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Why is the SPD part of this?

by tyronen Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 05:57:11 AM EST

I can't read German and thus know little about this country's politics.

Germans want to believe the crisis is the Greeks' fault. I get it. I also get why a conservative party like the CDU would pander to that. But I see no daylight between the CDU and the SPD.

Whereas if you look at the French PS, the consistent pattern appears to me that the French government is trying to restrain German intransigence.  Generally failing at that (as at much else) but at least trying. Most of this is done in private while a united front is presented publicly, but the cracks are clearly visible.

There is no sign of this with the SPD. A SPD government would be as harsh on Greece as the CDU has been. Again, I get why the CDU would like Syriza to be removed from power, but why on earth would the SPD want that?

Why is the SPD taking such a hardline position? I really don't understand.


Display:
Psychologically, all center-left parties saw what happened to PASOK and are thus very happy to see Syriza fail.

Of course, this indicates a blindness to the long-term problems that led to the end of PASOK. Crucially that austerity politics gives the centre-right a structural advantage. Rather the SPD is focussed psychologically on not give Syriza any "wins" so as to avoid any encouragement for Die Linke.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 06:12:39 AM EST
An alternative explanation is that they are led by the polls and the focus groups. Led to believe that this is what the average German voter wants...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 06:13:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that is it.
by rz on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:22:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unlikely. A large majority of Germans wants the EU to function democratically, maintaining peace and cooperation in Europe. At the same time they want to stop funding the immoral Greeks living beyond their means (and they don't see these two aims as mutually exclusive).
by Katrin on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:37:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe if the political leadership stopped propagating the specie that Greeks are immorally living beyond their means...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:39:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup. The idea that the politicians are blameless is almost amusing.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:50:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would probably help :) It would lead to questions why we must let our schools rot and why we can't have decent wages, benefits, pensions... It would be much easier if the SPD admitted that everything they did since Schröder (at least) was wrong.  
by Katrin on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:52:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that their mistakes are at the core of Europe's problems - and Greece's.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:53:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And a pony for everyone.

Unfortunately we need a left party or movement pointing all that out. It's not in sight.

by Katrin on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:57:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The German Left Party does a pretty good impression, at least when it comes to calling Merkel and Schäuble out on their BS.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 08:03:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and even on prophesy, as Gregor Gysi's Bundestag speech in 1998 (!) shows:
Gregor Gysi: Der Prophet - le Bohémien

Man kann einen Kontinent nicht über Geld einen. Das hat in der Geschichte noch niemals funktioniert, und das wird auch hier nicht funktionieren. Sie, Herr Genscher, haben vor allem davor gewarnt, daß es schlimme Folgen hätte, wenn die Europäische Währungsunion scheiterte. Ich behaupte, sie kann auch scheitern, wenn man sie einführt, nämlich dann, wenn die Voraussetzungen nicht stimmen.

Darüber müßte nachgedacht und, wie ich finde, auch länger diskutiert werden. Ich sage: Im Augenblick wird das ein Europa für erfolgreiche Rüstungs- und Exportkonzerne, für Banken, vielleicht noch für große Versicherungen. Es wird kein Europa für kleine und mittelständische Unternehmen, kein Europa für Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer, kein Europa für Gewerkschaftsbewegungen und auch kein Europa für die sozial Schwächsten in den Gesellschaften der Teilnehmerländer.

Politics is not about being right, politics is about making an impact. Die Linke fails to do that.

by Katrin on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 08:13:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gysi stated that while he was still in the PDS. Since the unification of the PDS and WASG in 2006, we've now become the third largest party in the Bundestag and we got Bodo Ramelow elected Ministerpräsident Thüringen.

For such a young party, that's an impact

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 11:01:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A dead cat also makes an impact when it bounces off the concrete.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 11:08:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't intend to belittle the work of Die Linke. I am stating that the left--both the party of that name and the broader left--do not have enough impact to change policies or even influence the discourse as it should. One can blame the media, capital's strength, systemic disadvantages, whatever. It won't get us far. We need to analyse what we (in the sense of the left movement) and they (a left party) must do to change that. A political party's success isn't measured by whether it is right, it is judged by how successfully it can shape politics.
by Katrin on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 02:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I mean about being led by polls and focus groups.

If you only ask "how do Germans feel about the Greeks" then you'll get answers about immorality and living beyond means.

The fact that if you want to have a working Euro, the central bank has to be able to supply cash to banks to cover deposits, irrespective of the location inside the Eurozone - well that doesn't come up in this kind of narrow political research.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:39:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
if you want to have a working Euro, the central bank has to be able to supply cash to banks to cover deposits, irrespective of the location inside the Eurozone
You're clearly not an ordoliberal.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:44:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A agree completely. A narrow question of German preference leads you to the conclusion that the Germans want a hard line against Greece.

But in the end Germans want what everybody wants: Steady employment for a decent wage.  

Everything else (with maybe the exception of immigration) is a sideshow. I also do not believe that many Germans have an ill will against Greece. They just feel that the Greek people somehow behave irrational. And the German political class reflects these believes right back at the people.

by rz on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:50:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As the age of the median voter grows, increasingly "the voters" dont "want" steady employment for a good wage, but a good pension with steady purchasing power. And here we are.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 08:05:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A good point.

I have come to the conclusion that the actual negative consequences of an aging society are not economic but political.

by rz on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 08:17:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<anecdote>I know lots of 40-50-60 age people who would very much like a steady job with decent pay.</anecdote>

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 08:22:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As the median age grows, and as participation rates goes down (assuming that in Germany as elsewhere, the poor and young votes has more quickly falling participation rates).

(West) Germany had participation rates around 90% in the 70ies, falling to around 80% in the 90ies and now it is around 70%.

I think this decline matches most western countries.

by fjallstrom on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 08:37:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many people in the UK still blame Gordon Brown for 2008, and older people still rant about how the unions destroyed the UK economy, and how the Greeks should "live within their means" - conveniently forgetting that between them, the banks and the Tories have:

Made housing almost unaffordable for people who aren't already on the ladder
Reduced workers to zero hours contracts and allowed employers to pay them so little workers have to claim tax credits
Made university education unaffordable
Massively increased unemployment, poverty, and consumer inflation but tried to hide it by fixing the figures
Created various boom/bust property bubbles
Made it extremely difficult for people without money or connections to set up new businesses

Now, I suspect this is rather more damage than the unions could ever be blamed for. But curiously, it's never coalesced into a meme of either corrupt manipulation or incompetence.

I find this fascinating. It's not just that the right wing media don't frame the argument in these terms - it's that there seems to be a built-in resistance to seeing right wingers as self-serving economic morons, even thought that's exactly what they are.

And conversely, poor people and bleeding heart liberals are considered financially illiterate economic fools. even though we're much better at calling the future than the right wingers are.

The roots of the prejudice seem to lie in some economic variation of racism - disgust for the poor, powerless, and indebted, and (spurious) identification with the rich and powerful. (See also, Greece.)

If there's a way to fix this, it's going to be based on undermining that prejudice and revealing it as the nasty nonsense it is.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:26:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think its what all Marketeers understand: You sell to the aspiration of what people want to be, not what they are. People may need a functional car that doesn't break down.  But they want status and style, so you sell them a sleek performance car...

Most Tories are not particularly rich, but they want to be... Who wants to be a down trodden worker? Who revels in relative poverty??  Yes there have always been ascetics and altruists and saints, but they have ever made up a democratic majority...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 09:16:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is probably why the SPD is part of this.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 10:55:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you explain that the Swabian housewife meme is false? In an election campaign at that? The SPD calculates that they can only lose if they try...  This is true as long as there is no Syriza or Podemos or so around, and in Germany there isn't.
by Katrin on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 06:46:44 AM EST
You don't get a Podemos or a Syriza out of a country at full employment.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 08:36:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, and neither at about 5 % unemployment.
by Katrin on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 09:35:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or 10%, or 15% - hence no Podemos/Syriza in Portugal or Ireland. Or France.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 09:36:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interestingly Portugal has a Syriza equivalent (more than a Podemos equivalent in historical terms). And they are pooling at 8% (and the communists at 10%). Interestingly in the "good times" they were pooling better...

... The problem is that this party (Bloco de Esquerda) has kinda self-destroyed with the usual hard-left self-righteousness and fractionalism. They are probably at 8% because the crisis is sustaining them. They have some very smart people, but the standard hard-left totalitarianism is very strong on their DNA (something where Syriza seems slightly better, at least from a distance)

by cagatacos on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 09:49:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right now you need a party that understands monetary policy and Keynesian policies. Hardcore communists are of little use.
by rz on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 09:55:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloco de Esquerda sounds more like Spain's Izquierda Unida than Podemos, and not in name only.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 11:08:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Historically they have very different roots (BE and IU).

In current times BE is very friendly towards Podemos and Syriza.

In terms of similarity I would say BE is very close to Syriza. Not only that, if you go to their site, they almost only talk about Greece and Syriza nowadays.

Podemos is probably a different kind of beast indeed, being more of of post-occupy thingy. But, quite frankly, when I hear Pablo Iglesias, I see BE in ideological terms (this is not a compliment at all).

by cagatacos on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 12:10:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Economically, Podemos is not very sophisticated. It has a run-of-the-mill left Keynesian platform and is a magnet for some radical groups such as Universal Basic Income supporters. But they don't seem to have a grasp of the modern monetary system.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 06:01:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find Podemos (and to some extent Syriza) rather different from Bloco de Esquerda. And I very much doubt they will ever get 8% of votes again, something around 4% is much more likely.

The only party were I see some similarities to Podemos is Livre - whom should not get past 2% of the vote.

luis_de_sousa@mastodon.social

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 02:27:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unemployment went up from c. 5% to 15% at peak during the crisis in Ireland, which (amongst other factors) led to the fall of Fiana Fail and the rise of Sinn Fein.  Unemployment is now down to 9.7%. Support for FF is rising again (even though they had nothing to do with that reduction) whilst Sinn Fein is still up at c. 20% - up from c. 10% when the crisis hit.  So (simplistically) you could argue that a 10% rise in unemployment led to a sustained 10% rise in Sinn Fein support. (Left wing independents also gained in that period, but you could claim that this mirrored the fall in Labour support).

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 09:57:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think people will not so easily forget what happened and this will lead to increased support for strong left-wing parties. But it comes from mainstream social democrats and not from the center right.
by rz on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 10:01:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Amen. If not, there are still fascists waiting.
by Katrin on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 10:05:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In most countries, 5 percent unemployment is pretty much full employment.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 10:55:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is why the SPD is part of this, and gets away with it. My point is that 5% unemployment is NOT full employment, and that one should insist on saying so, even in times when other countries have 30 % unemployment and more. Perhaps that helps against the weakness of the left, if we can make clear what sort of society we want to achieve, and can achieve. It should be dead easy to drive that rotten former workers' party to the left or out of business. It isn't though. The left needs to discuss its aims in order to change that.
by Katrin on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 02:00:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not using full employment as some kind of political term, but as an economic term. I couldn't name more than a handful of countries who have so flexible labour markets that 5 percent would be anything else than full employment. Push unemployment lower than that, and overheating will arrive in most countries.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 02:11:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't the problem though that "5% is full" was coined as a rule of thumb in the days when employment meant "working in the Volkswagen factory, full time with associated benefits" whereas for many now it means something very different...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 04:40:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where and when was it coined that? I dimly remember being taught that there is a "natural" unemployment rate of about 0.5% which cannot be influenced by any measures of improving employment, and so counts as full employment.
by Katrin on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 05:13:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see any overheating anywhere. In the contrary. And I am using the term full employment in the economic sense too, although I am not aware that as a political term it is used any differently. My approach still doesn't come from the needs of poor little labour market, my approach is from the needs of human beings: what kind of a society do we want to live in? For me that is a society where economic activity has the one sole purpose of supplying goods and services to the population, and everyone participates in this economic activity according to their ability.

I find the idea that 5% unemployment meets the definition of full employment bizarre, even if we disregard for a moment that the underemployed and those in precarious employment aren't counted as unemployed. With unemployment figures that a Spaniard or a Greek dreams of we still have a state of fear, workers not daring to insist on their rights and much too low wages.

by Katrin on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 05:07:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Full employment should be defined as no involuntary unemployment, period. Forget about NAIRU and output gaps.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 05:59:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can call it whatever you feel like as far as I am concerned, as long as the central bank keeps inflation stable at its target.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 02:03:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But as far as I am concerned, you can't call 5% unemployment "full employment". If you want to say that you want to maintain an unemployment rate of 5 % in order to keep inflation at bay, we can argue about that. But it is 5 % UNemployment. Not full employment. Unemployment. You can't define that away.
by Katrin on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 04:47:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not usually how economists use the term, but anyway, how would you define full employment then?

This is what economists means by full employment, from Wikipedia.

Full employment, in macroeconomics, is the level of employment rates where there is no cyclical or deficient-demand unemployment.[1] It is defined by the majority of mainstream economists as being an acceptable level of unemployment somewhere above 0%. The discrepancy from 0% arises due to non-cyclical types of unemployment, such as frictional unemployment (there will always be people who have quit or have lost a seasonal job and are in the process of getting a new job) and structural unemployment (mismatch between worker skills and job requirements).



Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 04:58:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like Migeru's short and uncomplicated definition better than this one, but both are different from what you tried to introduce here: you defined meeting your inflation goal as full employment. I find that disingenuous. You can say that you want 5 % unemployment in order to keep inflation low. I disagree, but we can discuss that way. But calling 5 % unemployment "full employment", no. It is disingenuous. It is hiding conflicting interests.
by Katrin on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 05:15:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it is that important to keep inflation low. I do however think it is important that it is kept stable. If this is a stable 2, 5 or 8 percent is less important.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 09:09:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Strike at least this part:

and structural unemployment (mismatch between worker skills and job requirements).

Neither the number of available jobs nor the required skill sets or the skill sets themselves are fixed by natural laws. Actually things like this are why I can't think of economics as a science. You have this tool called "monetary policy" that can under some conditions that are often mistaken as normal achieve a level of unemployment consistent with the definition in the link. This is what tinkering with the interest rate can give you ideally so you define it as the goal you want to achieve.
Because hiring people directly to reduce unemployment is unthinkable. But that is old. What I find particularly irksome about this definition is that it already contains the "blame the unemployed" part of class war propaganda. They probably even believe that it is their workers fault they haven't been born software developers with twenty five years of work experience. Whatever is on the job training?

by generic on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 05:28:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would you want stable inflation?

What precise function does stable inflation serve?

Sure you're not confusing the thermometer with the temperature here?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jul 9th, 2015 at 08:15:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It allows the lenders, rentiers to keep their power and wealth.
by das monde on Thu Jul 9th, 2015 at 08:31:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So NAIRU? Everything I've read on the whole concept points to self shifting goalpost created to justify observed outcomes.
by generic on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 05:39:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If by "overheating" you mean "production orders go unfilled because of staffing shortages," well, yes, that's one of the benefits of full employment: You have to ration economic activity by labor availability, so wasting people's time is discouraged.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jul 9th, 2015 at 08:12:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, he means inflation, obviously.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 10th, 2015 at 01:00:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, that's another advantage of full employment.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jul 10th, 2015 at 01:10:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am totally ok with higher inflation and the attempt to use monetary policy to achieve low unemployment. But lets be clear: Price wage spirals can in fact happen. And it is not cool.
by rz on Fri Jul 10th, 2015 at 03:28:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They historically have not happened without at least one of (a) inflation-indexed (as opposed to NGDP-indexed) contracts or (b) grossly incompetent handling of major disturbances to the foreign account and terms of trade.

So sure, a price spiral is a thing that can happen, just like hyperinflation is a thing that can happen. But only if you mismanage your economy into a corner where the alternative would certainly be worse.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jul 10th, 2015 at 04:00:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Honestly, the concern for overheating the economy is insane. The historical examples of overly tight labor markets generally had very positive long term effects. Increases in labor force participation, increases in productivity, decreases in inequality.. Why, exactly, should we worry about this? There are downsides, but.. they're not that horrid.
by Thomas on Sat Jul 11th, 2015 at 05:48:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is some parts propaganda exaggerating the downsides and minimizing the upsides, on behalf of those who are net losers from ordinary demand-pull inflation, and in some parts a conflation of ordinary demand-pull inflation  with hyperinflation, from a theory that hyperinflation is just demand-pull inflation accelerating faster and faster and faster.

More normally hyperinflation involves a structural imbalance in international finance leading to a collapsing exchange rate leading to imported inflation.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Jul 11th, 2015 at 07:47:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The examples I am aware of generally seem rooted in the utter collapse of productivity. Due to violence or the threat thereof. The formal economy of Zimbabwe was to a first approximation the export farm sector, which was destroyed due the government committing a mockery of a "land reform" and German hyperinflation happened due to the occupation of the Ruhr disrupting the supply chains of German industry completely. Foreign trade comes into it because.. well, trying to import things while not producing anything much to export...
by Thomas on Sat Jul 11th, 2015 at 01:56:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is my main problem with austerity. It tries to preserve the value of money at the expense of real economic output. This is just insane because ultimately money must derive whatever value it has from the real economy of goods and services..
by Thomas on Sat Jul 11th, 2015 at 01:58:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's the Brazilian hyperinflations of the 1980's, which was not a collapse of productivity, but did involve yet another Latin American debt crisis.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 10:02:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also loss of territory of and/or faith in the government issuing the currency. I am thinking in particular of the Confederate dollar and the French revolutionary currencies (the usefulness of which declined with distance to Paris).

Of course in these examples, there was violent destruction of production too.

by fjallstrom on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 04:59:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though the decline in the Confederate currency initially led the destruction of the production, rather than following it, as the value of cotton bonds in the UK dropped with the Union blockade ... for a dependent export-led economy, interruption of access to its markets is equivalent to destruction of pridu

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 07:25:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least half of those things you listed are not considered net positives by the people who argue that "overheating" is bad.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jul 11th, 2015 at 09:00:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is neither here nor there. unemployment hasn't been this low since the early nineties. That does matters politically.

I could point out that two thirds of the supporters of the left are opponents of public deficits and here we are.

by IM on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 04:57:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You do get very radical and potentially dangerous parties in power after years and years of mass unemployment when the mainstream parties fail to get the economy in order. Germans, of all people, should know this.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 10:54:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's how we got Merkel.
by Katrin on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 02:00:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is maybe a partial answer, at least when it comes to the behavior of the head of the SPD in this  article.

when confronted on his derisive commens he is quoted:

Seine Antwort: Gern gebe er Einblick in die vielen Mails der SPD-Basis, die ihn erreichen und die vor zu viel Verständnis mit Griechenland warnen.

What he says is: He gets lots of mails telling him not to go soft on Greece.

by rz on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 06:54:04 AM EST
Between this, the coal plant tax total surrender and the internal SPD discussion about NOT making taxes a campaign theme, the Gabriel SPD has no profile left and only tries to prevent losing voters to the CDU by out-CDUing them.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 04:31:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes sure.

the same old song, since 1918...

by IM on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 04:58:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you want to re-tread the SPD's mayor betrayals, you can go back at least four years more. But, I was talking about the Gabriel SPD, not its predecessors. Could you describe what its profile consist of now? What do the remaining party faithful think they stand for? The only real (even if constrained) policy success I can think of is the minimum wage, but together with all the other things Gabriel stood for during his erratic course I don't see what profile can be built on that.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jul 20th, 2015 at 03:31:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I could, but I would be wasted on you.

"he only real (even if constrained) policy success I can think of is the minimum wage,"

Constrained by what? Introducing the institution of an minimum wage in a country that has never known is a big success. Also retirement with 63 double citizenship.

"ut, I was talking about the Gabriel SPD, not its predecessors. "

 So what is your problem?

"you can go back at least four years more"

babble babble first world war? you wanna-be bolsheviks are so predictable.

by IM on Tue Jul 21st, 2015 at 06:42:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

It's perfectly possible to make your point without resorting to calling members of this forum names. That streak is getting noticed, and while your contributions are appreciated, the name calling is not. Please tone it down.

by Bjinse on Tue Jul 21st, 2015 at 03:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have I said today that in a context were wordss like "betrayal" are freely thrown aeound, I think this sort of moderation uite one-sided?
by IM on Tue Jul 21st, 2015 at 05:42:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zero-rated for answering back (again...) to moderation.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Jul 22nd, 2015 at 12:31:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

Feeling insulted does not give the right to name calling. That goes for everyone here. So stop it.

This is not a debate. Any further responses from you or anyone will be removed.

by Bjinse on Wed Jul 22nd, 2015 at 01:59:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All actual social democrats left when the Left party was formed. And the Left party basically impacted on the media wall without making much of a dent. And now it too has "reformers" crawling all over.
by generic on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:21:20 AM EST
Mark Blyth: Ending the Creditor's Paradise (Jacobin Magazine, 27 February 2015)
True, as German (and French) politicians know only too well, there are no votes in talking about Europe, only costs, so not speaking up is locally rational. But not speaking up when such inappropriate policies are being applied to Germany's European partners is collectively disastrous. Indeed, what is so tragic in this crisis is how the center-left throughout Europe have not just accepted, but in many cases actively supported, policies that have done nothing but hurt their supposed core constituencies.

So I was awarded the prize at a ceremony in Berlin for "thinking differently" about economics. Martin Schultz, the head of the European Parliament, gave the introduction. Peter Bofinger, the voice of macroeconomic reason on the German equivalent to the US Council of Economic Advisors, gave a speech praising the book. I had ten minutes to say something useful at the end of the event. But what should I say that would be of use to the six hundred social democrats gathered in the room?

I had just been there a month before, giving the message of the book, and I didn't want to do that again. I wanted to be useful, and supportive of this shift in thinking. But I also wanted to remind the SPD of who they are supposed to be and whom they are supposed to defend. I hope this was how the following was received.



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 07:42:20 AM EST
It's a must-read. Among many other quotables:

Ending the Creditor's Paradise | Jacobin

Back in the 1970s, a period that now seems quite benign, corporate profits were very low, labor's share of income was very high, and inflation was rising. We were told that this was unsustainable, and new institutions and policies were constructed to make sure that this particular mix of outcomes would never happen again.

In this regard we were singularly successful. Today, corporate profits have never been higher, labor's share of national income has almost never been lower, and inflation has given way to deflation. So are we happier for this change?

What we have done over the past thirty years is to build a creditor's paradise of positive real interest rates, low inflation, open markets, beaten-down unions, and a retreating state -- all policed by unelected economic officials in central banks and other unelected institutions that have only one target: to keep such a creditor's paradise going.

Also for his analysis of the causes of German "competitiveness" success.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 08:03:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the SPD still is trying to compete with CDU on the federal level or have they settled for being junior partner?

This is a serious question. In 2013 SPD choose not to try and form a red-red-green coalition, despite that being a majority. Since then the polls are pretty stable with CDU 40+ and SPD around 25%. If red-red-green is still ruled out, I don't see how SPD has a scenario where it returns to being the senior partner in a coalition.

by fjallstrom on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 08:28:35 AM EST
very funny. Do you really think that is a good way to discus?
by IM on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:00:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a relevant question.

The SPD is trending the same way as PASOK. On policy, and on polling.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 09:54:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can wish that. But that doesn't makes it true.
by IM on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 02:28:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How many years of uninterrupted CDU governments?

When was the last time an SPD-led government did not make it easier to fire workers during its tenure?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 03:45:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yesterday?
by IM on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 03:58:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is, of course, trivially untrue, in that yesterday the SPD was complicit in making it a great deal easier to fire Greeks.

You do admit the SPD's complicity in what is being done to Greece, right? You do admit that the only non-criminal option would have been a motion of no-confidence in at least the minister of finance, right? Like, five years ago, when their psychopathic coalition partner started this whole dog and pony show.

But okay, let's limit ourselves to Germany. There have been no labor market reforms at all since the Grand Coalition came to power? You sure about that?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 04:10:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"There have been no labor market reforms at all since the Grand Coalition came to power?"

the minimum wage? that is now a problem for you?

Nuts.

"Like, five years ago, when their psychopathic coalition partner started this whole dog and pony show."

Not our coalition. complain elsewhere.

by IM on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 04:52:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oooh, that's a novel principle. I gotta try that one on for size. "Nope 'guv, not my responsibility that my business partner is a serial Ponzi merchant. Y'see he started his current Ponzi scam five years ago, and back then he was working with someone else entirely."

I'm sure that's going to go over real well...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 05:21:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
guilt by association?

No, thank you.

by IM on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 05:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is generally how "coalitions" work, yeah.

You don't like the stink, don't lie down with the swine.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 at 06:38:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I said: Not our coalition. We are not responsible fpr everything a coalition partner did in the past.
by IM on Tue Jul 14th, 2015 at 12:37:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Missed your answer.

Yes, it is a serious question. In theory all parties runs for a majority of its own. In practice many parties settle for a junior position or even permanent opposition.

So what is SPD's path to power except being CDU's junior partner?

by fjallstrom on Mon Jul 20th, 2015 at 02:43:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jakob Augstein seems to agree the SPD has settled for being the CDU's junior partner: Unruhe in der SPD: Die Zombie-Partei (Spiegel, 30 July 2015)
... Schon im März hatte Albig gesagt: "Frau Merkel verkörpert geradezu idealtypisch, was die Deutschen sich in dieser Rolle erwarten." Aber die Wahrheit ist: Albig spricht nicht nur für sich. Sondern aus dem tiefsten Herzen seiner Partei. Die SPD ist am Ende. Sie ist eine untote Partei. Sie bewegt sich noch. Aber sie hat keine Seele mehr. Der Anblick ist schier unerträglich.

Sigmar Gabriel hat neulich gesagt: "Wir führen dieses Land. Alle entscheidenden Projekte dieser Regierung stammen von uns. Wir sind in 14 von 16 Landesregierungen vertreten und stellen dabei neun Ministerpräsidenten. Außerdem neun von zehn Oberbürgermeister in den Großstädten. Das sah nun wirklich vor wenigen Jahren ganz anders aus." Das ist einerseits richtig. Allein - was hilft es? Die SPD kann ja darum bitten, dass auf der Rückseite der Kanzlerporträts von Angela Merkel der sozialdemokratische Beitrag zur Regierungsleistung vermerkt wird.

Aber wenn es um die Macht im Bund geht, hat die Sozialdemokratie einfach kapituliert. ...
...

Vielleicht wäre es am einfachsten, die SPD würde sich auflösen. Alle Mitglieder treten geschlossen der CDU bei und bilden dort einen neuen Arbeitnehmerflügel. Das würde dem deutschen Demokratieverständnis entsprechen, das dem Streit der Parteien ohnehin nie viel abgewinnen konnte.

As early as March [Schleswig Holstein Minister-President Torsten] Albig had said: "Mrs Merkel embodies ideally, what Germans expect in that [Chancellor] role." But the truth is: Albig speaks not only for himself, but from the deepest heart of his party. The SPD is at its end. It is an undead party. It still moves, but it has no soul. The sight is unbearable.

Sigmar Gabriel said recently: "We lead this country, all key projects of this Government come from us, we are represented in 14 of 16 provincial governments and provide nine Minister-Presidents. Moreover nine out of ten Mayors in the big cities, it looked very different a few years ago." This iscorrect on its face, but what does it help? The SPD may indeed ask that on the back of the chancellor portraits of Angela Merkel, the Socialist contribution is noted for government performance.

But when it comes to Federal power, Social Democracy has simply capitulated. ...

...

Perhaps it would be easiest, if the SPD would dissolve. All members should join the CDU and form a new workers' wing. That would correspond to the German understanding of democracy, that partisan struggle never achieves much anyway.



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 31st, 2015 at 04:33:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He always hated us. worst of Salon bolshewik.
by IM on Fri Jul 31st, 2015 at 06:51:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Grèce : Pourquoi Angela Merkel refuse de parler de la dette grecque  Greece: Why Angela Merkel refuses to discuss Greek debt
...en réalité, nul en Europe n'a intérêt à voir la chancelière en difficulté politique. Surtout pas la France dont les élites redoutent par-dessus tout une sortie de l'Allemagne de la zone euro. Or, beaucoup craignent que sans le « bouclier » Angela Merkel, la première économie de la zone euro soit tenté de quitter l'UEM. Dès lors, il n'y a pas d'autres solutions que de tenir un discours d'une grande dureté à l'encontre de la Grèce. Quant aux Sociaux-démocrates, ils sont durs avec la Grèce pour cette même raison : aujourd'hui, ils ne peuvent gouverner qu'avec Angela Merkel... ... actually, no one in Europe has an interest in seeing the Chancellor in political difficulty. Especially not France whose elites fear above all a German exit from the eurozone. Indeed, many fear that without the "shield" of Angela Merkel, the largest economy in the euro area will be tempted to leave the EMU. Therefore, there is no alternative but to hold to a hardline discourse on Greece. As for the Social Democrats, they are tough on Greece for the same reason: today, they cannot govern without Angela Merkel...
Les créanciers européens font un calcul simple : affaiblir Angela Merkel, c'est prendre le risque d'une sortie de l'euro de l'Allemagne. Pour éviter cela, il faut absolument couvrir les mensonges proférés aux électeurs et aux contribuables de la zone euro depuis 2010. Comment ? En accablant la Grèce, en affirmant qu'elle est seule responsable de ses maux, qu'elle est irréformable et que son gouvernement est aux mains d'extrémistes démagogues. Peu importe que le gouvernement grec ait à plusieurs reprises renoncé à de grandes parties de son programme et qu'il ait accepté le 22 juin un plan d'austérité de 8 milliards d'euros. Ce qu'il faut, c'est absolument interdire le discours sur la dette qui pourrait mettre à jour les mensonges décrits ci-devant. Et donc fustige l'irrationalité grecque qui cache l'irrationalité des créanciers. Pour résumer la logique dominante dans la zone euro est la suivante : il vaut mieux que la Grèce sorte de la zone euro plutôt que l'Allemagne. On comprend mieux alors la passivité franco-italienne. Et pourquoi la Commission européenne n'a pas fait, comme le FMI, son mea culpa sur l'austérité.The European creditors make a simple calculation: to weaken Angela Merkel, is to run the risk of Germany leaving the euro. To avoid this, it is essential to cover the lies told to the voters and taxpayers of the euro area since 2010. How? By condemning Greece, by claiming that Greece alone is responsible for its ailments, that it is unreformable and that its government is in the hands of extremist demagogues. No matter that the Greek government has repeatedly renounced large parts of its programme and accepted on June 22 an austerity plan of 8 billion euros. What is needed is to absolutely prohibit the discourse on the debt that could reveal the lies indicated above. And therefore blame the Greek irrationality that hides the irrationality of the creditors. To summarize, the dominant logic in the euro area is this: better Greece out of the eurozone than Germany. From this, one may better understand French-Italian passivity. And why the European Commission has not, like the IMF, come out with a mea culpa on austerity.


I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 12:05:36 PM EST
tl;dr History of the SPD

They are political cowards, incapable of actively and successfully mounting a sustained challenge to the Ruling Elite. When the going gets tough, they quit trying.

For example, on 25 July 1914, the executive of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) issued an appeal to its membership to demonstrate against the coming war, only to vote on 4 August for the war credits the German government wanted.

SPD isn't anything special.  All center-Left parties are ditto.  See:  Democratic Party (USA,) Labour Party (UK,) Social Democratic Party (Swe,) etc.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 01:00:57 PM EST
You can add Italy's Partito Democratico to that useless set of quislings.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 01:25:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Kurt Tucholsky's words:

"It is a misfortune that the SPD's name is "Social-democratic Party of Germany". If it was "Reformist Party" or "Party of the Lesser Evil" or "Here Families can make Coffee" or so, many workers' eyes would have been opened, and they would have gone to a party where they belong to: to a workers' party. However, the shop is doing bad business with a formerly good name."

by Katrin on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 01:34:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
once again the useful idiot of the stalinists. hardly an authority.
by IM on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:15:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The world seems to consist of social-democrats, stalinists or useful idiots of stalinists. How practical!
by Katrin on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:36:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anarchists, yes. But since the communists exterminated them, we can ignore them for practical purposes.
by IM on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 06:20:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stalinism is a form of government unity.
by das monde on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 06:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What gets the Social Democrats every time is their penchant for "responsibility".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 05:56:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the communists on the other hand never shrieked from piling up the bodies.

You stalinists make me sick.

by IM on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
shirked. You liked to shriek during the piling up to, though.
by IM on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:02:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see nothing has change on the left for the past 100 years...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:03:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What if Syriza is not about the money? Jan Werner Müller - Süddeutsche
The seemingly irrational course of Tsipras can be understood as a strategy that amounts to a Latin-Americanization of Southern Europe. That strategy was inspired by the Argentine theoretician Ernesto Laclau who wanted to bring the term populism out of the doghouse for the left.

... not a thing of irresponsible economic politics but about 'recreating a people'. ... inevitably leads to confrontation with 'enemies of the people' ...

Laclau was an admirer of Juan Peron. ... Laclau concluded that a successful left project had to be populist in a specific sense: demands by the people that can no longer be processed by a (neo)liberal state have to be symbolically unified and put against the ruling elites.

... the old elites have to appear as a homogenous caste. That's not difficult in Greece and Spain. Left and right mainstream parties have helped themselves to the bounties of the state over decades and proved their economic incompetence.

Both countries were traumatized by civil wars in the 20th century. ... Clientelism and proportionality were not especially democratic but they pacified ideologically divided people. Compromise not confrontation...

Syriza and Podemos are acting rigorously against the old system. It's not only about gaining power, it's about fundamentally changing the political culture. ... Symbolic politics is not something inferior, in the long term it's the most important politics.

Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador are the specific examples for Podemos. New constitutions were enacted (often ignoring existing laws), masses unified by people leaders stood against the old elites (and the US)... Podemos not only fights against the old parties but also the constitution of 1978, a compromise solution of the transition from Franco to democracy. The specter of a 'Bolivarian revolution' a la Huge Chavez may deter a lot of Spaniards even if they want fresh blood in their party system.

The champions of a "radical democracy" do not agree on everything. But one question is answered without doubt: Who has betrayed the people? The social democrats.

It's the vacuum left behind by discredited parties like Pasok and PSOE that was filled by a generation radicalized by the financial crisis who streamed directly from Syntagma square and the Puerta del Sol. In the seventies the SPD did a lot to help their comrades in countries that transitioned from dictatorship to democracy. Anyone who doesn't want a Laclauian populist Southern Europe must ask what the social democrats are doing today.

Answer not much. They are just as much in the corner as their coalition partner although they shouldn't be.

There are plenty of counter examples but is there a pattern? (Center)-right parties talk a lot about the neolib program and when it's the social democrats turn at power they are the ones who actually execute it.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 01:51:51 PM EST
Mandatory reference.

by fjallstrom on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 03:09:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Such a charmer.
by IM on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:03:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bullshit. Podemos' strategist Íñigo Errejón is avowedly inspired by Laclau. Not so Syriza (or even the bulk of Podemos' activists). But right wing ideologues cannot tell Tsipras from Errejón.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 05:54:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
epochepoque:

There are plenty of counter examples but is there a pattern?

Yes, the behaviour of the unions in 60's Britain.

They needed their reps to be able to feel 'equal' to the bosses they negotiated 'against', next thing you know they're driving Jags and golfing with the rich.

Corruption contaminates once-decent (?) people.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 10:37:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why Germany wants to get rid of Greece

http://mainlymacro.blogspot.com/2015/07/why-germany-wants-rid-of-greece.html

Yet Germany is a country where the ideas of Keynes, and therefore mainstream macroeconomics in the rest of the world, are considered profoundly wrong and are described as `Anglo-Saxon economics'. Greece then becomes a kind of experiment to see which is right: the German view, or `Anglo-Saxon economics'.
by Upstate NY on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 04:39:10 PM EST
When a string of American economists criticised the Eurogroup before the referendum, a German financial website called all of them Keynesians - including Sachs.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 05:07:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also from Eurointelligence last Friday:
  • we argue the Eurozone is not 'Bagehotian' in that the ECB does not protect the integrity of the payment clearing system at any cost, as 'anglo-saxon' economists expect of a central bank;

This goes to the heart of the difference between the continental "ordoliberal consensus" and the hated "anglo-saxon Keynesians", which is that the latter (more 'Bagehotian' than 'Keynesian') believe that the central bank's core function is to preserve the integrity of the payment and clearing system. And that is why Varoufakis is likely to drop capital controls after the referendum no matter what and put the ECB/SSM on the spot. Bloomberg's video interview with Varoufakis yesterday leaves little doubt that that's what Varoufakis intends to do regardless of the referendum result, though the political calculus facing the ECB and other actors will be very different depending on the direction of the vote.



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 05:52:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could this be why he had to resign?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Jul 9th, 2015 at 09:50:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm increasingly convinced that Tsipras pulled back from beyond the brink and had to push Varoufakis out as a result.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 9th, 2015 at 11:05:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
^^^^ This, and the fact that Varoufakis' intelligence threatened their scam. He was becoming the Swabian housewife's heart-throb. The more the MSM tried to portray him as deranged arch-villain, the more he became a dashing sexy angel riding in to upend Yurp's (bo-o-o-ring_ staus quo, wearing black leathers.

Frissons galore.

Bondage is very popular in the Vaterland.  

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 10:44:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not just the SPD, every other social-democrat party in Europe has come to a similar situation where you can not really differ them from Liberal parties. Their destiny is pretty much sealed.

luis_de_sousa@mastodon.social
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 02:32:53 AM EST
Social Democratic and Labour parties have been competing for the Social-Liberal space for over a decadem as right-liberal parties become increasingly toxic.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 05:49:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Luis.

It's Tony Blairs all the way down.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 10:47:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BE is very well stocked with economists. But because their intellectual side is very cosmopolitan (trotskyists to start with, plus modern well-educated younger people) they tend to be very pro EU. So they are clearly struggling to get a coherent message: on one side they are seeing what is going on, on the other they are, at the core, pro-federalists, pro-world-government.

In a sense the communists (more provincial) with their patriotic discourse are more well-atuned to the current circumstances. They were seen as a dying party a decade ago, but I suspect nobody looks at them in that way anymore.

by cagatacos on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 07:53:02 AM EST
I think the problem you describe is also will also break Podemos. If you are not willing to break with the EU you can not confront Austerity.
by rz on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 09:45:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Syriza has been dealing with that problem as we speak. The problem is that their most eloquent pro-European just resigned. As our favourite Eurosceptic nut pointed out: Greece creditors will gain nothing from toppling Europe-lover Yanis Varoufakis (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, 6 July 2015)
If lenders think Varoufakis's touted successor will be a pushover, they are set to be disappointed. He shares little of his predecessor's European idealism.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 10:08:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Greece the Communist KKE "with their patriotic discourse" remain consigned to the loonie bin.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 10:10:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not know much about KKE, but the PCP is not loonie. It might be stuck in the past, but the "even a broken clock is right twice is day" applies here.

That being said, the patriotic thing, conceived as self-respect is actually quite welcome.

by cagatacos on Wed Jul 8th, 2015 at 01:26:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Der Postillon, Gabriel has excluded extending the coalition past 2017, because the CDU and CSU are too far to the left for him.
Nun also doch: Sigmar Gabriel hat einer Fortführung der Großen Koalition nach der Bundestagswahl 2017 eine Abfuhr erteilt. Dem SPD-Vorsitzenden, der in den letzten Monaten durch besondere Härte gegen Griechenland, unermüdliches Werben für das Freihandelsabkommen TTIP sowie Forderungen nach mehr "patriotischem Selbstverständnis" und Heimatgefühl aufgefallen war, sind die Unionsparteien inzwischen zu links.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jul 10th, 2015 at 09:53:30 AM EST
They have made better jokes. And I thought a pivot to patriotism is quite popular here?
by IM on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:06:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see you are missing redstar already.
by generic on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
only the most extreme example.
by IM on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:27:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The SPD appears unable to get its own story straigh over Schäuble's Grexit plan this weekend...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:06:46 PM EST
Giegold is hardly a inpartial source.

But the greens like to whine about the SPD to hide a lack of position of their own.

by IM on Sun Jul 12th, 2015 at 05:13:33 PM EST
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LOL, it's not like Giegold showed non-public documents...

However, in reality Gabriel's two utterances don't contradict each other, just show how much of a weasel with words he is: he knew about Schäuble's idea but not about the paper that idea was put down on in writing.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jul 20th, 2015 at 03:16:45 PM EST
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Yascha Mounk: Hiermit trete ich aus der SPD aus | ZEIT ONLINE

Bereut habe ich es nie, ein Genosse zu sein. Bis jetzt. Nach einem langen Prozess der Entfremdung habe ich in den vergangenen Tagen und Wochen jede Hoffnung aufgegeben, dass die Partei in ihrer momentanen Verfassung couragiert für die großen Traditionen der Sozialdemokratie einstehen kann.

Keine Partei für die Menschen mehr


Ihr fehlt eine echte politische Vision. So vertritt die SPD kurzfristige sozialpolitische Ziele wie die Einführung des Mindestlohns, die ich durchaus teile - hat aber kaum eine Idee, wie wir einen umfassenden Sozialstaat in die Zukunft hinüberretten können. So bekennt sich die SPD zwar zu freiheitlichen Werten, die mir wichtig sind, aber traut sich, wie bei der Ehe für alle, nicht einmal dann entschieden für sie zu kämpfen, wenn eine breite Mehrheit der Bevölkerung hinter ihr steht.

Vor allem aber liegt meine Entfremdung und, ja, auch meine Wut, darin begründet, dass die Partei eines der ältesten und grundlegendsten Prinzipien der Sozialdemokratie vergessen zu haben scheint: das Versprechen, für die Interessen von Menschen zu kämpfen, unabhängig davon, ob sie Deutsche sind - oder etwa Syrer, Ukrainer oder Griechen.

by Katrin on Wed Jul 15th, 2015 at 01:41:46 PM EST
O please. They push any non-entity as long as they agitate against social democrats.

By the way, have you seen that one of his reasons is taht teh SPD is much to soft on Putin?

Hze thinks we are to pacifist. Strange heroes do you chose here.

by IM on Wed Jul 15th, 2015 at 02:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I love your interesting theory that Die Zeit would push any non-entity as long as they agitate against social democrats. Very original. And your assumption that I was choosing heroes: very original too. Is that how you consume the news? It's a bit sad that you don't comment on this former comrade of yours saying that the SPD has lost every political vision relating to the values that for him were the foundations of social-democracy: a long term vision of welfare state and policy for people in general, not for subsets of people (defined by nationality or whatever). And no comment from you on that. Sad.
by Katrin on Wed Jul 15th, 2015 at 03:12:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"I love your interesting theory that Die Zeit would push any non-entity as long as they agitate against social democrats."

That is not a theory: Or have you ever hard of this guy before? why publish this nobody?

"It's a bit sad that"

Spare me your crocodile tears

No comment on his anti-russian positions?

"as lost every political vision relating to the values that for him were the foundations of social-democracy: a long term vision of welfare state and policy for people in general,"

nonsense. Why should I validate that nonsense?

by IM on Wed Jul 15th, 2015 at 03:22:32 PM EST
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Translation: "La la la I can't hear you!"

Now, obviously, the party faithful will think that those deserting the party are wrong. But what is your explanation for the overall Mitgliederschwund? (And "the other parties are also losing members" is not in itself an explanation, there is also the relative scale of the SPD's losses over the past 20 years.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jul 20th, 2015 at 03:46:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In other worsd, as usual you don't want do discuss seriously. Krise der Großorganisationen, you heard of that? If not read up and we can have a genuine discussion.

the loss of members is mostly overaging. A phenomenom you can find in other parties - and other countries too.

by IM on Tue Jul 21st, 2015 at 06:15:43 AM EST
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Agreement with your position?
by Katrin on Tue Jul 21st, 2015 at 06:20:12 AM EST
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No. But excluding anything we do know about the membership in mass organisations doesn't a start a good discussiob.
by IM on Tue Jul 21st, 2015 at 06:26:41 AM EST
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"And "the other parties are also losing members" is not in itself an explanation,"

of course it is.

 "losses over the past 20 years.) "

How exactly can the current policy explain the last twenty years? time-traveling?

by IM on Tue Jul 21st, 2015 at 06:24:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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