Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Jake, I think we basically disagree on the virtues of inflation and devaluation. After a one-off event like war and the like, there is a case for erasing debt by inflation or whatever means you want because it is non-recurrent (unless you keep on going to war of course). But structural debt, which is recurrent as is the case in the EZone periphery, cannot be dealt with in that way. Investors (savers or whoever) will invariably factor in a country's propensity to erase debts by inflation/devaluation and make you pay through the nose. That's the beauty of credit rating. Different from politicians, the markets don't lie.
High inflation invariably has a negative impact on society. And to think that you can control inflation at 8 to 10% is absurd. High inflation invariably tends to spiral out of control and it can only be brought down again by very painful measures. High inflation also encourages high-risk investments, i.e. speculation, and discourages stable long term low interest investments need by the manufacturing industries.
Anyways, leaving aside the thin air of economic theory, the reality of the economic situation is that pumping more money into the periphery would reproduce the causes that led to the crisis in the first place and produce another consumer bubble without building domestic manufacturing industry. There would be no sustainable growth. The money would produce another even bigger bubble which would definitely put an end to the EZone. But if I understand you correctly that is exactly what you want. I'm sorry, but I cannot follow you in any such cynical enterprise as it would cause infinite suffering even in your country.
Also you are wrong on most other accounts. If I get some time in the next few days I will try to reply in greater detail. Just to resume: Germany has proven to be a very "trustworthy trading partner" for more than halve a century. That is why Germany is successful. In business, trust is everything, in politics it is optional. German labor cost is very high. Not just wages but also charges including insurance, solidarity costs, income taxes, corporate taxes, etc. And different from the UK, Germany does not practice "tax dumping" by offering the lowest corporate tax in any of the major industrial countries. Nor does Germany practice "currency dumping" as the UK has always done. If I have the choice of working for a manufacturer in Germany or in the UK, I will choose Germany any time. I spent 4 years working in the UK and I don't regret it as an experience, but I wouldn't want it for the rest of my working life. Productivity and innovation is also high. Germany files about 3 times more patents than the UK. If you include utility models, it is probably more like 4 times. And the depressing thing, new patent applications in the UK have been in decline for almost a decade. The reason is of course the loss of manufacturing.
by The European on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 05:03:28 PM EST
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