Saturday, 18 July 2015
Clueless lefties and the EU.
Lefties spend so much time basking in what they see as their moral superiority over the rest of humanity that they don’t bother thinking about economics. The result is that they end up doing little more than aping the economic illiteracy of the political right: e.g. equating government budgets with household budgets, and wittering on about the need to reduce the budget deficit.
Bill Mitchell goes into much more detail on that point in his series “When you’ve got friends like this..”.
Another example of sloppy leftie thinking has appeared in reaction to the Greek problem: lefties completely fail to get the distinction between the EU and the EZ. For example George Monbiot in The Guardian says “I accept the principle of sharing sovereignty over issues of common concern. I do not accept the idea of the rich nations combining to crush the democratic will of the poorer nations, as they are seeking to do to Greece.”
Well first, Greece is not particularly poor: it’s in the top 25% of countries on the GDP/head scale. Second, the idea that Greeks or anyone else should be able to exercise a “democratic right” to help themselves to near limitless amounts of other peoples’ money is sheer nonsense. That is, if Monbiot believes in democracy, what about the “democratic right” of North Europeans to a say in how much of their money is donated to Greeks?
Of course I should have said “loaned to” rather than “donated to” there. But the idea that Greeks are likely to repay debts is a joke if their performance in that regard over the last 200 years is any guide.
In fact the objections to further gifts / loans to Greece come PRECISELY FROM democratic forces in the rest of the EZ: e.g. objections from German and other voters to giving yet more money to Greece.
You’re a racist if you don’t support the EU.
Ten or fifteen years ago, if you didn’t support the EU, you’d might easily have been described by some pompous leftie as a xenophobe, racist or similar. As Wolfgang Munchau put it, “Twenty years ago, I would not have hesitated to characterise a eurosceptic as a xenophobe, or worse…”.
But now it’s all change. Apparently the EU is a “neoliberal” construct. Neoliberal is the latest fashionable word with lefties. It’s almost compulsory to use the word in every sentence. But expect the word to disappear without trace in a couple of years just like other bits of fashionable leftie phraseology like “celebrating diversity”, “multiculturalism” and so on.
The above tendency of the political left to throw insults around rather than THINK extends to immigration. That is, a hundred Guardian articles over recent years have described those with doubts about the alleged wonders of mass immigration as “racists”, “xenophobes” “neo-Nazis” and God knows what else.
If you want to describe someone as a xenophobe, then fine: produce some evidence. But I’ve never ever seen any actual evidence produced.
Other leftie windbags.
Apart from Monbiot, there are other leftie windbags who haven’t got the distinction between the EU and EZ. That is, they claim that the harsh treatment of Greece is a characteristic of the EU. It’s not. It derives from the inherent characteristics of common currencies, i.e. the EZ. E.g. see here, here and here.
Put another way there is absolutely no reason for countries in the EU which have their own currencies (e.g. the UK, Denmark and Sweden) to undergo the sort of excess deflation being imposed on Greece. A country with its own currency can devalue overnight. In contrast, the equivalent for a country in a common currency area is INTERNAL DEVALUATION. And that’s a long painful process.