That infamous warning to beware of the light at the end of the tunnel because it might be an oncoming train seems fitting for those living in the E.U. Empty promises have only lead the Europeans down a road of sorrows. Sold on the dream of a better tomorrow they have found out only too late that the illusion was just that, an illusion. A fantasy that has come a cost all too dear. The short cut to prosperity they were told existed by deluded politicians has instead lead them down a path towards impoverishment.
The Euro zone was the center of many dreams. Not just of an economic powerhouse akin to a United States of Europe, but of a social union that could be used as a model for a worldwide one. Unfortunately for the citizens of the E.U. the model has turned into more of a warning than an example. A fantasy best never removed from the Pandora’s box in which it resided.
The failure unfolding before the world’s eyes should not be of any surprise. Many of those not caught up in the E.U. fever predicted in would never work. For awhile it seemed like they would be proved wrong, but time was on the side of the pessimist. Milton Friedman for one predicted the European Union would last anywhere from 5 to 15 years but collapse was likely inevitable. As if on que his prophesy seems to be coming true for all the reasons he cited and a few more.
The truth is the E.U. for all its heralded promise quickly deteriorated into an international wealth redistribution scheme. The short sighted liberals and socialist running the union thought that just by giving certain countries a leg up, economic parity could now be achieved. A plan underpinned with cheap loans and guided by those with the farsightedness of a bat. Loans to countries that believed that just by being part of the Eurozone a prosperous future was all but guaranteed. Both sides deluding themselves and others that better infrastructure and E.U. membership was all that was needed to turn Spain into Germany, Portugal into the Netherlands or even Greece into Norway.
Never did it occur to the Union’s power brokers and bankers that poor infrastructure is a result not a cause. Neither did the idea that these countries, that could barely afford the upkeep on their old antiquated systems, would never be able to afford to upkeep of what they were buying let alone pay for it. The fact is the foundations of the E.U. were rotten from the onset, something no amount of printed money and wishful thinking could ever cover up.
The head of the Deutsche Bank recently said “only Jesus could save the Eurozone.” Of course that is only if he was willing to get in bed with the devils and money changers that make up the E.U. elite. Even so, he might find turning water into wine an easier task. Even now parts of the Union seems to be turning to economic cannibalism to sustain themselves. Cyprus’s recent idea to raise capital by imposing a form of retroactive taxation on savings is an example. An idea that amounted to nothing more than state sanctioned theft. Fortunately a predictable run on the banks and massive protest put a stop to the Cypriot government’s idea.
Cyprus may be an economic midget but it is a banking powerhouse. If its banks collapse it could pull down others in the E.U. with them. Even if this doesn’t happen the mere attempt by a E.U. country to steal peoples savings has shattered confidence in the safety of bank accounts. Cypriots for their part are looking for money to stay-off the day of reckoning. Looking both to the Russians and the E.U., trying to figure out who will demand less of their souls in a devils trade for cash. It is looking more and more like their might not be enough of their souls left to buy any reprieve at all.
The truth is Europe is in a cycle of impending doom. Going from one crises to the next, much of the world knows what the Europeans fear to admit. That being their future is looking to be a choice between controlled dissolution or catastrophic collapse. Long term survival at this point looks unlikely. The patch work of band aid fixes the E.U. has been applying to save itself have only made the situation worse. Its fixes have been poison to the economy, paralyzing any hope of recovery. It seems if the disease does not kill them their cures will.
There are many lessons to be learned from the E.U. failure. Probably the biggest, is that economic equalization across societies is a game best left to fools and dictators. There are of course other lessons too. Lessons like do not mix up economic results and causes, culture does matter, wealth redistribution ends up making everyone poorer and multi-culturalism is just another name for societal fractionalization. Lessons few of world’s liberal elite will take to heart.
For now the world is keeping vigil over the E.U., a death watch with little clue as to when the last breath will come. Only knowing that it will come is all but certain. The latest crisis in Cyprus will not yield the death blow but rest assured it has brought it closer. These are all events the United States should be taking to heart. The fact is even though the U.S. is not the E.U. many of the Europe’s mistakes are being done there too. Debt, economic equalization and legal centralization are all taking place. Trends that are causing its society to fracture, its economy to fail, and puts its future in doubt. Also similarly to the Europeans, American politicians seem mostly blind to the destructiveness of the path they are on.
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Editors Note: This was obviously written before the Cyprus deal was conjugated. A deal that has given Europe a whole new meaning to phrase “safe as money in the bank.”