The EU: Progressive or Reactionary?

The French seem to be in trouble again over their 4.5% budget deficit.

Unemployment is 11% and rising in France. Unemployment among their under 25 year olds is 25%, so why is the EU fussing about its budget deficit? For some strange reason the EU-powers-that-be have decreed that 3% is the limit and no more.

The economics isn’t that difficult. If everyone spends what they earn, that includes all profits, and exports are equal to imports, in the same economy in which it is earned in then everything clears. If 3% (GDP) of those earnings is (net) spent on imports then that shortfall has to be made up by government running a deficit for everything to clear.

Similarly if 5% of GDP is saved then government needs to borrow that from the savers and spend it back in to the economy too. Both the trade balance and the level of savings are outside of government control, especially for a country within the EU using the Euro.

So, 3% + 5%  (These are the figures which are much closer to reality for an economy like France) = 8%. This is the minimum deficit the government needs to run to stop the economy spiralling into depression.

So for the rulers of the  EU, or the Troika, to impose a 3% GDP limit on government deficits within the EU is criminally insane.  They understand all this very well! They understand that France cannot impose trade restrictions. They understand the French government can’t stop the population saving and they understand that’s what people do when the economic future looks bleak.

The EU powers-that-be have been smart enough, in many European countries, to seduce the centre-left into thinking that the EU is both progressive and democratic. That joining in the EU wholeheartedly is an easier option than taking on reactionary forces directly in their home countries.

Well it isn’t.  The EU reactionaries are just as bad, if not worse. It’s not just me saying that. It is the 25% + figures for unemployment in Spain and Greece, and high unemployment figures everywhere in the Eurozone  which is the real evidence for the truth of that. No amount of social legislation on conditions at work can compensate for not having a decent well paying job.

One response to “The EU: Progressive or Reactionary?

  1. The EU has moved to being what we were promised it would not be.
    As you say, there is a veneer of social democracy about the EU but underneath all that is a type of monetarist thought which is far far worse than anything attempted by Margaret Thatcher’s government. She and her ministers did learn – eventually. Will the EU learn? I can’t see it.
    After being a lukewarm supporter of the EU for many years I am starting to revise my views. I would probably vote to stay in, on balance but I would agree that a referendum is desirable.

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