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(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

While the United States of America is distracted momentarily transfixed on the announcement of Mitt Romney's VP selection of Paul Ryan, a globally obscure posturing, pontificating  little person's darling of the far right! A political and economic seismic activity that has grabbed the world's attention, wherein German Chancellor Angela Merkel from Berlin announced her support that Germany the economic powerhouse of the European Union, the world's second largest exporting nation, the economically strongest and richest nation in the European Union must support a referendum in the foreseeable future on the issue of transferring power to Brussels. Therein by de facto creating a new European superstate (which offers cradle to grave healthcare for all as a human right. By contrast America has 59 million medically uninsured persons which must be seen as an international badge of shame which can be attributed to the rise of America's nouveau poor.).

This in a clear case where the economic superpower of the European Union with a population that is greater than that of the United States, whose currency the Euro rivals the power of the US dollar. The EU citizens today are supported by arguably the strongest social safety net of any economic sphere in the world, now has started moving in lockstep, pushed along by the global debt crisis to referendum to the pending, in fact inevitable ramrod push to political union in the creation of a new European political superpower state. This doubtlessly will have Germany as its centerpiece.

Yet in our dear nation these United States of America which boasts to having a free press lacking public ownership, ergo by de facto controlled by unaccountable private tyrannies. Wherein by contrast public broadcaster ownership as is allotted in a BBC type model, the US media fails to report on this political indeed economic seismic activity in favor of covering the globally obscure announcement of Paul Ryan as Romney's VP choice! Because they are beholden to the shrill wooting screeches of Ann Coulter and the Tea Party haters. Clearly the last thing that the American plutocrat owned media wants to cover in the 2012 Presidential contest, wherein the American elections are essentially bought by private capital, primarily financial capital in elections. The US elections have been essentially depoliticized much to the anger of the American public, wherein millions in confusion no longer know the way out. Certainly against this backdrop the last thing that anyone would want to talk about in the for profit American plutocrat owned media is a freely held national referendum, where the public instead of the parties hold sway. In a clear case where parties are much more easily bought than is the individual American voter, and where ergo private capital becomes neutered in the paradigm of one person, one vote for freedom. Obviously this is an issue than American journalism doesn't want to talk about, because colloquially put they don't want to bite the hand that feeds them cash, in this case $2 billion dollars of private capital.  


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...
Though Greece only comprises about 1% of economic activity in the Euro zone it has managed to grab American headlines producing sad and defamatory pictures in its press, wherein Angela Merkel is depicted wearing a Swastika, which is offensive not only to the German people, but also to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. There in commentary to that Swastika photograph American right wing editorial pages like to grab those headlines in playing to the devolution of the base instincts of humanity in order to sell papers. However when Ms Merkel announces the need to empower the public through self-determination employing the facilitation of referendum, then the American plutocrat owned media strangely falls silent, as they are drowned in a sea of private capital in the 2012 election cycle of over $2 billion dollars. Of course they don't want to talk about the fact that unlike America, modern day Germany is led by a woman who comes from the economically oppressed former East German state in a modern Germany, which is rapidly becoming the economic and democrat envy of the world. A Germany which is turning its back on nuclear energy and embracing green technologies. Now to be clear this diary does not espouse that American progressives ought to support conservative governments in Europe or elsewhere in the world. Whereupon we should note however that most of those conservative governments around the world are well to the left of the American Democratic party on many issues, such as supporting socialized medicine as a human right.

Please note Germany which has recently set a world record for solar powered creation in a Reuters story virtually ignored by the American press, who seems to be in bed with dirty coal and other heavily subsidized polluting fossil fuels. In an America that doesn't even have real hi-speed rail, wherein Germany and the rest of Europe are leaders, along with China, Japan and other leading Asian powers. American trains by contrast move at 1950's speed which is on par with the GOP mentality time warp present in the 2012 Paul Ryan and his Tea Party constituents.

Go on Ann Coulter shriek your heart out! But somewhere there is something called the truth, although it's clear the only people in American journalism left to tell the truth are comedians such as Jon Stewart, Colbert and Bill Maher along with the late George Carlin. Because just like in the days of old in the neo-feudalist state of America, only the jester may tell the truth to the King and still keep their head. For anyone who doesn't believe that there is a long litany of great American journalists who have lost their jobs such as Phil Donahue, Keith Olbermann, and many others. What is the truth?

The truth is that low wage slavery in the American neo-feudalist state of 2012 reigns supreme. Wherein America is the only major industrialized nation in the world that doesn't offer universal medical care from cradle to grave to all of its citizens as a human right! The only major industrialized nation in the world that doesn't offer job protected paid maternity leave to parents by right of law, that has no statutory requirement for paid annual leave; paid sick leave; that unlike its counterparts in the European Union offers no standard subsidized childcare; subsidized elder care. In a clear posture where in Continental Europe the amount of tuition that college students spend annually is less than what the American students pay for books on average. Clearly additionally in Germany under the Hartz IV system they have jobless benefits that never run out, wherein the unemployed, head of households and their family members are medically insured with a generous prescription plan and dental care, because they choose to invest in a social safety net instead of choosing a punitive American style response of putting the poor in prison. In a clear posture where America though we have 4% of the world's population have a quarter of the world's inmates! In fact we have more inmates in America than we have military members on active duty. What a horrifying loss of human potential! Clearly in the depoliticized elections of 2012, these issues won't be raised, as in the shell game of the plutocrat owned media we will instead be treated to character traits of the candidates and their spouses.    

So it is that America pays the price for the media is beholden to unaccountable private tyrannies, which is strongly criticized by President Bollinger, who in a Wall Street Journal announced his support of an American style BBC system under public ownership, that would ensure that America's elections are not sold to unaccountable private tyrannies ever again. Where the people who actually own the airwaves in America today have lost control of them. For anyone who doesn't believe that I invite them to read all about the conservative press bias in the American media as exemplified in The Republican Noise Machine by David Brock, which busts soundly the mythology of a liberal bias in the press by virtue of the fact that hard right wing journalists are supported by think tanks, foundations and political action groups from the right, whereas progressive journalists are left unsupported to sink or swim in the free market for the most part, and how we should more accurately be talking about a conservative press bias in the for profit American plutocrat owned media.

Here's how it works. Right-wing tycoons give to tax-exempt foundations, which support a network of scholars, pundits, and talking heads. Their opinions, in turn, are propagated by talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh; publications like the Washington Times and New York Post; and, of course, the Fox News Channel.

Organization counts, too, and here the Noise Machine excels. It stays relentlessly on message, which it hones down to a handful of talking points, repeated over and over. That strategy can push even discredited stories.
http://www.paulruschmann.com/...

The Reichstag building in Berlin.

Chancellor Angela Merkel wants Europe to move toward an ever closer union in a bid to solve the euro crisis. But she is already pushing at the limits of what is possible under the constitution. The debate about holding a referendum on transferring power to Brussels is gathering momentum in Germany.
http://www.spiegel.de/...

In a recent ARD television interview, Helmut Schmidt who is Germany's most senior former living Chancellor (at the age of 94) said that Germany will not be allowed given the weight of what Germany went through during World War 2 to ever lead Europe. This is the sad truth. A truth which the inept American media will not report because it's too much like real news. The kind of news that Dan Rather used to report when America had a functioning system of journalism. Instead now we'll all be talking about Paul Ryan because that's who the American corporate media is paid to write about. Therefore I will stop writing here, so that we can all get back to talking about the globally obscure Paul Ryan and the depoliticized issues surrounding him, his wardrobe and other depoliticized issues that really don't matter.

Originally posted to Democrats Ramshield on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 06:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I was wondering how you'd look at this (4+ / 0-)

    You're all in for Germany against Greece.  If you made me choose I'd go with Germany too (I have said some sneering things about Greece's fiscal discipline), but not to the extent of creating a genuine superstate to impose Germany's way of doing things on Greece and everyone else.  And that leaves aside whether the factors of German prosperity are actually transferable to the rest of the EU, since much of German prosperity is based on its specific function within a heterogeneous EU.  It's like saying all of Asia should be like Singapore.

    Mitt Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 05:56:44 AM PDT

    •  To Rich in PA - About Singapore (8+ / 0-)

      For all of it faults, we should note that 50 years ago Singapore was a broken backwater former British colony. Today they have a higher standard of living than what we do in America. 90 percent of the people living in Singapore own their own homes and they have a medical system that is the envy of America and that's just for openers.

      Wake up America. Paul Ryan isn't the big news of the day. We're part of the global village, maybe the American press should start acting like they're part of the global village.

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 06:03:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't mean to downplay Singapore (4+ / 0-)

        It's just that Singapore became prosperous as entrepot and base of operations for a whole region most of whose other countries were considered (by Western companies) too unstable or infrastructure-deprived to be a good base of operations.  You'd extract resources from, say, Indonesia but run your company from Singapore.  The whole region can't specialize in being the business center for the whole region.  

        Germany is the high-value-added center of the EU (well, along with some other, smaller countries) and that's the basis for its relative and absolute prosperity.  So you can't blame other EU states for wondering if a German-led plan for a strong superstate is really going to help them be like Germany....or if it's going to enshrine their second-rate status, while minimizing the credit exposure to Germany that we're now seeing with Greece.

        Mitt Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

        by Rich in PA on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 06:11:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Singapore (3+ / 0-)

        is also a fascist state.

        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

        by fladem on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 06:24:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Germans (6+ / 0-)

    have engineered one coup in Italy, and have driven country after country in Southern Europe into mind-numbing austerity.

    That is the simple truth: the right wing ideology they are forcing on country after country is indefensible.

    See Krugman.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 06:18:27 AM PDT

    •  why are greeks allowed to retire at age 52?? (0+ / 0-)

      Why do you think the greeks should be allowed to retire at 52 years of age or younger/  never work again and have the germans pay for it bail out after bail out?  most germans will have to work until age 67.

      "Better to fight for something than live for nothing." - George S. Patton

      by tinhut on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 06:52:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  um, where did you get age 52 from? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        triv33, basquebob

        according to wikipedia normal retirement age in greece is 65.  they have early retirement at 55, which is low, but not that low amongst its neighbors. early retirement in italy is 57, full retirement there is 5 years earlier than greece at 60. austria has early retirement at 57 for women and 60 for men.

        i suspect that your question is based on less than accurate assumptions.

        i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

        by joe shikspack on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:22:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  CNBC reported Greeks retire at 50 years old (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe shikspack

          http://www.cnbc.com/...

          The basic question is that a German has to increase working from 65 to 67 and that is to pay for Greeks retiring at 50.
          what can I tell ya. sometimes wikipedia gets it wrong.

          "Better to fight for something than live for nothing." - George S. Patton

          by tinhut on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:30:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  cnbc also says that average greek ret. age is 61.. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            triv33, Karl Rover, basquebob

            here

            Greeks have less vacation time, and their retirement age is rising from the current average of 61 under the terms of the bailout.
            i suspect that wikipedia has more complete and correct information on this than cnbc.

            i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

            by joe shikspack on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 08:15:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  greek retirement (0+ / 0-)

              even if 61 is 'average' that means a lot of people retire earlier than that. When millions of people do that it means less tax money.

              another thing is Mediterranean culture is kind of different to the northern European countries. The people are more laid back. That's one of the reasons why they retire early. Greece like a lot of mediterranean countries also has 'siesta' time every day. During the afternoon (somewhere between 3 to 5 p.m) people stop working for 2 to 3 hours and that partly affects their economy.

              as for wikipedia, sometimes the information on there isn't always up to date or complete.

              "Better to fight for something than live for nothing." - George S. Patton

              by tinhut on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 11:20:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  CNBC is a propaganda machine, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lostinamerica

            CNBC is not and has never been a "news" organization despite their claims. All hype, all the time and they have to make "facts" up to support their bias.

            In Greece, as in many other places including the USA, for some very specific occupations and/or based on years worked you can retire much earlier than 65. Some examples: police officers, fire fighters, military personel, airline pilots etc. Your benefits are based on years worked, that's why many choose to retire when they reach the point at which they will receive maximum benefits. My brother in law chose to retire at 55 because that's when he reached the point of maximum benefits accrual here in the USA, does that mean that retirement age in the USA is 55? For some it is, but it is all based on the circumstances. So why is CNBC not screaming that retirement age is 55 in the USA? It doesn't fit their meme. You see what I ment about CNBC, among many others, being a dishonest propaganda machine? They were also telling people to invest in AIG and the big banks right up to the crash, how did that work out?

  •  Deutschland über alles! (0+ / 0-)

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:22:44 AM PDT

  •  I suggest you make two edits: (0+ / 0-)

    A. Double the number of sentences
    B. Halve the number of words.

    Then perhaps I will read this.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:25:59 AM PDT

    •  As a librarian, I always want to encourage people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      triv33, joe shikspack, lostinamerica

      to read more and not less. (smile) But thanks for the comment.

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:48:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let me save you the trouble (2+ / 0-)

      The diary explains why the actions of the leader in Germany should be more important to you than the identity of the man whose policies are now fully embraced by the GOP, who the Republicans are seeking to position one heartbeat away from control of the world's most powerful economic and military machine.

      The diary also sneers a lot.

      "Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense." Steve Landesberg, 1945-2010.

      by Califlander on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:55:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't realize Landesberg had died. (0+ / 0-)

        He was a very, very funny person.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:57:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  To be fair, while Romney's choice is (5+ / 0-)

        obviously a matter of importance, one must recognize that 99% of everything that will be said and written about it over the next 48 hours will be pointless gasbaggery. Everything that needs to be said about it could probably be said in about 15 minutes.

        With that in mind, I can understand the diarist's irritation that something else that is going on -- something that can't be completely analyzed in 15 minutes, but would in fact warrant a whole lot of talking and thinking --- won't get discussed at all.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 08:01:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To UntimelyRippd - You're right (0+ / 0-)

          This won't get discussed at all. I think even on this diary there's not going to be much discussion as the diary is about to fall off the rec list. That's just the way things are in America even the fact that the plutocracy has bought the free press.

          sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 08:12:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  To Califlander - Well said (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks for the support

        sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 08:09:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  i have sincere doubts that europe is ready... (8+ / 0-)

    for a combined superstate where germany will clearly be a dominant economic and political force.  

    a consideration that we as americans might contribute to their discussion is that once they federate, it allows the banksters to have a more potent government to capture and use against the people of europe.  if i were going to give my best advice to them based upon our experience here, it would be to rein in the banksters and large corporate forces and severely restrain their ability to purchase governance.  that is what has caused the us to go to hell in a handbasket and is why we are unable to have things like national healthcare and a free media.

    it shouldn't be any shock to us, we've been warned:

    "Everything predicted by the enemies of banks, in the beginning, is now coming to pass. We are to be ruined now by the deluge of bank paper. It is cruel that such revolutions in private fortunes should be at the mercy of avaricious adventurers, who, instead of employing their capital, if any they have, in manufactures, commerce, and other useful pursuits, make it an instrument to burden all the interchanges of property with their swindling profits, profits which are the price of no useful industry of theirs."

     -- Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1814.

    i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

    by joe shikspack on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:30:50 AM PDT

  •  The good things about the EU might be easier (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NY brit expat, joe shikspack

    to do away with under the proposed new order. It might save the banks at the expense of the people.

  •  The attempt to put fiscal policy under (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack

    control of the EU as clearly monetarism has failed the eurozone is not anything that the vast majority of Europeans would support irrespective of being ruled by right-wing governments. Germany's control over European monetary policy has been atrocious and is now responsible for the erosion of social welfare states throughout western europe as austerity has been imposed upon them through the aegis of the Troika (EU, ECB and IMF). Need I remind you that Germany's export-led growth has been achieved on the back of erosion of wages for its working class? Given the neoliberal orientation of all ruling parties in Europe, the unity of fiscal policy measures would only lead to the further destruction of the state sectors and what is left of the social welfare states in Europe.

    Would strongly oppose any movement in this direction. So while I agree that the US media could do with a little more coherence and attention paid elsewhere, this is a total nightmare for the working classes of Europe.

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 08:22:55 AM PDT

    •  i am confused brit.....please explain (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat

      the diary doesn't really seem to tell us whether political union in europe would be a good thing or a bad thing.

      from your comment you seem to think its a really bad idea. would you explain why do you think that??

      "Better to fight for something than live for nothing." - George S. Patton

      by tinhut on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 08:40:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Essentially, the reason for the proposal of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tinhut, hepshiba

        political union is for the purposes of putting fiscal policy under control of the EU. The European parliament has no power really and the EU is an incredibly undemocratic institution. What this means is that not only will control over monetary policy be lost for members of the eurozone; it means that control over fiscal policy will as well. Monetarism (which forms the foundations of european monetary policy) has failed, we can see that control over money supply is insufficient to stabilise the euro. That is why the neoliberals running Germany, ECB and IMF have attempted to destroy the social welfare state and the state sectors to cut government debt. This way was chosen rather than increase growth which combined with attempts to cut tax evasion would have had a better effect and put the damage on the wealthy rather than the poor and working class. A european super-state under control of the neoliberals is not in the interests of the majority and it is a disaster for the working class and poor. Giving control over fiscal policy (government spending) to the right means further and stronger cuts in the state sector and the social welfare state. Any person not on the right would oppose this perspective. At this point, the only government not under control of the right is France and Hollande is a watered-down neoliberal. This would mean that attempts to overturn the right-wing agenda would become harder as it could no longer be accomplished on a national level and would require a simultaneous overthrow of the right in several countries and that would not guarantee alteration of fiscal policy as knowing the situation they will try as much as possible to keep fiscal policy out of the hands of democratic control.

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 09:25:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thx for explanation.......... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat

          but what i don't get is why do you think that conservative govt will take down the social welfare state in europe? as they've always support the social welfare state in the past.  why do you believe this?

          "Better to fight for something than live for nothing." - George S. Patton

          by tinhut on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 11:25:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The reason why I think that they will continue (0+ / 0-)

            to take down the social welfare state and the state/public sector is due to the shift in economic policy towards neoliberalism. Take a look at the UK, for example, what is the government doing? They are essentially privatising what they can of the state/public sector (to destroy the last bastion of trade union power and to open up these areas for private sector market control to try and increase profitability). Secondly, they are changing the nature of the social welfare state from being universal to being more similar to the one in the US; so instead of covering everyone across classes, they are trying to make it solely for the poorest. The whole basis of the social welfare state in Europe has been one which everyone has access to; we have national health care systems for everyone, not only medicaid for the poor. This holds for most of our social welfare state. Moreover, they are cutting the benefit money available to the poor and working poor along Benthamite lines of lesser eligibility. This is a radical (in the sense of reactionary radical) shift in policy.

            Austerity measures being forced through in all of Europe are undermining universality of the social welfare state and destroying benefit, minimum wage levels and pensions; additionally privatisation of health care which is being forced on Greece means that universal access is no longer guaranteed. While in the past, conservatives did not think that they could get away with destroying completely the state sector and the social welfare state, the destruction of trade union power, the general weakness of the left and the increased amount of government debt following the economic crisis has given them not only the power, but the justification that they needed. While profitability in financial sectors has returned, the profitability in the real economy is lower than in the BRICS; investment in the real economy is not happening for two reasons: 1) lower incomes of the majority affecting effective demand for goods and services and hence investment, growth and employment; and 2) higher returns in emergent economies makes it more sensible for investment to occur there due to lower costs of raw materials and lower wage costs. Does that help?  

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 03:47:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yea i hope NYbrit posts more about this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat

          I would like to get more info on this as well.

          •  Thanks Sedro, I often write about austerity (0+ / 0-)

            measures and the economic crisis in the UK stressing the rights of the poor and working class. If needs be (that is, if Merkel's position gains some traction), I will tackle this issue. Until then, we have serious problems here and the attack on the working classes take precedence over this attempt by the Germans to gain control over all of Europe's fiscal policy.

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 03:50:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sedro, I honestly think that Merkel (0+ / 0-)

            is using the position of "needing to address the long-term problems in the eurozone" by arguing that control over fiscal policy is necessary for stabilisation rather than by admitting that austerity measures being imposed on Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Italy are wrong-headed and abandoning them. Essentially, by arguing this position and saying that fiscal policy control is needed (and it would be under most rational situations) she is hoping to stop the rejection of extreme austerity measures. So, let's not discuss the austerity measure problem, let's talk about the long-term solution. Does that make sense?

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 03:55:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not all aglow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NY brit expat

    at the idea of Germany leading the charge toward an EU superstate.  I like the German Constitution -- in fact, I think it's one of the finest in the world, especially in terms of human rights, and the German Supreme Court is one of the most progressive forces in the country when it comes to standing up for civil rights.  Handing national power over to Brussels would require rewriting the Constitution and that would, in my opinion, probably result in a worse Constitution, rather than a better one.

    Merkel has hardly presided over the expansion of German social welfare programs, either.  Benefits for German citizens have been cut deeply since she took office, and there has been constant pressure to cut back on that universal health care Germany has rightfully been so proud of.  German banks have been allowed to run out of control just like American banks, and Germany is out there pushing austerity on every single one of their colonies -- owait, I mean "weaker states in the EU."

    I am certainly not supportive of a new superstate that would give individual citizens (German, Italian, Greek, etc.) less control over the policies of their governments -- they've been stung bad enough by the EU as it is.  What we've seen in the EU is that the rich states get richer, and the poor states get bursting bubbles.  Would a united Europe even out that inequity?  I don't think so.  A united Germany hasn't evened out the disparities between its own East and West.

    "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

    by hepshiba on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 02:08:33 PM PDT

    •  I dont like Merkel because she's conservative (0+ / 0-)

      I thought Germany did a good job of helping out the former east Germany which is far richer than any of the other former east bloc countries. Otherwise I agree with much of what you said.

      •  You know it's interesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lostinamerica

        Even though Merkel is a conservative, she is actually to the left of the American Democrats on most issues. Not that I'm a fan of Merkel but it shows you how far to the right America has wandered.

        sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 03:06:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It does not say Merkel announced a referendum (0+ / 0-)

    Der Spiegel actually says Merkel and her party, the CDU, have kept quiet about a referendum, though the other coalition parties are starting to talk about one.

    The German constitution, officially known as the Basic Law, does not make much mention of direct democracy. Referendums are only specifically foreseen for the case of a reorganization of Germany's territory and for the event that the Basic Law, which was originally supposed to be temporary, is superseded by a new constitution. There have been repeated calls to give the population a greater say beyond ordinary elections, especially from the opposition. In contrast to the CDU, the CSU and FDP are open to the idea.
    ...
    At the moment, the questions of exactly what Germans would be voting on and when are just as unclear as what the court will decide. So far, there has only been vague talk about such issues as "political union," "yielded sovereignty" and "common budgetary policy." Peer Steinbrück, a former federal finance minister and leading figure in the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), predicts that there will be a referendum within two years, while Schäuble says five. Typically, Chancellor Merkel refuses to speculate.
    ...
    Still, getting to the keystone stage could take some time -- even if the crisis calls for determined action. Seen from this perspective, the various ideas about referendums that even the ruling coalition is throwing around right now are probably nothing more than a way to keep voters calm.
    What it does report her saying is:
    "We need a political union," she recently said on German public television station ARD. "That means we have to give up further competencies to Europe, step by step, in an ongoing process."
    For those who want to see more of what she said (back in June), here's an article: http://www.euractiv.com/...
  •  Thanks DR for the informative diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ProgressiveBubba
  •  It's good to get an international perspective (0+ / 0-)

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