Wednesday, September 11, 2013

State of the Union

Barroso held a "State of the Union" address today. If it weren't so sad one could be inclined to call it an excellent comedic performance, something an actor of SNL would say to make fun of the European Union.

Seriously, I do not want to live in this "Union" anymore. He started out by blaming the US for the unemployment crisis in Europe. It should be absolutely clear to anybody that unemployment started to get completely out of hand after our genius "leaders" came up with a plan to "restore confidence" through austerity. Countries like Iceland and Turkey are performing better than anybody who received "help" from the euro austeritians.
It is downhill from there:

Both Iceland and Turkey were hit hard by the crisis. Them not being part of the eurozone, and also not receiving help from "our" commission, because they aren't part of this "Union" allowed them to implement policies that, well, actually worked. Everything that happened after 2011 should not be blamed on the US, we are a big "Union";we implemented our own policy; and it was a complete failure. We should not say something like:

But Europe has fought back. In those 5 years, we have given a determined response. We suffered the crisis together. We realised we had to fight it together. And we did, and we are doing it.

And you failed; and you are still failing; and you want to continue to fail in the future. You Sir are the Black Knight.

I just came back from the G20 in Saint Petersburg. I can tell you: this year, contrary to recent years, we Europeans did not receive any lessons from other parts of the world on how to address the crisis. We received appreciation and encouragement.
Of course, what good would it do to tell somebody clearly dying from cancer to stop smoking the austerity tobacco?

This goes on and on.

  Industrial output is increasing.
Well, true, but let's get a bit of perspective, shall we? I even put a huge arrow over the manufacturing growth, Barroso is talking about  in case somebody misses the grand achievement of the European Commission.

Yes this graph starts at 2003 (and includes only manufacturing). Barroso also has his good moments:

Ultimately, this is about one thing: growth, which is necessary to remedy today’s most pressing problem: unemployment. The current level of unemployment is economically unsustainable, politically untenable, socially unacceptable.[..]We need to avoid a jobless recovery.
Absolutely correct! What is your solution kind Sir?
Europe therefore must speed up the pace of structural reforms.
 Oh, well, OK. More economic damage it is then, I guess.

For some reason, he thinks it would be good to talk about privacy online. Personally, I would be quite surprised if the institutions who completely failed to protect themselves were able to achieve this for their citizens. But, let us continue:

I have great faith in science, in the capacity of the human mind and a creative society to solve its problems.
Really? Five years of complete failure and he is still convinced that they at some point will be able to solve the crisis by  doing the same thing over and over again? Einstein had a name for that and it wasn't science.
 Contrary to perception, where most of our citizens think we are losing in global trade, we have a significant and increasing trade surplus of more than 300 billion euro a year, goods, services, and agriculture.
How on earth did this find a place on Barroso's list of things going well? It was not achieved through an increase in production, this is the result of total economic destruction in the program countries which negatively affected imports. This is not something anybody should be proud of. It should be considered one of the biggest symbols of failure.

This is not a cyclical crisis, but a structural one.

Blablabla. That is nothing but an excuse for failure. The only major structural issue that we have is incompetent leadership. Every other country was able to get back to some form of growth; only the eurozone failed to do so. Oh, Great Britain also isn't doing so well, because they also went with austerity, but at least they have a central bank doing as much as can be done.

He went on to tell everybody, who was still listening that the choice we have is a binary one. Either never ending economic disaster the EU and its "structural reforms" or trench warfare. Well, Hitler's Blitzkrieg was actually quite kinetic and significantly lacked trenches. Found a third choice, didn't I? Not so binary after all our options.

He ended by saying:

Next year, in 2014, I hope Europe will be walking out of the crisis towards a Europe that is more united, stronger and open.
Completely gutting the very basis of the EU by "reforming" the Schengen area in 2014, was just something the EU sleepwalked into I reckon (not unlike trench warfare he kept talking about). This Union has destroyed its own foundation not only the economy of some member states. Why didn't Barroso talk about this great achievement? Every country can now reintroduce border controls by claiming that there is a significant threat from organized crime; and since Germany pushed for it it seems more than likely that this will at least affect all eastern German borders. (Yes, there is a 30 days maximum but nothing prevents the country from just going for another 30 days thereafter - it is not like organized crime will go away after a month)

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