The Secret of Enlargement!

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New at Reason: The European Union is bigger than ever. Matt Welch says Huzzah.

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  1. Good by Sovereignty,hello BIG GOVERNMENT.
    Don`t you just love to see a bureaucracy flourish.

  2. Alright, lets address this as best possible…by Gephardt, I meant Gephardt Schoder…my dear apoligies for using his first name instead, I didn’t think anyone would be as dense as to confuse that with a now defunct U.S. presedential candidate. While it might not have a coherent foreign policy as to what it proactively wants to do, the main policy makers and leaders of the EU have repeatedly denounced military action, and I say they are pacifist because with a few notable exceptions they have miniscule military forces themselves (thus no foreign policy muscle). Their media and beauracracies repeated condemnation of the American economic system also leaves little doubt as to what economics *they* prefer. You keep repeating they voted to join, which they did, and I suppose thats up to them, but I wasn’t arguing that they had joined illegally in some fashion but that libertarian support for the EU seems foolish and contradictory to the libertarian ideal of smaller government and freer markets. And EU regulations *will* strangle the eastern europeans industrial production, the REACH protocol (requiring draconian testing procedures for tens of thousands of new chemicals) for instance, carbon dioxide emissions requirements that are substantially higher than currently, as well as maximum working hours. Also, your argument that “every major and minor w. European manufacturer is scrambling to build factories” in the eastern european countries supports my point about the Western European fear that their corporations will abandon the western EU for the east unless they strong arm the new EU nations into repealing their flat tax rates. Oh, and as before, I wasn’t arguing that eastern Europe had been illegally forced into the EU, but I do think its a tremendous mistake and it IS repealing a great deal of their independent power to set fiscal, economic, and military policy, and about that I don’t see what you can argue against. I do hope that cleared things up, why don’t you go back to sucking on the EU’s teet like a good internationist?

  3. “by Gephardt, I meant Gephardt Schoder”

    The man’s name is Gerhard Schroeder.

  4. Matt W,

    it would have been less confusing if you had used his correct first name (Gerhard, I believe)

    I belive there are several different reasons European countries are joining the EU (financial, political, ‘sense of belonging’, etc.). Where the countries conduct a referendum and let the people decide, it is at least democratic. I don’t know if the members will have the right to leave if they want to in the future

  5. “Even the cyclical election successes of formerly Communist political parties, no matter how much they’d swallowed the free-market Kool-aid, was routinely interpreted in the West as a possible harbinger of backsliding into authoritarianism.”

    It’s dangerous and naive to conflate capitalism with liberal democracy. Putin’s Russia, Pinochet’s Chile, Singapore, contemporary China – all wonderful places for entrepreneurs to get rich, all wonderful places to get the knock on the door at 3AM.

    And Matt W? There are worse things in the world than a pacifist Germany. A united Europe that rejects ethno-nationalism and militaristic glory sounds like a dream come true.

  6. Matt W.,

    Its very difficult to take you seriously when you make such a common error. BTW, calling me dense seems to have seriously boomeranged on you; I couldn’t stop laughing at you.

    “While it might not have a coherent foreign policy as to what it proactively wants to do, the main policy makers and leaders of the EU have repeatedly denounced military action, and I say they are pacifist because with a few notable exceptions they have miniscule military forces themselves (thus no foreign policy muscle).”

    Actually, they (meaning some of them) repeatedly stated that military action was not needed in a particular situation (at least for the time being). Indeed, given Germany’s efforts in Afghanistan, Afrance’s in the Ivory Coast, Russia’s in Chechnya, and all the European leaders who have supported America’s efforts in Iraq, your argument seems not only erroneous, but disingenuous. Please, don’t confuse particular decisions concerning Iraq with all military actions of Europeans.

    “Their media and beauracracies repeated condemnation of the American economic system also leaves little doubt as to what economics *they* prefer.”

    Can you give me a few examples of this “condemnation” please? I mean, given the amazing variety of European press outfits – and their highly divergent views – I find these remarks dubious at best. I am also dubious of your other claim, again due to the variety of governments in power in Europe. I mean, I have yet to see Berlusconi condemn American economic policies. Furthermore, your statement appears to imply that American policies are somehow more capitalist or libertarian than European policies; which is a highly debateable claim.

    “You keep repeating they voted to join, which they did, and I suppose thats up to them, but I wasn’t arguing that they had joined illegally in some fashion but that libertarian support for the EU seems foolish and contradictory to the libertarian ideal of smaller government and freer markets.”

    You were implying that this decision was forced upon them. As to smaller government and freer markets, you have as yet to prove that these are not occurring in the EU; indeed, regarding the latter, markets after May 1 are far freer than they were before May 1, and that transition will continue over time. Labor, materials, etc. all cross tariff free borders for example. Tell me how that is an unfree market.

    “And EU regulations *will* strangle the eastern europeans industrial production, the REACH protocol (requiring draconian testing procedures for tens of thousands of new chemicals) for instance, carbon dioxide emissions requirements that are substantially higher than currently, as well as maximum working hours.”

    This is funny given how much production has been increasing in anticipation of May 1; indeed, given that the new entrants have been putting these regulations in place for years now, one would have thought they would have had their disasterous effects by now. To be blunt, the EU is getting rid of a lot more regulations than it is creating; and those that it is creating at least have issues like public health and safety in mind as opposed to enforcing Soviet-era monopolies on pie production.

    “Also, your argument that “every major and minor w. European manufacturer is scrambling to build factories” in the eastern european countries supports my point about the Western European fear that their corporations will abandon the western EU for the east unless they strong arm the new EU nations into repealing their flat tax rates.”

    Well, they are going there because of unification you dolt. Just as they went to Spain when it joined; just as they went to Ireland when it joined; just as they went to Italy when it joined; etc. I mean there is a pattern here; and that pattern is the movement of production facilities to new entrants – and that pattern is not changing in this case. To be blunt, you’ve yet to demonstrate your claim, and your claim does not stack up to the historical record.

    “Oh, and as before, I wasn’t arguing that eastern Europe had been illegally forced into the EU, but I do think its a tremendous mistake and it IS repealing a great deal of their independent power to set fiscal, economic, and military policy, and about that I don’t see what you can argue against.”

    Presumably you would have been an anti-federalist as well.

    “I do hope that cleared things up, why don’t you go back to sucking on the EU’s teet like a good internationist?”

    *chuckle* Your final retort is a troll? 🙂

  7. Jean Bart must be drunk wih joy over this . . .

  8. If they want this for themselves, good for them. They can get economic conditions just like Western European countries: high unemployment rates (and much longer terms of unemployment), receding GPD (Germany at least), stifling business policies, lower per-capita earnings, bankrupting state pension plans (Italy will be first), all for the sake of the lucky (employed) few who get what? 15 weeks off a year and 30-hr work weeks?

    Sounds fine by me. I would like that here – I already have my cushy gubmint job and can hardly get fired even if I forked the boss’s wife. Wouldn’t mind at all making the rest of the country pay for my leisure. Suckers.

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