Campaigns/Elections

A Tale of Two Deficits

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Last week's summit in Brussels highlighted the fiscal deficits of Europe and the damage political activism will inflict on that continent's economy. Voices of caution seem to have fallen on deaf ears, and the summit has done little to reassure the markets or persuade account holders to keep cash in their accounts as millions of euros disappear from banks across the Mediterranean. While the summit might have brought to light the extent of the damage economic deficits can have, one must not forget that the political posturing we saw last week is only possible because of Europe's other crippling deficit.  

Europe's democratic deficits are just as morally distasteful and ruinous as the economic deficits. The President of The European Commission is José Barroso, who never had to stand in a public election for the position. The twenty-seven commissioners who represent the constituent nations of the EU are all unelected. Unelected officials run entire countries, not just governing bodies. The Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of Economy and Finance, Mario Monti, has not featured on a ballot since he took office in November 2011. After coming to power Monti put together a cabinet of academics and eurocrats, not one of whom has been elected. Once one remembers that Monti once served as a European Commissioner it is not hard to see why he doesn't seem to care that he is running a country in crisis without a democratic mandate. Greece is currently being ruled under a technocratic government, headed by Panagiotis Pikrammenos.

While the powers that be in Europe claim to embrace democracy they are highly selective when deciding which results of elections or referendums they choose to recognize. When the Irish voted against the Lisbon Treaty in 2008 the EU's response was not to accept the wishes of the Irish, but rather to make the Irish vote again. After Hungary approved a popular constitution that embraced democratic reforms, the unelected European Commission threatened to repeal financial assistance and sue

Whatever future meetings of European leaders yield, it will be the will of an unelected elite and not the wishes of the masses that will dominate future policy. Both the economic and democratic deficits facing Europe are too culturally engrained in the political culture, and there is no will for reform. We should not expect surpluses any time soon.

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  1. You know, I coulda sworn the Allies won WWII.

    1. The Germans are trying to take over the World….again.

      1. Merkel just doesn’t look up to the job of world dictator. She is lookin all haggard, and she probably needs to try a new shampoo, and maybe a boob job is in order also.

      2. “The Germans are trying to take over the World….again.”

        Nah…..All they have to do is keep going to work and not spend more than they have and the rest of europe will throw themselves at the german’s feet and beg them to take charge (and beg for money). They are kinda to that point already.

        My advice to the krauts would be:
        Dont do it….if you end up ruling over all of europe, in less than ten years you will throw up your hands and walk off and leave it.

    2. now who’s being naive

  2. “The Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of Economy and Finance, Mario Monti, has not featured on a ballot since he took office in November 2011.”

    Six months without being on a ballot doesn’t quite meet my bar for being undemocratic.

    1. Nor would a caretaker government to rule until new elections are held like in Greece meet my bar either.

      1. Actually, I’m just as concerned about Mr Feeney’s odd sentence constructions as I am about his assertions. Does this strike anyone else as an attempt at obfuscation? Not that intentional beclouding seems likely, I just can’t imagine why else some of these linguistic hoops got jumped.

  3. All the world’s problems can be solved by just putting Top Men in the right positions.

    1. Top Men are not enough. They need Top Top Men; that extra Top makes a big difference.

      1. We need French Top Men, not those German Top Men who cause all kinds of problems.

        1. There’s an Emperor Bonaparte calling on line one for you.

          1. bonaparte was corsican. In fact frenchmen have never made successful emperors; charlemagne was a walloon and jeanne d’arc wasn’t a frenchman.

            1. Charles Martel?

        2. We need to go back to Papal rule in Europe.

  4. Huh. Here I thought the greeks democratically voted against austerity. Apparently, that doesn’t count?

    Whoda thunk.

    I’ll actually be surprised when Reason stands for the small business owners in these countries, trying to make things work, instead of blowing the finance boys.

    1. I know you think your post is coherent…

      1. No, unfortunately he doesn’t, Chef. He thinks he’s hot shit.

        1. I was at least hoping for a frothy and outrageous retort.

          1. “frothy”

            I see what you did there.

    2. I’ll actually be surprised when Reason stands for the small business owners in these countries, trying to make things work, instead of blowing the finance boys.

      Why the fuck would they do that?

      Have you ever actually been to one of the little people’s parties?

    3. Here I thought the greeks democratically voted against austerity.

      No. What they actually voted for, in the final analysis, is fantasy over brute reality.

      They can vote to maintain, in ostensible perpetuity, however many entitlements and handouts they like; but they can’t vote the requisite $$$ to pay for said lavish luxuries into existence, out of nothing more substantial than sulkiness and want.

      This has been your Economics 101 lesson for the day.

      1. “The Greeks have made their decision, now let them enact it.”

  5. Everything you need to know about Greek “financial crisis”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zvl9N9GdraQ

  6. There is one true voice of reason in the EU: Nigel Farage.

    From May 22:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..ature=plcp

    (Yeah, go ahead, DRINK!)

  7. Let’s see. Is it…

    Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle m?rite.

    or…

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

  8. The Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of Economy and Finance, Mario Monti, has not featured on a ballot since he took office in November 2011.

    You do realize that was six months ago, right? Not a single member of Congress or the executive branch has stood for election since then either.

    1. Yes, but I believe the point that’s being alluded to is that he wasn’t voted into the position in the first place and being granted a senate seat for life, he never will face the ballot box. On the other hand I’m not sure that Italians directly elect their reps anyways.

  9. There’s no way both deficits are ever going to be eliminated at the same time. The Greek people (like our own and any others who have gotten used to government handouts) will simply refuse to approve cuts in those handouts no matter how necessary. Indeed even if it becomes literally impossible to keep the money coming, the recipients will throw tantrums in the streets.

    When voters get like that, somebody has to step in and spank them. Libertarians need to accept that democracy is not a moral imperative, but merely a means to achieve individual freedom, and must be set aside whenever it starts having the opposite effect.

    1. Libertarians have always accepted this. The founders of our country accepted this. Democracy is a tool, to be harnessed and used only for the good it can provide. The real goal is actually anti-democratic: Liberty.

    2. Indeed even if it becomes literally impossible to keep the money coming, the recipients will throw tantrums in the streets.

      Yup. SEE: California; Wisconsin; Detroit, MI; etc., etc.

  10. C’mon. We’ve got azombie shot and killed in Miami and you’re worried about this. Buy ammo.

    1. When he continued the assault, the officer shot him, police sources said. The attacker failed to stop after being shot, forcing the officer to continue firing. Witnesses said they heard at least a half dozen shots.

      Holy shit. 6 or 7 shots and he still wouldn’t go down?

      1. I once had an ex cop tell me that it took 15 or more shots to take down a man on pcp. If what he said is true then its possible

        1. Oh I don’t doubt it, I’m just amazed at what the human body is capable of doing sometimes.

        2. No. It takes just one well-placed shot.

          1. No. It takes just one well-placed shot.

            One? If it’s really well-placed, sure.

            Brings to mind the FBI’s 1986 “Miami Shootout” that brought on all the claims about the .38 and 9mm being underpowered, the .357 too hard to reload, (I forget why the .45 was supposedly insufficient) and eventually led to the development of the 10mm “light” and the .40SW rounds.

            The real lesson there is shot placement matters. Peripheral hits don’t always take the fight out of the dog and shot placement is much easier with a rifle than a handgun.

            1. (I forget why the .45 was supposedly insufficient)

              7 round magazine doesn’t allow shitty shooting cops to throw a dozen or more bullets downrange.

      2. He was probably on the marijuana. People taking the marijuana get really strong, and that is why the DEA needs assault weapons. You have to shoot a pot fiend at least 15 times to stop them. Oh, and you have to shoot their dog too, and usually their grandma also because dogs and grandmas get crazy on the 2nd hand smoke.

        1. Also, fried chicken.

          1. A consultant that I work with, from Portlandia, once asked me and a couple of my comrades, as we walked to lunch:

            Everytime that I am in Baltimore, and I stop to cross a street, I look down, and there are chicken bones on the street. LMAO. I swear that this is true.

            1. A lot of chicken consumption there, eh?

              1. Umm, I would be so bold as to say that we have the worlds most chicken joints per square mile than any city on earth. Just commuting to work, I see.. Joes Chicken, Chicken and Soul Food, Popeyes Chicken(some righteously good shit this, (:), Chicken and Seafood, Chicken and Trout,(WTF?), West City Chicken, Chik’n Pollo, Hip hop Fish and Chicken, Chick-fil-A… Do I need to continue?

                1. That’s a lotta chicken, yo.

            2. In Baltimore?

              Those are rat bones, not chicken.

              1. Rat fishing (I totally swear) is done in alleys so you don’t usually find the bones at the Inner Harbor. BTW: these are some fine Balto accents.

                OTOH: the Inner Harbor’s a great place to go to if you want to get beaten, robbed, and stripped.

            3. Hyperion:
              “Everytime that I am in Baltimore, and I stop to cross a street, I look down, and there are chicken bones on the street. ”

              Where is the question he asked you, are did he finish with “what’s up with that wack shit?”

              1. And “are” = “or”

          2. You have to shoot the fried chicken?

        2. He was probably on the marijuana.

          And…this guy OBVIOUSLY had a bad case of the munchies.

          1. I like Cheetos. It keeps the Zombie Hunters off my trail. Eating faces in public’s a good way to get your zombie head blown off.

      3. See. Zombie. When it comes out that it took a headshot to stop him coming, We’ll know. I’m sticking the rifle in the pickup and sleeping next to the shotgun.

      4. Holy shit. 6 or 7 shots and he still wouldn’t go down?

        The real question is how many hit the guy.

        1. Zombie, Dude. No head shots so he kept rolling.

      5. “Holy shit. 6 or 7 shots and he still wouldn’t go down?”

        I am guessing an automatic pistol, a 9 or a 40, with hard, round nose bullets. If they dont hit a bone, they just make a pinhole all the way through.

        If you want one-shot stops, shoot any revolver with .357 or larger bullets and soft lead flat-noses at 800+ fps.
        Ideally, 45LC – soft cast 255grainers. Use a gas check and 9-10 gr of Unique.

    2. C’mon. We’ve got azombie shot and killed in Miami and you’re worried about this. Buy ammo.

      No big. Just the new version of the South Beach Diet. The guy’s face had a very low glycemic index.

    3. Reminds me of when a zombie took Allen Rickman’s face off.

  11. It is the blurst of times.

    1. Stupid monkey.

  12. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

  13. Whatever future meetings of European leaders yield, it will be the will of an unelected elite and not the wishes of the masses that will dominate future policy

    What do we expect from a continent where most people still idolize monarchs, and believe in royalty? The Euro Trash have inbred themselves beyond redemption.

    1. All their adventurous, entrepreneurial, and intelligent subjects went overseas to the US and Oz/NZ. It’s only to be expected, really.

      1. This.

        Know how you can spot a Euro Trash on the beach?

        It is the guy with suspenders to hold up his soccer shorts and white sports socks up to his knees. Fucking dorks.

        1. Nah. They’re the bright pink ones.

          1. Ok, the bright pink guys with suspenders to hold up their soccer shorts and white sports socks up to their knees.

        2. plus speedo.

  14. Obama had a pot club in High School
    http://www.torontosun.com/2012…..biographer

    “He had a smoking club in high school called the Choom Gang.”

    1. That’s because he was oppressed, and you shouldn’t be talking about it, unless you are a racist.

    2. Dont, even, ask what they ate when they got the munchies.

    3. Dont, even, ask what they ate when they got the munchies.

  15. But don’t worry about any austerity Europeeps. Our economic genius of a POTUS says so. Please spend more, no matter who you have to borrow it from. I mean, look what the One has done for our economy, better listen to him.

  16. I really don’t see where you’re going with this post, Feeney. Democracy is no bulwark against bad government.

    Take Amurka for example, where we continually elect people who squat out such gems as the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps, waterboarding, the AUMF, and ObamaCare.

    Do you really think the EU delegates would be more likely to vote for fiscal sanity if they were democratically elected? European proles riot in the streets every time someone suggests they pay for part of their own education.

    1. “Do you really think the EU delegates would be more likely to vote for fiscal sanity if they were democratically elected? European proles riot in the streets every time someone suggests they pay for part of their own education.”

      Which is the reason, poor as it is, that a constitutional republic is a better option.
      It remains the best mouse in the horse show.

      1. Put another way, in the race to the bottom, printing-press Ben can’t hold a candle to the Euros.

        1. We can only hope.

      2. “Which is the reason, poor as it is, that a constitutional republic is a better option.”

        hopefully someday the US will get one of those.

    2. “I really don’t see where you’re going with this post, Feeney. Democracy is no bulwark against bad government.”

      Yeah I think there’s a subtle difference between democracy and legitimacy and, for good or bad, the EU technocrats are legitimate if not democratically elected.

    3. In countries like Finland, the last election resulted in gains for parties that railed against the Brussels Class.

      The media and that section of the Political Class dependent upon Brussels propagandized about the need to be “good Europeans” (whatever that means), and when Finland got rolled on the Greek bailout, the crowing from the media was palpable. (At least as far as I could tell since I don’t know much Finnish: the English-language sources certainly seemed to be crowing.)

    4. “Democracy is no bulwark against bad government.”

      kind of a straw man there. Obviously his complaint was in relation to the far-worse alternatives used instead.

  17. What’s clear is that Greece et al. haven’t spent enough.

    1. Take it away, Kruggie!

  18. t seem to care that he is running http://www.vendreshox.com a country in crisis without a democratic mandate. Greece is currently being ruled under a technocratic government, headed by Panagiotis Pikrammenos.

  19. Democracy will not solve the problem either, the majority of people sincerly believe that they deserved those incredibly generous pensions, early retirement ages and friendly welfare handouts. Whether they are ruled by democracy or unelected eurocrats, until this idea of getting free stuff is countered by economic reality, nothing will change.

    1. You are completely correct.

      Populism is not the answer, and most people are just ignorant.

  20. Parliamentary systems, how the fuck do they work?

    This is a rather terrible article with with terrible analysis. There’s more cherry picking than at a organic farmer’s market. As said by others above, the problem with Greece is certainly that they haven’t had enough elections.

  21. Sometimes you just have to throw your hands in the air and shout Whos your Daddy!

    http://www.Anon-Dat.tk

  22. New plan: Turn all of Greece into one huge diner. No Coke! Pepsi!
    Lamb sandwich!

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