Wednesday, September 14, 2011

913 Europe

913  Europe

The European Union came to be in its present state in 1993.  It is 18 years old, about the age of the United States in 1794.  While the EU is not a formal, united country it’s a serious aggregation and it’s acting -- as we did in ‘94 -- like an 18 year old.

Sex and military service are legal.  So is drinking in some places.  And all the component states are so busy bickering among themselves that nothing is getting done.

Early on, the US was racked with painful arguments, one state against another. The EU has similar problems within.

Although the individual countries go back, some of them, into ancient times with ancient traditions, cultures and laws, they’re acting like a bunch of high schoolers at a house party when mom and dad are away for the weekend.

“Greece is a bunch of spending maniacs.  We won’t help them until they reign in their evil ways,” says the European Central Bank.  France and others cheer, and prepare punishing loan rollovers that aren’t going to fix anything and are not going to protect their investments. Greece is a tangential economy, but it’s the main focus at the moment.  Other economies are problem plagued, too.  France, Italy, Britain, Spain, Portugal etc.

Belgium doesn’t like the oil and gas deals struck by other member states and is trying to get in the middle: divide and conquer.

Trade disputes within (and with us,) pipeline disputes, air space disputes, court disputes all abound.

Over here, the conflict isn’t so much between states any more, but between states in general  and the central government.  Who has what rights?  Who ultimately governs?  Once, state’s rights was strictly a southern game.  But it has spread nationwide.

The EU has made it close to impossible for member nations to protect their own interests, has big-footed most of the individual currencies and confused everyone.  And the US is coming full circle, from a bunch of ragtag semi independents into a more or less unified whole and -- now -- back into a bunch of ragtag semi independents.

Ah, don’t you love progress.


Shrapnel:

--Half way through a big box of contact lenses, we find one that’s pre-torn.  It may be worth a complaint.  But how do you prove to the optician that it wasn’t a self-inflicted wound?

--Political debates among scads of candidates at a time?  It’s the new reality show and just about as believable as “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent.”  The only thing missing is the vote-by-phone feature.

--It’s always gratifying when someone whose work you admire comes up with approximately the same thought at the same time as you do.  Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist, Princeton professor and New York Times columnist has written about hijacking the meaning of 9/11.  Here's a link to his column posted soon after the Wessay™ that made the same point.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2011

No comments: