Thursday, May 10, 2012

La Dolce Vita

Or, Mencken-like, getting what you want...good and hard in Europe;

Irrespective of what one thinks of the “German” fiscal rule, the data on Germany imply that, in the rest of the Eurozone without Germany, public spending has gone up at a much faster pace, by some 41.5% between 2001 and 2010. This is an increase of 23 percentage points higher than that in Germany. The country that has provided one fourth of the financial resources for the temporary EU bailout fund (EFSF) and will provide the same proportion of the future permanent bail-out fund (ESM) has witnessed a much smaller increase of its own public spending vis-a-vis that of the other EMU member states.
Union paradoxes
This, in a nutshell, explains the bulk of the current dissatisfaction of the German electorate with the euro and the current setting of the European institutions. It is this dissatisfaction that goes a long way towards explaining the seemingly erratic attitude of Chancellor Merkel in recent years. And Slovakia may also be appended to Germany as a case in point. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, it appears that Slovakia has committed, adding up disbursements and guarantees, a total of €13 billion to the EZ bailout funds. This figure is bigger than the annual tax revenue of the Slovak Government. Slovakia is giving its contribution to save a country like Greece which in 2010 had an income per capita of around €20,000, far greater than the €12,000 of the Slovaks.
Meaning that the comparatively responsible kids are being made to pay for their neighbors' profligacy.  And their reward is to be chastised as Fascists for doing so by the electorates of France, Greece and Italy (among others).

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