The Contrarian: If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…

The Contrarian: If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…

—by , September 13, 2011

While one cannot predict the future, the past is a tangible source of information and potential insight regarding socio-economic trends. This is a theory, a habit that people have used to feel secure within the system, analyzing history on a macro scale to better understand things up close. Plans of action are validated by the respective entities using prepositions extracted from these accounts, and we sleep at night because money is security.

The current economic situation in the United States is being compared to the Great Depression, as it is thought to be more severe than other rough patches the country has experienced. The recession does not exactly evoke images of The Dust Bowl or men in nice suits putting pistols in their mouths, but it is dire nonetheless. The availability of this history is a part of the map we use to figure out what went wrong and how we can proceed so spoiled college kids can go back to complaining about something besides their sense of entitlement.

Europe isn’t doing so hot either, rife with worsening debt, consistent dependence on loans and the implementation of sweeping austerity measures across the continent to protect the weakening Euro (one aspect of the existing currency union as established in 1992) and get back on track. They are almost doing as bad as us, complete with a sprinkling of student based riots in response to obscene tuition hikes and declining business confidence, each country plagued with their own unique deficiencies and attempts at damage control. As each country flounders, Europe as whole threatens its place in the global economy, especially since each unit is financially insecure.

It has gotten to the point that the 17 nations in the European Union have been in talks to operate in a manner that would allow us to call them “copycats,” but perhaps take less pleasure in it than we would think.

Louise Story and Matthew Saltmarsh for the New York Times report:

The idea is to create a central financial authority—with powers in areas like taxation, bond issuance and budget approval—that could eventually turn the euro zone into something resembling a United States of Europe.

The 13 original colonies that initially joined to create the United States of America were each sovereign states with unique definitions of commerce which eventually could not exist amiably without a centralized conception of trade practices. Europe, however, is a continent and the states in here are entire sovereign countries. Big ones with distinct governments… and different national languages and cultures.

A financial consolidation of best practices and economic protocol means to strengthen all economies involved by providing standards by which the entirety of the region handles money, providing a clarity of common purpose. Measures would regulate taxation and distribute wealth from the stronger nations to the weaker by way of bailouts appropriated by said established union.

The smaller the scope of an issue and those affected, the more likely it is that the system be understood both theoretically and “truthfully,” given the issues and traits that mark every civilization and/or group of people, it becomes more difficult to examine those groups with a larger breadth of attributes.

Can European countries possibly give up histories of fiscal sovereignty for the greater good of pulling each of its economies out of the gutter? Will they act like petulant children and find ways to maintain a sense of national distinction in the face of a forced humility?

The global economy is defined as being the sum of its parts in the simple sense that it is an inclusive concept used in reference to smaller systems and sovereigns. There are organizations that connote a sort of central world organization, like the World Bank and the United Nations, as well as other intergovernmental entities like NATO and the European Union. These groups are a sample of the entire world as we understand it, in a similar way that a survey, “scientific” or otherwise, is a sample that represents a larger population.

Additionally, each of the groups mentioned were organized with a very specific purpose and were conceptualized as an entity to opt into, separate from the countries ultimately involved. The mission and methods that operate these organizations legitimize the members of its practice(s).

Here, the purpose is not so much a purpose as it is a set of circumstances; Europe is suffering, and they need to do something about it.

Presently, the United States is the most powerful country in the world because we have flashed around enough rapid money and growth that our influence holds fast, glided but reigning. In 2010, the U.S. economy was responsible for 20.218 percent of the world’s total gross domestic product (PPP) or $14.62 trillion. Power being financial clout; we have a decent credit of collateral despite our economic quagmire.

Numerous disciplines have been invented quell our anxiety about the arbitrariness with which existence continues. Subjective theories of politics and economics are fleshed out and adopted when and where appropriate.

It might have worked for the United States as a young country with little else to do but join forces lest the states destroy each other, but this restructuring may not have the same effect for Europe, rich with its own special histories and ability to sustain themselves thus far. Control is a matter of scope, and the power that exists in a non-central distribution across Europe will be difficult to reconcile with the greater issue of unified stability.

History tends to repeat itself, but that’s the thing about trying using it to shape the future; we’ll often bite off more than we can chew.

 

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