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if these elites--so very manifestly a band of robber-barons--are a given of the political landscape

Then there's no hope.

Germany's gold buggery existed before the euro and did not prevent social-democratic policies in the past.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 09:28:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
   You lack imagination.  Others, gathered in public squares, won't settle for "then there's no hope".

   You know what?  That phrase neatly sums up what the robber-baron elite have told much of the world's 25-and-under population about their future and their prospects for prosperity beyond the level of a life of serfdom.  And, faced with such a prognosis, these youth have decided to respond, "Oh, yeah?  We're gonna see about that."

   Oligarchies are now on notice and that is not just in North Africa.  If elites can't manage to come to terms that include a decent survival for the mass public, those elites will discover that they're mortal and that their days are numbered.  And that, no matter what one may say about it, is also "just one of those facts" and will have to be reckoned with.

 

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 10:20:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're the one who said that this was an unavoidable fact, not me.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 10:38:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
   I think you mistook my point.

   I did include an "if" in there before the "these elites--so very manifestly a band of robber-barons--are a given of the political landscape"....

   That's important.  I do not fatalistically accept that the elite will always be a band of robber-barons such as we see today.  While, true, human society has never achieved perfection (so, please, don't anyone tell me, "Nobody's perfect!") there have been periods where the elite have been better curbed and controlled, when the middle-class and poor had a significantly better share of the wealth and had very reasonable expectations of that being true.

   There aren't that many unavoidable facts; so, a corrupt elite such as seems prevalent today is not, as history shows, an unavoidable fact.  Closer to unavoidable is the fact that no people revolt without cause and that, when pushed beyond the limits of their endurance, people will resort to violence.  If they're offered no other resort, they'll take the only course left to them.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 10:54:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany used to be a net importer in those days. Having your entire industrial plant blown up does tend to do that to you. Which means that they weren't offloading their unemployment on other people, they were taking one for the team.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 02:48:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When exactly was Germany a net importer? Hasn't been the case since the fifties. (Current account is different story)
by IM on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 07:26:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For as long as the Marshall plan operated, Germany was building its economy with the help of the then exporter of last resort, the US. That was actually a shift in policy, the original intent was to destroy German industry forever. Then in 1971 when Nixon killed Bretton Woods, the US turned to absorbing Germany's trade surplus.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 07:30:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You want to claim that Germany had a trade deficit from 1947 to 1971?

That is peculiar view of west german economic history.

I won't to quiblle about years, but west germany moved into a trade surplus during the Korea war or so.

The other big exporter who got a start during the Korea war was Japan.

by IM on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 07:43:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. The original comment should have said "current accounts deficit" not "net importer." After all, as long as one is not analysing a default scenario, it's the current accounts that's the important variable.

My bad.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 10:57:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Until some years ago Germany either had current account deficit (much of the nineties) or a balanced current account or a small surplus.
by IM on Mon Jun 6th, 2011 at 06:25:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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