Monday, August 22, 2011

"Good fences make good neighbors"

So, why's the euro collapsing and, maybe, the European Union along with it?

NRO's Rich Lowry has a notion, and to set it up, he first asks a few key questions:
What if we were governed by a sophisticated transnational elite that operated outside of normal political channels as much as possible and, sharing similar values, forged compromises relatively easily? What if the elite were high-minded and visionary? What if they succeeded in doing “big things”? 
In Europe for the past couple of decades, this hasn’t been a fanciful hope, it’s been a reality. A political and financial overclass engineered the adoption of the euro, based on one of the world’s most foolhardy delusions since the fall of the Berlin Wall: that you can have a common currency without a common country.
For a whole host of reasons, and despite the best hopes of those same "sophisticated transnational elites", the United States of Europe as a common country was an unlikely outcome from the very beginning.  (I might explore some of those reasons in another post.)  But it's worse than that.

Before the institution of the euro, Greece and the other southern European countries more inclined to pursue, shall we say, la dolce vita, than put their noses to the proverbial grindstone, were objects of light-hearted derision by your average German.  But now, as the Germans, principally, along with the other more or less fiscally sound European countries must literally carry them financially, they will soon become objects of public contempt.

This is not good.  In fact, it could be dangerous.

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