Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The European Union's winners and losers

Why did the Deutsche Bank give up their beloved Deutsche Mark and join the Eurozone?  It was good business for Germany:

A 2019 German think tank report, entitled ‘20 Years of the Euro; Winners and Losers’, costed the single currency’s impact on individual states. From 1999 to 2017, only Germany and the Netherlands were serious winners with the former gaining a huge € 1.9 trillion, or around €23,000 per inhabitant. 
In all other states analysed the Euro has provoked a drop in prosperity, with France losing a massive €3.6 trillion and Italy €4.3 trillion. French losses amount to €56,000 per capita and for Italians €74,000.

 Those are big numbers.  You could do the same analysis here looking at Rust Belt vs. Coastal enclaves and I suspect you would see the same sort of thing.  The proof point for that is how working class incomes rose under the Trump administration for the first time in decades.  No doubt the Biden administration will get to work on that.

I really struggle to understand how The Powers That Be in both Brussels and Washington don't see the revolutionary implications in this.  Didn't they read Marx?

Hat tip: Samizdata.


Glen Filthie said...


The people driving this and enabling it are capitalists. Most wouldn’t know who Karl Marx is.

When the revolution comes and these people are put to the sword, I will enact strict education reforms. Every person will read and understand books like Mei Kampf, Das Kapital, Atlas Shrugged, the Bible and similar works. They must be able to quote and critique them intelligently. Historical revisionism will be a capital crime with a mandatory death penalty. High schoolers will be literate in history and one other language.

We are in for a remedial history lesson and we are going to get it good and hard.

Jonathan H said...

Unfortunately, Glen is right... and the longer the lesson is put off, the worse it will be when it has to be learned...

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

This is not terribly surprising Borepatch (well, maybe I am a little surprised that the Netherlands did well. Not Germany). I wonder how the rest of the nation states view their loss in prosperity. I get the feeling some at least were anticipating a rise due to the ability to "get" money from richer states.

Also, if I am Germany I might be asking the question why I am continuing to fund all of this.

tiredWeasel said...

But at the same time the personal wealth of the German people is amongst the lowest in the EU.
The monetary gain of the country does not reflect the monetary gain of the populace.

Sure, wages are raising but so are taxes. We have the highest tax rates, the highest energy cost and the moist expensive fuel.
We just adopted a "carbon tax" on natural gas, coal and oil based fuels.

The middle class is deteriorating, in 2019 we had 6 firm startups a day vs. 5 firm closures - that's bullshit.

Oh and Toirdhealbheach Beucail: We are asking questions but most people don't care and choose to be ignorant and the ones asking questions are painted as "Nazis". Sounds familiar?

Borepatch said...

@Toird, Germany is gaining from this. tiredWeasel brings up many problems there but none of the examples are EU related. Rather, they are all self-inflicted wounds. But Germany benefits from the EU in a way that essentially none of the rest of the continent do.

What's interesting about the analysis is that the huge loss suffered by France comes even with the EU Common Agricultural Policy which is a benefit to French farmers. And France is *still* bleeding out.

Aesop said...

"If you look around the poker table, and can't figure out who the sucker is..."

selsey.steve said...

We in Britishstan have left this evil organisation to squirm in its own suppurating foulness. Our financial contributions have ceased and the Euros are starting to feel the pinch.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

@ Borepatch and Tired Weasel, at the risk appearing completely uneducated (I am), if the actually people are not benefitting in Germany, who is?

libertyman said...

Did the Brits fully accept the EU from the get go? They kept the Pound Sterling, and they still drive on the left. So much for a United Europe. At least the common language of the EU is English, if I am not mistaken. But it is not because of Great Britain. I still maintain that Europe wants to be like the New World, specifically the good old USA.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Borepatch;

I remember blogging about Greece and Italy, especially Greece who was making out like a bandit upon the conversion to the Euro, basically the Euro subsidized their economy and really boosted the standard of living for the Greeks who started partying on the Germans dime. then 15 years later they wanted "Reparation's" from Germany for Wartime Damage and Germany basically laughed in diplospeak at them. Yeah I didn't see it either, Germany rebuilt from the war like Greece had the chance to and Germany didn't squander it like Greece did but Greece needed the German money to shore up it bloated pension system, and social net.

Will said...

Many years ago, it was stated that the EU was Germany's response to losing two wars. If they couldn't beat France&Company militarily, they would do it financially. Appears third times a charm!

Richard said...

@glenfilhiw These days even Marxists don't actually read Marx. It is difficult stuff. Just plowing through it is a test of discipline even if it doesn't bring enlightenment. So your educational reforms would be a major improvement in standards.

tiredWeasel said...

@Borepatch: That's were you are wrong.
These problems may not be exclusively EU-related but they are by varying degree influenced by EU laws and the borderless EU market.

Regarding France: France will always be the looser because it is one of the most inefficient states to ever exist. Don't forget that the whole EU-bullshit started as the "Montanunion" because France was lagging behind West-Germany only a couple years after the war while having received more money than any other nation for rebuilding and not having lost nearly a fifth of it's territory and workforce like Germany.

@Toirdhealbheach Beucail
The usual. Politicians, bureaucrats, well connected companies of various size.
See, most people argue the EU is good for Germany because of the monetary gain but they ignore the fact that Germany is a nation build upon EXPORT (we take stuff, make it better and sell it) surrounded by it's biggest customers. EU or no EU - it's virtually impossible for Germany to lose money as long as the industry is strong.
But the industry grows weaker and less diverse - in part because of domestic politics and in part because of EU politics. We still have economical momentum but when (not if) we fall, the EU collapses.

Regarding the Netherlands: I'm always surprised when people are surprised that the Netherlands are doing well... guys, they have the single largest port in Europe, the main port of the EU, the biggest non-asian container port (together with Dubai) that was for over 40 years the busiest port in the world and still is larger than any port in the US.
The port is responsible for TWO THIRDS of Netherlands GDP and connects the EU with the rest of the world.

So EU or no EU - the Netherlands will thrive as long as there is international trade (the tiny Netherlands were one of worlds major powers after the renaissance because of the trade business...)