Economic suicide

As European nations abandon fiscal sanity, can America capitalize?

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Europe will now be either omen or opportunity.

It depends on whether we follow their misadventure or learn from it.

Scarcely after it began, the supposed Era of Austerity came to an end this past weekend in Europe, as voters in both France and Greece rebelled against fiscal sanity in favor of more spending and more socialism.

One might have expected that of Greece, which was the first fat-pension, big-spending European Union nation to dive off the fiscal cliff; they’ve been thrown every lifeline possible since then, but have steadfastly refused to participate in pulling themselves out of the hole they’re in.

Until now, France had been one of the grown-ups in the room. This past weekend, though, voters replaced the sensible Nicolas Sarkozy with socialist François Hollande – who has called for more government spending, a lowered retirement age and 75 percent taxation of the rich.

It’s as if a falling person were trying to push off against the sky to accelerate the fall.

“You can vote to change
leadership,” said syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, “but you can’t vote against mathematics.”

“The election results,” writes American Enterprise Institute scholar Arthur Herman, “prove that Europe’s voters don’t know they’re committing suicide — or don’t care. The only pertinent question is what will take Europe’s place once its political union, and its worthless currency, both wind up on the ash heap of history.”

Indeed, it is difficult to see how increased government spending can help things, in France or anywhere else. If deficit spending, along with high taxes, could have created prosperity, Greece would be the model. Instead, Germany and other responsible entities have, to this point, kept the big-spenders afloat.

Why should German taxpayers or other investors agree to continue funding early retirements, puffy pensions and generous public benefits in failed socialist states? How long can either the euro or the European Union remain intact under such unreasonable demands?

Noting that the EU came into being with the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, Herman writes, “no great empire has ever collapsed as swiftly and decisively as this one.”

He argues that may present an opportunity for the United States – which he calls “the last major capitalist, pro-growth economy on Earth.”

“Look for a capital flight from Europe to America,” Herman argues.

No doubt the wealthy will look to flee France. The Times of London predicted last month that if Hollande were to win, “prepare to hear a lot more French around the world.”

“I guarantee you that the treasury in Paris will get less net revenue as the rich leave,” Krauthammer said Monday.

But before Britain thinks of rolling out the red carpet: Reuters reported last month that 20 percent of the wealthy in Britain want out of there, too.

Is the United States poised to capitalize on Europe’s soak-the-rich socialist mistakes? Not yet, of course. We have a presidential administration and U.S. Senate that wants to follow Europe’s course, despite what they’re seeing happen across the pond.

If this country is smart, it will return to its free-market principles and devotion to individual freedom that once inspired the French to give us the Statue of Liberty, and which made this the most powerful, prosperous nation on Earth.

The stakes this November just went up.

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Cdr4500
20
Points
Cdr4500 05/08/12 - 11:31 pm
1
0
Free market? So you want the
Unpublished

Free market?

So you want the days of no minimum wage, child labor, regulation-less corporations, and the outright exploitation of American workers?

Awesome. Where can I sign up for that???

Cdr4500
20
Points
Cdr4500 05/08/12 - 11:50 pm
1
1
Liberals do NOT hate
Unpublished

Liberals do NOT hate capitalism or free markets. That's just what Fox preaches and wants you to believe. By the way, liberty and freedom mean the same thing, the first comes from Latin (via French-speaking Norman invaders/rulers), whereas the second comes from Old English, a Germanic language.

Liberals are close to Libertarians - they both love freedom and fairness. I guess the only difference is what they consider "fair".

Libertarians seem to live in a dream world, a fantasy where we're all isolated individuals, born equal, and that we deserve exactly what we end up with, because we have a meritocracy, so it's all about your own individual effort.

Liberals see the reality that we're not just individuals - we are part of a society. More importantly, we are not born equal. Even worse, society is structured in such a way that there are vast differences between people based on class, and that these differences are grossly unfair. We don't really have a meritocracy - just the appearance of one. Where you end up in life is largely dependent on what class you were born into - much more so than your own efforts. Are there some exceptional people who rise way above the class they were born into? Sure, and we hear about them non-stop, because our media is perpetuating a myth that this is typical and that anyone can do this (the "American Dream"). But it's not typical, AT ALL. It's next to impossible, and is largely a matter of LUCK, because for 100 or 1,000 people who put forth their best effort, only 1 or 2 make it. And we never hear about those who FALL from the middle class into poverty. That's not supposed to happen, but it does all the time.

Fox wants conservatives to believe that "liberal" = "socialist" = COMMUNIST. Nothing could be further from the truth. Liberals want to return America to our golden age, the 1940s through the early '70s, when our economy was in great shape, we had a strong, healthy, happy middle class society that was the envy of the world, and oh, not incidentally, top marginal tax rates on the super-rich (multi-millionaires, the equivalent of today's billionaires) was 90%. That's why we didn't have a national debt problem back then. And our economy was STRONGER, not weaker, for having those high taxes on super-high incomes. That was a better, fairer, more prosperous, and STRONGER society.

Some countries in Europe are still like that. Not Greece, Italy, etc., but Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and maybe a few others. Note that these are all CAPITALIST, and very competitive economies. But they are also much more fair than America. Their governments didn't allow criminal bankers to create a fraudulent housing bubble and subsequent crash. They are not "winner-take-all" societies, where a few people make tens or hundreds of millions per year while most struggle and never get ahead, always fearing loss of job, health insurance, home, sanity, life itself, and where people die on the streets every day. They still have rich people, entrepreneurs and all the rest, but they are not the only ones that count, like in America today.

Conservatives pretend to care about the ordinary, hard working American, but they don't. They want this country to return to third-world conditions, like we had in the 1930s and before, or like Mexico or Pakistan today. They fool people with religion and "patriotism". But they don't have common decency or any sense of fairness or humanity. They want a feudal society, with a few multi-billionaires owning and controlling everything, and the rest of us poor and weak and badly educated and happy to have any job at all, just to survive. They want an "Old Testament" world with rigid class divisions where they are the hypocritical, oppressive Pharisee class with all the wealth and power over the people, enforcing harsh and stupid laws restricting people's love lives. Liberals want a society based more on what Jesus taught - equality, compassion, kindness, fairness, tolerance, forgiveness, etc.

Fundamental_Arminian
1849
Points
Fundamental_Arminian 05/09/12 - 12:58 am
1
1
Too Much Competition for High Tax Rates

Cdr4500, today's competition among industrialized nations is too great for our nation to return to progressive income tax brackets as high as 90 percent. Shortly after World War II, Europe, the USSR, and Japan were digging out of the rubble, and other nations around the world had not joined the industrial revolution. Our nation reigned supreme as the world's industrial powerhouse and could charge whatever tax our leaders wanted.

Those days are over, however. The world now has many nations where manufacturers can produce goods cheaper than here. If we raise tax rates to their post-WW II levels, we'll lose wealthy, productive citizens in migrations like the ones described in Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 05/09/12 - 03:46 am
4
4
CDR4500, Where in the world

CDR4500, Where in the world did you find your information on Conservetives? Surely its posted on one of their websites, or printed on platform flyers or white papers. Nope. Its liberal spin, uninformed biased opinion, and talking points. Many conservetives believe people need to take responsibility for their actions, educate themselves through the public school and university systems, pursue careers that allow them to take care of their own, and make a contribution to society through hard work, volunteerism, or service to the nation. Many also believe in caring for the seriously disabled, wounded veterans, and the elderly, and providing a helping hand to the poor for a limited time. Many conservatives beleive charity is the best way to address the latter. This doesn't equate to conservatives being heartless and oppresive.

carcraft
26234
Points
carcraft 05/09/12 - 05:51 am
4
3
cdr4500- A lot of liberals

cdr4500- A lot of liberals are like the Occupy protestor on Hannity. Hannity offered him a job but it didn't pay over $80,000.00/ year so he wasn't interestred. Give me a break, I have washed dishs and peoples rear ends ( I worked in a Nursing home for minimum wage). I have dug ditches, drilled wells, welded, etc. I didn't make over $40,000.00/year until I was well into my 30's. Now if I needed a job and got an offer I always took it. Today a lot of peole think that their rear ends don't stink and they are so wonderfull people will fall down to hire them. If they don't get hired at a salary and a job they deem worthy the government should take care of them. The rich should be taxed to take care of them until they can find the perfect job.. Well good luck with that!

I am not against taxing anybody, I am against the government wasting money. GSA parties, Secret Service agent hooker fests, Green energy waste. Illegal alians filing false tax statements to get money from the federal government for their kids living in Mexico, stimulus program that spends 11 millin dollars to buy colths for two people. I can go on for hours. What about cleaning that garbage up then figureout what the government really needs to run?

justthefacts
22196
Points
justthefacts 05/09/12 - 06:33 am
3
3
"Where you end up in life is

"Where you end up in life is largely dependent on what class you were born into - much more so than your own efforts" Sounds more like rationalization than fact. Certainly better than having to take responsibility for your lot in life.
"And we never hear about those who FALL from the middle class into poverty. That's not supposed to happen, but it does all the time." Yes, it does happen all the time, especially under the Obama Administration. Since he took office it's skyrocketed. Vote him out.

seenitB4
88079
Points
seenitB4 05/09/12 - 07:18 am
2
1
Can't change the math

I agree with this statement...

“You can vote to change
leadership,” said syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, “but you can’t vote against mathematics.”

Soooo more poor are voting.....the same thing will happen here...
Get the dad-burn decent paying jobs back in the USA...stop ignoring the fact that the poor out number the rich.

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 05/09/12 - 07:30 am
0
1
The only difference between

The only difference between rich people and people that want to be rich are there are more wannabes. At least in America if you want to become rich you can. What does it take to become rich in America? First define rich. Second qualify yourself to become rich. Third understand that whatever you want you will have to take from someone else. Fourth, understand that they want to be rich too. Fifth, take calculated informed risks when you invest. Sixth, make calculated informed decisions when you sell. Seventh, rise up and above everyone you know and resist their determination to hold you down.

Once you think you are rich, you will work harder than you ever have to stay that way. Now "Let's get busy" should be your alarm clock.

Granddaddy John
101
Points
Granddaddy John 05/09/12 - 07:34 am
0
0
YA'll get on Techfans case
Unpublished

YA'll get on Techfans case early and he will bail out and i want have to read his dribble.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 05/09/12 - 08:38 am
2
0
A free market is a market

A free market is a market where prices are determined by supply and demand. I hope that informs those who are not informed on the subject of what a "free market" really means.

It is interesting to me that France elects a socialist and in Greece the communists got 8%, socialists got 13.4% and the freaking neo-Nazi party got 7%. That means neo-Nazi's (Golden Dawn) will hold 21 seats in Greece's Parliament. Do the economics and rise in the types of parties remind anyone of another time in history?

Bizkit
32128
Points
Bizkit 05/09/12 - 08:44 am
3
2
We aren't Russia, China,

We aren't Russia, China, Europe or Japan we are the USA. Why would we want to be like them when we have been number 1. We have dominated the planet since WWII in just about everything economic, science, medicine, etc. The more govt has grown under Bush and Obama the less productive America has become. The more govt (the state) controls then inevitably there is less freedom (examine Europe and other countries laws)-just like the Patriot Act. Socialism is what it is why hide behind semantics (it isn't necessarily bad).Classic Liberalism use to espouse smaller govt, constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights, capitalism, and the free exercise of religion (now basic tenets of Rep). Liberalism no longer stands for that now hence the term progressives (the Dems are a progressive party an opposite reaction to conservatism). There are jobs in America but more are high education STEM related which we are failing even with govt stimulus in the STEM fields,but all the masses on the low IQ end of the spectrum (nothing personal just a biological fact that a college degree is out of their reach) have lost jobs to a world competitive market.

Bizkit
32128
Points
Bizkit 05/09/12 - 08:47 am
0
2
So CD if you are a liberal

So CD if you are a liberal then you espouse the tenets of the GOP and not the progressive reactionary tenets of the Dems opposed to the conservative element in the GOP.

Bizkit
32128
Points
Bizkit 05/09/12 - 08:48 am
2
1
Heh, What happened to CD's

Heh, What happened to CD's MSNBC talking points????

faithson
5193
Points
faithson 05/09/12 - 08:54 am
2
0
free-markets = profit driven

free-markets = profit driven = greed motivation = accumulation by self serving people and corporations = propaganda to keep what you have = not paying a fair share of wealth to live in a civil society = I've got mine, go get your own aka pull up by your boot straps, but find your own boots, I have mine.

Bizkit
32128
Points
Bizkit 05/09/12 - 09:07 am
1
0
It is greed driven but you

It is greed driven but you can't deny this natural selection produces excellence. I remember a friend in who was going to medical school grew up poor and his motivation was to make a lot of money. To be honest , my knee jerk reaction was that of disgust, but the more I thought about it who cares what motivates him as long as he becomes the best physician he can be. He was in the top of his class. I haven't seen him since he finished and I would love to follow up.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 05/09/12 - 09:36 am
0
0
Investopedia explains a "free market"

Investopedia explains 'Free Market'
In simple terms, a free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is a voluntary agreement between two parties who trade in the form of goods and services. In reality, this is the extent to which a free market exists since there will always be government intervention in the form of taxes, price controls and restrictions that prevent new competitors from entering a market. Just like supply-side economics, free market is a term used to describe a political or ideological viewpoint on policy and is not a field within economics.
-------------
It is not what faithson and cdr report it to be.

allhans
23761
Points
allhans 05/09/12 - 09:43 am
4
1
On one hand you have greed.

On one hand you have greed. On the other you have ENVY!
Which is the most self-destructive?

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 05/09/12 - 10:28 am
2
0
i believe they are equally

i believe they are equally destructive character flaws, allhans

Cdr4500
20
Points
Cdr4500 05/09/12 - 02:12 pm
0
0
You say "Either admit you
Unpublished

You say "Either admit you want socialism or you want capitalism." (I fixed your spelling.) But the ideal system turns out to be a mixture of the two! Unfettered capitalism is overly kind to the haves and cruel to the have-nots. Too much socialism and motivation is stifled (maybe; socialist paradise Sweden seems to be doing OK and their citizens are much happier than we are). The ideal system is a mix. Yet you say it has to be one or the other.This black-and-white, extremes-only thinking is characteristic of conservatives, and it would be ever so helpful if you could find a way to occasionally see the shades of gray in between.

socks99
250
Points
socks99 05/09/12 - 03:41 pm
1
1
Economist Paul Krugman has

Economist Paul Krugman has railed against "austerity" as if it were a snake oil proffered by uninformed conservatives. In reality, there have been no radical cuts in government spending; and attempts to re-establish fiscal sanity have been driven by the bond markets, and not conservative citizens and politicians. It remains to be seen how Krugman and his supporters will borrow money from creditors to stimulate economies while simultaneously hinting that the money will not be re-paid. What it is, really, is one more minor detail in the years-long collapse of a gigantic credit bubble. It may mean economic depression in Europe, the U.S. , and around the globe.

grammamil
6
Points
grammamil 05/09/12 - 04:10 pm
2
0
"If Americans [were]

"If Americans [were] smart...," there would never have been a president Reagan, Bush or Bush. That being said, the definition of "free market" is an oxymoron. No, I'm NOT calling anyone a moron.

Conservative Man
5577
Points
Conservative Man 05/09/12 - 04:57 pm
0
2
And if Americans were smart

And if Americans were smart there most certainly would NOT have been a President Barack Hussein Obama....
Maybe we should put into place a system whereby while you are on welfare you give up your right to vote....

Bizkit
32128
Points
Bizkit 05/09/12 - 06:25 pm
0
1
Wow no Reagan then likely no

Wow no Reagan then likely no end to Cold War. I guess some just want to live in the past.

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