Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Parity... with the Euro?

I suppose some might think it selfish that, not content with encouraging the breakup of the U.K., I also keep among my other intentions the desire that the Euro continue to fall in value (as it surely will for well-known reasons, such as the unaccountable refusal of the Greeks to accept German expertise in balancing their books – after all, matters in Athens are a real polnische Wirtschaft, surely requiring incorrupt outsiders to take over the complete mess that their finances have fallen into, just as the Imperial Maritime Customs Service of the late Chinese Empire was largely administered by foreigners – and the foolish stubbornness of the rest of the E.U. in trying to maintain the Euro, rather than forcing those unsuited to it to revert to their drachmas and like play-money, or at the least stop taking siestas and start working harder, pay their taxes and live within their means).

Given the refusal of European bureaucrats and the political elite to face reality, rather than concoct yet another sweetheart deal that solves nothing, it appears more and more likely that the Euro will continue to sink; which just happens to perfectly suit my holiday plans for mid-year (so long as rioting and social unrest doesn't break out in France and Italy, which would make my trip unpleasant).  The Australian dollar (thanks to the Chinese buying up our exports – please God their economy doesn't keel over – and our own dumb luck in being in a much better situation than the rest of the West, in not being entirely overburdened by debt), already worth more than the U.S. dollar, is trending upwards, being at present worth 81 eurocents, if I heard correctly; if only this continues, I'll holiday in style.  Parity, please!


Supertradmum said...

Great blog and I shall add you to my list. Let the euro fail, as it has propped up the failing of the West, as Europe allows socialiam to rampage. Youth here are lazy and unmotivated. The best join you all down under, here from Ireland and from England. The others just sit around and complain and refuse to do odd jobs or simple manual labor. I know grandmothers who work harder than their grandchildren who are on the dole. I give the euro five months max, as I see it from where I am sitting in Ireland.

Joshua said...

Surveys here Downunder show that immigrants - even Englishmen, to say nothing of the good Irish! - work hard and get good jobs, even ahead of us local Skips... yes, unfortunately (and I say this as a Tasmanian, for my own state suffers just such a drain of talent to busier parts of the Mainland) what happens is that the go-getters get up and go, whereas the mediocre and smugly self-satisfied remain behind. (For the record, I moved back here by choice!)

But as to the greater issue, a saying attributed to Margaret Thatcher applies: "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." (Apparently this all-too-true aphorism derives from what she said in a TV interview back in 1976 - "They [socialists] always run out of other people's money.")

Now, I have no great issue with a system whereby certain basic goods are cross-subsidized (e.g. old age pensions for those who have not sufficient superannuation - by law in Australia, at least 9% of one's salary must be put into a superannuation fund to provide for one's old age, but this law is only a few decades old, so current pensioners instead contributed via the taxes they paid when younger; and also people out of work cannot salt away such savings, hence the need to provide a safety net in the shape of a pension sufficient to keep body and soul together); such cross-subsidies, however, have the unfortunate effect of distorting the economy, which means that the economy as a whole is not as productive. A prudent balance must be struck, so as to prevent the growth of an underclass reduced to penury and crime, yet without encouraging lusty layabout beggars sucking dry the public teat.

But above all, the State must, over time, raise the same amount of money as it spends - otherwise an ever-growing debt burden is amassed. When the burden becomes insupportable, economic disaster strikes, and breeds extreme social disruption, the cause of tragedies in people's lives, and even of violence and bloodshed. Need I mention what evils arose in men's hearts, moving them to kill and slay without mercy or pity, when last Europe suffered such societal breakdown as a result of economic collapse?

Joshua said...


The State must above all preserve social order - that is what it exists for, not the other way round (to say nothing of any higher aims) - and to do so needs to maximize the chances of each and every person to be fruitful members of society: hence enabling them to be educated, protected from crime, cared for if sick or injured, etc. However, the dead hand of bureaucracy being notorious at making wrong choices, it is best if as many as possible of the functions arrogated to Government are privatized or administered at the local level: this decentralizes power and increases private initiative; this is in accord with the principle of subsidiarity - hence federations are better than unitary states, and many small competing firms are better than one sclerotic conglomerate. Indeed, monopolies and cartels and cabals - which also seek to distort the economy - need to be broken up.

The great trouble with the European Union is that, while encouraging internal free trade in goods and services, it also imposes inefficient cross-subsidies and much red tape, and the Euro in particular is almost an object lesson in how not to administer a currency, since the governments using it have been guilty of the grossest financial mismanagement, running up debts without prospect of repayment with gay abandon! And the restrictive laws of employment in many European countries has both cossetted unproductive workers, the lucky ones who have jobs, with benefits far greater than they deserve, and condemned many to be unemployed, which is destructive of men's pride and independence. Overall, this has gravely wounded such economies, which would otherwise be far more productive.

Australia herself, until the great reforms undertaken since 1983 under Hawke and Keating, and then Howard after 1996, managed to escape such a rigidly overgoverned, protectionist trap; many other nations, alas, have not. Unfortunately, under our present federal government things have been going backwards to a degree, and were it not for the rise of China and her purchasing of whatsoever we can dig up and sell her, our economy, too, would be in need of stiff medicine.

Joshua said...

P.S. Sorry, in the last paragraph above I said "until the great reforms", when I meant to say "because of the great reforms". And in the secondlast paragraph, I have a "has" which should be a "have". Even Homer nods...