The US is now a model for the Eurozone to save itself


12:53 pm - May 23rd 2012

by Left Outside    


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After the war of independence most American states were in debt and some where in danger of not paying back the money at all.

Alexander Hamilton, all round dude, argued that the only solution to the debt problem was to nationalise the debt, give the central state some taxing powers to pay it off, and to ban individual states from running up large debts.

As discussed by Martin Wolf, something similar could work in Europe.

However, the thirteen colonies had just been brought together by defeating the evil British (mwahaha), whereas Europeans are down each other’s throats, blaming one another for another fine mess.

On the other hand, the basics, are probably in place in the EU in a way they never were in the US prior to the 1800s. A pact to prevent member states from running deficits has already been instituted (although this could be rendered a dead letter law, were it to become politically necessary to ignore it), and a national currency already exists (for now).

All the EU needs is some incredibly unpopular tax and fiscal reforms and it would be half way to becoming a United States of Europe. Three things cause me to be tolerate this idea more than my gut tells me to.

One, European leaders want power, and continental scale is necessary for geopolitical clout, Germany will soon be too puny, Europe united never will. Europeans used to own some continents but they lost them last century, so a plan for Europe’s leaders to all share the same one may appeal as a Plan B.

Secondly, Currency Unions tend to become countries or break apart, there seems little appetite for either course of action, but one will come to pass eventually. Three, since Bismark, Napoleon, Charles V, Charlemagne, hell, for a long time, there has been a political impetus towards greater European centralisation, that logic didn’t vanish in 1945.

So, yeah, Alexander Hamilton, best start reading up.

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About the author
Left Outside is a regular contributor to LC. He blogs here and tweets here. From October 2010 to September 2012 he is reading for an MSc in Global History at the London School of Economics and will be one of those metropolitan elite you read so much about.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy ,Europe ,Foreign affairs

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Reader comments


1. Shatterface

Do we get to have a bloodbath later on if the southern States decide to seced?

Not a wholly positive model, but a model nonetheless.

Do we get to have a bloodbath later on if the southern States decide to succeed?

If you want to pick a fight with Germany be my guest.

3. harleyrider1978

and to ban individual states from running up large debts.

California is in debt over 16 billion dollars and had to write IOU’S to cover paychecks for state employees just 2 years ago!

Hamilton didnt have 100 diferent languages to contend with either the nation spoke english and the founding fathers pushed for things to make America a united nation. Like the lil blue speller and special unique american only holidays like the 4th of july… Nation building requires common bonds something Europe has never had except the bayonet or a bullet to bully them into a common cause. The civilwar wasnt over slavery it was a political war on the rights of the states to be soverign against a large and totalitarian federal government. This is proven by the fact mens allegiances wee to their individual states not the federal government! As General Lee said for virginia I fight and he turned down Lincolns offer to command the northern armies!

Harleyrider southern by grace of god! Long live the confederacy in the hearts of free men everywhere.

“California is in debt over 16 billion dollars and had to write IOU’S to cover paychecks for state employees just 2 years ago!”

Ahem, California’s deficit was $16bn. Their debt is $250bn ish. California’s GDP is $1.9 trillion. Their total debt is of a similar order of magnitude to our annual deficit. It is small, it has trouble paying people because its constitution makes governing incredibly difficult. Taxing v. hard, spending v, easy. A US state’s behaviour is v. different to a sovereign states.

“The civilwar wasnt over slavery it was a political war on the rights of the states to be soverign against a large and totalitarian federal government.”

No. It was over slavery and southern racism. The South was an economic, cultural and social backwater until the North spent 100 years dismantling it and putting it back together. Stop going on about the racist confederacy and say thank you to the union.

5. Northern Worker

So the way to solve the problems of the EU is more EU. That is, a United States of Europe. Each country then becomes a state with very limited power and very limited tax-raising ability. Centrally, presumably in Brussels, there’s a federal government along the lines of the USA with a president, senate and congress. All 27 states use the euro and debt is controlled centrally. Sounds like a good idea; what can possibly go wrong? Let’s do it!

Like I said, it is a solution, not the solution. Just expanding people’s horizons of the possible.

Hmmm. I seem to remember that befiore the euro came in, there were right wing eurosceptics claiming that it was all a plot to destroy nation states, and that a single currency couldn’t work unless there was political integration.

I seem to remember that they were dismissed as paranoid nut cases.

This article seems to suggest that they might just have been telling the truth.

8. Shatterface

I might not have been paying attention but – Disneyland excepted – the US has a common currency, while the EU’s almost-common currency is falling apart. Why would those countries about to pull out make a U-turn in favour of greater political and economic union?

And the US has two main political parties from which the President is appointed. How many in the EU in total?

9. Shatterface

To be honest, I’d favour something more along the lines of the decentralised, federated society Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy – but he had a blank slate to work with…

10. harleyrider1978

No. It was over slavery and southern racism. The South was an economic, cultural and social backwater until the North spent 100 years dismantling it and putting it back together. Stop going on about the racist confederacy and say thank you to the union.

The war was over states rights,slavery was never the issue until the emancipation proclamation. The abolishionists like Fredrick Douglas and others had pushed hard to make slavery an issue in the civilwar all along. Lincoln had down played this and kept it out of the war until the north had a victory which finally occurred at gettysburgh.

Lincolns Plans for newly freed slaves was to ship them back to Africa aka Liberia on clipper ships as 7 ships had already sailed at the time of Lincolns death. He still had agents out buying even more Clipper ships to ship even more blacks back to Africa as part of his plan during and after the war.

The Emancipation Proclamation
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war

11. harleyrider1978

You’re an apologist for one of the most brutal, inhumane regimes on earth. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

13. harleyrider1978

No Id never be an appoligist for this:

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
(Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler; 1943)

The Führer thanks you from the grave:

Hitler was a Leftist
Hitler’s Anti-Tobacco Campaign

One particularly vile individual, Karl Astel — upstanding president of Jena University, poisonous anti-Semite, euthanasia fanatic, SS officer, war criminal and tobacco-free Germany enthusiast — liked to walk up to smokers and tear cigarettes from their unsuspecting mouths. (He committed suicide when the war ended, more through disappointment than fear of hanging.) It comes as little surprise to discover that the phrase “passive smoking” (Passivrauchen) was coined not by contemporary American admen, but by Fritz Lickint, the author of the magisterial 1100-page Tabak und Organismus (“Tobacco and the Organism”), which was produced in collaboration with the German AntiTobacco League.

http://constitutionalistnc.tripod.com/hitler-leftist/id1.html

14. harleyrider1978

Theres not much diference between the Nazis and todays EU socialists except maybe the bayonets and death camps……….but this stories not over yet!

The war was over states rights,slavery was never the issue until the emancipation proclamation. The abolishionists like Fredrick Douglas and others had pushed hard to make slavery an issue in the civilwar all along.

Really?
http://www.filibustercartoons.com/CSA.htm

I invoke Godwin. Sunny, just close the comments.

17. harleyrider1978

It all came to a head with Lincolns election to president and his stand on strong central government……..Even today the ills of the civilwar are still here,largess federal government and overbearing federal laws thru govmnt depts like EPA and others. It was lincoln who created the pathway of federal govmnt we know today and he used the war to expand federal authority to every walk of life and its never left! The CSA of course legalized slavery by name as it was one issue ,but about 12th in importance. With Lincoln he didnt want to create an even bigger issue by challenging slavery even while at war. He was hoping for a political compromise and bring the union back together but as this became ever more remote and the Abolishionists on his heels over slavery as a predominant reason for the war he caved and made it an issue but not til way late in the war.

Even the norths folks still swore allegiance to their respective states as the regiments were named after there states. States rights werent just an issue in the south it was also an issue up north at the same time. But however you look at it,slavery was a dying institution in itself because of mechanization and industrialization. The gasoline engine came along in the 1860s, steam driven tractors were becomming the norm.. Slaves were a very expensive proposition for who ever owned them,feeding,clothing,housing etc……….Take one man and a tractor and he could do the work of 40 slaves in a field…….. The end of slavery was already comming the civilwar would have done little to change it!

Slaves were a very expensive proposition for who ever owned them,feeding,clothing,housing etc……….Take one man and a tractor and he could do the work of 40 slaves in a field…….. The end of slavery was already comming the civilwar would have done little to change it!

Such things make little difference to a slave based economy, and while the unionists had embraced money and abandoned slavery, the confederates preferred letting personal mastery be within reach of every white man. Every white man, a king! Every black man, a slave. Total, absolute dominion over another, what price can truly match that?

19. harleyrider1978

Actually the north because of fast running rivers easily harnessed for water power was able to escape slavery thru other power means and industiralization took hold,the south supplied the ra materials thru it agricultural economy. The south had few fast running rivers for harnessing as the north had. Hense the marriage of a free north and agriculturally slave labor south. Both needed the other,but trouble makers upset a balance that would have cured itself in another 40 years without a war to supposedly free the slaves! It was states rights that were at the forefront of the war,slavery but one issue.

@19 If that were true, why is it that the confederate constitution then not only enshrined owning slaves as a constitutional right, but also contrived to actually reduce the rights of states?

21. harleyrider1978

Duh,how could they know they were gonna have a steam powered tractor in the future or a gasoline engine to power machines that could do the work of slaves in 1860 years before they were invented. Slave ownership preserved the man power needed to sustain an agrarian southern economy. You have to remember it wasnt the south that created slavery but european powers! You cant blame them,blame the north and their aggression against the south for a problem not of their making. As it was called,that peculiar institution called slavery. The true merchants of death were the abolishionists who pushed for war like John Brown and others. Their religous persecution of others who didnt tow their ideology was profound. They went onto become the anti-cigarette leagues,the early prohibitionists. They set up tents in yankee encampments to give up booze and cigars,to take the pledge! Yes indeed abolishionism in the north became the true threat to american ideals and later to the ills that still plague the country………They are todays Progressives and they are the ones who are pushing the new smoking bans……….Until America throws them under a bus again nobodys liberty is safe be they white,black ,brown or yellow.

22. Step Left

Would we, the people of europe be given a vote or any chance at democratic accountability over our european-overlords making theoretical decisions like this? No? Oh well then, its a really bad and right wing idea.

@21

You have to remember it wasnt the south that created slavery but european powers!

Gasp! You mean they had slavery in Roman times? Who knew? Next you’ll be telling me all those white confederate Americans were descended from European stock. Plus there’s the whole willing to secede and enter a civil war over preserving slavery thing.

You cant blame them,blame the north and their aggression against the south for a problem not of their making. As it was called,that peculiar institution called slavery. The true merchants of death were the abolishionists who pushed for war like John Brown and others. Their religous persecution of others who didnt tow their ideology was profound. They went onto become the anti-cigarette leagues,the early prohibitionists. They set up tents in yankee encampments to give up booze and cigars,to take the pledge! Yes indeed abolishionism in the north became the true threat to american ideals and later to the ills that still plague the country

So let me get this straight, the biggest threat to the ideals of “the land of the free” was from those completely opposed to slavery? Is that right?

Duh,how could they know they were gonna have a steam powered tractor in the future or a gasoline engine to power machines that could do the work of slaves in 1860 years before they were invented. Slave ownership preserved the man power needed to sustain an agrarian southern economy.

What makes you think their decision was motivated by purely economic reasons? As Vice President John C. Calhoun said “With us the two great divisions of society are not the rich and poor, but white and black; and all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected and treated as equals.“, slavery produces a perverse form of egalitarian society where all white men are equal by dint of being white and thus able to own slaves. Calhoun believed that the spread of slavery into the back country of his own state improved public morals by ridding the countryside of the shiftless poor whites who had once held the region back. He further believed that slavery instilled in the white who remained a code of honor that blunted the disruptive potential of private gain and fostered the civic-mindedness that lay near the core of the republican creed. From such a standpoint, the expansion of slavery into the backcountry decreased the likelihood for social conflict and postponed the declension when money would become the only measure of self worth, as had happened in New England. The slaveholders repeatedly attempted to pass laws encouraging whites to own at least one slave and even considered granting tax breaks to facilitate such ownership. Their thinking, in the words of one Tennessee farmer, was that “the minute you put it out of the power of common farmers to purchase a Negro man or woman…you make him an abolitionist at once.
The idea that the commitment to slavery, by making ownership of another a constitutional right, was motivated solely by economic concerns is frankly ahistorical.

24. harleyrider1978

Who in the south could own a single slave anyhow,poor southern whites had large families to aid in working the farm. Poor southerners raised tobacco a cash crop rather than cotton that required large resources of slave labor to plant and harvest. Tobacco could be planted and Tended by one man per 5 acres. The average southern farm was 40 acres and not much more. In the south taxes were due at the time of the tobacco sales nearly all over the south and are still that way today. Most southerners would buy one pair of shoes a year and that was at tobacco auction time in the fall to late winter. If a man could own a slave it would be just one maybe 2. Even free blacks in the south were known to own slaves.

Slavery was a product for the rich plantation aristocracy not the regular southerner.

My family in the 1840s had a few slaves and were treated like part of the family by all accounts. In fact after the war even freed many former slaves stayed were they were not wanting to leave or without the means to leave. Share cropping which was already in existence became the norm with large populations of free blacks around with nothing of their own. This allowed large plantations to be broken up into to smaller farms and black families could scratch out a living by raising cash crops. Share cropping is still done to this day by many whites and blacks in the south.

Around here you can smell the tobacco being fire cured in barns all around as both white and black work their ground and raise crops! The south isnt dead its all around us and so are the abolisionist progressives pushing their latest scourge on the people,tobacco prohibition! Yes I can make white litnin too…………..if the need ever arises!

Long live freedom a country boy can survive

25. Dissident

@harleyrider 1978
the tobacco plant evolved nicotine as a pesticide. In a high enough dose it causes hallucinations, it also operates as a powerful stimulant that accelerates heart rate while supressing appetite.
The combination can be fatal in doses over 60 mg in the average person. Below that level, those same psychedelic effects make it highly addictive.

Little wonder the true Americans called it the peace pipe!

Long term, the most popular method of ingestion of tobacco causes emphysema and lung cancer, and kills millions worldwide each year.

If much safer hallucinogens like lsd, psilocylbin, mescaline etc are prohibited class A drugs, why is tobacco legal? Incidentally I agree about prohibitionists, but sometimes they are onto something, aren’t they.

As for your arguments about the confederacy, it was there for the benefit of the highest bidder, not the average southern family, whether white or black… let alone the true inhabitants, who were systematically exterminated in a holocaust from sea to shining sea, in both the north and south. If there wasn’t a holocaust, the native American population would have been up to 200 million by now, and the total poulation of the US of A 500 million.

Not a particularly good country to aspire to.

26. harleyrider1978

JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS”
7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
November 2004.

http://cot.food.gov.
uk/pdfs/cotstatement
tobacco0409

“5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

27. Dissident

Harleyrider, I am an ex smoker – or trying to be anyway! I know the adverse effects it has on my lungs, the reason I have at the very least drastically cut down – to 1 cigarette a fortnight is because I want to be able to breathe properly and regain my senses of taste & smell. Breathing properly because I keep myself physically fit by cycling and gym workouts – not a lifestyle conductive to smoking!!

Apart from the hallucinogenic stimulant nicotine, tobacco smoke is laced with toxins like arsenic, carbon monoxide, acetyl aldehyde, formaldehyde, partially oxidised carbon compounds – highly reactive, blah blah…

Are you certain there is no link between smoking and lung cancer, emphysema and other health problems?

Incidentally, all forms of smoke, whether wood smoke, barbeque smoke, car pollution etc have the same consequences. because they are all the combustion products of organic compounds. There are strong epidemilogical studies to back that up, research them, instead of cherry picking ones that suit your ideology…

Dissident, there is no official peer-reviewed study that links first or second hand tobacco smoke to lung cancer.

For reasons unknown at this time the anti-smoking lobby keeps persisting in persecuting smokers every way they can.

You may wish to read:

How Mass Media May Shape Deep Reality Assumptions-
Lung Cancer, Smoke And The Trinity Test

Link: http://www.masternewmedia.org/news/2006/01/02/how_mass_media_may_shape.htm#ixzz1xIGayTw2

And Dr. William T. Whitby´s booklet “The Smoking Scare Debunked”
http://tobaccodocuments.org/landman/507927406-7466.html

29. Harleyrider1978

Apart from the hallucinogenic stimulant nicotine, tobacco smoke is laced with toxins like arsenic, carbon monoxide, acetyl aldehyde, formaldehyde, partially oxidised carbon compounds – highly reactive, blah blah…

Congradulations you are certifiable now! Nicotine is a hallucinagenic,what frigging world did they dig you up from again! Correlation is not causation. To listen to you,youd thing 100% of smokers get LC when in fact only about 6% may get it in a lifetime of smoking. But the fact is 1/3 of non-smokers will get cancer and about1/3 of smokers will get cancer in their lifetimes. Cancer seems to be a genetic thingy as most now agree on!

If you’re afraid of second-hand smoke, you should also avoid cars, restaurants…and don’t even think of barbecuing.

here are just some of the chemicals present in tobacco smoke and what else contains them:

Arsenic, Benzine, Formaldehyde.

Arsenic- 8 glasses of water = 200 cigarettes worth of arsenic

Benzine- Grilling of one burger = 250 cigarettes

Formaldehyde – cooking a vegetarian meal = 100 cigarettes

When you drink your 8 glasses of tap water (64 ounces) a day, you’re safely drinking up to 18,000 ng of arsenic by government safety standards of 10 nanograms/gram (10 ng/gm = 18,000ng/64oz) for daily consumption.

Am I “poisoning” you with the arsenic from my cigarette smoke? Actually, with the average cigarette putting out 32 ng of arsenic into the air which is then diluted by normal room ventilation for an individual exposure of .032 ng/hour, you would have to hang out in a smoky bar for literally 660,000 hours every day (yeah, a bit hard, right?) to get the same dose of arsenic that the government tells you is safe to drink.

So you can see why claims that smokers are “poisoning” people are simply silly.

You can stay at home all day long if you don’t want all those “deadly” chemicals around you, but in fact, those alleged 4000-7000 theorized chemicals in cigarettes are present in many foods, paints etc. in much larger quantities. And as they are present in cigarettes in very small doses, they are harmless. Sorry, no matter how much you like the notion of harmful ETS, it’s a myth!


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  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    The US is now a model for the Eurozone to save itself http://t.co/buJMsHGy

  2. Jason Brickley

    The US is now a model for the Eurozone to save itself http://t.co/8PaGCdJx

  3. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – The US is now a model for the Eurozone to save itself http://t.co/wBSK0aa5

  4. BevR

    The US is now a model for the Eurozone to save itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/e7Qqzifp via @libcon





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