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LWW
08-08-2011, 02:30 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><span style='font-size: 20pt'>If we are to survive the looming catastrophe, we need to face the truth</span>

T<span style='font-size: 14pt'>he idea that a capitalist economy can support a socialist welfare state is collapsing before our eyes</span>

Janet Daley ... The Sunday Telegraph

Which of these is the most important question to ask in the present economic crisis: how can we promote growth? Should we pay off government debt more or less quickly? Is the US in worse trouble than Europe? <span style='font-size: 11pt'>Answer: none of the above.</span>

<span style='font-size: 11pt'>The truly fundamental question that is at the heart of the disaster toward which we are racing is being debated only in America: is it possible for a free market economy to support a democratic socialist society?</span> On this side of the Atlantic, the model of a national welfare system with comprehensive entitlements, which is paid for by the wealth created through capitalist endeavour, has been accepted (even by parties of the centre-Right) as the essence of post-war political enlightenment.

This was the heaven on earth for which liberal democracy had been striving: a system of wealth redistribution that was merciful but not Marxist, and a guarantee of lifelong economic and social security for everyone that did not involve totalitarian government. This was the ideal the European Union was designed to entrench. It was the dream of Blairism, which adopted it as a replacement for the state socialism of Old Labour. <span style='font-size: 11pt'>And it is the aspiration of President Obama and his liberal Democrats, who want the United States to become a European-style social democracy.</span>

But the US has a very different historical experience from European countries, with their accretions of national remorse and class guilt: it has a far stronger and more resilient belief in the moral value of liberty and the dangers of state power. <span style='font-size: 11pt'>This is a political as much as an economic crisis, but not for the reasons that Mr Obama believes. The ruckus that nearly paralysed the US economy last week, and led to the loss of its AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s, arose from a confrontation over the most basic principles of American life.

Contrary to what the Obama Democrats claimed, the face-off in Congress did not mean that the nation’s politics were “dysfunctional”. The politics of the US were functioning precisely as the Founding Fathers intended: the legislature was acting as a check on the power of the executive.</span>

The Tea Party faction within the Republican party was demanding that, before any further steps were taken, there must be a debate about where all this was going. They had seen the future toward which they were being pushed, and it didn’t work. They were convinced that the entitlement culture and benefits programmes which the Democrats were determined to preserve and extend with tax rises could only lead to the diminution of that robust economic freedom that had created the American historical miracle.

<span style='font-size: 11pt'>And, again contrary to prevailing wisdom, their view is not naive and parochial: it is corroborated by the European experience. By rights, it should be Europe that is immersed in this debate, but its leaders are so steeped in the sacred texts of social democracy that they cannot admit the force of the contradictions which they are now hopelessly trying to evade.

No, it is not just the preposterousness of the euro project that is being exposed. (Let’s merge the currencies of lots of countries with wildly differing economic conditions and lock them all into the interest rate of the most successful. What could possibly go wrong?)

Also collapsing before our eyes is the lodestone of the Christian Socialist doctrine that has underpinned the EU’s political philosophy: the idea that a capitalist economy can support an ever-expanding socialist welfare state. </span>

As the EU leadership is (almost) admitting now, the next step to ensure the survival of the world as we know it will involve moving toward a command economy, in which individual countries and their electorates will lose significant degrees of freedom and self-determination.

We have arrived at the endgame of what was an untenable doctrine: to pay for the kind of entitlements that populations have been led to expect by their politicians, the wealth-creating sector has to be taxed to a degree that makes it almost impossible for it to create the wealth that is needed to pay for the entitlements that populations have been led to expect, etc, etc.

<span style='font-size: 11pt'>The only way that state benefit programmes could be extended in the ways that are forecast for Europe’s ageing population would be by government seizing all the levers of the economy and producing as much (externally) worthless currency as was needed – in the manner of the old Soviet Union. </span>

That is the problem. So profound is its challenge to the received wisdom of postwar Western democratic life that it is unutterable in the EU circles in which the crucial decisions are being made – or rather, not being made.

The solution that is being offered to the political side of the dilemma is benign oligarchy. Ignoring national public opinion and turbulent political minorities has always been at least half the point of the EU bureaucratic putsch. But that does not settle the economic predicament.

<span style='font-size: 11pt'>What is to be done about all those assurances that governments have provided for generations about state-subsidised security in old age, universal health provision (in Britain, almost uniquely, completely free), and a guaranteed living standard for the unemployed?

We have been pretending – with ever more manic protestations – that this could go on for ever. Even when it became clear that European state pensions (and the US social security system) were gigantic Ponzi schemes in which the present beneficiaries were spending the money of the current generation of contributors, and that health provision was creating impossible demands on tax revenue, and that benefit dependency was becoming a substitute for wealth-creating employment, the lesson would not be learnt. We have been living on tick and wishful thinking.

Lowering the tax burden for both wealth-creators and consumers is essential. In Britain, finding private sources of revenue for health care is a matter of urgency.

A general correction of the imbalance between wealth production and wealth redistribution is now a matter of basic necessity, not ideological preference. </span>

The hardest obstacle to overcome will be the idea that anyone who challenges the prevailing consensus of the past 50 years is irrational and irresponsible.

That is what is being said about the Tea Partiers. In fact, what is irrational and irresponsible is the assumption that we can go on as we are. </div></div>

<span style='font-size: 26pt'>HEAR HEAR! (http://www.barking-moonbat.com/)</span>

Soflasnapper
08-08-2011, 11:44 AM
This isn't 'the EURO press,' or even 'Great Britain's press,' but the TORY PRESS. Which is to say, highly leaning to the conservative side of political issues.

The key problem in Europe's bad economy, as in ours, is that the banking system fraud blew up the money, in titanic fraud-related losses of huge amounts of money, that the taxpayers are being tasked to repay. (See how great a financial shape Iceland and Ireland were in about 2005, until the fraudsters came in and did their dirty deeds.)

Instead of pointing to the real problem, every old trope about the welfare state is trotted out, as if the current troubles were only the crash of social welfare financial arrangements.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Political stance

The Daily Telegraph has been politically conservative in modern times.[15] The personal links between the paper's editors and the leadership of the Conservative Party, along with the paper's influence over Conservative activists, has resulted in the paper commonly being referred to, especially in Private Eye, as the Torygraph.[15] Even when Conservative support was shown to have slumped in the opinion polls and Labour became ascendant in them (particularly when leader Tony Blair rebranded the party as "New Labour" on becoming leader after the death of John Smith in 1994), the newspaper remained loyal to the Conservatives. This loyalty continued after Labour ousted the Conservatives from power by a landslide election result in 1997, and in the face of Labour election wins in 2001 and the third successive Labour election win in 2005.</div></div>

cushioncrawler
08-08-2011, 06:00 PM
If they had full employment there would be no big problems in greece spain theusofa etc.
mac.

cushioncrawler
08-09-2011, 12:12 AM
Britain must resist Tea Party thinking
By POLLY TOYNBEE - THE GUARDIAN - COMMENT IS FREE
Added: Wednesday, 03 August 2011 at 3:49 AM

Tea Party madness has brought the US to the brink of economic mayhem, risking taking much of the world with it. In the face of obdurate unreason, the president of hyper-reasonableness was forced to surrender. The economic credibility of the country that holds the global reserve currency has wobbled. The political credibility of the world's beacon of democracy has failed in the face of an insurgency of unreason. Facts, evidence, probability, possibility – none of that matters to a movement founded on ferocious fantasy.

The founding fathers built a constitution of checks and balances believing reasonable men would agree; how could they foresee Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann or Glenn Beck? To the British eye, America was always dangerously prone to waves of populism and McCarthyite panics. The country has reached a deadlock that may set it on a faster road to decline as absolute intransigence creates a constitution that no longer functions. Why bother with the great show of presidential elections when presidents are denied the power to match their pomp? The politics of miasma, where words matter more than facts and actions, lets the Tea Party demand the impossible – debt reduction with tax cuts, spending cuts without touching the gargantuan defence budget. Obama believed against all the evidence that his opponents would see reason. That's not who they are.

I worked in Washington during Watergate and the fall of Richard Nixon; even in that national trauma there was not this unbridgeable detestation between the red and the blue. What happened? The rise of the Tea Party owes a great deal to Rupert Murdoch's Fox TV, the foghorn of extremism that changed the nature of political discourse. Trouncing the competition, its propagandising for Tea Party views misinforms the electorate on just about everything: it is rivetingly frightening viewing. It makes our own politics look civil, our commentating measured, our right wing moderate. But there is little doubt that had News International not fallen so spectacularly from grace, the Murdochs would have intimidated British politicians into changing our laws to allow unbridled political bias in broadcasting. Fox-style television would have battered its way into our living rooms, bringing us Tea Party politics too.

Whatever you think of the Tory party, it is not shot through with US craziness, not on stem cell research and gay marriage, or even really on abortion – though they will toughen its conditions. Steve Hilton's cunning plan to abolish all consumer, employment and maternity rights got a dusty answer, while his green passions are at least tolerated. Most Tories are driven by Thatcherism, with its shrink-the-state, on-your-bike thirst for deregulation. But although Oliver Letwin's parents were Ayn Rand disciples, the American right's call of the wild is no closer to Tory core sentiment than is Labour's ritualistic singing of the Red Flag once a year. Britain is more rightwing than mainstream Europe, our media more strident, but we haven't crossed the Atlantic – yet.

But American intellectual fashions waft our way: a taste of the Tea Party arrives on these shores in the peculiar paranoia of the climate-change deniers. You may dismiss some as fruitcakes or oil company lobbyists, but when Andrew Turnbull, former head of the civil service, reveals that he is of their number, it should alarm us.

Professor Steve Jones's report on BBC science coverage raised the difficult question of impartiality: should the BBC stand impartially between sense and nonsense, between flat- and round-earthers? On the MMR/autism dispute and GM crops the BBC gave a "false balance" between minority views and the consensus of most scientists. Jones suggests that the great weight of international scientific opinion agreeing that warming is caused by human agency means the BBC need no longer quote balancing deniers when only "the pretence of debate remains". Instead, move on to the real debates on how best to mitigate it. Mail and Telegraph commentators called this the "quasi-Stalinist thought police". For some reason they consider "the warmists" a leftwing conspiracy, though why is never clear. Lord Turnbull, writing in the Sunday Times, challenged Jones using every weary denier's argument: didn't Galileo and Darwin oppose the science of their day? I won't rehearse the paranoia of the deniers who think the world is against them: yes, it is

Qtec
08-09-2011, 01:14 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">See how great a financial shape Iceland [ was in..] </div></div>

Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector (the state or government) to the private sector (businesses that operate for a private profit) or to private non-profit organizations.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How did things get so bad so fast? Blame the Icelandic banking system's heavy reliance on external financing.<u> With the privatization of the banking sector,</u> completed in 2000, Iceland's banks used substantial wholesale funding to finance their entry into the local mortgage market and acquire foreign financial firms, mainly in Britain and Scandinavia. The banks, in large part, were simply following the international ambitions of a new generation of Icelandic entrepreneurs who forged global empires in industries from retailing to food production to pharmaceuticals. <span style='font-size: 14pt'>By the end of 2006, the total assets of the three main banks were $150 billion, <u>eight times the country's GDP.</u> </span> </div></div>

When the US mortgage Ponzi scheme collapsed, it turned out that the bank's debt was like 15x the Icelandic GDP.

Still there are those who clamour for less regulation and that private companies can do it better than Govt!

Q

LWW
08-09-2011, 01:34 AM
Being that government created the problem ... they are right.

llotter
08-09-2011, 07:47 AM
Always attack the messenger...typical

Soflasnapper
08-09-2011, 09:29 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: llotter</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Always attack the messenger...typical </div></div>

There's an old expression, consider the source.

It's an old expression, because it contains advice of considerable worth.

LWW claimed this opinion piece was from 'the EURO press,' and it vindicated the Tea Party.

Mostly, Great Britain doesn't get considered 'European,' and this newspaper is British. Moreover, it's a far right newspaper, which one would assume would say things in support of conservatives.

So, if I post 'this just in, the RNC is opposing Obama,' such a post has a different character and takeaway when one knows what the RNC is, that it is the leadership of the Republican Party, and not some independent think tank that represents some non-partisan take.

So, I say, in so many words, consider the source-- it's not 'EURO' press at all, but the Telegraph from the UK, which is firmly on the conservative side of things. Fair commentary, and critical information on which to judge the fairness of its take.

LWW
08-09-2011, 03:41 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: llotter</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Always attack the messenger...typical </div></div>

What else would you expect?

LWW
08-09-2011, 03:44 PM
Only in moonbhattistan could a newspaper founded in Europe, headquartered in Europe, written in Europe, edited in Europe, printed in Europe, distributed in Europe, sold in Europe and read in Europe not be considered a European newspaper.