Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The steel trap version of the eurozone

Aditya Chakrabortty explains why the Greek negoiaitons with the EU/IMF/ECB may drag out for another three weeks or so. If they don't tank and send the situation into a tailsping in the next hour or the next (Greece is a sideshow. The eurozone has failed, and Germans are its victims too Guardian 06/22/2015):

The diplomatic beatings administered to Syriza since it came to power this year can only be seen as Europe trying to set an example to any Spanish voters who might be tempted to support its sister movement Podemos. Go too far left, runs the message, and you’ll get the same treatment.

Whatever the founding ideals of the eurozone, they don’t match up to the grim reality in 2015. This is Thatcher’s revolution, or Reagan’s – but now on a continental scale. And as then, it is accompanied by the idea that There Is No Alternative either to running an economy, or even to which kind of government voters get to choose.

The fact that this entire show is being brought in by agreeable-looking Wise Folk often claiming to be social democratic doesn’t render the project any nicer or gentler. It just lends the entire thing a nasty tang of hypocrisy. [my emphasis]
Those are the last three paragraphs in the article. Sometimes the most interesting part comes at the end.

But the rest of the piece is interesting, too, explaining what has been called "wage dumping" by Germany, though Chakrabortty doesn't use the term here. He writes:

What they find is that German workers have barely seen wages rise for the 14-year stretch. In the short life of the euro, working Germans have fared worse than the French, Austrians, Italians and many across southern Europe.

Yes, we’re talking about the same Germany: the mightiest economy on the continent, the one even David Cameron regards with envy. Yet the people working there and making the country more prosperous have seen barely any reward for their efforts.

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