Comments on: When peace does not mean prosperity A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: MrRFox Sun, 14 Oct 2012 04:22:01 +0000 “The Germans will soon learn that the fruits of their labor lent instead of spent will not be repaid in full.”

That’s a beautiful line, Kurt; so is this –

“Smart rats know when to leave ship.” (Charlie Chan)

By: y2kurtus Sun, 14 Oct 2012 03:09:41 +0000 The EU has both peace AND prosperity. How many people in the EU live on $2/day. (0.0%) How many live on $20/day? (single digits would be a fair estimate.)

Not unlike the U.S. working class EU residents at large make 3-5x the global mean hourly wage. If you exclude Germany, more than half of all their debt is externally held.

The Germans will soon learn that the fruits of their labor lent instead of spent will not be repaid in full. Not since the days of slave owning plantation owners have so many enjoyed such an artificial level of largess.

Cry not for the Greeks, the Spanish, or the Italians… they’ve eaten and drank far better than they deserved for 11 years. The bill is now on the table and they simply won’t be picking up the full check.

By: AngryInCali Sat, 13 Oct 2012 06:48:18 +0000 You equate the Eurozone with the EU at the end. I don’t see any reason the EU needs to have a single currency to achieve the peaceful outcomes we’re talking about. Even the economic achievements are fairly disconnected from the Euro (or have the UK, Demark, and Sweden been left behind the Eurozone?).

By: KenG_CA Sat, 13 Oct 2012 06:20:48 +0000 MrFox, who are you calling a mere commenter? And Felix, I mean virtually, not politically, you are no longer a citizen of the EU.

As for all that noise about wealth creation and destruction, about whether deficit spending causes it, or integration and unity, as Felix and many others surmise, it is mostly just political marketing. The western world achieved an advanced standard of living relative to countries like China because technology was created and manufactured here. Because we could build cool things that the rest of the world had to buy from us, we enjoyed a higher standard of living. It had nothing to do with independent states or balanced budgets.

Then, to maximize profits for a select few, the job of building all that cool stuff was given to those countries who previously didn’t have the technology to do so. But they do now, and they are willing to work for less. The main reason standards of livings are under pressure all throughout the developed world is because the developing world is willing to work for less, and they can now build everything. The people who normally used to earn a living building things for the world can no longer do that, and they are expecting the governments to compensate for what they lost.

Europe (and the U.S.) isn’t destroying wealth, they are just not producing as much as they used to, and nobody is happy with the current distribution of what they do produce.

By: MrRFox Sat, 13 Oct 2012 03:39:27 +0000 ** rubs eyes in disbelief at His Excellency’s substantive reply to mere ‘commenter’ **
** rubs eyes again – no, not a mirage **

At the risk of being immodest, I believe my credentials as a Krugman critic/hater need no elaboration. Even for one as jaded as I, to lump Krugman’s Nobel for his work centered on ‘total factor productivity’ in with Bobo’s and the current ‘inside joke’, well – just too damn CRUEL, FS!

What a great line this – v v – let’s all pray it’s ‘original’.

“… the European project of ever-greater integration and unity has stopped producing wealth and started destroying it instead.”

By: dWj Sat, 13 Oct 2012 02:53:28 +0000 ” But where they used to work together, they’re now working against each other: as Gary Cohn says, there’s a good chance that the EU, or at the very least the eurozone, is going to break up precisely in order to generate the kind of prosperity which no longer seems possible anywhere south of Milan.

All of which is to say that fractiousness, these days, seems to be more remunerative than unity. We’re becoming a go-it-alone, winner-takes-all world, where opposition beats cooperation — and that, in turn, bodes ill for peace and for federalism wherever it’s found.”

Slow down here, kemosabe. There’s space between “fractiousness” and tethering yourselves to march in lockstep with people. The US and Western Europe in particular have engaged in trade and cooperation for the last sixty years; while there have occasionally been differences, there has been no threat of war and very little risk even of mutual subterfuge, but also something far from autarchy; it has been cooperation, but without subverting ourselves to each other.

Too much of what people think of as democratic principles these days seems to suggest that if five friends go to an ice cream parlor and three want vanilla while two want chocolate, they should all get vanilla because, you know, majority rules. It’s not the least bit “fractious” to order chocolate. If everyone in Europe can be made better off by moving, not to 1946, but closer to 1992 or so — not even eliminating the euro altogether, but perhaps putting it at the core of an ERM — that doesn’t preclude trade, cooperation, even regulatory harmonization, and certainly doesn’t require everyone “go[ing]-it-alone” or being at war. Indeed, conditional on that premise, keeping the eurozone intact would seem to be sacrificing actual harmony to a misplaced romanticism.

By: FelixSalmon Sat, 13 Oct 2012 02:15:20 +0000 @KenG I might not be an EU resident, but I’m certainly an EU citizen. Just ask Customs & Immigration at JFK.

By: seanmatthews Fri, 12 Oct 2012 22:21:22 +0000 Duh, I live in the middle of Europe, and have an impeccable EU background. I agree with Felix completely.

By: KenG_CA Fri, 12 Oct 2012 21:34:33 +0000 Felix, you live in NY, you’re not an EU citizen any more. A native, maybe, but you don’t participate in their society. I’m guessing you don’t pay taxes there, nor spend much money there, either. You’re no more of an EU citizen than I am a New Jersey citizen, having left there decades ago.

Unless you moved back?

By: klhoughton Fri, 12 Oct 2012 20:29:00 +0000 “This prize belongs in much the same category as Barack Obama’s, or Paul Krugman’s: it’s designed to push a certain vision of how the world should look in the future, as much or more than it is designed to recognize some achievement which happened in the past.”

Uh, I’ll give you Obama, but Krugman was known to be Nobel* short-list for years. Indeed, the first call I got that day was from an arch-conservative friend who said “Krugman finally won it.”

Geography isn’t just Destiny; it’s good economics.

*Yeah, yeah, Swedish mumble-mumble.