing. Germans run surpluses because they are morally superior and Greeks, Portuguese, Irish, Spanish and Italians run deficits because they are feckless. This is nonsense and surely you should know that. So how can it be justified?  

    This is, I fear, only a step away from the sort of dehumanizing, demeaning and delegitimizing that, in the '30s, proved a prelude to actions that lead to death and destruction. The damage will not be done by German brownshirts, police officers or military this time, but will result in large scale excess deaths due to starvation, hypothermia and illness that are a direct consequence of the actions on which German leaders are insisting.

    The fact that Germans will not literally have blood on their hands and did not specifically decide for specific individuals to die makes little difference to the moral content of the policy, and, to me, makes it no less repugnant. It strikes me as arrogant indifference and disdainful disregard for human suffering and I find it appalling. Again.

    It is the attitudes that lead to condoning inhuman actions that I am comparing, not the political affiliations of the actors.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:43:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "The damage will not be done by German brownshirts, police officers or military this time, but will result in large scale excess deaths due to starvation, hypothermia and illness that are a direct consequence of the actions on which German leaders are insisting."

    Well, the recent history of the West has been one of outsourcing and delocalisation of large parts of activity. That apparently includes the destruction of communities of "others".

    It makes it all the easier to maintain the arrogant indifference. And to somewhat plausibly deny any accusation of sadism.

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

    by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 04:10:35 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ARGeezer:
    Germans will not literally have blood on their hands

    no but the greek riot control troops will, and they -inadvertently, probably- are de facto working for the BB's interests, against those of their own people.

    causing the breakdown of a country to defend the rich of another is a new ball game, or at least a new iteration of an old one...

    "I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman

    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:05:01 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "My comparison was between the response of the majority of the German people in the mid '30s to the actions of the Nazi government to the response of the majority of the German people today to the actions of the current CDU government. The CDU is not fascist, but the actions of its political and financial leadership towards the Greek people are inflicting great harm to which that portion of German society that supports the CDU seems callously indifferent."

    But that is  a comparison. And a cheapening of fascism.  

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:33:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It's a comparison of an attitude of indifference and lack of compassion in the mid `30s and an attitude of indifference and lack of compassion in 2012, yes.

    Nu krieg dich mal'n büschen ein.

    by Katrin on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:39:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Hey, people are committing suicide in Greece. They are giving their children away to social services. You will say I exaggerate, but in 10 years time we'll look back to a debt crisis of Biblical proportions. Literally, as in Nehemiah 5
    3 Others were saying, We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.

    4 Still others were saying, We have had to borrow money to pay the king's tax on our fields and vineyards.

    5 Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our countrymen and though our sons are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others.

    6 When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry.

    7 I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials. I told them, You are exacting usury from your own countrymen! So I called together a large meeting to deal with them

    8 and said: As far as possible, we have bought back our Jewish brothers who were sold to the Gentiles. Now you are selling your brothers, only for them to be sold back to us! They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say.

    9 So I continued, What you are doing is not right. Shouldn't you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies?



    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:45:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Just go on with the demonization. That will help.
    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:49:25 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I'm just (metaphorically) taking a page from David Graeber's book on the anthropology of debt.

    To our modern sensitivity, seeing parents give away their children to social services because they can't pay the bills or are being foreclosed and evicted from their homes is about as morally abhorrent as giving one's children to slavery, which was a common occurrence in ancient times. Back then, there were debt jubilees. This text describes just one of them. The creditors were shamed into agreeing by a moral outrage. The moral outrage then was to cause "countrymen" or "brothers" to be enslaved. The outrage now is the lack of "solidarity". But how far does solidarity extend today? Is there "European solidarity"? I'm sure Greece contributed money to the European disaster fund that was set up after the Elbe floods of 2002. Because of European solidarity. It offends to hear the likes of Jean Claude Juncker to describe the ongoing negotiations of the second Greek "bailout" as "European solidarity" with the addendum that the Greeks still have to show they deserve it.

    For fuck's sake, I'll demonize JC Juncker if I feel like it. I already said he was an idiot in February 2010 and I stand by everything I said in that thread.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:00:42 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    What the else has Graebers book to do with anything? No need for an argument ad hitlerum. bBck in the day, when Aznar compared S. Hussein to Hitler, did you cheer?

    If anything is a genocide , nothing is. Is that so complicated?

    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:09:39 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Oh, it has to do with the fact that he points out the history of debt crises in which moral outrage hinged around things like enslaving your own people to pay for debts. If you want I'll look for his actual quote and his footnote, to see if he was referring to Nehemiah o something else.

    What I'm saying is that it is a moral outrage that European "solidarity" allows what's going on in Greece (and to a lesser extent in Portugal or Spain - but we'll get there).

    Look, I'm 35 years old and I've been a convinced pro-European all my adult life. I'm a hair's breadth away from changing that statement to "I've drunk the European kool-aid".

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:13:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    There are other moral arguments to be made about debt than "debts must be repaid".

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:14:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    That is no justification to use smears and to compare everybody to fascist or fascist supporter. Ia m pretty sure how to make the term fascism meaningless in ten easy steps is not part of Graebers book.
    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:17:42 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    As you know I don't give a damn when you call "Godwin" on me.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:26:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    And I should care about that why?
    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:30:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So we're even.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:32:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Why not? You are arguing in a purely nationalistic way anyway.
    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:19:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Hah.

    I'm attempting to expand the "us" to include all of Europe (at least). Which appears to be a non-starter in this here continent of ours. Despite "solidarity" being in the preamble of the Treaties.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:22:49 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Your us has a sharp border to the north.
    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:31:37 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, the French used to say "l'Afrique commence aux Pyrénées".

    But it was them who said it.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:34:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    When Germany murders, in cold blood, a full percent of the Greek population, then yes, that tends to create very sharp borders.

    And I'll have none of your facile denial that this is a German project, has been a German project from day one, and that Germany and German intellectuals (and I use the term loosely) have been at the forefront of the immiseration of Greece.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 02:40:32 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    >When Germany murders, in cold blood, a full percent of the Greek population,<

    Now that is just a vile fantasy.

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:36:36 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No, that's the Russian experience with the consequences of the policies Germany is foisting on Greece.

    Murdering someone by privatising his tap water and his hospitals kills him just as dead as a bullet to the back of the head, so I fail to see why the former should be considered more acceptable than the latter.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:42:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Jake, will you freaking calm down? Your line of argument is not very helpful, and 100.000 Greeks won't starve to death, jesus. At worst they'll emigrate to Germany and live on the dole, which would have a certain poetic justice to it.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 01:47:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    they cannot get the dole in Germany unless they paid into social security there, so that is not very accurate.
    by stevesim on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 01:55:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I'm sure these is some kind of basic welfare in Germany too, to stop unemployed people from starving to death. I mean, in Sweden we keep paying people, no matter how undeserving they are or even if they are recently immigrated from a country on the other side of the planet.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:03:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    nope.  Schroeder got rid of that.
    by stevesim on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:04:08 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Srsly? o_O

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:07:33 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    there are residency requirements and/or social security payments that have to be made -  I believe at least 6 months of payments, not sure about residency requirements.

    and, the payments have been drastically cut so that people cannot even afford to smoke if they are on benefits and cigarettes in Germany are pretty cheap.

    by stevesim on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:11:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Unless you're suggesting that the Greeks should be applying for asylum in other EU countries.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:21:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Dude, if you cannot support yourself any EU country can deport you back to your country and be within their rights under "free movement" rules.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:20:55 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Really? The Stockholm police did that with Romanian gypsies and got rapped on the fingers.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:24:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I believe I have linked to this on several occasions
    Right of residence for more than three months

    The right of residence for more than three months remains subject to certain conditions. Applicants must:

    • either be engaged in economic activity (on an employed or self-employed basis);
    • or have sufficient resources and sickness insurance to ensure that they do not become a burden on the social services of the host Member State during their stay. The Member States may not specify a minimum amount which they deem sufficient, but they must take account of personal circumstances;
    • or be following vocational training as a student and have sufficient resources and sickness insurance to ensure that they do not become a burden on the social services of the host Member State during their stay;
    • or be a family member of a Union citizen who falls into one of the above categories.

    Residence permits are abolished for Union citizens. However, Member States may require them to register with the competent authorities within a period of not less than three months as from the date of arrival. Proof of registration will be issued immediately on presentation of:

    • an identity card or valid passport;
    • proof that the above conditions are complied with (see Article 9 of the Directive on the proof required for each category of citizen). Union citizens engaged in training must show, by means of a statement or any other means, that they have sufficient resources for themselves and for the members of their families to ensure that they do not become a burden on the social services of the host Member State. This will be sufficient to prove that they comply with the resources condition.

    Family members of Union citizens who are not nationals of a Member State must apply for a residence permit for family members of Union citizens. These permits are valid for five years from their date of issue.

    Under certain conditions the death of the Union citizen, his or her departure from the host Member State, divorce, annulment of marriage or termination of partnership does not affect the right of family members who are not nationals of a Member State to continue residing in the Member State in question.

    It's free movement of workers (if that), not free movement of people.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:38:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    100.000 Greeks won't starve to death, jesus. At worst they'll emigrate to Germany and live on the dole, which would have a certain poetic justice to it.

    a) Not how excess mortality from economic deprivation works.

    b) Just to underscore the serious nature of the policies the Germans (and their friends) are imposing on Greece, you cite mass depopulation as a preferable alternative to the policies currently being implemented. How is that solution any different from the forcible relocation of a conquered population? Except that it's carried out by stealing the victims' hospitals and water, rather than by waving a gun at their face.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:49:28 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    This isn't the 30's, nor is it third world Russia.

    Speaking of population transfers, that's not a bug of the EMU project, it's a feature. Google "optimum currency area".

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

    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:52:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If population transfer at gunpoint is a feature of the EMU, then I want out.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:53:42 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No guns involved. But people got to move where the jobs are. Or they will be unemployed. That's life in a single currency. We see that in Sweden as well, where the inland and the north is being depopulated.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:02:06 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    But we have a bunch of programs and transfers that keeps the depopulation slow and steady.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
    by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:12:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    As has the EU, in the form of those regional support funds.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:19:25 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The policies currently being imposed on Greece are going to involve rather a lot of guns long before it gets to the point of mass depopulation.

    That the guns will be applied to those who do not leave rather than those who do does not make it any less a depopulation at gunpoint.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:16:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I don't know about gunpoint...

    El Pais: La CEOE pide quitar la prestación a quien rechace cualquier oferta de empleo

    Feito ha abogado, además, por abordar cuestiones eludidas como el subsidio de desempleo, que debe ser retirado al beneficiario en cuanto no acepte la primera oferta de empleo. Ha remarcado que en el resto de países europeos es "inconcebible" que los desempleados cobren paro si han recibido una oferta de trabajo. "Como si es en Laponia", ha subrayado. Por otra parte, ha defendido que eliminar puestos de trabajo en las Administraciones no generará más paro, pues liberará fondos públicos para pagar a proveedores y que éstas puedan volver a contratar.
    The [Spanish Business Owner Association] CEOE demands the withdrawal of [unemployment] subsidies from those who reject any job offer
    Feito also advocated to tackle issues evaded [by the recent labour reform] such as the unemployment subsidy, which must be taken away from the beneficiary as soon as they don't accept the first job offer. He stressed that in the rest of European countries it is  "inconceivable" that the unemployed receive payments if they have had a job offer. "Even if it is in Lappland", he underscored. On the other hand, he defended that to eliminate jobs in the public administrations will not generate more unemployment, since it will free up resources to pay providers so that these can rehire.
    Nothing against Lappland per se, you know, but there aren't even jobs for all the Finns there...

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:05:47 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    There are lots of EU states that don't require you to take the first job offer you get. And the employers in all of them say the same damn thing about the others.
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:08:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Also, if you are forced to take such a job under any conditions, are you freely entering into your labour contract?

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:54:54 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Freedom is such a relative notion...
    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 05:40:22 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Has ever a cleaner of toilets signed their labour contract freely, or only because they need the money badly?
    by Katrin on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:15:47 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    However, even if they need the money badly they may be able to reject a particularly bad or inconvenient offer and not lose benefits.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:31:24 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Completely agree with that. I was just pointing at the relativity of the "free will".
    by Katrin on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:37:46 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The point is that the Spanish patrons want to leave none.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:41:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Lappland has an unemployment rate of about 2%. All skilled Greek miners are welcome. Hell, all unqualified Greeks who want to work hard for high salaries and feel like going to one year mining school in Sweden are welcome to Lappland.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:10:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    This might sound ironic but it isn't: Where does one start to find more info on this? I know some younger people who'd jump at the chance if the pay is decent.

    The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
    by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:47:40 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I would guess Starvid refers to this:

    Job Seekers - LKAB

    Work with us

    LKAB will hire 1,200 people over the next three years. That's almost two a day. We're offering exciting career opportunities in 30 companies in 14 different countries! And there are 200 different positions to choose from.

    There may be talk of crisis in Europe and of unrest on the American market, but the reality in Sweden's northern orefields is a bit contradictory. LKAB's new main levels, the build up of extra capacity and the three new mine projects in Svappavaara combined with retirements in large numbers all contribute to our record recruitment needs. We may very soon suffer a lack of manpower resources. We will need an enormously broad skills spectrum ranging from various types of civil engineers and specialist positions as well as mechanics, mine workers and electricians.

    Because LKAB is the dominant mining company.

    Though I have no idea what the 2% number refers to, unemployment in Sweden is mostly calculated on regional basis, placing Lappland in both Norrbotten and Västerbotten, neither having a 2% unemployment or anything close to it.

    It was btw mentioned on the news the other day that Greek workers migration to Sweden has increased significantly.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

    by A swedish kind of death on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 05:29:00 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Not only LKAB, but Northland resources as well. Same for all the associated support companies. Unemployment in Norrbotten is what I referred too. I've read somewhere that the latest unemployment numbers were 2.3%. On top of this, Sweden has a succesful history of labour immigration during the 50's and 60's, mainly from Italy, Hungary and Greece.

    Anyway, here is information (in Swedish!) about the one year study program.

    Job applications should be sent to LKAB, Boliden, Lundin Mining or Dannemora Mineral ("my" mine, yay). A command of Swedish is probably needed, or at worst, excellent English skills. And make no mistake: mining is no more the simple job where you just need big muscles and thick skull. The jobs are about operating very expensive and very heavy machinery, so previous experience of that kind is likely very useful.

    Average pay for a miner who is 25-39 years old is 27900 kronor per month, which is 3000 euros. Foreign labour is sorely needed to combat miner wage inflation and the kinda militant unions. ;)

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

    by Starvid on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:23:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    PS. As mentioned above, not only underground workers are needed, but engineers, mechanics and so on. If you know people who are good at fixing heavy duty diesel engines or electric motors, well, it doesn't hurt at least sending some e-mails.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:44:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Starvid:
    Unemployment in Norrbotten is what I referred too. I've read somewhere that the latest unemployment numbers were 2.3%.

    Svenskt Näringsliv disagrees. 7,8% vs a national average of 7,5% for 2011. The numbers comes from SCB.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

    by A swedish kind of death on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:46:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Well there you go. Possible was unemployment in Kiruna then?

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 05:09:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    That sounds more likely. Kiruna has what, 25000 inhabitants? (And is half the size of Belgium...) So with a boom in the mine and a relocation project that moves the town in order to make way for more mining they should have really low unemployment right now.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
    by A swedish kind of death on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 08:58:56 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    And BTW: "mining school" and similar "hurdles to the opening of professions and entrepreneurship" are now a thing of the past in Greece.  What Munchau said about the "categorical imperative"...

    The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
    by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:54:35 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Swedish, Finnish or Norwegian Lappland?

    Assuming it is Swedish Lappland, you loose benefits in Sweden if you turn down a job offer with a salary that is more then 90% of your unemployment benefits and there is also rules on what counts as a manageble distance (that grows with time). So no.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

    by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:20:59 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You never ever lose Socialbidrag. Not even if you're a drug addict who entirely refuse to cooperate with the authorities.

    "Försörjningsstöd har utgetts till missbrukare för kostnader för bl.a. bostad, trots att han inte följt uppgjord behandlingsplanering enligt Regeringsrättens dom RÅ 2009 ref 103.[3] Missbrukaren anförde i målet att han om han inte fick försörjningsstöd skulle mista sin bostad och "måste driva runt på stan". Det finns en politisk önskan att ingen i Sverige skall tvingas sova utomhus, svälta eller känna sig tvungen att begå brott för att få pengar till mat."

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

    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:27:31 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I was talking about A-kassa.

    But do note that that is a drug addict that is willing and able to appeal his case all the way. Not all druga addicts are.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

    by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:34:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Acceding or refusing medical treatment can't be used as a criterion for punitive measures, though.

    Unless you want to skirt the edge of the Nürnberg Declaration on medical ethics. Which you usually don't want to do.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 05:39:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So, is Canary Islands to Umeå a manageable distance by Swedish standards?

    Because it is for the Spanish CEOE.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:33:04 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You spent much time in Greece?
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:58:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    More than in any other country bar Sweden. But it was a long time ago.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:03:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It's improved, but still reminds me of Ireland 20 years ago. Which is still catching up with the core of ten years ago ...
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:05:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Oh, it's going to get worse than both.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:19:37 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You should rephrase that as "I am arguing in a purely nationalistic way".

    I've never seen Migeru being an apologist for Spain, though I've been around a LOT longer than you.
    Whereas you are here quite happy to give logical seniority to German conventional wisdom over the laws of arithmetics.

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

    by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 04:04:43 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Pulling rank?

    I have never defended german conventional economic wisdom. or shifted the blame to say the US or Spain or whatever other country. I just tend to point out that the global cultural dominance of certain economic dogmas can't be fought by indulging in nationalism.

    I would like to achieve a bit more of a international left. Or at least european left.

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:39:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I have never defended german conventional economic wisdom.

    Bwahahahahahah

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 07:11:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    And that isn't an argument either.
    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 07:24:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Look, I'm 35 years old and I've been a convinced pro-European all my adult life. I'm a hair's breadth away from changing that statement to "I've drunk the European kool-aid".

    Hear fucking hear. Except I'm 26.

    You know, this is the big disaster. Not mass unemployment in a few countries for a few years, or massive bond losses, or Europe looking like a bunch of silly squabbling children to the rest of the world. The big disaster is the destruction of the European dream. Caused, ironically, by a premature project to improve European solidarity and community through a common currency. Remember those days when Nazi arguments in European squabbles were totally totally out of bounds? It was just a few years ago. Can't people remember why Jean Monet et al even started the damn union anymore?

    Maybe the original problem was that the EMU project was invented by people who had experienced the war, and implemented by people who hadn't.

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

    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 01:45:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The problem with the EMU project is that it was conceived by idealists who believed in voodoo economics, and implemented by sadists who believe (or pretend to) in voodoo economics.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:40:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Starvid:
    Look, I'm 35 years old and I've been a convinced pro-European all my adult life. I'm a hair's breadth away from changing that statement to "I've drunk the European kool-aid".

    Hear fucking hear. Except I'm 26.

    yup, me too and i'm 60. destruction of a dream, for the basest of motives. makes me want to scream...

    we had two european generations with remarkable little nationalism outside of football, now the next one will hear murmurs of geno-hatred from the adults rocking their cradles.

    what a freaking waste. just when the eurozone was standing for something new too, worldwide.

    like showing some spine with the pollution tax against airlinss right now. that's the EU i believe in, and am seeing under dire attack.

    next time fix a common fiscal policy before a common currency.

    massive, mortal DUH!

    "I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman

    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 10:14:24 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I'm sure Greece contributed money to the European disaster fund that was set up after the Elbe floods of 2002. Because of European solidarity.

    Oh. Well, I hope the anecdote lightens up the tone again, instead of triggering off something about ungratefulness or so. No the Greeks didn't send money. They sent something worth soandso much. Er, something they could spare.

    Think of it, there were wet people on the roofs in that cold winter and nobody knew what to do with the shipload of raisins from Greece... In the end the raisins were given to the schoolchildren of Hamburg. My husband still remembers them, a big bag of raisins was something poorer children hadn't had before in those times.

    by Katrin on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:16:59 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Well, raisins you only have to grow with your labour and your soil, whereas fiat Euros, well, you have to have all those Central Bankers shit a gold ingot.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:21:32 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Just go on with the demonization. That will help.

    Yes, yes it will.

    Because Greece (and Spain, and Portugal, and Ireland, and Italy) need to wake the fuck up and realise that Germany is not their friend. Germany is not behaving in a friendly manner. And that means that they need to start playing hardball against Germany. Beginning with selectively defaulting on foreign institutions, setting up barriers to German imports to match the German barriers against their imports, and generally behave as self-interested nation-states rather than as members of a political union.

    Germany is destroying the European Union, and you are making bullshit mouth-noises about how the Netherlands and Finland are complicit, as if that makes it OK.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 02:51:30 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The grrek and spanish and irish etc elites want to thank you for your spirited defense of their interests.

    Whatever happened to the "main enemy in the own country"?

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:41:58 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    My country is not in the EMU.

    Of the countries that are in the EMU, Germany is the biggest part of the problem.

    We frequently criticise the neoliberal morons of other countries, but those criticisms are less visible because those neoliberal morons lack such spirited defenders as the German ones have.

    And, again, Germany is the biggest contributor, bar none, to the problem.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:47:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    A more complete response:

    No. I compared my estimate of the apparent response of the majority of Germans to an economic policy that is unjust, punitive and damaging to foreigners to the response of the majority of Germans to Nazi policy towards minorities. Ignoring something monstrous is different from supporting it.

    As to the moral worth of the policies themselves, I feel similarly about the policies of the USA, of which I an a native, towards Latin America, which I find comparable in monstrosity, especially Chile under Allende, Guatemala since 1954, El Salvidor and Honduras, to what the Nazis did, but more insidious, as they are lower in intensity and easier to disguise. And Latin America is only a start.

    I have to live with the knowledge that my country, in my name, is daily committing monstrous acts. At least I am willing to acknowledge what I cannot, yet, change.  

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:49:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Babbling about the american policies versus South america 40 years past doesn't change that your comment is idiotic, vile and enabling.
    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:53:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I am obviously lacking in the ability to compartmentalize.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 04:59:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ...or in the ability to recognise different sets of meaning and connotation. Not an unusual thing, these days.
    by Katrin on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:05:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Perhaps. I do not see these things from the same perspective, obviously, but the fact that the '30s were traumatic for so many, not just the obvious victims, should not make those events a taboo for discussion and even comparison. While specific events today are vastly different, it may be that there are commonalities that are at play, however painful that may be to contemplate.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:52:39 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I am absolutely not advocating to treat them as taboo! I am advocating awareness of the different sets of meaning.
    by Katrin on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:57:28 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I believe you and your down-thread comments certainly support your assertion.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 06:56:48 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Enabling of what, and of whom?

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:02:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    of genocide. of fascism. white-washing and minimizing is enabling.
    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:14:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You know, when you were born Germany had been a democracy for 25 to 30 years and it remains one. But Greece, Spain and Portugal were dictatorships, tolerated by Germany as part of the West (hey, they were in NATO or as close to in it it didn't matter).

    So don't fucking go lecturing people about fascism, okay?

    And apparently there were a lot of Germans who ceased to be fellow travellers as early as the night of long knives, well before the holocaust was in evidence. So not all conparisons to Nazi Germany have to be about the holocaust. You could have chosen to take ARGeezer's argument along those lines.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:19:28 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I am lecturing now. Very funny. And spain was what when you were born? And no, calling the citizens of democratic state supporters of a fascist dictatorship is not inside the bounds of discourse.

    Do really don't see the problem with the misuse of terms like fascism or dictatorship?  

    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:27:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Not that I like to get this personal, I was born the day after Franco died so we didn't have a democratic constitution until I was 3, we had a involutionist coup when I was 5 and a bit, and we were still having domestic terrorism deaths until just about yesterday. You don't happen to have personal memories of the RAF, I suspect. ETA murdered somebody on my street and exploded one car bomb in the neighbourhood of my school.

    Do you want to go on?

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:38:17 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You started this remember?

    And in my lifetime, including ma adult life the RAF was still quite active.

    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:41:20 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    calling the citizens of democratic state supporters of a fascist dictatorship is not inside the bounds of discourse.

    The Greek government is not fascist... yet.

    It will qualify as soon as the elections are postponed, however, as Germany is currently demanding that they are.

    So yes, Merkel's government is supporting a fascist coup in Greece. And 85 % or so of the German population is cheering on them as they do so.

    If you do not see why this is a problem, then you are not a part of the solution.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 02:50:52 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If I would live in your alternative timeline, I would see that as a problem too.

    Happily I don't.

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:44:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    What alternative timeline are you talking about?

    Are you meaning to say that Schäuble has not suggested that the Greek elections should be postponed?

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 06:31:37 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Let's say for arguments sake, that he has suggested that.

    a) are they postponed?

    b) will they be postponed?

    c) wouldn't that be - up to certain time of course - quite legal under the greek constitution?

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 06:38:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So you are denying that he has, in fact, said that?

    And why does Greek compliance or non-compliance with Stasi 2.0's antidemocratic demands make a difference to whether Stasi 2.0 was supporting antidemocratic actions?

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 06:43:21 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I am never dying nor admitting anything in that respect. I don't know. Was that the famous video or are we talking about more official statements.

    To you second question, isn't it quite important to your fascism in greece thesis, if things actually happen?

    And my c), isn't a election until 2013 (or 2014) not necessary anyway?

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 06:49:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    denying.

    I don't make up stories about dying, not even my own.

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 06:51:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You're a joke.

    Greece faces call to put off elections

    EUROZONE finance ministers are considering a German demand for Greece to postpone its national election as a condition of another huge bailout.

    According to diplomats close to the talks, ministers meeting in Brussels tonight to decide on a E130 billion ($159bn) loan package may require a delay to the Greek election due in April so the nation's unelected technocratic government can implement harsher austerity measures.

    Germany's demand, which will strengthen Greek claims the rescue package is undemocratic, is being pressed by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and supported by The Netherlands, Finland and Italy, which, like Greece, is ruled by unelected technocrats.

    Also, this just in from the FT: Greece must default if it wants democracy (by Wolfgang Münchau)
    When Wolfgang Schäuble proposed that Greece should postpone its elections as a condition for further help, I knew that the game would soon be up. We are at the point where success is no longer compatible with democracy. The German finance minister wants to prevent a "wrong" democratic choice. Similar to this is the suggestion to let the elections go ahead, but to have a grand coalition irrespective of the outcome. The eurozone wants to impose its choice of government on Greece - the eurozone's first colony.

    ...

    A senior German official has told me that his preference is to force Greece into an immediate default. I can therefore only make sense of Mr Schäuble's proposal to postpone elections as a targeted provocation intended to illicit an extreme reaction from Athens. If that was the goal, it seems to be working. Karolos Papoulias, the Greek president, fired back at Mr Schäuble's "insults". Evangelos Venizelos, finance minister, said certain elements wanted to push Greece out of the eurozone. Conspiracy theories abound. Hardly a day passes by without a cartoon in the Greek press of Angela Merkel and Mr Schäuble in Nazi uniforms. German MPs expressed outrage at the Greek outrage. Bild, the German mass-market daily, is calling for Greece to be "kicked out" of the eurozone. I shudder at the thought of an act of violence committed against Germans in Greece or Greeks in Germany. This is the kind of conflict that could easily escalate.

    ...

    The German strategy seems to be to make life so unbearable that the Greeks themselves will want to leave the eurozone. Ms Merkel certainly does not want to be caught with a smoking gun in her hand. It is a strategy of assisted suicide, and one that is extremely dangerous and irresponsible.



    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 07:00:31 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The usual speculation and a link to walled content. Of an australian murdoch  newspaper.

    But I have looked it up now and he did say something like what. We will see tomorrow how far that is an official demand and more important, if the election are delayed. If the elections go on as planned, can we then lay the endless babbling about fascism to rest?

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 07:20:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    What, Stasi 2.0 has suddenly taken to making mouth-noises that are not demands?

    And no, we are not going to let you make apologies for Stasi 2.0's support of fascism just because he happens to lose. Because the fact that he happens to lose is not his doing. Support for annulling elections is support for annulling elections, whether elections are held in the end or not.

    And no, supporting the annulment of elections is not an acceptable bargaining ploy either, so don't bother making that particular vapid excuse.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 07:46:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You do know that anulling a election is something quite different?

    I know you are on "was it over when the germans bombed pearl harbour" roll, but still.

    "And no, supporting the annulment of elections is not an acceptable bargaining ploy either, so don't bother making that particular vapid excuse."

    Still makino my arguments in your head?

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 07:51:48 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    And I will lecturing everybody about fascism I want you self appointed expert.
    by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:28:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So not all conparisons to Nazi Germany have to be about the holocaust.

    There are some cultural differences. They are there, don't pretend anything else. Merkel with swastika in a Greek paper is a statement about occupation and lost sovereignty. Germans don't understand that. Here the same picture is understood as an accusation about genocide.  

    It's differences too few people know.

    by Katrin on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:30:49 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    They are there, don't pretend anything else. Merkel with swastika in a Greek paper is a statement about occupation and lost sovereignty.  Germans don't understand that.

    Well, Germans should understand that anti-Nazi resistance nonagenarian heroes are very pissed off. Maybe BILD should point that out to Merkel.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:40:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, maybe. I think it is wiser not to rely on Bild doing it, though. That's why I pointed out that metaphors have different meanings in different cultures, right?
    by Katrin on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:48:34 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    With Merkel's popularity at a high, I think this is all hopeless.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 05:56:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I am not using the word "hopeless" so quickly. But it is awful.
    by Katrin on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 06:00:23 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    As it was in the USA when G W Bush had high ratings after invading Iraq.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 07:58:59 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Good comparison.
    by Katrin on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:30:58 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    There are some cultural differences. They are there, don't pretend anything else. Merkel with swastika in a Greek paper is a statement about occupation and lost sovereignty. Germans don't understand that. Here the same picture is understood as an accusation about genocide.

    If the economic policies she's pushing were implemented throughout the European Union, the number of dead bodies would be similar to the holocaust. The German interpretation of that photoshop may actually be closer to the fact of the matter than the author's intended message.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 02:55:48 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Possibly. That would be irony then.

    It is a matter of communication skills. With these tropes you will definitely get a reaction. If that's all you want, fine. BUT if you have an intended message and want your interlocutor to understand it, I suggest you use something else. Unfair accusations will only drive Merkel's approval rates up, by the way.

    by Katrin on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:40:12 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I guess such communication needs to be more like psychotherapy than rhetoric. Similarly, in the US South, when one points out what seems rather obvious racism the response is a vigorous rally to the color bar. But psychotherapy only works when the subject actually wants to understand what is happening and denial is one of the most powerful psychic defenses and, hence, the most common. When it is overcome it is often by crushing trauma.

    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 Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 01:16:22 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    >If the economic policies she's pushing were implemented throughout the European Union, the number of dead bodies would be similar to the holocaust. <

    Nuts, really nuts.

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:45:24 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    When Russia was subjected to these policies, approximately one million Russians died, of a population of around 100 million.

    The EU has 500 million citizens.

    Do the math. It's not that hard.

    Of course, if Germany, Austria and the Netherlands were exempted, it would only be 2/3 of the holocaust. But we're still in the right ballpark.

    Major industrial depressions are not a fucking game. Get that?

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 05:52:29 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The holocaust wasn't a game either. Nor a cheap rhetoric trick.

    Get that?

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 06:06:24 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If you don't like that comparison, then maybe you should stop defending policies which, were they implemented everywhere they are being pursued, would give rise to seven-figure body counts.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 06:13:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Of course I only defend these policies in your fantasy.

    You really are drunk on your own rhetoric.

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 06:19:47 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So when I point out that the main enemies of Europe are Merkozy, her minions and the nutters in the BuBa, I'm defending neoliberals in the countries that have suffered German protectionist attacks for the last twenty years.

    But when you herpaderp about how unfair it is that I point out the simple fact that the most vocal and most powerful enemies of Europe are all German, then you're not associated with them at all.

    I'll leave it to the reader to judge whether that's a double standard or not.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 06:41:26 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So you "point out" and I "herpaderp".

    Is that supposed to be an argument now?

     And you are defending neoliberal elites all over europe by giving them the convenient excuse that they are underr attack from Germany. I don't excuse anybody. So yes, that is different behavior.

    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 06:59:23 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Derp

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 07:01:57 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Asshole.
    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 07:03:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 07:06:42 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Have I broken you?
    by IM on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 07:24:48 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Heat/light threshold anybody?

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
    by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:52:30 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Take a deep breath and count to ten everybody...

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:06:56 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You don't excuse it, you just flat out deny it.

    I'll leave it to the reader to judge whether that is better or worse than pointing it out.

    And yes, you are herpaderping when you not only make elementary mistakes such as failing to net out cyclical flows in a flow of funds model and stonewall when this obvious newbie mistake is pointed out to you.

    - Jake

    Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

    by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 07:10:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    This comment really flabbergasted me, so I really feel grateful that you posted it. Are you seriously saying that in Germany, today, just like in the irrelevant subarctic backwater of Sweden with it's completely collapsed history education, the dominant view about WW2 is that it was mainly about the Holocaust, with some fighting on the fringes? Christ...

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 01:54:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No, not at all. I am entirely concerned with communication within Europe.
    1. Some Greeks sent a message alluding to World War II.
    2. In Germany a message about the Holocaust arrived.
    3. There was only one message.

    Shit.

    But history education would be another interesting topic.

    by Katrin on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:11:53 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    And apparently there were a lot of Germans who ceased to be fellow travellers as early as the night of long knives...

    Or worse, had to continue to go along with what they knew was evil to protect the very lives of their family, which I understand. When in a moral swamp there is often no moral move to be made. That is what I fear we are approaching as the Global Financial Rip-Off proceeds unchecked, its true essence studiously ignored by most of the media and politicians.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 07:03:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I hate to tell you this, IM, but, when it comes to enabling lawless, authoritarian government, even if it does not fully comply with common definitions of fascism, that horse has long left the barn. It is called Uncle Sam. We have just become more subtle in how we handle dissent and opposition as well as how the financial elite manage the political system. Like the Roman Empire, we cling to the forms of the republic to mask the fact that the substance is history. For that it is the blindness of the vast majority of US citizens that is to blame. Being one of them I have to accept my share.

    The typical US citizen would react to the above statement much like you reacted to my statement. I had and have no intent to facilitate fascism, here, in Germany or anywhere. Pointing out that self-absorbed blindness to the actions of leaders has and can lead to national disasters is different from 'enabling' such developments. Ignoring those actions is 'enabling', and I have to wonder if your response was tactical.

    Neither the Jews, the Germans, the Armenians, the Turks, the North American indigenous people, the USA, Spain or France or any victim or  perpetrator population have a monopoly on genocide or domestic terror. Neither do any in those populations have veto authority on the ability of others to discuss what happened and any parallels that can be drawn to prevent recurrence, and that was the clear intent of my comment. I have Cherokee ancestors who came over the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma, where I was raised through Arkansas to which I have retired.

    It has taken me a lifetime to come to some understanding of how this and other aspects of my society has affected me and, were you to complain that my understanding is highly imperfect I would certainly agree. At least I do try to understand and I don't try to shut down anyone who wants to discuss the subject, which is what you seem to be trying to do.

    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 Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 06:53:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I'm wondering about what comparison you are making. All governments are lawless and authoritarian - the difference is just a matter of degree, but of course, that matter of degree is very important.
    by rootless2 on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 08:02:51 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The comparison here was between the real and the ideal depictions of 'democracy', of which I have a somewhat jaundiced view. To me it cannot exist unless it includes a significant degree of economic democracy, and what little we once had has been under attack in the USA since the '60s. What the USA and Germany both have is a highly managed democracy, the implementation of which Bernays would be proud.
    (I had a much better link to a facsimile copy before my computer was struck by lightning last July.)

    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 Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 12:01:02 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I often see this theory, but I don't really see much evidence. The 1960s started with Jim Crow in full operation and ended in the Nixon era. There was a great deal of freedom for middle class white kids, at least personal freedom, but did the era of Cointelpro and of the Vietnam War had more democracy of any kind than the current era? Was there more "economic democracy" then? How?

    The "left" or what remains of it, seems to me to be crippled by a weird nostalgia for what never was.

    by rootless2 on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 11:31:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    rootless2:
    The "left" or what remains of it, seems to me to be crippled by a weird nostalgia for what never was.

    LOL, you're a master of the trolly red-rag-to-a-bull.

    Why do you care so much about the wheelchair-bound delusionary rump of the scare-quote left?

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 11:45:29 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I note you don't respond to my argument but focus on labeling. But the answer should be obvious: in the 1960s, the social justice movement loosely speaking, could pretty much be identified with the "left". And at that time "the left" actually meant something and really could be seen as a line of thought stretching back to the first and second internationals. Now though we have a "left" line of thought that heralds back to the height of the cold war as a golden age, from which we have fallen through the Powers of Neoliberalism. I find that to be a peculiar, incoherent, and historically confabulated argument. And it seems to me that the "left" has lost touch with a larger social justice movement.
    by rootless2 on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 11:58:29 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    rootless2:
    focus on labeling

    I did so in that comment because you use labelling provocatively. If you only want reponses to your argument, only post your argument.

    To which I reply below, and am to some extent in agreement with you.

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 12:02:36 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The "left" has - same way as the "right" - always been defined from the need to rally a mayority of the political power in order to rule. In Denmark and Norway we have today parties that are called Left - Venstre - as a result of being founded at a time when the defining charactheristica of the left/right divide was related to a) universal and equal voting rights and parliaments power over the executive and b) the abolishment of inherited economic privileges. The scene changed and they ended up on the right, but the party names stayed the same.

    So I would disagree, there never was a coherent line of thought, only worse or better narratives.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

    by A swedish kind of death on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 02:59:59 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    that's true enough, I guess i'm using "left" to refer to  "social democrat to communists" but even that's an uneven track.
    by rootless2 on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:07:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    rootless2:
    The 1960s started with Jim Crow in full operation and ended in the Nixon era.

    The '60s ended with Jim Crow over and done with, and Nixon thrown out of the White House - a couple of details your account left out.

    Did the end of Jim Crow mean economic equality for African-Americans? No.

    Did the end of Nixon mean a definitive step forward for democracy in America? No.

    Was there greater "economic democracy" at that time than now? There was less income and wealth inequality, and the rise in lower incomes gave people the feeling they were part of society and not its garbage.

    Was there more freedom? There were gains in freedom, and not only for middle-class white kids (and not only in America). The Civil Rights movement and radical middle-class white movement gave the impression the world was going to be changed. Was that impression confirmed by events? No. But it's not something that never existed, and neither was it insignificant.

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 12:00:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Aggregate wealth inequality measures are deceptive. For example, do you really want to argue that in the USA there was less wealth inequality before the women's liberation movement and the various equal pay acts?
    by rootless2 on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 12:14:55 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Do I want to go down your chosen rathole? No.
    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 12:32:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It was your claim, not mine.
    by rootless2 on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 03:52:20 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I often see this theory, but I don't really see much evidence.

    I was referring to workplace democracy, which was present in the '60s mostly as an ideal, i.e. the SDS manifesto. This has largely been driven out of the public debate, though some creative companies have seen the competitive advantages and moved in that direction, so, while there are some trade-offs, as a tool to transform society, and especially as a tool that might be reenforced by law and regulation, it has been largely forgotten and is no current threat to 'market discipline'.

    The Civil Rights Act was an important, historic step in the right direction, but not as a tool for economic democracy, certainly after the assassination of MLK. The women's liberation movement gave women options but has done little to close the pay gap and, in fact, the response by business seems to have been: "Oh good! Now we can require the wife to work for 2/3ds to 3/4rs of her husbands wage and thereby put pressure on rising wages." It would not surprise me to find this having been directly discussed by Chamber of Commerce leaders.

    The ideal has largely been forgotten while the implementation of the progressive reforms have been implemented in ways destructive to the original intent but friendly to business, largely due to the influence of business organizations on governments through campaign finance and on public opinion through owned media and 'think tank' propaganda.

    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 Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 10:51:19 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I've long defended the view that drawing parallels with the Nazi period is not fruitful.

    This entire subthread confirms me in that view.

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 06:22:59 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Cool. What periods of history are we allowed draw parallels with? Is there a whitelist or just a blacklist? Is the whole middle of the 20th C out of bounds? Can we discuss the fascist  movements so long as we don't bring up the Nazis?
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 08:10:34 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I was neither prescribing nor proscribing in my comment. I have consistently argued that Nazi parallels are false. I don't see anything in the above subthread that would make me change my mind.

    If you have an enlightening Nazi parallel to share with us, go ahead.

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 08:16:56 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Further now, in the light (???) of the latest sequence of "debate", I am 100% sure I'm right that half-assed rhetoric referring back to the Nazi period is improductive of anything but invective.
    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 01:12:03 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Well, when comparisons of attitudes then and now between people in the same country are so striking I begin to wonder if defensive explosions are a deliberate ploy to deflect valid comparisons. Are we or they to expect that the events of the '30s were so painful that, even in similar economic circumstances today, they could never be repeated, even in small part? If the factors that led to those events have indeed been dealt with then it should be possible to discuss those events rationally. If they have not does that mean that they should be ignored? I am concerned that events similar to the '30s could occur in the USA in the not too distant future.

    Jerome noted recently that a possible solution to the current impasse over possible ECB actions would be for the French to say the Germans were acting like Nazis and they would blink - or not. Perhaps that was tongue in cheek, but it is largely the current French government that is giving Germany cover for its current policies.

    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 Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:20:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ARGeezer:
    Are we or they to expect that the events of the '30s were so painful that, even in similar economic circumstances today, they could never be repeated, even in small part?

    Of course not. And I didn't say that. However, you would have to define "repeated" very carefully. And, having done so, you might find the conclusion was that the parallel was too schematic to fit the real complexities of historical situations.

    ARGeezer:

    If the factors that led to those events have indeed been dealt with then it should be possible to discuss those events rationally.

    If you are ready to write the historical treatise that would adequately cover the ground you propose, I'd be eager to see it. But just making a quick cross-reference between German citizens today and those of the 1930s is not adequate. And the fact that over-reaction to it thinly disguises denial (of today's situation), does not make it so.

    Oh, and pace Colman above, and what I feel is the subtext of your comment, I am not laying down rules or proposing censorship. It has been said again and again here that editors are members of the community who are perfectly within their rights in expressing their opinion. That is what I'm doing (and presumably you and Colman too). The limits to discourse on ET (beyond certain obscure open thread traditions) are explained here and here.

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:24:22 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Actually, I think you're misidentifying the problem.

    The problem is that every damn time we get critical of a specific government (despite cursing the other fuckwit leaders at the same time) the nationalist hackles rise and we get completely irrational defences. The English and Americans when we talk about Anglo disease or Iraq (well, not so much Iraq), the French when we point out how bloody racist mainstream right discourse is and that the left are providing cover for them, the Germans when we point out that their government is batshit insane and has no regard for the consequences of their actions beyond the short term political calculus, the Russians when we're mean about poor little Putin, and so on and so forth.

    The problem with analogies to the events of the early to mid 20th C is that it's lovely cover for  nationalist outrage. "Oooooh, you said Nazi!" It's like a fucking pantomime.  

    However, it's still extremely relevant, both psychologically - those events inform a lot of national myths, not least the Greek - and analytically. We, as a continent, are wandering along the edge of  a deep dark valley again, for much the same reasons and exhibiting a lot of the same philosophies.

    Do I expect a rise of the Nazis? No, don't be silly. However, among the lessons of that period is that is very easy for conceited arrogant fools to enable some very dangerous people to gain power. Wrecking peoples lives and discrediting democracy and shaming their group is extremely dangerous and it's pretty clear that the fuck wits in Germany and the rest of the capitals don't clearly understand this. The outstanding demonstration of how dangerous it is is the rise of Hitler and his band of maniacs. They managed to take over a pretty modern industrialised country because it had been economically ruined by idiots, democracy had been discredited and undermined and because the arrogant fools thought they could control their little monster. We paid a hell of a price to learn that lesson last time. How much will we pay this time, since we've not only forgotten history but can't remember it in order to protect civility?

     It's not the same dark valley, and who knows what's at the bottom of it?

    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 07:04:49 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Diary

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 07:16:54 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Colman:
    It's not the same dark valley, and who knows what's at the bottom of it?

    Right. So diary.

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 07:41:04 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    "the French when we point out how bloody racist mainstream right discourse is"

    I don't know about that Colman, I know quite a few French people here who will defend your claim, not the mainstream right discourse.


    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

    by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:08:19 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I think it's the second part of the phrase that matters.
    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:11:32 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Oh, of course. I possibly should have been clearer that it's not all of any nationality that do it. And sometimes it's the ones who've adopted a country that run off the deep end fastest.
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:39:42 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Since I live in the USA, it goes without saying that I live in a racist society from top to bottom. It's racist toward African-Americans and Latinos.

    In Europe, where I've also lived, it struck me as absurd (being an American) that so much stock is placed in ethnic DNA.

    The prejudices on either continent are different. People of learning find all forms of racism repugnant, so that any mention of the genetic inferiority of African descendants or Native/Aborigines, etc., would be immediately countered.

    Yet, even in polite and learned company in Europe, I find an incredible ease in discussing ethnic differences within Europe. I've always felt uneasy with that ease. It is very common. In the USA, you rarely hear racial insults on the street, but I heard ethnic insults all over Europe. In newspaper columns, for instance, I've often heard the distinction between Ancient Greeks and contemporary ones with columnists pointing out that the Classical Greek bloodline has been so mongrelized that we now have a lesser strain. I shake my head in amusement when I read such things.

    I'm not trying to downplay American racism since I think its unspoken coerciveness is still easily the more virulent when compared to Euro prejudices.

    by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 10:43:27 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Upstate NY:
    In the USA, you rarely hear racial insults on the street

    Spontaneous politeness? Or the fact that a relatively high proportion of passers-by might be armed?

    it's the old joke : what do you call an eight-foot African with a spear?

    It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

    by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 10:55:09 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Could be both.

    Consider, there is a great deal of defensive energy spent battling the racist label. Most racists absolutely abhor being branded racist. Only a few willingly claim it with pride. I think that's the reason racism in the USA is practiced, not enunciated.

    by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:01:59 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    My experience with white Americans (not to generalise! but with a surprisingly big sample of otherwise-OK people) is that they lack empathy with respect to racism. That is : they cultivate a powerful sense of grievance about the supposed advantages handed out to blacks; and any claim of racism on the part of a black will be dismissed as "playing the race card", i.e. they (sincerely, at least in many cases) refuse to believe that blacks encounter discrimination at every turn in everyday life. And they will use this as an excuse for their own functional racism : "Oh we don't want one living next door, not that I have anything against them of course, but they are so full of resentment on race issues, it's sure to create unpleasantness"... Awfully pathological. A real minefield.

    It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
    by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:32:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Reminds me of Robert Jensen's writings on white privilege.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:33:51 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    That is how it works, in my experience.

    I've lived in inner city America from the time I was 4 on except for 3 years in Europe in my 20s.

    Recently, I had dinner with a Korean (woman) and African-American (man) at an Italian restaurant, and the waiter was from NYC by way of the Dominican Rep. The waiter launched into a circus of racial and ethnic stereotypes that had absolutely no one at the table unnerved. It struck me as the kind of easy labeling that an immigrant from the Caribbean to Brooklyn to Buffalo, NY could get away with, the sort of thing I often experienced in Europe. The lack of offense taken came from the power relations between the 4 of us at that table. This is precisely why those who deal in stereotypes have to be aware of the context in which they speak.

    by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:52:20 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You are allowed to draw parallels as you like. May I ask what you are drawing a parallel for? In order to make a point, to deepen a discussion, to make yourself understood? If yes, you ought to bear in mind that parallels with nazism are a source for many misunderstandings, that they are a good method to emotionalise a debate, and that they tend to offend people. If that's what you want...

    One could express the same thing much shorter: drawing parallels with the Nazi period is not fruitful.

    by Katrin on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 08:21:20 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Katrin:
    drawing parallels with the Nazi period is not fruitful.

    this does not make it taboo, just a heavily mined area.

    into which comments such as 'greeks are the new jews' or 'gaza=auschwitz' to chose a couple of facile invented examples would be a guaranteed source of expensive explosions.

    yet neither would surprise me if seen at a protest, against germany's present policies wrt the EU, or at a rally for palestinian rights.

    comments cleverly crafted to really seek insight, with respect to all concerned, should be encouraged, imo.

    these are major historical landmark events and should be deconstructed whenever possible, for the very good reason that we want at all costs to avoid ever smearing humanity with a repetition.

    "I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman

    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:11:22 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    melo:
    these are major historical landmark events and should be deconstructed whenever possible,

    Diary?

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:13:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    this does not make it taboo, just a heavily mined area.

    I can't say I'm seeing many minesweepers around.

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

    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:10:36 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    very tricky gig...70 years is not long to integrate the lessons of such horrors. it is so raw still in the collective memory, most will just not go there, or if they do lose their dispassion.

    another 100 years or so maybe we can safely discuss them without so much flammability in the air.

    "I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman

    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:29:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Nazis can be discussed, it is just then when you draw a parallel with something from Nazi Germany many readers will react as if you draw a parallel with the holocaust. Which is also why parallels with nazis are emotionally powerful and thus tempting.

    If you compare something today with a fascist movement that most readers lack a particular image off (say the Albanian Fascist Party for an audience outside Albania) you are much freer because it lacks pre-existing emotional content, but then again that lack may make it pointless.

    So I would say that drawing parallels with nazis is fine as long as your intention is to draw parallels with the holocaust. Otherwise it is likely that your actual point is lost amid mis-interpretations.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

    by A swedish kind of death on Sun Feb 19th, 2012 at 09:34:59 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So we can't draw parallels because too many people are historically illiterate? Rational man indeed.

    Anyway, the interesting parallels (mainly) aren't in the workings of the fully fledged Nazi state, they're in the rise of that entity.

    Mind you, as discussed above, and given the way history works, it's not entirely unlikely that the current lunacy will eventually manage to produce it's own holocaust(s).

    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 07:10:44 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No, the problem is not historical literacy, it is the emotional content. The Nazi regime, the Holocaust and the second world war is not only a piece of history, it is a story that is the mayor historical emotional reference point - reinforced through gun'n'nazi-movies - that establishes our secular devils and angels.

    Unfortunately for mankind, but fortunately for those who wish to draw historical comparisions, most things the nazis did has been done to a larger or lesser extent somewhere else, so it is only a problem if you either a) don't know any other examples or b) want to draw on the emotional content of evil nazis.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

    by A swedish kind of death on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 07:41:51 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I think the idea is that Germany has had a confrontation with their past, and there's been a national cleansing of sorts, so that any mention of the Nazis (as analogy) seems grossly unfair as it wipes away the postwar confrontation with history.

    But I place much of this discussion on an analysis of certain repercussions that have not yet been dealt with.

    Frankly, I've been shocked at the depiction of Greece and Greeks by the German media and German hierarchy. Given Germany's history vis-a-vis Greece, I did assume Germany would be more chaste in its approach.

    This is what sticks in my craw more than anything: when discussing Greece's history of poverty and defaults on its loans, it's apparently OK to go back centuries and insinuate there is something rotten in Greek genetics or DNA, but with Germany, it's verboten to go back in history to make the same examination. As well, we hear of heeding the dangers of inflation given Germany's pre-war experience, but such references block out the experiences of lesser countries that suffered under the Nazi boot by focalizing events solely through German eyes.

    To sum up: there's a double standard at play in the revision and analysis of history. If you're going to look back, you can't delimit the discussion. It presents a skewed context if you do.

    by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 10:49:54 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Germans have not learned a thing except to be quiet while talking about Jews when there are other people around, and I say that as a German.  
    by stevesim on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:25:20 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Really. Do you really thing present day Germany suffers from e. g. militarism?
    by IM on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:46:37 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    let's face it -  Germans are super arrogant.  

    in a lot of southern vacation spots, they have two areas - one for Germans, and one for the other guests.

    I know scientists who went to do some work in Germany and could not stand the arrogance of the scientists they were working with, who did not have the knowledge or experience of my North American friends but would simply say "We are German, of course we are better scientists".  This, while my friend is a consultant to help them set up their apparatus.

    Germans are super defensive and consider that they should be supreme in all aspects of everything.  For example, in my last job, the Germans would tell me that while I knew American movies,  I did not seem to know German movies so well -  maybe because Germans haven't made such a big impact as Americans have on the field!

    And on, and on, and on.

    They are no longer so military, but their aggressiveness and superiority complex needs to be toned down quite a bit.  They are obnoxious.

    I am, of course, speaking in generalities here and not every German fits into this type, but a LOT of them do.

    by stevesim on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 12:28:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    when I was working for the EU project, there were 2 groups -  the Germans, and everyone else.  The Germans did not mix with the others, despite being invited.  They would go to Germany for lunch from Strasbourg every single day, despite France being known for its good food.

    And as I said, I AM German, speak it and have a German passport.  And I had real problems tolerating them.  

    by stevesim on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 12:35:14 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If anything, they suffer from pacifism.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:13:05 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Some Germans.
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:48:53 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    that goes without saying.
    by stevesim on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 12:28:20 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I don't claim it is fair. But neither is really the role of devilish Germans in the gun'n'nazis version of history that takes Nazi Germany out of context by leaving out the atrocities and genocides various european powers committed in their colonies. Still, it is what it is, mention nazis and many - not limited to Germans - will immediatley jump to the Holocaust. Within a national discourse in a country that was occupied by Nazi Germany I guess the occupation may trumf the Holocaust as primary reference and thus be instead if you mention nazis you better say something about the occupation because that is what your audience will have on their minds.

    The rest of German history is another matter. Blame them for the Latin empire, or imposing that deadbeat German prince who failed to pay his bills and I don't think you will get the same reaction.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

    by A swedish kind of death on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:30:57 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Actually the interesting parallels are in the striking similarity of values shared by the pre-war fascists and the modern corporadoes.

    The Nazis were more extreme and systematic about pursuing their aims, and they did the militaristic jack boots and pantomime thing, which the corporadoes don't do to anything like the same extent.

    But it's desperately naive to believe that just because there are no jack boots and sieg heil salutes the corporadoes aren't inherently fascist and totalitarian.

    It may be a more a sophisticated form of fascism with more indirect violence and abuse. But for anyone who can be bothered to do some basic research, there are obvious similarities between the pre-war fascist doctrine of violence and war as inherently virtuous, and the corporado ethic of 'competition' as an unarguable social good.

    Likewise with the explicit social Darwinism of the Nazis and the implied social Darwinism of the corporadoes, where individuals who cannot be forced into delivering value to the state must be punished - see e.g. the current Tory pogrom against those on disability benefits.

    And so on.

    I think it's more dangerous not to acknowledge the parallels, than it is to flee shrieking from them because they break some imaginary rule about Godwinism.

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 07:46:09 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Not just the fascists. It seems widely forgotten that most of the stuff the fascists picked up was lying around in the conventional wisdom of the time. Eugenics. Nationalism. Racism. Corporatism.

    All of which have happily been purged from the modern union.

    I don't think that calling the modern manifestation of that "fascist" is helpful. It's more the ground fascism and other fun weeds can grow in.

    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 08:22:59 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I don't see the distinction. The fascists took those ideas and tied them together so they could sell them as a political brand, with a sideline in coloured shirt sales.

    But arguably the older colonial European cultures were equally fascist - concentration camps were a British innovation, after all. They simply called it 'patriotism'.

    Now we have a different and more sophisticated brand, which uses financial dictatorship as an excuse for political oppression.

    Financial dictatorship has denuded Africa and swept third world populations into corporate slavery, so I'm not sure it's any less morally acceptable in practice than Nazism was. There are fewer outright wars - more or less - but I'd guess the body count is similar, if perhaps less specifically targeted.

    The one key difference is that the stated reasons for violence are more subtle - in the sense of not really making any sense - and therefore more difficult to challenge directly.

    And if there's any talk of a class - perhaps not a race, not quite - which deserves everything at the expense of the disposable and defective, it never goes far beyond board rooms. (Although from what I hear it's not an unusual sentiment at public schools in the UK.)

    I'd suggest this understatement is a feature and not a bug.

    Really, the Nazis were terribly vulgar, and one doesn't need to be quite that blatant to get what one wants.

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 08:48:33 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I'd guess the body count is similar

    I'd guess it's at least an order of magnitude bigger.

    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 08:50:58 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You appear to be using 'fascist' as a synonym for 'evil'.
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 08:51:49 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No, I'm using fascist as a synonym for a certain kind of politics.

    If I was using it as a synonym for evil I'd be including extra goodies like paedophilia, top-down drug dealing, and certain brands of media ownership.

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:09:43 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    One of the defining characteristics of fascism is the close link between business and the state. In Nazi Germany the state was dominant in that relationship. In some ways it is worse that today business is dominant - so much so that the entire political and regulatory apparatus is little more than an auxilliary to corporate power.

    From the corporate point of view a disadvantage is that any given corporation has to share the control of the political system with other corporations. Hence my analogy of the US being run by a cabal of pirates. But they are all united in their insistance that the government let business be business, especially when business is giving the business to some hapless mere individual.  

    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 Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 01:57:05 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Violence through war and economic and colonial oppression are constants throughout history. What gives "fascism" enough difference that we should want to use the word?
    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:22:33 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It's a not-so-subtle variation on the "Shoah business" card that international Likud has so badly overplayed.

    It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
    by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 10:57:52 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    sorry, that was in reply to this.

    It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
    by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 12:03:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ThatBritGuy:
    Now we have a different and more sophisticated brand, which uses financial dictatorship as an excuse for political oppression.

    The history of the Albanian fascist party might actually be enlightening.

    See, Albania had accepted help form Italy with loans, army training and a central bank located in Italy. Gradually they became totally dependent and when Italy finally invaded - because Albania could not pay their debts - the armed forces with its many italian officers did not even put up a resistance. Then the Albanian fascist party came to power.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

    by A swedish kind of death on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:36:35 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ThatBritGuy:
    I think it's more dangerous not to acknowledge the parallels,

    spot on.

    "I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman

    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 09:04:21 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ThatBritGuy:
    I think it's more dangerous not to acknowledge the parallels

    I think it is ineffective communication to bring up the Nazis.

    Italian fascists, Spanish falangists, the Albanian fascist party and so on contain similar stories and are less likely to immediatley trigger an assocation to the Holocaust.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

    by A swedish kind of death on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:40:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Well to defend some of the rhetoric in Greece, when Greeks say "Nazis" they do not refer to the Holocaust (although that claimed a disproportionate number of Greek Jews), but to generalized horror. Travel to Crete for example, and you will see in inland villages, column after commemorative column with the names of those executed summarily, by the Nazi occupation forces. And these are events within living memory of many. Apart from the actual mass killings, murder and pillage, the German occupation was also indirectly responsible for the last recorded famine in Europe AFAIK, where ~300.000 people starved to death, mostly in the cities. My mother-in-law has childhood memories of the cart that went daily around her neighborhood picking the corpses of those starved to death from the streets and the sidewalks, which then they moved on to bury in unmarked mass graves.

    So when soup-kitchens form around Greece, and thousands of people go homeless as a result of policies widely perceived to be instigated by the German government, it isn't the Shoah people have on their minds when carrying plackards with Merkel in a Nazi uniform.

    The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

    by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:16:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Talos, I know that. Most Germans do not, though. They find these placards very offensive and unfair and in an emotionalised climate it is impossible to speak about it, and about the different meanings of the nazi symbolic. I suspect it explains a bit of the high approval rates for Merkel. I find the German rhetoric and the lazy-Greeks-campaign at least as offensive and I am shocked that the communication can break down so quickly.
    by Katrin on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 06:44:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The show of solidarity around Germany (i.e., i.e.2) helped a lot I can tell you. So did a group of German protesters, protesting outside the German embassy in Athens and getting arrested for it... The thing is, as people are pushed below poverty en masse, Schauble on TV pontificating on how y'all deserve it doesn't help at all...

    The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
    by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 07:05:57 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Maybe the lack of a common language is more important than we care to believe.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 01:32:09 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Well here comes that argument again. When Germans see Nazi references, is the holocaust the first thing they think of? Not WW2? I feel a bit confused.

    Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
    by Starvid on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 05:13:34 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, Germans will understand that as a reference to the Holocaust, which is why they find the current produce of Greek cartoonists so unfair.
    by Katrin on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 06:22:08 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    But you can't really separate the two. Without the war the holocaust is hard to imagine. Even the action T4, that is the killing of mentally handicapped, started at the beginning of the war. It is easier to justify all sorts of killing when organized killing has started anyway, to hide a heap of corpses with a heap of corpses.

    Quite apart from the facts, in the consciousness in Germany the Second World War is the holocaust and then the eastern front in the Soviet union. It is a bit as if you would ask if the americans remember slavery and not the civil war.  

    Anyway I was very much not talking about any protest signs in Greece but about comparisons partly to the nationalsocialistic dictatorship, partly explicit to the holocaust right here on this blog.

    by IM on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 08:50:13 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The holocaust would have been unthinkable without the war, but you can't reverse the statement.

    You have read Talos's post above (btw, I have been to Crete, and I have seen impressive memorials there). It's not only Greece: many Europeans connote "occupation and starvation" rather than "holocaust" when they make a nazi reference. They think they can make themselves understood that way.

    Germans connote "holocaust" before other concepts. They too think that everyone connotes in the same way.

    by Katrin on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 09:06:21 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    here in rural italy there are people who remember and still talk about how cruel the nazis were.

    perhaps that cruelty was par for the course for most any invading/occupying war machine, while the holocaust was novel, in its sheer scale and industrial efficiency, so that's why people in germany blow off any other parts as just normal behaviour during wartime. all armies are perceived as more or less inhumane after all. no saints on the battlefield...

    ethnic cleansing is as old as time, whereas the holocaust was organised genocide on an historically unsurpassed level.

    "I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman

    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 11:41:15 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I think that aside from the Holocaust, the other pillar of Nazi horror is that it brought to Europe practices and methods used till then by Europeans against Third World colonies and darker skinned folks. I note that a decade after the war, the UK didn't have a problem with large scale concentration camps and a massive military operations affecting non-combatants, including starving them, as long as it was in Kenya...

    The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
    by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 12:39:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    excellent, under-appreciated point...

    "I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman
    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 04:16:05 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, I understand that. And I don't really have a problem with rethoric in Greece, as I wrote elsewhere:

    A swedish kind of death:

    Within a national discourse in a country that was occupied by Nazi Germany I guess the occupation may trumf the Holocaust as primary reference and thus be instead if you mention nazis you better say something about the occupation because that is what your audience will have on their minds.

    Of course, when this get quoted in Germany, the perceived meaning shifts. But then again media in Germany has showed little willigness to understand the situation in Greece at all, so anything said in Greece is likely to be misunderstood by the general public in Germany after the German media has interpreted it.

    What I am primarily concerned about in this discussion, is communication on this site. And here, I think it is important to notice that a lot of people (not at all limited to Germans) read nazis as a reference to the Holocaust and thus it becomes ineffective communication (or at least communication with a high probability of being ineffective) if you want to highlight something using, lets say Nazi sports policies.

    A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

    by A swedish kind of death on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 04:18:48 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    On this site it then should be a little easier to establish that many non-Germans find collective, exemplary punishment, such as killing all of the inhabitants of a village from which a few killed a German soldier or engaged in other hostile action, when used as a policy, to be almost as monstrous as the holocaust. And, in fact, these were subjects that were partly dealt with at Nuremberg, (and that precedent still haunts US actions.)  

    Such collective punishments happened in Greece, in Belgium and elsewhere. This attitude is in spite of the fact that the countries from which they come have committed and continue to commit similar atrocities, even if the memory has been suppressed and/or the PR handled much better. The Nuremberg precedent and the UN Charter of Universal Human Rights are a high point when most of the world agreed to a higher standard of behavior. It is being eroded and that erosion needs to be opposed.

    I would hate to hold up the USA as an example of proper behavior, given such incidents as the infamous helicopter press slaughter in Baghdad and the  slaughter of witnesses to atrocity in Iraq by US soldiers, but, at least, this is not official policy.  The regular troops get themselves involved in trying to execute plans in virtually impossible situations and take their frustrations out on civilians, but I  blame the leadership, right up to the President, more than the troops for such occurrences. I do not hold Germany to any higher standard than I hold my own government.

    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 Feb 22nd, 2012 at 03:34:28 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The way unit labor costs over the whole economy are defined they are pretty much a factor times the percentage of labor income over GDP. So demanding that ulc drop to retain competitiveness as a global imperative, is tantamount to demanding even greater income inequality, globally. Which is of course the point of this whole rhetorical exercise...

    The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
    by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 10:49:57 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Wage suppression is retarded, stupid, idiotic, moronic, inane and does not work.

    In the short run, it does work as long as you suppress the wages through currency devaluation. In the long run you don't even need devaluation for it to work. But in the long run...

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

    by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 01:29:24 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    as long as you suppress the wages through currency devaluation

    Well, in a currency union you have to find something else that works. Such as transfer payments.

    tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:26:32 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Starvid:
    Wage suppression is retarded, stupid, idiotic, moronic, inane and does not work.

    In the short run, it does work

    reminds me of war...

    both need heroic levels of social obedience. 'king & country' have morphed into 'deutschebank and goldman sachs'. as secular democracy is where state and church are brightlined apart, what is the word for a democracy that similarly firewalls financial 'orchestration' from legislature?

    money is religion, after all... both promise heaven tomorrow and deliver hell today, (for the 99%).

    "I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman

    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 10:32:21 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

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