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Nationalisation is not a solution

by Martin Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 08:52:24 PM EST

Instead of muddling lots of comments in the ongoing (?) discussions in the 'Nationalisation is the solution diary, I will write here in a more consistent text'

How does it come, that anybody thinks, there should be a nationalisation? Some people argue, that the banks fail to do their job to lend money out. After nationalisation, the gov't could force the banks to resume lending.
But how are those banks gonna do that? Are the patterns of lending, in which they engaged in the past really what we want them to do in the future?

I think NO.

Read more... (20 comments, 1285 words in story)

The Basic Income - A solution for the European Union's imbalances?

by Martin Mon Oct 6th, 2008 at 03:06:14 PM EST

In this diary I want to discuss some aspects of the basic income, and how I think, it could help the EU.

The (uncondition) basic income is just that. Everybody gets amount X without any strings attached. The main advantages of an EU wide basic income are I see are

  • reduction of bureaucracy
  • automatic compensation of imbalances in Europe
  • high level of subsidiarity and transparency
  • high level of individual freedom
  • allows higher taxes on environment damaging substances, without harming poor people disproportionatly

Read more... (54 comments, 884 words in story)

Wrong moral hazard focus on stock holders

by Martin Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:27:29 PM EST

In the discussion about rescue plans for the financial crisis, there is quite some focus on not producing moral hazard by buying out stockholders, but there are other stakeholders, who can make dumb decisions, on which there is no focus.

Read more... (9 comments, 256 words in story)

Myths in America about Europe

by Martin Tue Sep 9th, 2008 at 09:17:31 PM EST

In one of Jerome's diarys on daily kos, the comments drifted to the question, if a political system needs some kind of competition to keep the elite responsible, in a way the USSR was a competitor to the western political course.

When I suggested, that for the US todays Europe is sufficiently different to take a role as competitor, I got a response, which was interesting, despite the it didn't get any mojo so far. Actually I didn't say Europe, but mentioned the Rhenish countries and Scandinavia, for not having to deal with UK and Italy, of which I indeed think they have some problems.

Interesting, because it probably portrays the view of quite a number of non-left Americans about Europe, and may explain, why Americans don't want to follow our way of live. The comment said


  • We are more bankrupt than the USA

  • Our population is shrinking

  • Our growth has consistently underperformed that of the USA

  • Our jobless rate is higher

  • We are sick of socialism and want to become like the USA


Well the last point wasn't said literally, but it was implied as you will see below the fold.

Of course anybody reading ET knows, that Europe.Is.Doomed, but as it happens my European patriotism has triggered me to introduce some real word factoids into the debate, which you can find below the fold. For having an easy handle on statistics and having made a compromise beween the countries I mentioned and the responder, who used the term 'Europe', I took the EUROZONE data to argue the case, for which a lot of data is available at the ECB. Of course compared with Europe, the Eurozone is cherry picking, because it doesn't include 'New Europe', but the reasons for Poland, Hungary or Slovakia to be behind in some statistics, obviously may have other reasons than the current govt's socialism.

Read more... (99 comments, 2413 words in story)

The ARD Putin "censorship scandal"

by Martin Mon Sep 8th, 2008 at 03:46:23 PM EST

On 30 August, an interview by Thomas Roth with Vladimir Putin was broadcast by the ARD, the most important public television in Germany.

The reaction to the broadcast was the most feverish outrage in the small blogosphere of Germany which the country so far has seen, and even triggered a response from the mighty media giant.

However, the more calm voices, with which I agree, think more along the lines of this blog entry: "Sturm auf die Bastille - oder im Wasserglas?" (Storm on the bastille [for ignorant people, this was the start of the French revolution] - or in a glass of water [which is a German idiom to describe, that nothing relevant at all happend]).

The interesting aspect therefore IMHO is, how strong the reaction was.

Read more... (19 comments, 1218 words in story)

Not to be read by Americans!!!!

by Martin Fri Sep 5th, 2008 at 06:01:52 PM EST

This is something I had already longer in mind, but the fact, that the only not completely insane speaches at the republican convention were about McCain's status as POW and the recent discussion initiated by Maryscott OConnor,  trigger the decision to write this:

I do not at all think military service per se something which is honourable.

Read more... (118 comments, 426 words in story)

Contradicting the 'West' bashing

by Martin Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 04:13:12 PM EST

I have to strongly disagree with several diaries and comments, both posted here in ET (e.g. The Ruskies are back. Praise the Lord!) or at dkos in Jerome's most recent diary.

The narrative is, that the Western press would unanimously condemn Russia and generally ascribe Putin as  'evil' compared to the 'good' west.

For the beginning I want to start with translation of an article from the pro-atlantic, conservative German newspaper FAZ, which was earlier this day on their online front page at the top:
Zerwürfnis in der Nato
Politik des leeren Stuhls

Read more... (42 comments, 2649 words in story)

Translate the press: Fricke has a suggestion for economy and climate

by Martin Sat Jul 26th, 2008 at 07:54:23 PM EST

Thomas Fricke has a new article in the FTD, which by the way stands for Financial Times Deutschland and is owned by the well known FT.

He comes up with a typical American suggestion, how to rescue the economy, and less usual, the environment at the same time. While the article is targeted on Germany, the basic idea may work for Spain, Ireland or so in the same way.

I personally am not convinced, that this is so great, but maybe some of you think it is a reasonable short term thing.
As well I don't think it will be implemented, as the current gov is completely fixed on balancing the budget, and won't do anything like this.

Read more... (4 comments, 2857 words in story)

Blogging and politics in Germany - bits of a Spiegel article

by Martin Mon Jul 21st, 2008 at 10:57:41 PM EST


German online writer have found a problem: themselves. In comparison to their US collegues, they lack power and importance, for having a say in the public discussion. Most are unpolitical, self-opinated, self-centered, and unprofessional.

That's the start of an article today on spiegel.

The diary consists of a rush translation of some exerpts, as I think the individual bloggers that do exist are not too important, and I add some of my thoughts.

As the general theme of the article conincedes with my personal experience, in the comment section I would as well like to ask about the experience with political blogs in your country.

Read more... (24 comments, 1237 words in story)

Salon socialism on ET. A provocation

by Martin Thu May 15th, 2008 at 07:47:35 PM EST

All the time people here who have otherwise a very left rhethoric speak about the rescue of the 'middle class', and how great Europe is.
When I read German blogs and comments, left leaning people may speak sometimes as well of the middle class, but never will say anything is good in Germany. How comes this discrepancy?
My provocative thesis here: ETers are to a big chunk salon socialists.

Read more... (291 comments, 1305 words in story)

"Der US-Datenglaube wird teuer" / statistics fraud

by Martin Tue May 13th, 2008 at 08:19:34 AM EST

From FTD:
(The link is in German, here a free translation of this funny piece)
Productivity growth in the US is 3.2%. The consumer deflator growths only slightly faster than than in the Eurozone, despite the dollar collapse. At the same time car sales and home building starts are lower than 30 years ago. Nobody asks why there is this discrepancy. A mistake.

Read more... (14 comments, 623 words in story)

Can particle physics at the LHC have a practical purpose?

by Martin Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 07:48:13 PM EST

The LHC, the Large Hadron Collider is the next project of collider particle physics which will be switched on. The multi billion Euro machine has already helped practical purposes in various ways, e.g. due to the development of huge superconducting magnets, the efforts to create a computing grid, and the research on silicon pixel detectors among many other things. The analysis will help young physicists to learn statistics in a well suited environment. The CERN, the laboratory where the LHC is build, has a unique history anyhow. In the cold war meetings on neutral ground took place and politically hunted physicists could be freed when getting publicity through their former work at CERN. The most important issue CERN does, however, is proving the superiority the European model as reliable partner in scientific international projects.

But can the physics there do anything useful?

Going back to my origins... - Diary rescue by Migeru

Read more... (125 comments, 519 words in story)

How a conservative platform should look like

by Martin Sun Feb 24th, 2008 at 10:22:39 AM EST

I have several times claimed to be politically conservative and that I'm unsatisfied with the current politics, which others on this blog assume to be very conservative. Due to this it came up the question what I understand as conservatism.
The most important issue for what I understand under conservatism is the question of political loyalty distribution. Conservatism means a declining loyalty starting with individuum, family, region, country, (Europe), world. Social-democrats clearly have different order and put start with groups I wouldn't put at all in such a line.

Diary Rescue by Migeru

Read more... (54 comments, 3818 words in story)

News and Views

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Your take on this week's news

 11 - 17 June 2018

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Your take on this week's news

 June Open Thread

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Whatever thread you make makes you. Thread wisely.

 May Open Thread

by Bjinse - May 14, 14 comments

If you would thread something, you must be something

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