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Why? To kill social democracy - not the parties they are killing themselves, but the institutional framework they left, one state at the time. And to empower ECB to kill even more.

My impression is that they are done with Greece for now, so it is Spain and Portugals turn.

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 Apr 1st, 2012 at 03:01:31 PM EST
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That would satisfy Upstate NY's requirement for 'despicable'. Sort of makes the Bush 43 deliberate effort to drive out the inhabitants of the Lower 9th, et cetera, in New Orleans because they voted disproportionately Democratic, thereby improving the chances of the Republicans carrying Louisiana, pale in comparison. Where do such policies morph into 'crimes against humanity'? Apparently in another universe.

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 Apr 1st, 2012 at 03:42:37 PM EST
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Presseurop: Draghi buries European social model (27 February 2012)
"The European social model has already gone". Never has a central banker spoken with such brutality about the ongoing crisis. The remarks made by Italian Mario Draghi who has succeeded Jean-Claude Trichet at the head of the ECB, in a long interview with the Wall Street Journal on Friday 24 February, are so overwhelming in their implications that they probably could not have been published elsewhere than in the newspaper revered as the "bible" of global finance. Even Jean-Claude Trichet chose his words more carefully when attempting to explain what the future holds for the peoples of Europe.

For Mario Draghi, a former Goldman Sachs banker who now commands the fate of Europe's single currency, the bid to save the euro will come at a high cost. Specifically, there will be "no escape" from tough austerity measures in all of the over-indebted countries; and this will necessarily involve giving up a social model based on job security and generous safety nets.

The model that provided the basis for European prosperity since the Second World War "has gone," argues Mario Draghi who reminds the WSJ journalist that the situation described in the famous quote from German economist Rudi Dornbusch - "the Europeans are so rich they can afford to pay everybody for not working" - no longer applies.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 1st, 2012 at 07:45:29 PM EST
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"the Europeans are so rich they can afford to pay everybody for not working"

Or for working. Not only are both statements true, but they offer the way out of the present crisis - but for the destructive beliefs clung to by >90% of Europeans - and not just them. If the statement no longer applies that is entirely a political statement, not an economic requirement.

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 Apr 1st, 2012 at 09:17:41 PM EST
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For an example see Randall Wray's ongoing series on his job guarantee plan.  The USA is spending much more than the cost of such a program just for the Afghanistan War, even without deducting the costs of existing programs, such as unemployment insurance and welfare. See blogs 42 - 44.

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 Apr 2nd, 2012 at 02:39:43 PM EST
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Holy shit, this is golden: MMP Blog #42: Introduction to the Job Guarantee or Employer of Last Resort (18 March, 2012)
I think that once the program is fully understood the only opponents will be those who enjoy seeing others unemployed. As I have argued, we cannot rule out cruelty. It is part of the human condition. So I do understand that some people like to witness the suffering of others--those they consider to be "undeserving". Cruelty will always exist. But we should never let the cruelest people in our society dictate public policy.

As readers will recall, J.M. Keynes recommended directing cruelty toward management of balance sheets rather than toward tyrannizing fellow humans:

There are valuable human activities which require the motive of money-making and the environment of private wealth-ownership for their full fruition. Moreover, dangerous human proclivities can be canalised into comparatively harmless channels by the existence of opportunities for money-making and private wealth, which, if they cannot be satisfied in this way, may find their outlet in cruelty, the reckless pursuit of personal power and authority, and other forms of self-aggrandisement. It is better that a man should tyrannise over his bank balance than over his fellow-citizens; and whilst the former is sometimes denounced as being but a means to the latter, sometimes at least it is an alternative. (GT Ch 24)
And as recent research demonstrates, we have created a sector of the economy that specializes in employing such people:
Studies conducted by Canadian forensic psychologist Robert Hare indicate that about 1 percent of the general population can be categorized as psychopathic, but the prevalence rate in the financial services industry is 10 percent. And Christopher Bayer believes, based on his experience, that the rate is higher. Bayer is a well-known psychologist who provides therapy to Wall Street traders. The type of psychopath the author is writing about is characterized by compulsive gambling.  And the Wall Street psychopath doesn't necessarily show up to his or her first day of work in this condition.  These "financial psychopaths" generally lack empathy and interest in what other people feel or think. At the same time, they display an abundance of charm, charisma, intelligence, credentials, an unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation, and a drive for thrill seeking. A financial psychopath can present as a perfect well-rounded job candidate, CEO, manager, co-worker, and team member because their destructive characteristics are practically invisible. They flourish in fast-paced industries and are experts in taking advantage of company systems and processes as well as exploiting communication weaknesses and promoting interpersonal conflicts. Unfortunately-writes the author-the best candidates for many Wall Street jobs exhibit the traits of a financial psychopath. http://www.businessinsider.com/wall-street-psychopaths-2012-2#ixzz1oFcrIIq0
I think Keynes might have under-appreciated the damage such psychopaths on Wall Street can do to our economy. In any case, we should not let the cruelty of these psychopaths prevent us from pursuing sensible programs, such as full employment for anyone who wants to work.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 3rd, 2012 at 04:40:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wray closes this post as follows:

Let me close with a long quote from J.M. Keynes, among my favorite quotes from him:

   The Conservative belief that there is some law of nature which prevents men from being employed, that it is `rash' to employ men, and that it is financially `sound' to maintain a tenth of the population in idleness for an indefinite period, is crazily improbable - the sort of thing which no man could believe who had not had his head fuddled with nonsense for years and years.

    The objections which are raised are mostly not the objections of experience or of practical men. They are based on highly abstract theories - venerable, academic inventions, half misunderstood by those who are applying them today, and based on assumptions which are contrary to the facts . . .

    Our main task, therefore, will be to confirm the reader's instinct that what seems sensible is sensible, and what seems nonsense is nonsense. We shall try to show him that the conclusion, that if new forms of employment are offered more men will be employed, is as obvious as it sounds and contains no hidden snags; that to set unemployed men to work on useful tasks does what it appears to do, namely, increases the national wealth; and that the notion, that we shall, for intricate reasons, ruin ourselves financially if we use this means to increase our well-being, is what it looks like - a bogy.



While Keynesian 'sensibility' was influential for about three decades it has been back to nonsense since the '70s.

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 Apr 3rd, 2012 at 11:01:43 AM EST
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Here's the whole list of L Randall Wray's posts on the Job Guarantee:


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 3rd, 2012 at 11:30:46 AM EST
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La diferencia socialdemócrata | Opinión | EL PAÍSThe Social Democrat difference | Opinion | El Pais
Jordi Sevilla 30 MAR 2012Jordi Sevilla 30 March 2012
La diferencia socialdemócrata debe hacer compatible la propiedad privada y la superioridad técnica del mercado, con la defensa del Estado y el cumplimiento de otros objetivos de responsabilidad social corporativa.The Social Democratic difference must make compatible private property and the technical superiority of the market with the defence of the State and the fulfilment of other objectives of corporate social responsibility.
......
Jordi Sevilla fue ministro socialista de 2004 a 2007. Acaba de publicar `Para qué sirve hoy la política. Una democracia para escépticos'.Jordi Sevilla was socialist minister from 1004 to 1007. He just publihsed `What politics is for. A democracy for sceptics'.

And this, my friends, if why the parties are killing themselves.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 1st, 2012 at 05:22:40 PM EST
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Euractiv: Delors points the finger at Europe's 'killers' (29 March 2012)
Delors made these statements in the European Parliament, where he gave his backing to an appeal "For a European Socialist Alternative", which he said represented "an offensive of Social Democracy in the broader sense".

...

Delors, who called the European Parliament's Socialist and Democrat group members who hosted the meeting his "comrades", said the current EU was "the reverse" of what he tried to achieve in the 1980s and '90s. Social dialogue and the community method are on the decline, he warned, and are being replaced by a surge of individualism and inter-governmental solutions, promoted by the conservatives.

Solidarity on the decline

"I regret to say today that social dialogue is absent. And why does this upset me? Not because it's the opposite of what I was trying to do, but because the dialogue is together with the parliamentary system, a cornerstone of democracy," he said.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 10:20:51 AM EST
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This is still absent from French media.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 10:43:07 AM EST
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I'm shocked:
Among the EU's national leaders, he pointed the finger at French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

...

He briefly referred to Sarkozy, accusing him of trying to "reassure" the French people by telling them that intergovernmentalism in Europe was the rule, as if "Europe could be French".

...

"Whatever the challenges of Schengen, and they largely come from Sarkozy, would there ever be Schengen countries if a few countries did not try to do it?" he said, referring to French president's electoral speech, which called for radically changing the way the Union manages its common borders.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 10:48:11 AM EST
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My impression is that they are done with Greece for now, so it is Spain and Portugals turn.

Very true. But, you don't really see Portugal being bashed or pressured much. They are the "good students". They even have their second rescue package pre-approved. Spain will pay for not being super obedient until they cry uncle.

by Euroliberal on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 02:55:08 PM EST
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I think something else is up. I think they know Portugal is teetering.

That's why the kind of shenanigans that got Greece/Goldman Sachs in trouble is being overlooked in Portugal.

Plus, Barroso!

http://seekingalpha.com/article/428631-portugal-gradually-shuffles-its-way-towards-the-front-of-the- debt-queue

According to the Troika calculations Portugal had sovereign debt of 102.7% of GDP in 2011, and a budget deficit of 5.9% broadly in line with the target laid down in its bailout package. Yet, despite the fact that the Portuguese reform programme was recently described by the WSJ (following the lead of the IMF) as being on track, the deficit numbers were, in fact, only saved by a last minute scramble which involved transferring funds (5.6 billion euros or 1.9% of GDP) from the banking-sector pension system to the government social security one, in order to achieve what the IMF consider a short term accounting benefit. There were also questions raised as to whether this was not "short term gain for long term pain" in another sense, since the government has also to assume future liabilities for bank pensions, and several experts have queried whether these liabilities were transferred on a "fair value" basis, or whether indeed some sort of disguised longer term (in the short term the bank balance sheets take a hit) subsidy to the banking system was not in fact indirectly provided.

In their second review of the programme (published in December) the IMF said the following: "Staff questions both the timing of the transfer and the appropriateness of in effect using an accounting technique to mask the true fiscal position". That is to say the Fund has a double role here - to talk the efforts of the Portuguese administration up before the world's press, and to try and keep the politicians in line in the background.

by Upstate NY on Tue Apr 3rd, 2012 at 12:49:51 PM EST
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