A New United Europe?

Mario Draghi has written his editorial opinion that lays out his argument for a new united Europe under one European government.  Currently, I believe, the United Kingdom is the only country that elects its European Parliament members by national elections.  And the present conditions of the European Union, the president and the other members of the executive groups are elected solely by the representatives sent by each country, none of these positions are placed before the common populace for approval.  Around the turn of last century America opted for the direct election of U S Senators.  This is now constitutional law with the passage of an amendment to the Constitution.  Prior to that amendment the practice was for the state legislatures or even the state governor to appoint an individual to the senate.  The thinking was that popular vote would corrupt the Senate and thereby cause it to serve the nation less well.  Our founding fathers had a horror of popular vote and thought is a very bad idea, hence the idea that men of sufficient property should have the power to elect congressmen and state legislative bodies the power to appoint senators.  Unfortunately the problems came when men of wealth could effectively buy the position of US Senator by bribing governors and legislatures.  The idea of direct elections was seen as a corrective measure.  But even now one must certainly been relatively wealthy to afford the means to campaign, for it takes wealth to attract the wealth needed to campaign and win, and it takes wealth to afford the style of living as a US Senator, for these individuals do not deign to socially affiliate themselves with the common people.  When was the last time they asked you to lunch?

The UK has been very reluctant to give up is currency as well as give up more of its sovereignty to the EU.  And while David Cameron is supposedly a conservative he would rather guide the UK into full partnership with the EU.  He is greatly opposed by the UKIP party, one of the reasons why the vote for union has been put off until 2016.  But he is a fool to believe that the populace really wants to lose their sovereignty to a group of non-elected political leaders who are largely unaccountable to anyone but themselves.  The growing affiliation the populace has with UKIP is testament to that reality.

Perhaps a little history is in order.  Charles De Gaule had proposed a trade union among many of the old European nations.  The logic was simple.  A trade union would check the expanse of US businesses into France and other countries while stopping the flood of cheaper goods from flooding France and other nations.  And it would serve to check the growing West German state from taking over many of the other economies.  After all, Germany was still receiving significant aide from America.  The European Trade Commission eventually allowed the likes of Sweden and Germany to join and it increased is size as Italy, Portugal, Greece, and others joined.  The UK was both hesitant and barred from joining.  But then England, the UK, has always been a stand alone country, apart form Europe.  It shows in their government, their choice of fashion, and the fact that they still drive on the wrong side of the road.  As the idea of East Germany uniting with West Germany came to fruition, the European Union came into being.  Mostly from the fears that the two German countries were about to wreak economic havoc upon Europe.  In retrospect, those fears were never realized and the new German was admitted to the EU.  In fact, it became rather fashionable for the former Communist East European Bloc of countries that had been dominated by the old USSR to want to seek admittance to the EU.  They would have the benefit of a common currency, some financial assistance from the EU Central Bank, and even greater help from the IMF, the world’s lender of last resort.  Thus, the Check Republic could set up automobile manufacturing plants for Renault, Volkswagen, and others using cheaper labor.  Slovakia offered its own workers to the bargain.  Soon manufacturing started to move in bits and parts to these newer members.  But there was trouble ahead as many labor unions in the old members saw that their own membership would become unemployed if too much manufacturing moved to these newer members.  And there were enough problems in trying to allocate food production in the Union.

Germany has always posed a problem for the rest of the EU.  Its inhabitants have always saved more than they spent while those in France made it a condition of any politician to promote living beyond ones means.  German exports to the other members of the EU have always been very strong and her imports very weak, creating a net imbalance within the EU.  And we have seen that the PIGS, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain, have always spent far too much on social services while manufacturing and exporting too little.  The argument is that when they joined the benefited from a strong Euro and that was boost to their economies.  But time has shown that it is now a liability and that their individual government spending exceeds their individual GDP.  The ECB has tried to prop up these governments and the EU has tried to impose reductions in their government spending, all to no avail.  Even the French has refused to bring their own government spending in line with the EU mandates.

So with the prospect of Spain, Italy, and Greece about to leave the EU due to populist pressure and the general poverty of each of these countries becoming greater, Mario Draghi has launched a new campaign demanding that the individuals governments with in the EU give up their sovereignty to the EU Commission and Parliament.  But this will not play well with the Germans or the French.  The Germans fear that their people will become the slaves of all those proliferate debtors who have borrowed so much and left the Germans holding the bag of bad debt.  France fears that the Germans may retaliate by reducing consumption even more and exporting much more than France can match, thus creating a gross debtor nation out of the French Republic.  Besides, the French are the spirit of Europe, just ask them.

Yes, Mr Draghi is correct, a monetary union must also be a political union if it is to operate within the bounds of good financial and economic policies.  Currently there is far too much cheating by individual countries that place greater burdens on the other members.  Clearly these member nations must give up their individual sovereignty if the whole is to exist in the future.  There must be a United States of Europe, so to speak.  But that would be like asking that a common language be adopted as the official language of such a superstate.  Clearly, such an ambitious project is doomed and must end in failure.  With the world wide economic collapse starting to happen this year it is far more likely that the EU, as we know it now, will break up into several parts due to economic conditions.  Look for Spain, Greece, and Italy to leave the EU.  And it is possible that Germany will consider leaving as well since to stay can only drain them.  France is in too great a mes politically and economically.  They have become accustom to the government handouts for far too long to give them up without a fight.  The collapse of oil revenue in the North Sea will cause the governments in Sweden and Norway to topple.  And any drilling plans Norway has of developing the fields in the Arctic Circle will be placed on hold for a minimum of six months to a year.  Europe is about to implode and take that dream state ideal away from Mr Draghi’s table.


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