Category Archives: Europe

Yes, The ‘Banksters’ Are Bad, But So Is Greek Profligacy & Sloth

Debt, Economy, EU, Europe, Federal Reserve Bank, Labor, libertarianism

After midnight, tonight, Greece will turn into a pumpkin. The Eurozone nations won’t be bailing the country out again after the deadline. Or so they say. For the life of me, however, I can’t understand why some ostensibly rational libertarians have joined Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert at RT in shaking the fist at the “banksters,” on behalf of the Greeks robbed.

Because EU manipulations have hurt Greece the most, some libertarians have concluded that Greece is the most victimized. That’s but part of the picture. True, the “apparatchiks of the EU” have aimed to create “one nation under inflation.” The EU superstate is especially bad for the unproductive Greeks. The same can be said for the effects of the European central bank and its beneficiaries: they harm the Greek people most.

But why discount the simpler realities of Greek’s political economy? As even this (unhinged) article concedes, “Greece had been on a steady path toward bankruptcy for 25 years.” Why not Germany, the workhorse of Europe?

Greece is among the least productive and most profligate EU countries. It’s a messy habit of mind that ignores this reality in favor of an analysis of macroeconomics alone. Thus, for example, Greece has a population of about 11 million, close on one million of whom were in the employ of the public sector, in 2009.

Is that 10 percent?????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Do you know what kind of liability that creates in perpetuity in terms of pensions and perks? The sovereign debt crisis has since forced the government to fire some parasites, but you get the drift.

As far as I know, Greeks have not voted to leave the EU and restore their own currency. This would indeed make them more competitive. And the Greek people have elected a socialist government that is resisting cuts to the public pension system, changes in the parasites’ retirement age (ridiculously young), and flexibility in sclerotic labor markets, socialized by the people’s choice. Would the Greeks rather starve than work? It seem so.

More Greece facts: “Greece deal: Seriously, what’s holding it up?”


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UPDATE II: Lagging Labor Participation (Just Another Gov. Index)

America, Canada, Economy, Europe, Labor, Russia

About the decline in US labor-force participation, when compared to other developed countries: One would think that the US has to have an absolute greater labor participation percentage than the rest of the far-less vibrant, Third-Way, Western economies, given the vitality of our economy. What RT is screeching about pertains to the rate of decline in US labor participation rates. One would expect this to be more precipitous in our economy, given that extreme welfarism and interventionism in labor markets are newer here than in the already atrophied European economies.

RT Boom & Bust: “The US stands alone, at least when it comes to labor participation rates. If you compare America to seven other advanced economies, such as Canada, France, and Germany, it’s the only country that hasn’t shown gains in labor force participation over the past 15 years. That’s according to a new study out by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Boom Bust’s Ameera David weighs in.”

First, Russia’s labor-force participation rate, if these figures are accurate, is better than expected:

“The World Bank provides data for Russia from 1990 to 2012. The average value for Russia during that period was 61.9 percent with a minimum of 57 percent in 1998 and a maximum of 67.2 percent in 1990.”

The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development) ranks the Russian Federation at 68.2 participation rate, in 2011. Not bad.

The number of Americans not in the labor force, as of 05/08/2015, is a staggering 93,194K, “with the result being a participation rate of 69.45 or just above the lowest percentage since 1977.”

This still puts the US above all other developed countries, besides Sweden, Norway and Iceland whose participation rates are in the 70s.

These 2013-2014 values for G-20 Economies are somewhat different:

Labour Force Participation Rate – USA 62.60% Apr-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Japan 59.06% Mar-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Germany 60.40% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – France 56.50% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – Brazil 55.86% Mar-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – UK 62.90% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – Italy 49.20% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – Canada 65.60% Apr-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Australia 64.81% Apr-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Spain 58.80% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – Mexico 59.64% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – South Korea 61.79% Mar-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Indonesia 66.90% Aug-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – Turkey 49.12% Feb-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Argentina 60.53% May-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – South Africa 57.13% Nov-2013

The Rest are Here …

UPDATE I (6/28): Labor Participation: Just Another Gov. Index.

Europe has all sorts of labor laws, increasingly creeping up on America. For example, job-sharing. Instead of firing, two individuals will be forced to “share” one job. Fewer work hours and less pay is involved, but “labor participation” is kept up artificially. Naturally, the more skilled occupations are less prone to this central tinkering.

Yes, productivity: I am told by my sources in high-tech hubs that while the great American companies will have one super-duper specialist working on, say, a niche design in a product; the Scandinavian competitors—countries that sport the highest labor-participation—will have seven experts working that niche in a product.

In other words, productivity in an American mega-company is way higher, with one man doing the work of seven. However, the obviously misleading labor-participation index will lag the more productive a country is.

UPDATE II: Via Facebook Thread:

John Clement: If the job participation rate is at 69.45% then why isn’t the unemployment rate at 30.55%?

Ilana Mercer: John Clement, we presumed that LPR is calculated on the basis of an estimation of the number of people who ought to be working. So if total employment is 100%, your point is a good one.


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Pamela Geller Offends Shariah Media

Constitution, Europe, Free Speech, Islam, Jihad, Left-Liberalism, Media, Political Correctness, Propaganda

There’s a “FRENCH CONNECTION” and a “RED CONNECTION”—both bad—in “Pamela Geller Goes Against Sharia Media,” the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Sandhya SomethingOrAnother is a “social change” reporter for The Washington Post. (Yes, the WaPo has such a beat.) Ms. Somashekhar (her surname copied and pasted) implied that WND columnist Pamela Geller ought to repent for staging a Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas, an event that was briefly attended by two, uninvited ISIS-Americans. Sandhya must have been angry because she called Geller, in error, “a housewife from Long Island.” Progressives don’t much like housewives.

Like most Geller haters, Somashekhar (her name copied and pasted) cited the Southern Poverty Law Center as her “scholarly” source for Geller’s hatefulness. The SPLC is a “leftist vigilante group,” explained Paul Gottfried, a real scholar. It is “unmistakably totalitarian in the drive to suppress and destroy deviationists from the party line on race, gender, and ‘discrimination.’” The “$PLC” is as dodgy in its financial dealings as it is in its strong-arming tactics. (Read “Is The Southern Poverty Law Center ($PLC) The Next Financial Bubble?”)

“Stupid,” ruled a less obscure enforcer of political correctness, Bill O’Reilly, on Geller’s event. Also at Fox News, host Martha MacCallum suggested Geller ought to have explored kinder, gentler ways of protesting Islam-imposed restrictions on expression.

Pantomime, perhaps?

The left-liberal Jon Stewart took the safe route. The idiotic urge to kill over any annoyance was the object of the satirist’s spoof. Stewart’s Thou Shall Not Kill skit was hardly cutting-edge comedy. So he livened up the tired shtick with a curtsy in the direction of the Prophet’s avengers. Geller’s group, The American Freedom Defense Initiative, was about hate speech, warned Stewart.

The biggest clown in the media circus, however, was TV anchor Chris Cuomo. While Geller staged her vital challenge in private; Cuomo, a lawyer, flaunted his “smarts” in public. He tweeted that “hate speech” was unprotected by the Constitution. Not everyone was speechless. Another of CNN’s cretins, Alisyn Camerota, stood squarely in the corner of the victims: those poor ISIS-Americans whose descent into hell was hastened by a guard at Geller’s Garland cartoon contest.

It was difficult to tell what it was about Pamela Geller’s position on impolite and impolitic speech—echoed in the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights—that so puzzled Camerota …

… Read the complete column, “Pamela Geller Goes Against Sharia Media,” on WND.


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Spain And Portugal Pumped With Funny Money

Debt, Economy, EU, Europe

“The ingenuity, industry and activity of the ancient Greeks have nothing in common with the stupidity and indolence of the present inhabitants of those regions.” So said philosopher David Hume about modern-day Creeks.

The “land of moussaka, moochers and looters” and their Marxist leaders refuse to cease living on money borrowed from the more productive EU countries (Germany) .

“Greece,” marvels the Wall Street Journal, “has largely based its brinkmanship on an assumption that the eurozone will ultimately capitulate to its demands to prevent chaos spreading across the currency bloc.”

“Both Spain and Portugal are at risk from a Greek eurozone exit, but they have confidence their economies can withstand the shock.”

Yes, pumping funny money into the money markets has a way of inflating confidences.


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UPDATED: The Curse Of Col. Gadhafi (& The Neocons)

Britain, Canada, Europe, Foreign Policy, History, IMMIGRATION

“The Curse Of Col. Gadhafi” is the current column, now on the UK’s Libertarian Alliance Blog. An excerpt:

When they destabilized Libya and overthrew strongman Muammar Gadhafi in 2011 the U.S. and its Canadian and European allies unleashed a series of events that accounts for the steady flood into Europe of migrants from North Africa. There are, purportedly, “up to 1 million” poor, uneducated, possibly illiterate, predominantly male, and by necessity violence-prone individuals, poised to board rickety freighters in the Libyan ports of Tripoli and Zuwarah, and make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, to southern Italy. The 900 migrants who perished off the coast of Libya when their vessel capsized embarked in Zuwara.

Zuwara has always been “famous for people smuggling,” notes Richard Spencer, Middle East editor of The Telegraph. “The modern story of Zuwara and its trade in people,” says Spencer, whose newspaper has documented the genesis of the exodus well before the U.S. press awoke to it, “was a key part of the late Col. Muammar Gadhafi’s relationship with the European Union.”

The “indigenous, pre-Arab inhabitants of North Africa,” Berbers, as they are known in the West, have long since had a hand in human trafficking. As part of an agreement he made with Silvio Berlusconi’s government, “Col. Gaddafi had agreed to crack down on the trade in people.” For prior to the dissolution of Libya at the behest of Barack Obama’s Amazon women warriors—Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power—Libya had a navy. Under the same accord with the Berlusconi government (and for a pretty penny), Gadhafi’s admiralty stemmed the tide of migrants into Europe.

Here’s an interesting aside: Because he cracked down on their customary trade, the Zuwarans of Libya rose up against Gadhafi; the reason for this faction’s uprising, in 2011, was not the hunger for democracy, as John McCain and his BFF Lindsey Graham would have it. …

… Read the rest. “The Curse Of Col. Gadhafi” is the current column, now on the UK’s Libertarian Alliance Blog.

UPDATE (4/25): Sean Gabb goes to bat for truth against statists and assorted neoconservatives on the matter of the Anglo-American sphere warring with the world and overthrowing its dictators for “democracy” and more deaths.

Our detractor, on the UK’s Libertarian Alliance Blog, is the same commenter who thinks of Andrew Roberts, a court ‘historian” of the worse kind–as Rob Stove has pointed out—as a legitimate reference on the Boer war.

Sean’s defense:

I will say nothing in my own defence, But Ilana Mercer is a woman of strong and consistent moral principle. She has an impressive record of saying what she believes, and saying it very well. You are at perfect liberty to disagree with how she believes the libertarian case should be put. I only ask you once again to stop regarding any disagreement with what you believe as a sign of moral corruption. It does no credit to you, and makes argument less profitable than it ought to be.
Because your comments are never moderated, and are sometimes promoted to the front page, where they can be read by large number of people, you have the confidence to put a lot of effort into this blog. Please consider that the tolerance you enjoy is owed to others.


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‘The Camp of the Saints’

Europe, IMMIGRATION, Race, The West

“The Camp of the Saints,” a prophetic novel by French writer Jean Raspail, in 1973, is the source of many a metaphor for the accelerated, “steady flood into Europe of migrants from North Africa” and its parallels in the US.

Diana West memorably made mention of the book in her June 13, 2014 column, to allude to the flood of South American kids across our southern border:

… the prophetic “Camp of the Saints” [is] the 1973 novel by French author Jean Raspail envisioning an apocalyptic “invasion” of Europe by successive boatloads of Third World nationals, which is today old news out of Spain, Italy and other nations.

At LRC.com, the “Charlie Hebdo” massacre was the trigger for this glut of adjectives (some of which I don’t understand). I like this part:

In one of the most divisive and controversial works of the 20th Century, Raspail chillingly predicted and prophesized forty two years ago precisely what is occurring and its suicidal consequences for the diseased remnants of that civilization. It is unquestionably the most powerful novel I have ever read. Insidious egalitarianism, destructive welfarism, aggressive multiculturalism, cultural Marxism, Third World invasions by the wretched of the earth, militaristic imperialism posing as humanitarian liberation, and …

Libtards, of course, say it’s racist to discuss this reality.


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