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View Diary: New: concern trolling the euro (241 comments)

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  •  credit is still much less agressive (4+ / 0-)

    For example, in Germany they actually want annual fee to give you a credit card.  In Poland getting mortgage is possible, which is a revolutionary change, but not all that simple.

    I think that in USA the regulators are much more permissive about the way you can extend credit and the ways you can squeeze the customers to get money back, leading to much larger profitability of offering credit, ESPECIALLY of questionable quality.  The best customer is a person ethernally struggling to make payments, thus imprisoned in high interest rates and paying assorted penalty fees, and yet forced to do it for years.  If he/she does not default that is just the cherry on top.

    With better customer protections you have to be more careful.

    So yes, "Polskis" discovered credit cards and mortgages (or vice versa), but the overall system is not as conducive for credit fueled consumer binge as it is in USA.

    Also, European "right" is a very different animal than American wingnuts.  In Poland, a "rightwing" party (PiS) was attacking a "moderate" party (PO) for plans to privatize hospitals leading to horrors like --- listen to it --- American healthcare.  Over there, "right wing" is a combinaton of anti-Communism, xenophobia and religious nuttery with economic populism, while "moderates" are kind of Rockefeller Republicans combined with libertarians, but in coalition government with not-crazy economic populists, on the principle that they both parties are neither crazy nor Communists.

    I think that American combination of religious nuttery with libertarian economic policies is sui generis.

    Lastly, I do not see how East European immigrants can be "scapegoated in order to kill wellfare state".  What you have are moves like in Holland where they want you to pass exam in Dutch before you can apply for welfare.  Perhaps you really should learn "De euro, de euro . . . een fluitje van een cent".

    •  blah... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jerome a Paris, bablhous, corvo

      If you want to destroy the welfare state what you do is pick on it at a level where everyone piles on: Welfare  moms. Then the working poor. You then ride that train hard, and pretty soon you're able to throw senior citizens away. You keep slicing off little pieces that are grafting your system and rotting your culture, wasting your money, then pretty soon it is the welfare state that's responsible - guilt by association.

      It's what we did here. It worked like magic.

      Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal.

      by k9disc on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 02:05:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not just that they discoverd credit cards... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, junta0201

      It's the whole idea.

      Have you been to the malls there?

      Have you been there?

      Have you seen what they're up against?

      It's high class consumerism.

      There are 4 shoes in the windows at mall stores.

      It looks like beverly hills.

      Having that dropped on them right out of communism isn't fair.

      And the Germans that I know, gen Xers are extremely Americanized and their media is quite advanced.

      The Dutch, they're going to do their own thing. No worry about consumerism there.

      Maybe some righteous xenophobic nationalism, but I don't see them going full on consumer.

      Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal.

      by k9disc on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 02:10:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no, I did not go to a mall (3+ / 0-)

        in Poland, perhaps because I do not dare to drive there.

        I am from Poland and I know something about what people are doing there.  Sometimes you may think that they spend as if there was no tomorrow.  But when you look at big ticket items, it is not so.  Number one: homes and appartments are still too expensive for most, number two: new cars are still too expensive for most, Poles buy more used cars than new ones, and I guess most young people have no cars at all.  Yet incomes grow, so they have a lot of spare cash for small items like you can get in a mall, and for vacations.  In my contacts I have more info on vacation habits, and from American point of view they are mindboggling.  A teen would have a two week horse riding camp in countryside (so far, so frugal), a week of bicycling around Bornholm and two weeks with Mom in Tuscany or Scotland.  Another year, Spain, Morocco and Croatia.  Etc. But they get odd jobs, summer jobs etc. and pay cash.

        So far, welfare moms are sacred, like cows are in India.  Americans believe in apple pie, Europeans in motherhood.


        •  What I recall from my years in Europe (3+ / 0-)

          were piles of empty shopping carts by the tourist bus stops in West Berlin and Vienna, where the Poles (West Berlin) or Czechs and Hungarians (Vienna) unloaded all of the goodies they'd bought at Aldi or Julius Meinl, all for resale for a fat profit once they'd returned to their home towns.

          Apparently a half-century of communism hadn't caused them to forget how to be small-scale entrepreneurs!

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