The woes of Italy

Discussion of current events
neverfail
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Re: The woes of Italy

Post by neverfail » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:39 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:04 am

A country dropping out of the euro because of poor performance would suffer a very steep and fast drop in its currency value, so it would experience all the woes I mentioned above. On top of that its foreign debt - in US dollars or euros - would suddenly become even more difficult to pay.
I absolutely agree with you on that Sertorio. Australia's dollar was adjusted downward from its high of approx. AUS$1:00 = US$1:10 slowly and steadily over a protracted period of 15 to 18 months - enough time for our national economy to adjust and adapt to the new reality. But if Italy were to suddenly regress back to the Lira the selldown of this currency would be swift and devastating. Living standards would drop and its international debt denominated in US dollars and Euros would balloon - which of course would not solve its debt problem.

But what is the alternative? Italy has been badly governed by weak coalition governments ever since they lynched Benito Mussolini and his mistress (which is why some Italians still hanker for the return of Fascism - what a sorry lot!). To compound this bad record of national mismanagement the Italian public has just elected a coalition of populist idiots whose irresponsible big spending agenda will very likely push Italy over the edge into outright national insolvency. It will be Greece writ large.

Can the Germans be called upon to indefinitely part with their own hard earned money to perpetually bail out improvident neighbours to the south because these insist of electing fuckwits to govern them? I do not believe so.
Sertorio wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:04 am
Portugal has still some structural economic problems but it has by now adjusted to the euro, and its trade balance is no longer negative, mostly thanks to tourism. That means that even with an expensive euro Portugal is becoming competitive, and so neither its private nor public external debt is increasing. Remaining in the euro is no longer a problem, and very few people in Portugal still think that we should go back to our national currency. Once investment makes our goods trade balance less negative we may even expect a trade surplus and a beginning of the lowering of our external public debt, in both absolute and relative to GDP terms.

Having said this, I agree that the creation of the euro was premature, and Portugal would have done better to stay out of it. But once you are in, you must try to adjust to the new reality.
Naturally, I wish Portugal well. But if the coming implosion of Italy results in the breakup of the EU and the demise of the Euro, Portugal will likely have no choice but to go back to its own national currency.

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Sertorio
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Re: The woes of Italy

Post by Sertorio » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:09 am

neverfail wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:39 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:04 am

A country dropping out of the euro because of poor performance would suffer a very steep and fast drop in its currency value, so it would experience all the woes I mentioned above. On top of that its foreign debt - in US dollars or euros - would suddenly become even more difficult to pay.
I absolutely agree with you on that Sertorio. Australia's dollar was adjusted downward from its high of approx. AUS$1:00 = US$1:10 slowly and steadily over a protracted period of 15 to 18 months - enough time for our national economy to adjust and adapt to the new reality. But if Italy were to suddenly regress back to the Lira the selldown of this currency would be swift and devastating. Living standards would drop and its international debt denominated in US dollars and Euros would balloon - which of course would not solve its debt problem.

But what is the alternative? Italy has been badly governed by weak coalition governments ever since they lynched Benito Mussolini and his mistress (which is why some Italians still hanker for the return of Fascism - what a sorry lot!). To compound this bad record of national mismanagement the Italian public has just elected a coalition of populist idiots whose irresponsible big spending agenda will very likely push Italy over the edge into outright national insolvency. It will be Greece writ large.

Can the Germans be called upon to indefinitely part with their own hard earned money to perpetually bail out improvident neighbours to the south because these insist of electing fuckwits to govern them? I do not believe so.
Sertorio wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:04 am
Portugal has still some structural economic problems but it has by now adjusted to the euro, and its trade balance is no longer negative, mostly thanks to tourism. That means that even with an expensive euro Portugal is becoming competitive, and so neither its private nor public external debt is increasing. Remaining in the euro is no longer a problem, and very few people in Portugal still think that we should go back to our national currency. Once investment makes our goods trade balance less negative we may even expect a trade surplus and a beginning of the lowering of our external public debt, in both absolute and relative to GDP terms.

Having said this, I agree that the creation of the euro was premature, and Portugal would have done better to stay out of it. But once you are in, you must try to adjust to the new reality.
Naturally, I wish Portugal well. But if the coming implosion of Italy results in the breakup of the EU and the demise of the Euro, Portugal will likely have no choice but to go back to its own national currency.
I think the present Italian government is going to surprise us all. Being in power is very different from being in opposition, and the two coalition partners will soon understand that Europe needs fixing, but not being destroyed. And I expect the lowering of some taxes will be compensated with a broadening of the tax basis, so that receipts may even go up, allowing for the fulfilment of some of the social security ideas of the 5 Star Movement. Populism is a way of conquering power, it's not a way of running a country. The only populist idea which may survive almost untouched, is the one in respect of immigration.

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cassowary
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Re: The woes of Italy

Post by cassowary » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:07 am

Yep. Throw the Muslims out before they destroy Europe.

neverfail
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Re: The woes of Italy

Post by neverfail » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:05 am

Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:09 am

I think the present Italian government is going to surprise us all. Being in power is very different from being in opposition, and the two coalition partners will soon understand that Europe needs fixing, but not being destroyed. And I expect the lowering of some taxes will be compensated with a broadening of the tax basis, so that receipts may even go up, allowing for the fulfilment of some of the social security ideas of the 5 Star Movement. Populism is a way of conquering power, it's not a way of running a country. The only populist idea which may survive almost untouched, is the one in respect of immigration.
Does this mean that the two parties in the new governing coalition hoodwinked their voter-supporters with platforms of false promises?

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Sertorio
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Re: The woes of Italy

Post by Sertorio » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:35 am

neverfail wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:05 am
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:09 am

I think the present Italian government is going to surprise us all. Being in power is very different from being in opposition, and the two coalition partners will soon understand that Europe needs fixing, but not being destroyed. And I expect the lowering of some taxes will be compensated with a broadening of the tax basis, so that receipts may even go up, allowing for the fulfilment of some of the social security ideas of the 5 Star Movement. Populism is a way of conquering power, it's not a way of running a country. The only populist idea which may survive almost untouched, is the one in respect of immigration.
Does this mean that the two parties in the new governing coalition hoodwinked their voter-supporters with platforms of false promises?
Just like all parties from all countries...

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cassowary
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Re: The woes of Italy

Post by cassowary » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:53 am

No, never fail. Populism means promising popular policies regardless whether it is good for the people.

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Sertorio
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Re: The woes of Italy

Post by Sertorio » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:44 am

cassowary wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:53 am
No, never fail. Populism means promising popular policies regardless whether it is good for the people.
Who decides what is "good" for the people? Intellectualy superior people like you?... :D

That's why the wise Greeks decided that people would be chosen for office by lottery, and could only stay in office once in their life, for the period of one year... No better system has ever been designed...

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cassowary
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Re: The woes of Italy

Post by cassowary » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:40 am

Sertorio wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:44 am
cassowary wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:53 am
No, never fail. Populism means promising popular policies regardless whether it is good for the people.
Who decides what is "good" for the people? Intellectualy superior people like you?... :D

That's why the wise Greeks decided that people would be chosen for office by lottery, and could only stay in office once in their life, for the period of one year... No better system has ever been designed...
That's a terrible system. No wonder Greek democracy failed.

What's good for the people? Prosperity, domestic peace, absence of violence, low unemployment, absence of crime, long life. Policies that achieve these outcome are good.

If you are against these outcomes, let me know. Needless to say, your favoured system, Socialism, will achieve the opposite of these outcomes.

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SteveFoerster
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Re: The woes of Italy

Post by SteveFoerster » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:32 am

cassowary wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:40 am
Sertorio wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:44 am
cassowary wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:53 am
No, never fail. Populism means promising popular policies regardless whether it is good for the people.
Who decides what is "good" for the people? Intellectualy superior people like you?... :D

That's why the wise Greeks decided that people would be chosen for office by lottery, and could only stay in office once in their life, for the period of one year... No better system has ever been designed...
That's a terrible system. No wonder Greek democracy failed.
I think where a "jury" approach might help would be as an additional check on a legislature, wherein a board of randomly selected citizens can veto legislation, but not propose it.
Writer, technologist, educator, gadfly.
President of New World University: http://newworld.ac

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Sertorio
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Re: The woes of Italy

Post by Sertorio » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:10 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:32 am
cassowary wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:40 am
Sertorio wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:44 am
cassowary wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:53 am
No, never fail. Populism means promising popular policies regardless whether it is good for the people.
Who decides what is "good" for the people? Intellectualy superior people like you?... :D

That's why the wise Greeks decided that people would be chosen for office by lottery, and could only stay in office once in their life, for the period of one year... No better system has ever been designed...
That's a terrible system. No wonder Greek democracy failed.
I think where a "jury" approach might help would be as an additional check on a legislature, wherein a board of randomly selected citizens can veto legislation, but not propose it.
In ancient Greece it could.

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