Hope for the Future

Shannon Love has a pretty good post up right below this one, talking about the CIA report which predicts that the European Union will fragment in 15 years unless they do something about their economic woes.

And what caused these problems? A variety of reasons, but the one that could be acted on immediately (and the one discussed in the report) is a welfare system that’s out of control.

Shannon thinks that the CIA is so incompetent that only the opposite can happen. I’m not so sure.

Case in point is this news report, which covers massive strikes and protests in France.

Why are the French so upset? They’re complaining about rather minor cuts that the government has made in their social welfare system They want their undeserved goodies restored, and restored right quick. If they don’t get their way, then the voters might just oppose the EU Constitution which will be put up for a vote in a few months.

It looks to me like the EU is going to go hang, and it’s their own Socialist system that will put the noose on.

But, hey, I’m just a cowboy American. Maybe there’s some sort of nuance that I’m not picking up on.

10 thoughts on “Hope for the Future”

  1. Actually, the CIA assessment is the only thing that make me think that the EU has a chance. ;-)

    I do find it bizarre the idea that public sector employees can strike. It seems profoundly anti-democratic to me.

  2. The EU will make it, no doubt about that, but not as a superpower, for we don’t have the ambition in the first place. We are too busy stabilizing the new Eastern European members, with Bulagria and Romania soon to follow, and in the not too distant future Turkey. The current problems will be overcome, constitution or not.

  3. –but not as a superpower, for we don’t have the ambition in the first place.–

    Now, Ralf, I’ve read too many brusselsprouts to agree w/that.

    It might not be what the citizens want, but sometimes it’s not about them.

  4. Oh, that were only a handful of people. If we really wanted to become a superpoewr we wouldn’t even dream of taking in Turkey. I mean, once Turkey joins the EU can say hello to its new neighbors Syria, Iraq, Iran and Kasachstan. ;)

  5. Btw James,

    why did you call the post ‘hope for the future’ when you are predicting the end of the EU? Surely you know that this would be a very bad thing, including the United States?

  6. You know, if the EU busted up in a couple of years, one could say the CIA has kept their cold streak alive and well. Who’s up for a Dead Pool?

  7. Strikes in France are nothing new. They had decades of strikes. It´s always public sector workers. Significance: zero. And if they oppose the EU constitution, so do I. It does not mean the end of the EU.

    But the unionized or state-owned part of the economy is not the whole story. That a section of voters opposes change only means that change will come anyway through the back door.

    In Germany, we had twenty years of endless talk about reform, and no action – but now that we are running out of money and options, holy cows are suddenly slaughtered right and left. From unemployment benefits to university funding, things finally are changing, though it is not always easy too see. Even if it is too late to benefit my generation.

  8. Ginny,

    Since the demise of the Italian Communist Party, things have indeed improved. Notably, Prime Minister Berlusconi has made industrial action more difficult to carry out legally. However, everything’s relative, and Italy is far down the league table when it comes to days lost through strikes. See http://www.fedee.com/strikes.html

    And 2002 saw the first national general strike in years.


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