Tag Archives: eu

EU inequality

OK I’m breaking my self-imposed law within a few hours.

Ben says EU good

Ben says EU good

 

 

 

 

I usually have utmost respect for Ben Goldacre and don’t want to get into trolling territory on twitter but this is a simplistic statement. The first statement is true. The second is highly debatable if you stratify by age.

It is well known (see Bill Mitchell amongst a wealth of others, many of whom could not be seen as “outsiders” but are well within the mainstream) that unemployment in southern EU countries is appalling amongst the young. 50% or so. People with PhDs living at home with parents and, if they’re lucky, doing some barista work. All courtesy of the banking rules that force them to “live within their means – like a household”. All a nonsense paradigm of course if you understand how money is created and destroyed. But the results are in and have been in for many years now. There is, of course, a strong affinity with the EU, given the benefits of the past. However, recent ECB policy means the young can’t afford a home, and get bare-bones healthcare.

EU and BREXIT etc

I have refrained from commenting on the BREXIT issue. Largely because there has been a complete lack of rational debate and the vilest epithets have been thrown around by both sides.

But I think there enough clearer heads now to note a few things. First of all a declaration of conflict of interest. Most of my Dad’s family are from Lincolnshire, and Boston in particular, one of the biggest centres of euroscepticism generally and referendum “Leave” votes specifically.

I make no attempt to endorse the views of many of these people. I merely seek to understand. And the prevailing view is/was rage. Rage, that there was no investment to cope with the housing/NHS demands by the huge numbers of immigrants needed to provide middle class people with the fruit and veg they wanted on the cheap. My grandfather fought in WW2 alongside free Poles. He loved the Poles and taught his family to – they lived in Boston for decades. But when my uncle notes that my cousin can’t get a GP appointment for my niece without a 5-6 week wait, I do begin to understand the rage. They get on with and like their Polish and other Eastern European neighbours. They just ask “but why are we bearing the brunt of the demand for social services?”

Another issue is rapidly coming to the fore……for those who read the mainstream press rather than the bloggers who actually look at the finances of the Eurozone banks it is time you started paying attention. Italy has a problem. A very very serious problem. One that could blow up the Eurozone. Please go look at the interconnectedness of European banks. That bank regarded as the doyenne of financial rectitude, Deutsche Bank, is heavily interlinked with Italy.

The powers that be are getting afraid. Afraid that the Italians might, actually, end up leaving the Eurozone. When you have a “savings account” that actually turns out to be something that is closer to “shares in the bank and therefore eligible to be wiped out under the new banking rules” it would be unsurprising if it made you mad. We are getting closer to that point.

So whilst I do acknowledge that the BREXIT side had a lot of people voting that way for the “wrong reason”, can we acknowledge that a lot of pro-Europeans really don’t understand just how close to the precipice they are? I think a good dose of reality is required on both sides. I was heartened to see this today and made me finally write this post.