Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Vassillis asks: Maybe a useful fact to consider is: what hope for his future does a poor in France have and what one in America?

Following the postulates of the EU and the Member States the future for the poor should be golden.

Here is why: Are we not telling everbody that the EU is a world peace power, are we not proud that we are the biggest contributers to foreign external aid programs, are we not pointing towards the insane high amount of money spend by the US on its military?

Well, it is time to get serious then.

We all know that our wealth in the EU is 1000 trillion euros higher than the US GDP of 11.6 trillion USD. Now, if we really wanted to put our money where our mouth is, we would just have to spend as much money as the US spends on its military on EU peace programs.

That is 450 bn euros per annum.

With that money spend on decedent housing, education, transport infrastructure you create 9.000.000 direct new 50.000 euros jobs immediately. Which will create another indirect 3.000.000 new jobs in the second year. We do that for a period of ten years. After three years we will have full employment. People will live in decent appartments, have good paying jobs, kids will go to nice schools - everywhere.

And: We will have to spend only a fraction of today's cost of unemployment.

Ok, that's all. We want to be the world's peace superpower, erase unemployment and poverty? It is easy to do it. Very easy. We can start tomorrow.


"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Sun Nov 6th, 2005 at 01:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops, should read 1000 bn not 1000 tr.

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819
by Ritter on Sun Nov 6th, 2005 at 01:14:55 PM EST
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I would love to see this happen...but it will take will.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sun Nov 6th, 2005 at 01:43:38 PM EST
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If only the economy worked in the way you described.. There would be no problems left, sure, but we're still far from it, really far. You cannot just take an amount of billions of euros, divide it with the number of people you want to get employed, and come up with their annual salaries.

And aren't these projects really going to cost us a single dime? You suggested to "spend on decedent housing, education, transport infrastructure". Let's assume that all this is doable, even if I'm more than doubtful about that--since we're talking as if Europe was the most underdeveloped region of the planet, so thatit needs 450 bn, that's BILLIONS, of euros spent on infrastructure building. You found out that 450bns spent on that, would create 9 million 50,000 euros jobs. That's a bit ingenuous, isn't it? If you just pay the workers with the 450 billions, where are the raw materials going to come from? Who's gonna pay for that? Who is going to pay for everything else included in this huge project, except than the labor costs, that according to your statistics would be just about 450 billions? What if the total cost doubled, or tribled?

To begin with, what does "We all know that our wealth in the EU is 1000 trillion euros higher than the US GDP of 11.6 trillion USD" really mean? Are we talking about countries with same population? Wouldn't it be much wiser to talk about per capita GDP than simply, GDP?

And even if you had the numbers right, where exactly should Europe get this kind of money from? Subtract it from its military budget? I'm not that sure, that EU has such a high military budget, but let's assume that it is up to 450 billions, and we'll cancel it alLtogether, just to implement your imagined projects. Will this not account for new unemployment? Who's going to pay for all the people employed in the military business who will lose their jobs, from simple soldiers to high-rank officials and military industry workers?

And even if there was such an (unrealistic) possibility of totally cutting off Europe's military budget in order to finance you job-creation plans without job losses elsewhere, are we that convinced that we'd like a European Union without military at all? I, as a European, feel really ashamed of our failure to protect 7,000 innocent victims in Srebrenica, for example, and many people argue that the reason for that was that the military employed there was not strong and organised well enough. Would it be moral to let this happen lots of times again in the future, just to employ people in infrastructure-building projects that would cost a huge sum of money?

by vassilis on Sun Nov 6th, 2005 at 06:02:24 PM EST
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Oops, I'm wrong now :) My third paragraph -to begin with..- should be second. And the second one should be first...

Mis apologias

by vassilis on Sun Nov 6th, 2005 at 06:10:05 PM EST
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Damn! And the second should be third I meant to write! I need an "edit" feature, desperately..
by vassilis on Sun Nov 6th, 2005 at 06:12:29 PM EST
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There are 450.000.000 EU citizens in the 25 Member States. That means that if the European Central Bank  supplied the EU Commission with 450 bn euros at 3% interests it would put every single person just 1000 euros in debt. That's peanuts, if you look at the individual savings rate, which stands for the German citizenry alone at 5.500 bn euros. Now lets assume that overall programme costs are divided by a ratio of 60% for planning, administration, intellectual property, labour cost and 40% for hardware, machines, material, transport you would create 9.000.000 jobs which earn 30.000 euros p.a.. Actually it would be more than that because the state governments would save easily tens of bn euros on (then obsolete) welfare payments and have tens of bn of additional tax revenues. It would also create 3.000.000 additional secondary jobs, which also contribute to state taxes. Sure we would break the self imposed 3% limit of the stability pact. But how much value has a 'stability" pact, which - as we see - creates social explosions in the form of angry kids who throw molotov cocktails into schools and kindergardens?

We need to kick start the internal consumption in the EU Member States. And fast. It doesn't make any sense to export cars and accept US federal bonds in exchange for it. These bonds are useless, because they are used to finance projects which are in opposition to our interest (see US military spending, Congress appropriations for the war in Iraq, etc.pp.).

Why should we finance the debt of the US, when we could use the same amount of money to finance our consumption and debt at home? It would be more beneficial if we used it to create jobs in Europe.

Now, a stronger EU economy would clearly attract even more foreign investments (more jobs), we could raise our imports from third world countries (more jobs), which would again further strengthen our currency, and even more foreign central banks would keep even more euro denominated reserves (cheaper money for us, lower interest rates, and huge windfall profits for the ECB).

It is easy, really. We just have to do it and forget about bickering about trivia like the CAP. We need a European Development Programme which is worth the name of it. And - obviously - politicians with 'palle quadrate'.

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Sun Nov 6th, 2005 at 07:08:31 PM EST
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