Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
How hard would it be, Terry, to meet Americans in the States and hear them complain in the same way against the federal government? In fact, in the States it could go further than grumbling about taxation and annoying regulations - it could go to reviling the federal government for applying basic human rights (see States' Rights).

Coming back to Europe, the Italians you cite seem to me to be belly-aching without knowledge. The EU does not levy taxes (its budget is small, around 1% of GDP). I'd suggest those people, if the EU didn't exist, would be griping about the Italian government in the same way.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2007 at 06:00:13 AM EST
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A very good point. Not far at all. I am the first to complain about the federal government.  The federal government is supposed to defend the country, enforce the borders, regulate commerce BETWEEN the states etc.  The rest is up to state law.  The federal government has expanded their role well beyond its stated purpose, involving itself in elementary school education, crime, social security, etc.

The difference may be several reasons. First, our federal government is proportionally made up of citizens from the states. Second, I dont feel much different from someone from FLorida then someone from New Jersey.  I am not so sure the same identity exists between a Tuscan and an Irishman yet.  

Another point, the increase of the US federal government is the result of a civil war, and two world wars. Before that, the role of the federal government was limited.  Frederick Hayek warned of the danger that the increased need of mobilization during wartime leads to more government control and the disease of socialism. He wasnt wrong.

The Italians I am talking about are pissed about the euro in particular. You may be right about their own government.  But the imposition of the euro has taken monetary policy out of it's government's control. So, guess who they blame.


by Terry (Terry@pollackzuckerman.com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2007 at 12:11:37 PM EST
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