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ValorousBob
August 31 2012, 08:46:07 PM
The EU debt crisis has exposed the flaws with a group of countries sharing a currency but not monetary policy. This, along with the slow, clumsy process of decision making currently in place with the EU means Europe would benefit significantly from centralizing the EU's power into an actual European Federation with a similar federalist structure to the United States. This would...

-Make the EU the largest economy in the world
-Make it the 3rd most populous country
-Dramatically increase Europe's influence in international affairs
-Make the Euro significantly more stable because all the States would have the same monetary policy
-Increase Europe's ability to get things done
-Essentially make Europe a "great power" that's equal or stronger than the US



I see some pretty likely roadblocks, but I'm just presenting the argument so I'll leave them up to you, FHC.

Zeekar
August 31 2012, 08:56:17 PM
No and fuck off.

Mike deVoid
August 31 2012, 09:04:48 PM
Only worth if for those with a monetary union, but they don't want the other 2 unions (I forget the names) so is a bad idea I think. Esp since the cultures are so different.

Zeekar
August 31 2012, 09:18:53 PM
Only worth if for those with a monetary union, but they don't want the other 2 unions (I forget the names) so is a bad idea I think. Esp since the cultures are so different.

Even the monetary union was a bad idea. But sadly what valrousbob is proposing is what will happen eventually,

Sponk
August 31 2012, 10:19:49 PM
Monetary union alone is just failure.

Blah blah tapatalk

ValorousBob
August 31 2012, 11:05:11 PM
What specifically is bad about it? I'm posted this because it gets brought up every once in awhile, but as an American, I don't have much context for it. The basic idea of federalism is solid and works well for all the large, diverse countries. Federations take up like 40% of the land but there's only like 10-15 of them. Doesn't Europe fit this concept pretty well?


Only worth if for those with a monetary union, but they don't want the other 2 unions (I forget the names) so is a bad idea I think. Esp since the cultures are so different.

What are these other unions? Are you referring to the trade zones or something? Yeah the culture thing might be an issue, but I think if the language barrier can be dealt with then the culture shouldn't be too big of a problem. Besides, the whole point of a federalist structure is allowing distinct differences between the States.


Btw, FatFreddy said the following in a rep comment so I figured I'd share:

I can't be arsed to register for loldiscussions forumses, but: fuck no oh god please dont no no no no no - it would be a megapopulist supercleptocracy

Aramendel
September 1 2012, 09:27:58 AM
I think eventually we'll be forced to do it, simply to compete globally.


Yeah the culture thing might be an issue, but I think if the language barrier can be dealt with then the culture shouldn't be too big of a problem.

The language barrier is the least of the cultural problems. The issue is that i.e. the Italian way of doing politics, economy, etc. is rather different the German way. Uniting Europe wouldn't be like forming the USA, it would be more like uniting all countries on both american continents into a single one.

Fara
September 1 2012, 10:38:31 AM
North/South Disparity is what will make it fall imho. Its like asking the USA to unite with mexico and Im not even trolling.

Be that as it may, economic theory suggests that a complete unification is favourable (for whom is where the pouder keg lies) than what the EU has today.

Keorythe
September 1 2012, 11:51:33 AM
North/South Disparity is what will make it fall imho. Its like asking the USA to unite with mexico and Im not even trolling.

Be that as it may, economic theory suggests that a complete unification is favourable (for whom is where the pouder keg lies) than what the EU has today.

That wouldn't be as hard as you think. Mexican states would still have their own laws but their federal laws would have to be in line with the USA's federal laws. Considering that English is already taught in most Euro nations, the language barrier wouldn't be too much of an issue. Pushback on cultural differences would be the biggest hindrance.

It would be a bit different than say, people in Texas who put ketchup and hot sauce on their scrambled eggs and those people in the NorthWest states that put mustard on theirs. ;)

Mike deVoid
September 1 2012, 12:03:15 PM
The cultural differences are massive, especially for how to do business. This is the largest hurdle of them all.

Hast
September 1 2012, 04:09:58 PM
North/South Disparity is what will make it fall imho. Its like asking the USA to unite with mexico and Im not even trolling.

Be that as it may, economic theory suggests that a complete unification is favourable (for whom is where the pouder keg lies) than what the EU has today.

That wouldn't be as hard as you think. Mexican states would still have their own laws but their federal laws would have to be in line with the USA's federal laws. Considering that English is already taught in most Euro nations, the language barrier wouldn't be too much of an issue. Pushback on cultural differences would be the biggest hindrance.

It would be a bit different than say, people in Texas who put ketchup and hot sauce on their scrambled eggs and those people in the NorthWest states that put mustard on theirs. ;)

So would Mexico or the US change their laws for homogeneity?

indi
September 1 2012, 04:51:07 PM
This flaw is not newly discovered. It was one of the largest points of criticism back in the day. I even remember telling people I thought countries "like Greece" would bring us all down if stuff wasn't fixed. If only I had a tendency to be wrong about these things..

But in actuality, don't dismiss how much of a federation Europe is already becoming/already is. There are many European laws that supersede the individual countries' laws. Think of public tendering (my own field of expertise) and the law that any citizen of a EU state has the same rights as a citizen holding the nationality of the country in question, etc. Countries fear giving up their 'sovereignty' and going under in the mass of countries. Think of the Netherlands; we are small, but have one of the larger economies. Our country typically fears that we will have less of a vote than 'we should have'. We are more liberal than many of our neighbours; our euthanasia/abortion/gay marriage laws would probably send the more southern, Catholic dominated countries reeling. Then there's the fact that European bureaucracy is truly staggering (look u p the massive traveling going on between Brussels and Strassbourg) and that nobody has much confidence in the efficiency of the voting/decision taking process.

It's going to be either more federation or falling apart, imo, in the next few years.

Zeekar
September 1 2012, 05:44:56 PM
My main reason why im against it, EU commission.

Joshua Foiritain
September 1 2012, 06:11:54 PM
Fuck no.

A: Europe is where politicians without actual skills go the retire after their political career in their own is country is over.
B: In some areas our laws are quite different then European laws, i like our laws better.
C: Being chained to the southern countries is bad enough as it is right now.

Will it happen anyway? Quite possibly but i wouldnt be too sure. Being forced to accept the European constitution did not go over well with the general population and the sentiment is quickly deteriorating. At this point the only real reasons we are still in the EU is because dropping the Euro is fucking expensive and because being part of the EU was profitable. If the euro fail cascades or we have to keep pumping billions into the south for the next few years i highly doubt it will last.

I love the concept of the continent becoming one large country with one currency and one language but having to submit ourselves to the corrupt and bureaucratic monstrosity that is the current EU leadership and having to deal with all the corruption and incompetence that rules the south is not fucking worth it by a long shot.

Dorvil Barranis
September 1 2012, 06:15:00 PM
So would Mexico or the US change their laws for homogeneity?

Mexico, of course. We are exceptional.

Cue1*
September 2 2012, 01:29:34 AM
So would Mexico or the US change their laws for homogeneity?

Since the US Federal Government is already a single overarching government controlling effectively 50 separate countries, I suspect that in such a situation, Mexico would just become another state(s).

Your point however, is not lost. I suspect that for it to happen the entirety of Europe would need to have some sort of "constitutional convention"(this is what the US called it, not what I suggest Europe call it though) that lays down the basics of how the government will function, dictating what laws will found this new country, basically starting from scratch.

definatelynotKKassandra
September 2 2012, 09:04:10 AM
So would Mexico or the US change their laws for homogeneity?

Since the US Federal Government is already a single overarching government controlling effectively 50 separate countries, I suspect that in such a situation, Mexico would just become another state(s).

Your point however, is not lost. I suspect that for it to happen the entirety of Europe would need to have some sort of "constitutional convention"(this is what the US called it, not what I suggest Europe call it though) that lays down the basics of how the government will function, dictating what laws will found this new country, basically starting from scratch.

You know that Mexico is actually the United Mexican States, right?

Varcaus
September 2 2012, 03:01:15 PM
So would Mexico or the US change their laws for homogeneity?

Since the US Federal Government is already a single overarching government controlling effectively 50 separate countries, I suspect that in such a situation, Mexico would just become another state(s).

Your point however, is not lost. I suspect that for it to happen the entirety of Europe would need to have some sort of "constitutional convention"(this is what the US called it, not what I suggest Europe call it though) that lays down the basics of how the government will function, dictating what laws will found this new country, basically starting from scratch.

You know that Mexico is actually the United Mexican States, right?

Good thing he put the s on the end of state then.

definatelynotKKassandra
September 2 2012, 03:23:08 PM
Since the Mexican federal government already a single overarching government controlling effectively 31 separate countries, I suspect that in such a situation, the USA would just become another set of states.



Good thing he put the s on the end of state then.

Not really.


Edit: to be more sensible: the fact that the USA is already a federation is of no particular significance when talking about a hypothetical USA/Mexico merger, given that Mexico is also a federation. Slotting Mexico into the USA is no 'simpler' than slotting the USA into the United Mexican States.


The United Mexican States are a federation of thirty-one free and sovereign states, which form a union that exercises a degree of jurisdiction over the Federal District and other territories.

Each state has its own constitution, congress, and a judiciary, and its citizens elect by direct voting a governor for a six-year term, and representatives to their respective unicameral state congresses for three-year terms.[71]

The Federal District is a special political division that belongs to the federation as a whole and not to a particular state, and as such, has more limited local rule than the nation's states.[72]

Sound familiar?

Mike deVoid
September 2 2012, 04:03:48 PM
And this is why Star Trek and the 'federation' ideal is dumb.

Varcaus
September 2 2012, 04:23:02 PM
Iron fisted dictator is the only way forward

Cue1*
September 3 2012, 05:50:28 AM
You know that Mexico is actually the United Mexican States, right?

I didn't, actually. I did, however, know that Mexico consisted of states. I will honestly admit to not knowing much about Mexico. v0v

Hatepeace Lovewar
September 3 2012, 12:07:54 PM
I for one, welcome our new Germanic Overlords.

NoirAvlaa
September 3 2012, 01:06:56 PM
I for one, welcome our new Germanic Overlords.

So they were playing the long game all along? :O

Liare
September 3 2012, 06:24:55 PM
The EU debt crisis has exposed the flaws with a group of countries sharing a currency but not monetary policy. This, along with the slow, clumsy process of decision making currently in place with the EU means Europe would benefit significantly from centralizing the EU's power into an actual European Federation with a similar federalist structure to the United States. This would...

-Make the EU the largest economy in the world
-Make it the 3rd most populous country
-Dramatically increase Europe's influence in international affairs
-Make the Euro significantly more stable because all the States would have the same monetary policy
-Increase Europe's ability to get things done
-Essentially make Europe a "great power" that's equal or stronger than the US



I see some pretty likely roadblocks, but I'm just presenting the argument so I'll leave them up to you, FHC.you are neglecting all the downsides, the economics and politics of the various member nations bear some resemblance to each other but in many cases are almost as different as they are similiar, a socialist is not just a socialist here, the Danish take on one is very different from the French take on the same, that means that you have to keep the current electoral system to have even some semblance of national representation.

only now you're telling nations like mine, Denmark with a 1200 year history as a unified nation and the world's oldest monarchy that they only get 13 seats out of 754 in the primary legislative body in the union, and you gotta grease THAT camel up very well to make it possible to swallow, and if you do manage to pull off that stunt without getting laughed out of the door, or simply lynched, then you got another 26 nations you got to sell the same deal to, all of them much harder. (we are pacifists at heart by now, until provoked anyway)

and that's not getting into saddling comparatively rich nations with some of the highest standards of living with to be frank, much poorer nations and forcing a equalizing of the living standard.

and the list just goes on and on and on, the union is in some ways a "lose-lose" proposition, and with the potential € collapse (will they stop fucking around and spain plus portugal fucking default already?) its not getting shorter, public backing to the union has been decreasing steadily since the late 90's so any actual federal union is a pipedream at this stage. (unless there's no other choice left, and come to that i would rather jump into bed with the Swedes and Norwegians, at least that might work in the long term, though the swedes can keep surstromming)

What specifically is bad about it? I'm posted this because it gets brought up every once in awhile, but as an American, I don't have much context for it. The basic idea of federalism is solid and works well for all the large, diverse countries. Federations take up like 40% of the land but there's only like 10-15 of them. Doesn't Europe fit this concept pretty well?Europe is culturally diverse in a manner most Americans i have met cant seem to wrap their head around, the easiest way to explain it, for me at least, that i am a "Dane" first and "European" at a very very distant second, you socially and culturally identify yourself with your country of origin much like i imagine you do, moving people out of that kind of "tribalism" is not something you just do even across a few generations.


I think eventually we'll be forced to do it, simply to compete globally.


Yeah the culture thing might be an issue, but I think if the language barrier can be dealt with then the culture shouldn't be too big of a problem.

The language barrier is the least of the cultural problems. The issue is that i.e. the Italian way of doing politics, economy, etc. is rather different the German way. Uniting Europe wouldn't be like forming the USA, it would be more like uniting all countries on both american continents into a single one.dont they have a lot more in common than the various european nations do ? i mean the dictator count is slightly higher but besides that...
the problem is that you're right, and i must admit i dont like it at all.



North/South Disparity is what will make it fall imho. Its like asking the USA to unite with mexico and Im not even trolling.

Be that as it may, economic theory suggests that a complete unification is favourable (for whom is where the pouder keg lies) than what the EU has today.

That wouldn't be as hard as you think. Mexican states would still have their own laws but their federal laws would have to be in line with the USA's federal laws. Considering that English is already taught in most Euro nations, the language barrier wouldn't be too much of an issue. Pushback on cultural differences would be the biggest hindrance.

It would be a bit different than say, people in Texas who put ketchup and hot sauce on their scrambled eggs and those people in the NorthWest states that put mustard on theirs. ;)mate, your ignorance is showing, could you kindly put something over it so it does not make you look so stupid ?

first of all, i am honestly mildly offended by the "just use English" bollocks, we may all speak it out of necessity, is not and never will be my primary language, secondly you manage to perfectly illustrate the perception problem i pointed at earlier, people dont get that just because we are "next door" to Germany it does not mean we speak German, act as Germans, work as them or indeed consider them anything else than foreign, there is massive cultural gaps between the nations that cant just be "smoothed over" with a kind word and a nod.


Iron fisted dictator is the only way forwardit's been tried time and again, people dont seem to like it very much, i mean the brits could not pull it off, mr Bonaparte failed rather badly and two angry short German speaking blokes didn't quite manage it either, and that's just naming the recent ones, a few hundred years ago the whole damn place was awash with people pursuing that mirage.



I for one, welcome our new Germanic Overlords.

So they were playing the long game all along? :Om8, they have been doing that since Charlemagne.

Cue1*
September 3 2012, 06:54:41 PM
mate, your ignorance is showing, could you kindly put something over it so it does not make you look so stupid ?

first of all, i am honestly mildly offended by the "just use English" bollocks, we may all speak it out of necessity, is not and never will be my primary language, secondly you manage to perfectly illustrate the perception problem i pointed at earlier, people dont get that just because we are "next door" to Germany it does not mean we speak German, act as Germans, work as them or indeed consider them anything else than foreign, there is massive cultural gaps between the nations that cant just be "smoothed over" with a kind word and a nod.

I suspect that it's more your ignorance that's showing, and less so Keorythe's(I mean that in the least offensive way possible).

You manage to perfectly illustrate the perception problem Keo was pointing out, people don't get that just because I live "next door" to Texas, doesn't mean that we speak similar dialects, act as Texans, work as Texans or indeed consider them anything else than foreign, there is a massive cultural gap between states that can't be just "smoothed over" with a kind word and a nod. In fact, I suspect that the only thing Keo and I share is a flag and a language. Seriously, who the fuck spends $60 million on a HIGH SCHOOL football stadium?

Liare
September 3 2012, 07:09:52 PM
mate, your ignorance is showing, could you kindly put something over it so it does not make you look so stupid ?

first of all, i am honestly mildly offended by the "just use English" bollocks, we may all speak it out of necessity, is not and never will be my primary language, secondly you manage to perfectly illustrate the perception problem i pointed at earlier, people dont get that just because we are "next door" to Germany it does not mean we speak German, act as Germans, work as them or indeed consider them anything else than foreign, there is massive cultural gaps between the nations that cant just be "smoothed over" with a kind word and a nod.

I suspect that it's more your ignorance that's showing, and less so Keorythe's(I mean that in the least offensive way possible).

You manage to perfectly illustrate the perception problem Keo was pointing out, people don't get that just because I live "next door" to Texas, doesn't mean that we speak similar dialects, act as Texans, work as Texans or indeed consider them anything else than foreign, there is a massive cultural gap between states that can't be just "smoothed over" with a kind word and a nod. In fact, I suspect that the only thing Keo and I share is a flag and a language. Seriously, who the fuck spends $60 million on a HIGH SCHOOL football stadium?that's fair enough to put that kind of perspective on it, i may also have missed some sarcasm there.

but you're neglecting that the gaps are a lot larger than they look, neither of my parents (who are just past 50) speak a word of English, they both understand it when spoken and written, to a degree, but it's certainly not a second language by any stretch.

language is a obvious place to "hit down" (does not translate well) upon where the gaps are mind-boggling to a degree many people outside the EU nations don't see, that the "young and hip" generation who is trending 30 today know, speak and use English on a daily basis is in no way indicative for the rest of the people in the European countries.

some places like France almost wear the whole "we don't use English" as a badge of pride, and language is just one tiny part of a much larger meshwork of differences, simply integrating the different societies, ignoring cultural differences to some sort of baseline is likely going to be a massive nightmare, because who establishes any sort of baseline when you got so comparatively little in common ?

Cue1*
September 3 2012, 07:43:22 PM
mate, your ignorance is showing, could you kindly put something over it so it does not make you look so stupid ?

first of all, i am honestly mildly offended by the "just use English" bollocks, we may all speak it out of necessity, is not and never will be my primary language, secondly you manage to perfectly illustrate the perception problem i pointed at earlier, people dont get that just because we are "next door" to Germany it does not mean we speak German, act as Germans, work as them or indeed consider them anything else than foreign, there is massive cultural gaps between the nations that cant just be "smoothed over" with a kind word and a nod.

I suspect that it's more your ignorance that's showing, and less so Keorythe's(I mean that in the least offensive way possible).

You manage to perfectly illustrate the perception problem Keo was pointing out, people don't get that just because I live "next door" to Texas, doesn't mean that we speak similar dialects, act as Texans, work as Texans or indeed consider them anything else than foreign, there is a massive cultural gap between states that can't be just "smoothed over" with a kind word and a nod. In fact, I suspect that the only thing Keo and I share is a flag and a language. Seriously, who the fuck spends $60 million on a HIGH SCHOOL football stadium?that's fair enough to put that kind of perspective on it, i may also have missed some sarcasm there.

but you're neglecting that the gaps are a lot larger than they look, neither of my parents (who are just past 50) speak a word of English, they both understand it when spoken and written, to a degree, but it's certainly not a second language by any stretch.

language is a obvious place to "hit down" (does not translate well) upon where the gaps are mind-boggling to a degree many people outside the EU nations don't see, that the "young and hip" generation who is trending 30 today know, speak and use English on a daily basis is in no way indicative for the rest of the people in the European countries.

some places like France almost wear the whole "we don't use English" as a badge of pride, and language is just one tiny part of a much larger meshwork of differences, simply integrating the different societies, ignoring cultural differences to some sort of baseline is likely going to be a massive nightmare, because who establishes any sort of baseline when you got so comparatively little in common ?

Language is a great place to start, however it's not quite as big of a gap as it's often seen as. It's lost on a lot of people who don't live here, but in the US there are plenty of people who downright don't speak English. I know it's hard to believe(it's mind boggling to me), but the majority of the population in South Florida speaks Spanish, and maybe English. Also of note is the fact that upon founding of the US, the country lacked an official language, and actually spoke multiple different languages depending upon location. As far as a hodgepodge of culture goes, the US fills that billet quite well. Since the US was founded by EU cultures mixing together, I highly doubt that your cultural barriers would stand in the way of creating a European Federation.

Liare
September 3 2012, 08:01:46 PM
you're forgetting something here, the citizens Americas consists largely of people running away from Europe and their decendants, and has since Columbus managed to rediscover the place (with a bunch of drunken vikings hitting Newfoundland a few hundred years earlier) meaning that while people undoubtedly settled in "national enclaves" there's none of the national belonging that tend to enforce the cultural aspects.

while people undoubtedly carried, and may still carry a large part of their cultural heritage with them it does not mean somehow that the same "experiment" can be repeated here without disastrous results, you're essentially talking about force-marching 350 million people trough a unwanted cultural integration for the sake of some career politicians pipe-dream of greater global influence, expecting people to just "roll over" and take that is going to go hilariously badly, especially with the individual countries intentionally hobbling the union to avoid just that kind of scenario.

European unity of the kind people seem to dream about can only come trough force of arms, and the problem with that is you're going to spend hundreds of years enforcing it afterwards, a lose federal confederation may work if things become a lot more dire than they are now. (southern europe is looking at great depression like figures, and it's not bad enough yet the north where i am living has been in decline or stagnating for four years now, and the national consensus is "we are doing all-right compared to others!") but if things come to a head like that, the union will more likely fracture along the alps and possibly the baltic as well.

Cue1*
September 3 2012, 08:29:52 PM
you're forgetting something here, the citizens Americas consists largely of people running away from Europe and their decendants, and has since Columbus managed to rediscover the place (with a bunch of drunken vikings hitting Newfoundland a few hundred years earlier) meaning that while people undoubtedly settled in "national enclaves" there's none of the national belonging that tend to enforce the cultural aspects.

While true they lost the "national belonging", most Americans feel a very strong belonging to their state. It's a bit less in the current generation, and some states are lumped together(IE: The South), but the same principles apply. I'm a bit of an exception, since I served in the military(so my loyalties are firmly in the Federal column), but I suspect that if you ask Keo in the real world where he's from he'll say Texas, then if you ask where that is, he'll tell you the US.


while people undoubtedly carried, and may still carry a large part of their cultural heritage with them it does not mean somehow that the same "experiment" can be repeated here without disastrous results, you're essentially talking about force-marching 350 million people trough a unwanted cultural integration for the sake of some career politicians pipe-dream of greater global influence, expecting people to just "roll over" and take that is going to go hilariously badly, especially with the individual countries intentionally hobbling the union to avoid just that kind of scenario.

True, very true. I was only suggesting that if there was a desire to accomplish a federation unity, Europe has an example of how it is possible(despite how much you hate us). Much as I believe that Europe has no insight or right to tell the US what our policy on anything should be(read: the recent discussion of firearms), as an American I have no right to tell you what your policy should be. I will, however, say that I suspect that given time to properly become the "European Federation", Europe would become a much more significant power politically(not that it isn't already), and you would likely surpass or become at worst equals to the US on a military and economic scale.


European unity of the kind people seem to dream about can only come trough force of arms, and the problem with that is you're going to spend hundreds of years enforcing it afterwards, a lose federal confederation may work if things become a lot more dire than they are now. (southern europe is looking at great depression like figures, and it's not bad enough yet the north where i am living has been in decline or stagnating for four years now, and the national consensus is "we are doing all-right compared to others!") but if things come to a head like that, the union will more likely fracture along the alps and possibly the baltic as well.

Europe has tried to unite through force of arms for the past god only knows how many years. It hasn't worked, for one reason or another, and I honestly can't remember one attempt that hasn't been looked down upon by history. I would hope that a peaceful attempt might see better results, but I suspect it won't happen either way.

Keorythe
September 4 2012, 04:01:40 AM
Liare, I don't know where to begin. But almost everything you posted.....well welcome to the United States of America. Almost everything you mentioned up there has been through the ringer here in the US in one form or another. From huge voting blocs in states made up of German and Dutch speakers to border wars fought over one thing or another (we still visit Schillterbaun in New Braunsfels which started as an almost complete German immigrant city), to various border wars, to issues over taxes and State sovereignty.

Now please understand that I was painting that picture with broad brushes. It wasn't meant to be a detailed integration effort, only pointing out that the circumstances aren't as different as you think. Yes, I understand that various national laws would conflict with other's law. However, it's the same in the US. Sometimes drastically so. Do you guys even pay attention to the whole succession talk? Rich nations and poor nations? Hahaha, you can get buy on minimum wage in Texas but would only buy you a bus pass in California. Yes, I understand that all of those nations have existed longer than ours. Yes, that would be a major issue. Hence the cultural differences comment. No I didn't want to get into "Danes vs. Italians". Although surprisingly we get enough of that over here especially with the assholes who can trace one bloodline to Scotland/Ireland (who put on skirts and call them Utili-kilts because they're related to Braveheart :psyduck: ). Don't even get me started on the mother fuckers who think that because we have the same last name that I would want to put a Mexican/Venezuelan/Colombian flag outside of my house. But I degress... California is another planet as far as Texas is concerned.

Yet we've made it work. Could it be done in Europe? Considering that instant information makes things much more accessible to the point that integration issues in the 1700's aren't going to be on the same level as now and many of the same allegiances and issues with Royalty are no long obstacles? Possibly. Would it be easy? Of course not. Integration any group of nations would be tough and many no longer have the stomach for it. I'm surprised you guys even managed to cobble together the European Union. Hell I was laughing my butt off over the last vote and how it was almost like a US Senate vote over a budget.

The biggest question is...would doing it even be worth it?

Aramendel
September 4 2012, 07:09:17 AM
But I degress... California is another planet as far as Texas is concerned.

Except, again, it isn't like that. The differences between i.e. Germany and Italy are is more like those between Texas and Mexico.

There are closer countries too, of course, i.e. the differences between Germany and Switzerland could be compared to your Texas/California example. Sorta. But overall the cultural differences are far greater than what you have in the US.

Hel OWeen
September 4 2012, 01:02:36 PM
A "United States of Europe" - while sounding promising in theory - would turn out to be a complete nightmare if set up today. Because the same power-grabbing politicians in charge today would have to give up that little (national) power thy still have today and hand it over to the European Parliament. I don't see that happening in a feasible manner.

There might have been a time in the 1970s-1980s, when that would have been possible without giving birth to bureaucratic monster. At that time, the people in charge still had first-hand experience of that devastating WW II and would have been willing to really give up power, in order to truly prevent such a disaster from ever happening again.

If you like a taste of what a U.S.E. would look like, have a look at the Lisbon Treaty or draft of the European Constitution. A terrible document full of legalese-speak. While a law might need such terrible legal wording, a constitution should be written in straight and encouraging words. Words that a citizen is able to understand and would make him wish to follow the path layed out there.

Liare
September 4 2012, 03:47:17 PM
While true they lost the "national belonging", most Americans feel a very strong belonging to their state. It's a bit less in the current generation, and some states are lumped together(IE: The South), but the same principles apply. I'm a bit of an exception, since I served in the military(so my loyalties are firmly in the Federal column), but I suspect that if you ask Keo in the real world where he's from he'll say Texas, then if you ask where that is, he'll tell you the US.it's nowhere near the level of "balkanization" that you see dominate europe, take a look at the British isles to see what i mean (Scotland has a vote for independence in 2014, the irish don't quite lynch the first englishman that come across the sea any more, but there's not a lot of love lost there and the welsh are still a gigantic bunch of sheep shaggers), now expand that to the rest of the European union.


True, very true. I was only suggesting that if there was a desire to accomplish a federation unity, Europe has an example of how it is possible(despite how much you hate us). Much as I believe that Europe has no insight or right to tell the US what our policy on anything should be(read: the recent discussion of firearms), as an American I have no right to tell you what your policy should be. I will, however, say that I suspect that given time to properly become the "European Federation", Europe would become a much more significant power politically(not that it isn't already), and you would likely surpass or become at worst equals to the US on a military and economic scale.the "desire" mostly exist inside the heads of the kind of people who never had to work a honest day of their lives at this point. (ok, so that's harsh, backwards and hilariously "classicist" in its nature, but it gets the point across)

i realise the popular narrative outside the union is in some cases depicted as something like "a federal state is forming, but there's a bunch of backwards politicians refusing to go along" but the reality is that the politicians are mostly all in for the idea, its convincing the voters that it's a good idea that's the problem, and the essence of that problem is that "turkeys don't vote for Christmas".

heck, you dont have any euro sceptic mainstream parties in many nations, Britain is the exception, not the rule, if you want to vote "no" to the union here, you got a choice between communists, and hard line populists with disturbing fascist tendencies.


Europe has tried to unite through force of arms for the past god only knows how many years. It hasn't worked, for one reason or another, and I honestly can't remember one attempt that hasn't been looked down upon by history. I would hope that a peaceful attempt might see better results, but I suspect it won't happen either way.i don't even see the appeal at this point, what is really going to be gained by somehow presenting a large unified state ? the internal divisions wont go away and the whole place has finally settled down from the proud traditions of murdering your neighbours for looking at you funny, give it a couple of hundred years and then maybe we can talk about it at point.

not that i think people are liable to think it's a good idea then either, see my previous point about representation, why on earth would anybody accept that their marginal influence on society is even further marginalized by adding a layer of a federal government on top ?


Liare, I don't know where to begin. But almost everything you posted.....well welcome to the United States of America. Almost everything you mentioned up there has been through the ringer here in the US in one form or another. From huge voting blocs in states made up of German and Dutch speakers to border wars fought over one thing or another (we still visit Schillterbaun in New Braunsfels which started as an almost complete German immigrant city), to various border wars, to issues over taxes and State sovereignty.scale Keorythe, there's a big hunking difference between a nation state and voting blocks on the local or state level.


Now please understand that I was painting that picture with broad brushes. It wasn't meant to be a detailed integration effort, only pointing out that the circumstances aren't as different as you think. Yes, I understand that various national laws would conflict with other's law. However, it's the same in the US. Sometimes drastically so. Do you guys even pay attention to the whole succession talk? Rich nations and poor nations? Hahaha, you can get buy on minimum wage in Texas but would only buy you a bus pass in California. Yes, I understand that all of those nations have existed longer than ours. Yes, that would be a major issue. Hence the cultural differences comment. No I didn't want to get into "Danes vs. Italians". Although surprisingly we get enough of that over here especially with the assholes who can trace one bloodline to Scotland/Ireland (who put on skirts and call them Utili-kilts because they're related to Braveheart :psyduck: ). Don't even get me started on the mother fuckers who think that because we have the same last name that I would want to put a Mexican/Venezuelan/Colombian flag outside of my house. But I degress... California is another planet as far as Texas is concerned.dont knock kilts mate, it's surprisingly comfortable, though not something i want to wear on a daily basis. (black jeans and a black shirt, or thin sweaters depending on time of year, thanks)

as for the comparison between Texas and California, i again beg the differ, at least in both cases people speak english and/or spanish as a general rule, you cant make that assesment over here, put a german and a frenchman in the same room and there's chance that the only way they will manage to communicate is by gestures, that's not a minor stumbling block, it's a 300 meter high wall, start moving into the new eastern european states and the barrier grow rather than shrink.

as for the whole "succession talk" i must honestly admit i have little idea what you're on about, my vague impression is that some talking head hardcore rightwing jerkoff types somehow argue that the resurrection of the confederacy is a good idea, and that's a big hit among some segments of the southern states, if you want to talk actual succession look at Scotland, Catalonia and Belgium to name the more obvious "we are going independent" candidates.


Yet we've made it work. Could it be done in Europe? Considering that instant information makes things much more accessible to the point that integration issues in the 1700's aren't going to be on the same level as now and many of the same allegiances and issues with Royalty are no long obstacles? Possibly. Would it be easy? Of course not. Integration any group of nations would be tough and many no longer have the stomach for it. I'm surprised you guys even managed to cobble together the European Union. Hell I was laughing my butt off over the last vote and how it was almost like a US Senate vote over a budget.

The biggest question is...would doing it even be worth it?a intigration in the 1700's/1800's would be a lot more legitimate than some forced union today, most of the royal houses where horribly inbred at that point, and it has not gotten better since then.

the union and euro as it is today was born out of necessity and fear largely due to the reunification in Germany and the resurgence that would bring in German power, simply put people distinctly remembered just how badly things go when Germany's star is on the ascendant and did not want the seeds of another war brewing, the idiocy only really started at the Maastricht Treaty and it has been going down hill ever since.

i am in favor of the common market and the Schengen agreement and genuinely consider both excellent ideas that should be kept, but the whole "constitution government and parliament" deal that came as a direct extention of the Maastricht treaty and the creation of the euro can fuck right off as the abysmal failure it is and the monstrous thing that is the EU Bureaucracy needs to be dumped overboard as the entirely useless gravy train it is, heck having a parliment that cannot propose laws is ludicrous and the entire thing is basically run by the public "servants" and the commission.

it's more or less structured like a machine who's only purpose is to grasp as much power and money as it can while giving the public as little influence as possible, though in these "new normal" days that seems to be the goal of any goverment anyway.


A "United States of Europe" - while sounding promising in theory - would turn out to be a complete nightmare if set up today. Because the same power-grabbing politicians in charge today would have to give up that little (national) power thy still have today and hand it over to the European Parliament. I don't see that happening in a feasible manner.

There might have been a time in the 1970s-1980s, when that would have been possible without giving birth to bureaucratic monster. At that time, the people in charge still had first-hand experience of that devastating WW II and would have been willing to really give up power, in order to truly prevent such a disaster from ever happening again.the national assemblies still hold the ultimate power, namely the ability to secede and tell the union to go hump the nearest farm animal in the most polite manner possible.

the ECC and the Schengen agreement have done more to prevent another European round of warfare than anything the modern incarnation of the EU has ever done, well unless trying to be a object of hatred is the goal ?


If you like a taste of what a U.S.E. would look like, have a look at the Lisbon Treaty or draft of the European Constitution. A terrible document full of legalese-speak. While a law might need such terrible legal wording, a constitution should be written in straight and encouraging words. Words that a citizen is able to understand and would make him wish to follow the path layed out there. here's the full thing. (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:C:2007:306:SOM:EN:HTML)

231 pages to say what the Danish constitution manages to do in 17 pages and the americans manage in 8 pages.

the draft was a wooper at 481 pages though, clearly not intented for public consumption because, well read the following.

ASSOCIATION OF THE OVERSEAS COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES
Article III‐286
1. The non‐European countries and territories which have special relations with Denmark, France,
the Netherlands and the United Kingdom shall be associated with the Union. These countries and
territories, hereinafter called the ‘countries and territories’, are listed in Annex II.
This title shall apply to Greenland, subject to the specific provisions of the Protocol on special
arrangements for Greenland.
136
Part III
2. The purpose of association shall be to promote the economic and social development of the
countries and territories and to establish close economic relations between them and the Union.
Association shall serve primarily to further the interests and prosperity of the inhabitants of these
countries and territories in order to lead them to the economic, social and cultural development to
which they aspire.
Article III-287
Association shall have the following objectives:
(a) Member States shall apply to their trade with the countries and territories the same treatment as
they accord each other pursuant to the Constitution;
(b) each country or territory shall apply to its trade with Member States and with the other countries
and territories the same treatment as that which it applies to the European State with which it has
special relations;
(c) Member States shall contribute to the investments required for the progressive development of
these countries and territories;
(d) for investments financed by the Union, participation in tenders and supplies shall be open on
equal terms to all natural and legal persons who are nationals of a Member State or of one of the
countries and territories;
(e) in relations between Member States and the countries and territories, the right of establishment
of nationals and companies or firms shall be regulated in accordance with the provisions of
Subsection 2 of Section 2 of Chapter I of Title III relating to the freedom of establishment and
under the procedures laid down in that Subsection, and on a non‐discriminatory basis, subject to
any acts adopted pursuant to Article III‐291.


the contents are not offensive, but the choice of words, in what's supposed to be the "founding document" of a "new super state" ?

Sacul
September 4 2012, 04:12:57 PM
The cultural differences are massive, especially for how to do business. This is the largest hurdle of them all.

This.
I live 60km from the border to Belgium and fuck me them belgian fuckers seem to come from outer space.
We share a political system but all their protocol seems to be upside down bar the crossing a box on election day part,
we share a monetary system but getting any deal done is like pulling teeth (no i dont want to have dinner with you 4 times before we can talk bussiness),
we share a language but what the fuck are these belgians talking about? they speak 19th century dutch (no value judgement but it might aswell be a different language all together),
we share a European Union but the HQ in Brussels might aswell reside on Jupiter its so far removed from the common folk.
We seem to share a entertainment culture but thats mostly the same hollywood type drivel found anywhere and for the 'pure' belgian style things they look to be imitating Nippon.

And thats just my neighbours......it gets worse with every border.

Liare
September 4 2012, 04:38:54 PM
The cultural differences are massive, especially for how to do business. This is the largest hurdle of them all.

This.
I live 60km from the border to Belgium and fuck me them belgian fuckers seem to come from outer space.
We share a political system but all their protocol seems to be upside down bar the crossing a box on election day part,
we share a monetary system but getting any deal done is like pulling teeth (no i dont want to have dinner with you 4 times before we can talk bussiness),
we share a language but what the fuck are these belgians talking about? they speak 19th century dutch (no value judgement but it might aswell be a different language all together),
we share a European Union but the HQ in Brussels might aswell reside on Jupiter its so far removed from the common folk.
We seem to share a entertainment culture but thats mostly the same hollywood type drivel found anywhere and for the 'pure' belgian style things they look to be imitating Nippon.

And thats just my neighbours......it gets worse with every border.and this just about sums it up perfectly, rep given.

Paradox
September 4 2012, 05:06:30 PM
Belgium is a good example of a microcosm of this. There's not really any such thing as a "Belgian" although some very small amount of them might identify as such. Belgium's two halves are entirely at odds and refuse to co-operate on almost any issue.

This is a country that has existed almost as long as the USA has and it still won't "work" properly. If you think you can get the French people and the German people in the same country speaking the same language with the same laws, I'm sorry but you live in ga-ga land (ignoring, for a minute that the folks arguing that such a thing would be easy live in America)

And that's just France and Germany. If you think you can get people like Moldovans, Romanians, Bulgarians and Serbians to all work together and speak a common language and share a more-or less homogenous culture... mate I don't know what to tell you.

NoirAvlaa
September 4 2012, 05:27:29 PM
I think people are under the assumption that English would become everyone's primary language.... it would make more sense to let each 'state' keep their own language and just have English taught from primary school by law... English is now second language, everyone has now kept their first language and can use their second language to speak to people in any other 'state'.

It's heading that way anyways on the language front right?

Hast
September 4 2012, 05:53:22 PM
I think people are under the assumption that English would become everyone's primary language.... it would make more sense to let each 'state' keep their own language and just have English taught from primary school by law... English is now second language, everyone has now kept their first language and can use their second language to speak to people in any other 'state'.

It's heading that way anyways on the language front right?

been to France lately?

Zeekar
September 4 2012, 06:06:01 PM
I think people are under the assumption that English would become everyone's primary language.... it would make more sense to let each 'state' keep their own language and just have English taught from primary school by law... English is now second language, everyone has now kept their first language and can use their second language to speak to people in any other 'state'.

It's heading that way anyways on the language front right?

been to France lately?

Or Italy, Spain etc...

NoirAvlaa
September 4 2012, 07:40:04 PM
Yes to all of them. Gotta start somewhere though, if the rest of Europe speaks English then they will eventually follow suit.

Fara
September 4 2012, 08:11:07 PM
This just in:
A country doesn't have to have 1 language to work. It's mentioned in here all the time as a "musthave" when it really isn't. China, Switzerland, Canada just to name a few examples.

NoirAvlaa
September 4 2012, 08:18:20 PM
This just in:
A country doesn't have to have 1 language to work. It's mentioned in here all the time as a "musthave" when it really isn't. China, Switzerland, Canada just to name a few examples.

That's the point I'm trying to say. Let them have their own language. Also teach them a second language that every other country speaks (English being the most obvious).

Zeekar
September 4 2012, 08:19:30 PM
This just in:
A country doesn't have to have 1 language to work. It's mentioned in here all the time as a "musthave" when it really isn't. China, Switzerland, Canada just to name a few examples.

That's the point I'm trying to say. Let them have their own language. Also teach them a second language that every other country speaks (English being the most obvious).

They are already taught that language. They refuse to speak it. Do you understand that?

NoirAvlaa
September 4 2012, 08:49:46 PM
This just in:
A country doesn't have to have 1 language to work. It's mentioned in here all the time as a "musthave" when it really isn't. China, Switzerland, Canada just to name a few examples.

That's the point I'm trying to say. Let them have their own language. Also teach them a second language that every other country speaks (English being the most obvious).

They are already taught that language. They refuse to speak it. Do you understand that?

Yes I understand that. But we're not just talking about France, Spain and Italy. Europe has more than 5-6 countries in it you know.

orcane
September 4 2012, 09:13:39 PM
It has more countries, but in terms of popualtion they're among the six largest in Europe. If you exclude the three biggest unlikely canditates (Russia because it still wants to be a superpower, Ukraine and Belarus because they're both in different states of "not ready for Europe yet"), France, Italy and Spain make for about one third of the whole population of those hypothetical "USE". Or one quarter if you count everything.

The point is your idea is completely unrealistic. Besides, language isn't really the biggest issue so by the time you removed the walls between culture and national identity, I figure language will follow on its own (ie. not in many more decades or even centuries).

NoirAvlaa
September 4 2012, 09:27:00 PM
The point is your idea is completely unrealistic. Besides, language isn't really the biggest issue so by the time you removed the walls between culture and national identity, I figure language will follow on its own (ie. not in many more decades or even centuries).

I don't really see how it's unrealistic.

Here's a study on European languages from 2006 by a European Commision:-

http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_243_sum_en.pdf

Skip to page 4, 51% of Europe speak English as of then, and skipping down to page 9 apparently "77% of the EU citizens consider that children should learn English as their first foreign language."

Introduce English into the curriculum in Primary school (Age 5+) and develop it from there. In 2 generations everyone will wonder what all the hurf-blurf was about in the first place.

Aramendel
September 4 2012, 10:06:44 PM
You seem to have the misconception that EU countries are just like the US states, but with a different language in each "state". So if all speak the same language there should be no problems with uniting them, right?

Wrong. Language isn't the problem. Cultural differences are. Everyone could speak the same language, it won't magically change how people do stuff. Not even "in time".

Liare
September 4 2012, 10:17:34 PM
The point is your idea is completely unrealistic. Besides, language isn't really the biggest issue so by the time you removed the walls between culture and national identity, I figure language will follow on its own (ie. not in many more decades or even centuries).

I don't really see how it's unrealistic.

Here's a study on European languages from 2006 by a European Commision:-

http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_243_sum_en.pdf

Skip to page 4, 51% of Europe speak English as of then, and skipping down to page 9 apparently "77% of the EU citizens consider that children should learn English as their first foreign language."

Introduce English into the curriculum in Primary school (Age 5+) and develop it from there. In 2 generations everyone will wonder what all the hurf-blurf was about in the first place.allow me to illustrate why your idea is doomed to failure.

1. We already do that.
2. some "smaller" minorities, Denmark included are seriously worried about their "mothertounge" falling into disuse and is actively campaigning against the usage of English during public discourse, "English editions" of national papers have been declining in quality to the point where it's more of a Reuters brief than actual journalism, english is and will remain firmly as a secondary language that people can and will use when required, but nothing more than that. (And that's the entire point, Danish has 6 million speakers out of 7 billion people, expecting somebody outside our borders to get what the fuck we are talking about is hilariously unreasonable unless it's in Norway or Sweden, then it's just a up hill struggle)
3. it's going to be rightfully viewed as empire building at the expense of the individual nations, i can comfortably tell you to get the fuck out of here with that idea, the very concept that you are somehow arguing to relegate "my language" to "secondary status" is a bit like arguing that the world would be a much better place if 10 downing street just ran everything and its going to get much the same reception.

your reasoning here is precisely why the union is not going to work, it sounds almost entirely like a Brussels pipe dream with no grounding in the reality that the rest of us have to deal with, it addresses some idealized concept of Europe, rather than the much much uglier reality.

Dorvil Barranis
September 5 2012, 01:38:25 AM
As someone who traveled fairly extensively around the US, I found US culture to be fairly homogenous. There are regional differences, but most Americans consider themselves Americans first, state associations come second.

NoirAvlaa
September 5 2012, 08:08:27 AM
the very concept that you are somehow arguing to relegate "my language" to "secondary status" is a bit like arguing that the world would be a much better place if 10 downing street just ran everything and its going to get much the same reception.

Are you even reading what I'm saying or just skimming and guessing? I'm saying make English Secondary. Not whatever the fuck language you use as Primary. I don't give a fuck if everyone keeps their primary language for national pride or whatever, as long as everyone also has the same secondary language. I don't even care what language the secondary language is, I'm just saying English makes the most sense right now. If French or Dutch made the most sense, I'd be learning that and advocating it.

And that example is piss poor. "Running the world from downing street" and "Making it so people can actually understand on another" are not the same thing.

Lallante
September 5 2012, 08:25:57 AM
As someone who traveled fairly extensively around the US, I found US culture to be fairly homogenous. There are regional differences, but most Americans consider themselves Americans first, state associations come second.

This was not always the case, you have to start somewhere

untilted
September 5 2012, 09:46:43 AM
As someone who traveled fairly extensively around the US, I found US culture to be fairly homogenous. There are regional differences, but most Americans consider themselves Americans first, state associations come second.

This was not always the case, you have to start somewhere

the problem arises as national government prefer to "scapegoat" the EU. it usually gets framed as an organization that is disconnected from the national interests, being only a self-serving bureaucracy.

at the same time national governments wield quite a lot of power in the EU.

the european council being the a council of the head of states/governments of the EU countries, being charged with the definition of the "the general political directions and priorities" of the EU. not to mention that it got the power to appoint almost any position worth of note in the EU.

the council of the european union a council of the twenty seven national ministers and the main legislative body in the EU (slowly integrating the EU parliament into the process of legislation).

the european commission being pretty much the executive body of the EU, it also has the legislative initiative. members of the commission are proposed by the european council and confirmed by the european parliament. while formally indepent from national government, you can be pretty sure that the national candidates certainly have quite close to ties to the national governments in one way or the other.

the european parliament pretty much the only body in the EU whose members aren't either a.) representing the national governments (european council, council of the european union) or b.) necessarily tied to the national government (european commission). "incidentally" it's also the least influential in any way (sure, the parliament can veto to some degree, but it can't legislate on its own initiative).


but national governments rarely have an interest to be held accountable for decisions on an european level. they rather prefer to frame the EU as a bureaucracy detached from the "real life".

it's also easier to frame conflicts in a cultural way as a conflict between differing national "mentalities" and "cultures" than between socio-economic groups. the actual conflicts in the EU are more between "rich" and "poor" than between "north" and "south".

so i'd say, while you "have to start" somewhere, it only works if there's even interest to "start"

orcane
September 5 2012, 09:51:50 AM
the very concept that you are somehow arguing to relegate "my language" to "secondary status" is a bit like arguing that the world would be a much better place if 10 downing street just ran everything and its going to get much the same reception.

Are you even reading what I'm saying or just skimming and guessing? I'm saying make English Secondary. Not whatever the fuck language you use as Primary. I don't give a fuck if everyone keeps their primary language for national pride or whatever, as long as everyone also has the same secondary language. I don't even care what language the secondary language is, I'm just saying English makes the most sense right now. If French or Dutch made the most sense, I'd be learning that and advocating it.

And that example is piss poor. "Running the world from downing street" and "Making it so people can actually understand on another" are not the same thing.
Lots of countries have English as a secondary language, even if it's not an official one, but what does that achieve? If you elevate any language to "official secondary language for every citizen to learn" (and this will be opposed by more countries and citizens than you seem to realize, regardless of which language you pick) you still haven't solved anything.

Even if you erode other differences enough for all these national identities to merge into one federation, you don't really need everyone to understand each other (outside of government and federal administration) because they're still going to mostly live in administrative districts with other people who speak the same language.

Multilingual countries with huge rifts between the different language areas (eg. Belgium) usually have those problems due to the languages being tied to the (very) different cultural background and the inability or unwillingness to work together and view the combination as one nation. Multilingual/multicultural countries that work without major issues are either based on an overarching national identity that doesn't marginalize the different parts, or they work because someone dictated that and ensures that with force if necessary. The latter probably don't last as long as the former. You'll want the former for a working United States of Europe. Good luck.

Hel OWeen
September 5 2012, 10:16:27 AM
If you think you can get the French people and the German people in the same country speaking the same language with the same laws, I'm sorry but you live in ga-ga land (ignoring, for a minute that the folks arguing that such a thing would be easy live in America)


We and France? Never! We're still struggling with those Bavarians after all those years ... ;)

Liare
September 5 2012, 03:48:38 PM
the very concept that you are somehow arguing to relegate "my language" to "secondary status" is a bit like arguing that the world would be a much better place if 10 downing street just ran everything and its going to get much the same reception.

Are you even reading what I'm saying or just skimming and guessing? I'm saying make English Secondary. Not whatever the fuck language you use as Primary. I don't give a fuck if everyone keeps their primary language for national pride or whatever, as long as everyone also has the same secondary language. I don't even care what language the secondary language is, I'm just saying English makes the most sense right now. If French or Dutch made the most sense, I'd be learning that and advocating it.

And that example is piss poor. "Running the world from downing street" and "Making it so people can actually understand on another" are not the same thing.i was merely carrying the argument to its logical conclusion to illustrate my point here. :)

because that's exactly the counter argument that gets put forward pretty much everywhere, people see a slippery slope and goes into defensive mode before even looking down at the end of it.

Joshua Foiritain
September 5 2012, 07:46:07 PM
This just in:
A country doesn't have to have 1 language to work. It's mentioned in here all the time as a "musthave" when it really isn't. China, Switzerland, Canada just to name a few examples.
Though i agree that its not a condition for a country to work, it is a condition for several counties to become one country. Most Europeans look similar so theres no real visual distinction that separates us. The only real distinction is our language, if Europe is to become one country we need one language because if we all keep our language we still see each other as German, French, Dutch, etc instead of European and we will never properly integrate.

For Europe to become one country the first thing that needs to happen is for the borders to fade, which means it needs to become next to impossible to tell whether someone living near the Dutch-German border is German or Dutch, which requires a single European language.

When we cant tell where the border begins or ends and we all speak the same language working and moving across the border becomes much easier. From a legal point of view its already easy but if i want to work in Germany (i live on the border so wouldn't be a bad idea) i still need to learn German because most Germans either cant or wont speak English.

When moving and working across borders becomes easier cultures will start mixing much faster and those differences will also start to fade out eventually paving the way for a European nation.

Of course a side problem to this is that people are often attached to their countries native language, personally i find Dutch to be a terrible language and i welcome the day everyone switches to English.



The point is your idea is completely unrealistic. Besides, language isn't really the biggest issue so by the time you removed the walls between culture and national identity, I figure language will follow on its own (ie. not in many more decades or even centuries).

I don't really see how it's unrealistic.

Here's a study on European languages from 2006 by a European Commision:-

http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_243_sum_en.pdf

Skip to page 4, 51% of Europe speak English as of then, and skipping down to page 9 apparently "77% of the EU citizens consider that children should learn English as their first foreign language."

Introduce English into the curriculum in Primary school (Age 5+) and develop it from there. In 2 generations everyone will wonder what all the hurf-blurf was about in the first place.
I cant comment on other countries but in the Netherlands the percentage of the population that can speak English (and by speaking i mean hold a decent conversation, not guide someone to nearest roundabout) is pretty freaking low. In my direct area i can think of one other person whose fluent in English and one whose not terrible as hes been going on vacation to the UK for the past few years. Now that's just speaking, actually writing coherent English a whole different ball game.

Hell, my uni course is taught completely in English and half the fucking class couldn't write their way out of a paper bag. I have on multiple occasions had to rewrite parts of group assignments because people tend to use Dutch grammar or literal translations.

As for primary schools; English classes start at the age of 8 around here and are mandatory for pretty much every level of education after that. (i think, not 100% sure). The problem is just taking classes is pointless, unless you're actually using the language its just going to fade away.

ValorousBob
September 5 2012, 11:37:31 PM
The EU debt crisis has exposed the flaws with a group of countries sharing a currency but not monetary policy. This, along with the slow, clumsy process of decision making currently in place with the EU means Europe would benefit significantly from centralizing the EU's power into an actual European Federation with a similar federalist structure to the United States. This would...

-Make the EU the largest economy in the world
-Make it the 3rd most populous country
-Dramatically increase Europe's influence in international affairs
-Make the Euro significantly more stable because all the States would have the same monetary policy
-Increase Europe's ability to get things done
-Essentially make Europe a "great power" that's equal or stronger than the US



I see some pretty likely roadblocks, but I'm just presenting the argument so I'll leave them up to you, FHC.you are neglecting all the downsides... *snip*

Yeah just to be clear I knew there were a bunch of problems with the idea before I posted it, but when I typed up the post with pros AND cons I felt like I was just arguing with myself. Also the point of this thread was for me, as an American, to hear your guys' views on this. I personally think it's going to easily happen before 2100 and probably even 2050, so I wanted some European perspective on what you guys are going through. Btw, reading some of your posts about the cons of Federalism sounds like someone took the Anti-Federalist's views from just after the American Revolution and changed the names to fit Europe. Small, northern, liberal states not wanting to be outvoted by larger, southern, more religious states? Sounds familiar.... :3

ValorousBob
September 6 2012, 12:24:47 AM
I don't even see the appeal at this point, what is really going to be gained by somehow presenting a large unified state ? the internal divisions wont go away and the whole place has finally settled down from the proud traditions of murdering your neighbours for looking at you funny, give it a couple of hundred years and then maybe we can talk about it at point.

Well that really depends on what the world looks like in the future. If Russia and China become economically powerful enough, they wouldn't hesitate to bully small European countries to further their own agendas. "Oh someone in China stole your intellectual property from Denmark? lol Fuck you we're China." Right now the United States shoulders almost the entire security burden for NATO, which is a pretty precarious position to be in. If the global balance of power shifts this arrangement could become untenable real fucking fast. I think the most likely scenario to prompt a European Federation would be if China or Russia decided to seriously harass a European country and the US had to many problems to get really involved. Imagine the latest Georgian War but in Ukraine this time. I think that'd be a little to close to home for other Eastern European countries.

But that's a self defense thing. The other reality is even though Europe sees itself as pacifist, they still end up intervening in foreign affairs periodically (but obviously UK/France/Germany more than Denmark). The whole Libyan thing would have been vastly easier and cheaper if it was done by a United Europe and the United States instead of just the US and a couple European countries.



(You guys have all made good points, but I'm still reading wall-o-texts and this part caught my eye)

indi
September 6 2012, 05:41:29 AM
There is, of course, a large difference between a federation and 'one unified country'. The resistance to the entire idea is such that this distinction has fallen by the wayside as well. I cannot see it happening until the EU shows it can be an effectively functioning body. That will not happen until all countries agree to let go of some of their carefully hoarded power. (For instance, we need to stop this idiocy of moving between Brussels and Strasbourg. If we can't even accomplish that, we can stop trying to do the rest.) At the same time, the bureaucrats (yes, I don't use this word lightly) need to let go of their carefully hoarded power and start cutting down on the retarded amount of red tape. Currently nobody trusts anyone else, not other countries, not the "apparatus", etc. It won't happen anytime soon, unless we are forced to unite against a common enemy. The common enemy of economic crisis is so far not doing the job, btw.

As for languages: you do not need a single language to function as a country, this is true. You do need no more than 2, maybe 3 to effectively govern a country. Right now almost all EU communication is translated to all languages of the member states. (Check this example from my own line of work: http://ted.europa.eu/TED/misc/chooseLanguage.do) When that's not done, you can usually find it in English/French, maybe German. I recently had reason to look up an "interpretative communication" from the European Commission regarding framework agreements (you can now forget about this again) which was only available in English.* My coworkers are relatively well educated, but I doubt they could interpret this communication to the level required, let alone pick up on nuances. Citizens who are unable to grasp their country's legislation will become (even more) suspicious of their government. Meanwhile, translating everything all the time is a huge money drain (check the live translations going on in the European parliament!). There's no easy answer.


*Probably in French and German as well, but you can trust me when I say 98% of the Dutch population would fare worse reading those languages.

Hel OWeen
September 6 2012, 10:09:18 AM
the very concept that you are somehow arguing to relegate "my language" to "secondary status" is a bit like arguing that the world would be a much better place if 10 downing street just ran everything and its going to get much the same reception.

I'm saying make English Secondary.

That is already the case in the major part (=most populated) of the EU countries, AFAIK. It even has been that way for decades (Germany i.e. started shortly after WW II doing so, English lessons start in the 5th grade, so you have at least 4 years). There are always those who use a secondary language voluntarily, like we're doing it here, and even enjoying it instead of thinking of it like a burden. And younger generations, due to their communication habits ("THE INTARWEBZ"), seem to me even more language-agnostic. But that doesn't help as long as not all do it that way.

Like it or not: language is a major point of our cultural heritage. German without Schiller & Goethe? English without Shakespear? French without Camus & Balzac etc.? Not to mention the Roman and Greek "philosophical overlords".

Here's another point: legislation. Only if you enforce English to be the second [, third, fourth etc.] official language in each EU member country, you'd be able to publish all official documents in English only and make them legally binding. Otherwise you'd still have to do all the translations for official documents.

The sad point is: we've been killing ourselves over here for longer than the U.S.A. even exists. That has build "arch rivals" (to put it mildly) everywhere. I.e. Germany vs. The Netherlands, Germany vs. Austria, Germany vs. France. It's not easy to overcome those sentiments, even today. Fortunately most of the time they are taken lightly these days and are restricted to teasing each other ... but only if life's good.

If the overall circumstances turn worse for a bigger part of the people, the old prejudices make an immediate comeback. Just have a look at all the bad old stereotypes that were and are still revived during the current Euro crisis, i.e. "Lazy Greek leechers" vs. "German Blitzkrieg nazis again".

XenosisReaper
September 6 2012, 10:22:54 AM
No and fuck off.

edit:

I politely disagree with your tone.

Hel OWeen
September 6 2012, 10:43:29 AM
Not cool, dude, not cool.

So much for a serious forum, where disagreeing without calling names, let alone that kind of pictures, should be a given.

Zeekar
September 6 2012, 01:51:53 PM
No and fuck off.

edit:

I politely disagree with your tone.

It is the sentiment in which most people would reply if posed with that question.

Liare
September 6 2012, 06:25:55 PM
The EU debt crisis has exposed the flaws with a group of countries sharing a currency but not monetary policy. This, along with the slow, clumsy process of decision making currently in place with the EU means Europe would benefit significantly from centralizing the EU's power into an actual European Federation with a similar federalist structure to the United States. This would...

-Make the EU the largest economy in the world
-Make it the 3rd most populous country
-Dramatically increase Europe's influence in international affairs
-Make the Euro significantly more stable because all the States would have the same monetary policy
-Increase Europe's ability to get things done
-Essentially make Europe a "great power" that's equal or stronger than the US



I see some pretty likely roadblocks, but I'm just presenting the argument so I'll leave them up to you, FHC.you are neglecting all the downsides... *snip*

Yeah just to be clear I knew there were a bunch of problems with the idea before I posted it, but when I typed up the post with pros AND cons I felt like I was just arguing with myself. Also the point of this thread was for me, as an American, to hear your guys' views on this. I personally think it's going to easily happen before 2100 and probably even 2050, so I wanted some European perspective on what you guys are going through. Btw, reading some of your posts about the cons of Federalism sounds like someone took the Anti-Federalist's views from just after the American Revolution and changed the names to fit Europe. Small, northern, liberal states not wanting to be outvoted by larger, southern, more religious states? Sounds familiar.... :3my biggest beef with the entire thing is that we are expected to "hand over the keys" to Germany, France,Italy and Britain and just stand back and hope any of our interests dont get run over in the process.

but yes, i really really dont like the whole Federalism idea because i am firmly in the group of people who are going to be losing out due to it, and that's losing out very badly.



I don't even see the appeal at this point, what is really going to be gained by somehow presenting a large unified state ? the internal divisions wont go away and the whole place has finally settled down from the proud traditions of murdering your neighbours for looking at you funny, give it a couple of hundred years and then maybe we can talk about it at point.

Well that really depends on what the world looks like in the future. If Russia and China become economically powerful enough, they wouldn't hesitate to bully small European countries to further their own agendas. "Oh someone in China stole your intellectual property from Denmark? lol Fuck you we're China." Right now the United States shoulders almost the entire security burden for NATO, which is a pretty precarious position to be in. If the global balance of power shifts this arrangement could become untenable real fucking fast. I think the most likely scenario to prompt a European Federation would be if China or Russia decided to seriously harass a European country and the US had to many problems to get really involved. Imagine the latest Georgian War but in Ukraine this time. I think that'd be a little to close to home for other Eastern European countries.

But that's a self defense thing. The other reality is even though Europe sees itself as pacifist, they still end up intervening in foreign affairs periodically (but obviously UK/France/Germany more than Denmark). The whole Libyan thing would have been vastly easier and cheaper if it was done by a United Europe and the United States instead of just the US and a couple European countries.



(You guys have all made good points, but I'm still reading wall-o-texts and this part caught my eye)the thing is China is already stealing IP from everybody and all you get is a shrug and a "not my fucking problem" if you dare to complain about it, and that's in the US, the rest of us just accept that it's going to happen regardless.
Libya was mostly a European affair by the way. (http://www.acus.org/natosource/national-composition-nato-strike-sorties-libya)

the structure of NATO is fairly deceptive as well, NATO's primary interest is in the europea/western Asia area, and the american contribution in this area while significant, is not critical to the extend that the alliance is unviable without the American armed forces, the US spends a lot of money on their armed forces yes, but much of that goes to areas other than Europe, here's the figures. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments#Europe)

as for Russia invading the Ukraine, that's likely going to happen regardless and uncle ivan has nukes, so what difference does a unification grant? any overt intervention is going to have to face that dilemma.

Cue1*
September 6 2012, 11:05:38 PM
As for languages: you do not need a single language to function as a country, this is true. You do need no more than 2, maybe 3 to effectively govern a country.

English is spoken by 82% of our population as their mother tongue. Large chunks of our population still prefer to speak another language. What would be the downside to all administrative documents to be released in only English, then each "state" could translate the document if they saw fit? I don't see how language is that big of a barrier. It's taught in almost all your schools, what's the harm in making it useful?


the thing is China is already stealing IP from everybody and all you get is a shrug and a "not my fucking problem" if you dare to complain about it, and that's in the US, the rest of us just accept that it's going to happen regardless.

And as a United power bloc that was able to bring all of its power to the table you'd have more sway in the matter.


Libya was mostly a European affair by the way. (http://www.acus.org/natosource/national-composition-nato-strike-sorties-libya)

That was his point. Since Libya was a mostly EU affair, it would have been cheaper if it was a United Europe and US affair instead of a long list of communication issues.


the structure of NATO is fairly deceptive as well, NATO's primary interest is in the europea/western Asia area, and the american contribution in this area while significant, is not critical to the extend that the alliance is unviable without the American armed forces, the US spends a lot of money on their armed forces yes, but much of that goes to areas other than Europe, here's the figures. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments#Europe)

The US having large numbers of military personnel stationed in allied countries wouldn't actually be a good thing. With Germany, Italy, Japan and South Korea being an exception to the rule, the US attempts to leave allied countires to their own thing. In Germany and Italy we mantain a significant presence under their blessing, with minor reasoning of we DID fight a really big war with them a while ago. We stay in both South Korea and Japan by necessity, as our treaties with both countries require that we keep forces stationed in both countries for defensive purposes. Japan's constitution dictates that they can't actually build an aggressive military, and depend upon the US for serious defense.

VB's point was money, expenditure, which the US takes the largest chunk of. The US pays for 22% (http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pictures/topics_graphics/20110221_20101102_common_funded_budgets_2010-2011.jpg) of NATOs budget, the next closest is the UK, paying for 11% of it.


as for Russia invading the Ukraine, that's likely going to happen regardless and uncle ivan has nukes, so what difference does a unification grant? any overt intervention is going to have to face that dilemma.

And as a United power bloc that was able to bring all of its power to the table you'd have more sway in the matter. Is there an echo in here?

Look, I do understand your point. You're Rhode Island, tiny compared to France and Germany and you don't want to lose that independence. I'm not downplaying that at all, but at the very least admit that's the reason you're against it, not because of some proclaimed language barrier. It's a legitimate concern, when was the last time you heard of a US Presidential Candidate addressing the people of Nebraska?

Sofia Roseburn
September 6 2012, 11:55:16 PM
This thread marks the first time I've had to step in to stop people from shit slinging. This had better be the last.

ValorousBob
September 7 2012, 06:01:55 AM
Look, I do understand your point. You're Rhode Island, tiny compared to France and Germany and you don't want to lose that independence. I'm not downplaying that at all, but at the very least admit that's the reason you're against it, not because of some proclaimed language barrier. It's a legitimate concern, when was the last time you heard of a US Presidential Candidate addressing the people of Nebraska?

He actually did. :P


my biggest beef with the entire thing is that we are expected to "hand over the keys" to Germany, France,Italy and Britain and just stand back and hope any of our interests dont get run over in the process.

but yes, i really really dont like the whole Federalism idea because i am firmly in the group of people who are going to be losing out due to it, and that's losing out very badly.

Totally legitimate issue, the big states vs small states thing almost aborted the United States Constitution. I just don't think it's an issue that can't be solved. The only policies that would HAVE to be uniform across the EU would be foreign policy and monetary/fiscal policy. There's no reason that the Netherlands' liberal social policies would have to bend to the more moderate average in Europe.


I am curious though Liare, how different are Danish policies from Germany/France/UK/etc?


EDIT1: Understandable that you feel small countries will lose out, but it should be noted that in the American system, small states actually hold disproportionately more power than large states. California has like 40 million people and gets two Senators. Wyoming has like 500,000 and ALSO gets two Senators. :psyduck: Each state also has to have at least one delegate to the House of Reps, so Wyoming gets one Rep for their 500,000 people. Not a problem, until you consider that the average district has 700,000 people, leading to the proposed Wyoming Rule (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming_Rule). This bias carries over into the Electoral College, so small states even get proportionally more votes for the motherfuckin President.


EDIT2:
the thing is China is already stealing IP from everybody and all you get is a shrug and a "not my fucking problem" if you dare to complain about it, and that's in the US, the rest of us just accept that it's going to happen regardless.

I agree completely, China totally gets away with that shit. It sure would be nice if us Americans had an equal/more powerful nation to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us next time we need to tell China to go fuck themselves and pay the damn royalties... :D


the structure of NATO is fairly deceptive as well, NATO's primary interest is in the europea/western Asia area, and the american contribution in this area while significant, is not critical to the extend that the alliance is unviable without the American armed forces, the US spends a lot of money on their armed forces yes, but much of that goes to areas other than Europe, here's the figures. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments#Europe)

First, those stats show the largest concentration of troops outside North America is in Europe. Second, the fact that we have lots of troops outside of Europe isn't even very significant. One of the more military-focused Americans on here should be able to back me up on this, but the strength of the American military really isn't in large pre-positioned groups of ground troops. Most of our military budget goes to expensive shit like the Navy and Airforce, so even though we have a lot of troops outside of Europe, if there was an actual ground war in Europe most of our resources would be going there. Our power projection really comes from the 10 carrier battle groups that rotate around the globe, with a Nimitz-class supercarrier as the flagship of each fleet. France has like one carrier (the De Gaulle iirc), Britain I think had 2 or 3 but got rid of all their carrier-based jets or something. Russia, China and India are all growing their carrier forces. A unified European navy would be a much more potent force.



ps: Isn't Britain likely to stay out of a continental European federation? I thought they were a lot less involved in the EU then other countries.

Smuggo
September 7 2012, 11:16:39 AM
ps: Isn't Britain likely to stay out of a continental European federation? I thought they were a lot less involved in the EU then other countries.

I wouldn't say we're a lot less involved, though obviously not having the single currency means the UK isn't directly involved in all the eurozone stuff. We've not got the same relaxed border movement either, though this is largely due to being an island nation.

We are however one of the three big countries (along with France and Germany) that ultimately get the biggest say in how the EU is run. We're still very involved in the EU, though we have a significant anti-Europe movement, but that's not dissimilar to a lot of other European countries.

As for the UK being part of a European federation... probably not, but I don't think any non-Euro country would because there's not really a pressing need for them to do it as there is for the single currency nations.

indi
September 7 2012, 12:11:26 PM
As for languages: you do not need a single language to function as a country, this is true. You do need no more than 2, maybe 3 to effectively govern a country.

English is spoken by 82% of our population as their mother tongue. Large chunks of our population still prefer to speak another language. What would be the downside to all administrative documents to be released in only English, then each "state" could translate the document if they saw fit? I don't see how language is that big of a barrier. It's taught in almost all your schools, what's the harm in making it useful?


English is not taught as a second language, it is taught as a foreign language. Even with exposure to it in huge amounts due to :tv: and :internet:, the largest part of our population cannot express itself sufficiently in English beyond asking and giving directions or buying a loaf of bread. This large part of the population would also be unable to grasp official communications. Like I said, this will increase paranoia of the government. This 82% you speak of has no direct relationship with the way people speak their language(s) here. There's also a case to be made for English not being the chosen first language. German comes to mind. Then there's the fact that a lot of the EU legislation is based on French, so why not that? (Mind you, I don't count myself amongst the people who don't have a sufficient grasp of English, so I'm not pleading my own case here.)

Perhaps you could spend some time in Europe and get to know the peoples of some of the different countries; I don't see a lot of grounds for comparison with the USA despite your (understandable) efforts to find the common ground. The largest reason for that is that (almost) nobody wants to be a part of the United States of Europe and most American citizens are happy/proud to be citizens of the USA.

Apart from that, the simple fact remains that translating all that shit would both not quite suffice for the problem at hand and take horrendous amounts of money as it already does. Because.. how are you supposed to represent your people/state within the federation not speaking your native language? Every non-English speaking (or whatever language it would end up being, lol Esperanto) member of parliament, etc. would claim rightly they are at a disadvantage. Try arguing the finer points of legislation in a foreign language; there are people who can do it, but they are not exactly the majority.

The problem is not as easy as you make it out to be, to my mind because the analogy with the USA is off.

Hel OWeen
September 7 2012, 01:18:37 PM
my biggest beef with the entire thing is that we are expected to "hand over the keys" to Germany, France,Italy and Britain and just stand back and hope any of our interests dont get run over in the process.

but yes, i really really dont like the whole Federalism idea because i am firmly in the group of people who are going to be losing out due to it, and that's losing out very badly.

Totally legitimate issue, the big states vs small states thing almost aborted the United States Constitution. I just don't it's an issue that can't be solved. The only policies that would HAVE to be uniform across the EU would be foreign policy and monetary/fiscal policy. There's no reason that the Netherlands' liberal social policies would have to bend to the more moderate average in Europe.


I am curious though Liare, how different are Danish policies from Germany/France/UK/etc?


I fully understand and share Liare's concerns with a different reason here as a citizen of one of the supposed-to-be bullies, Germany.

The overall feeling here is that were good enough when the EU needs our Euros (biggest financial contributor to EU budget), but should "shut-up-you-goddamn-nazis-and-just-open-your-freakin'-wallet" when we feel we could ask to accept some rules in return.

As of now, the EU is set up in favor of smaller member states ... in theory, at least.
- Each country has a veto right, meaning the 500k people of Luxemburg can bring down the whole rest of the EU to a halt.
- Number MEPs/country not propertional to number of citizens/country. I.e. A Luxemburg vote is worth ~14 German votes.
- Each country gets to appoint one person into the EU commission (for you yanks: that's the actual "EU government". Not elected by the people, but appointed by the country's governments)

That the theory. It seems the current realtiy is more like what Liare fears: The "big boys" come to arrangements behind closed doors, ignoring both other member states and their own parliaments & citizens.

My fear is that the citizens of all countries have more to lose than to gain.

[Added]
To clarify: I'd personally like to see a U.S.E. But being intersted in politics since my teen days, I doubt that the current and future generation of politicans (and lobby groups) are able to create an U.S.E. that I (and most other people) would proudly call "my home/country".

Liare
September 7 2012, 04:49:10 PM
the thing is China is already stealing IP from everybody and all you get is a shrug and a "not my fucking problem" if you dare to complain about it, and that's in the US, the rest of us just accept that it's going to happen regardless.

And as a United power bloc that was able to bring all of its power to the table you'd have more sway in the matter.American corporations that pretty much own the bloody keys to capitol hill cant do anything, so what difference would it make in that regard ?



as for Russia invading the Ukraine, that's likely going to happen regardless and uncle ivan has nukes, so what difference does a unification grant? any overt intervention is going to have to face that dilemma.

And as a United power bloc that was able to bring all of its power to the table you'd have more sway in the matter. Is there an echo in here?

Look, I do understand your point. You're Rhode Island, tiny compared to France and Germany and you don't want to lose that independence. I'm not downplaying that at all, but at the very least admit that's the reason you're against it, not because of some proclaimed language barrier. It's a legitimate concern, when was the last time you heard of a US Presidential Candidate addressing the people of Nebraska?because any sort of "all in" military conflict involve Ukraine is liable to cause mushroom clouds, and once you hit that part, any pretty political construct is hilariously irrelevant.

you seem to imagine some sort of unified powerbloc, if there's going to be even a "pretend" democratic representation it wont be unified on any of the issues you outline.



my biggest beef with the entire thing is that we are expected to "hand over the keys" to Germany, France,Italy and Britain and just stand back and hope any of our interests dont get run over in the process.

but yes, i really really dont like the whole Federalism idea because i am firmly in the group of people who are going to be losing out due to it, and that's losing out very badly.

Totally legitimate issue, the big states vs small states thing almost aborted the United States Constitution. I just don't it's an issue that can't be solved. The only policies that would HAVE to be uniform across the EU would be foreign policy and monetary/fiscal policy. There's no reason that the Netherlands' liberal social policies would have to bend to the more moderate average in Europe.


I am curious though Liare, how different are Danish policies from Germany/France/UK/etc?


*snip*very very different (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexicurity)

that socierty model is the lifeblood of our long term competitiveness, as it allows both companies but indeed the entire population to "re-tool" and "reeducate" very quickly reacting to emerging markets and trends much faster than say Germany or France would be able to on a national level, we command some of the highest average wages in the world precisely because of the implicit flexibility this society model provides, on the individual level i trade job security for a extensive and reliable safety net that allows me to take chances i would be unable to do other places. the irony is that we have some of the proportionally strongest unions in the world and union membership rates are well past the 50% mark but rather than making the job market inflexible they provide a counterweight to the employers by contributing to both the further education of their members. (my recent 2008r2 Windows Server certification while i was unemployed ? union course, paid by public money) and coming down like 20 tons of brick on anybody gaming the system, the net effect is that my employer may hire or fire me at relatively low cost, 3 month trial periods and 3 months after getting your slip is the common contract terms, and those last three months is not additional pay, you're expected to work the period for your pay, unless you and your employer come to some sort of agreement.

project based hiring is not uncommon, especially in my business (IT) many people live on a "project to project" basis and spend some of their time every year on the dole, but it allows people to specialize to a remarkable degree as well.

of course, the EU in its misguided "lets all be citizens of the new and emerging federal union!" is doing what seems like everything they can to sabotage the system outlined above by allowing and indeed encouraging the practice of social dumping (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_dumping) and so forth as a way to promote the integrated labour market.

the greatest weakness of the Flexsecurity model is that it relies on high participation rates and low unemployment (it becomes untenable at around 10% unemployment). simply put it costs a TON of money to keep the machine turning and once people such as builders start falling out at the bottom because they cannot compete on price with the cheap eastern European the more "abusive" employers import the unions start losing their influence, and the balance of power starts skewing in the employers favour over all.

the problem is not the polish carpenter, the problem is the polish carpenter working for a wage so low that the danish carpenter cant compete due to his much higher cost of living, the result has been in recent years that the security has been steadily eroded away because the economics involved, where as any sort of security has not increased at all.


EDIT2:
the thing is China is already stealing IP from everybody and all you get is a shrug and a "not my fucking problem" if you dare to complain about it, and that's in the US, the rest of us just accept that it's going to happen regardless.

I agree completely, China totally gets away with that shit. It sure would be nice if us Americans had an equal/more powerful nation to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us next time we need to tell China to go fuck themselves and pay the damn royalties... :D


the structure of NATO is fairly deceptive as well, NATO's primary interest is in the europea/western Asia area, and the american contribution in this area while significant, is not critical to the extend that the alliance is unviable without the American armed forces, the US spends a lot of money on their armed forces yes, but much of that goes to areas other than Europe, here's the figures. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments#Europe)

First, those stats show the largest concentration of troops outside North America is in Europe. Second, the fact that we have lots of troops outside of Europe isn't even very significant. One of the more military-focused Americans on here should be able to back me up on this, but the strength of the American military really isn't in large pre-positioned groups of ground troops. Most of our military budget goes to expensive shit like the Navy and Airforce, so even though we have a lot of troops outside of Europe, if there was an actual ground war in Europe most of our resources would be going there. Our power projection really comes from the 10 carrier battle groups that rotate around the globe, with a Nimitz-class supercarrier as the flagship of each fleet. France has like one carrier (the De Gaulle iirc), Britain I think had 2 or 3 but got rid of all their carrier-based jets or something. Russia, China and India are all growing their carrier forces. A unified European navy would be a much more potent force.



ps: Isn't Britain likely to stay out of a continental European federation? I thought they were a lot less involved in the EU then other countries.the European bases are used as transit and logistics areas though, the amount of armed forces stationed here is fairly small, but most of the traffic going to Afghanistan lands in Rammstein for refuelling to make a example, the european armed forces are almost entirely geared and equipped for defensive warfare, there's no expeditionary equipment like carriers because there was no need for it until recently, the Royal Navy is putting a pair of Queen Elizabeth carriers into service (they are intented to operate the F-35's), France has plans to build another albeit diesel powered carrier able to operate Rafale's (if i remember correctly) and both Spain and Italy operate short deck carriers flying AV-8B's off them.

the most likely war scenario is in continental europe, and the armies are equipped for that, now if it's russians invading or Claude and Heinz going at it for the third time in about 100 years, nobody really know at this point.

anyway, a European Federation without the UK in it is also possible, but given the amount of influence and power they wield down in Brussels i opted to include them anyway.





my biggest beef with the entire thing is that we are expected to "hand over the keys" to Germany, France,Italy and Britain and just stand back and hope any of our interests dont get run over in the process.

but yes, i really really dont like the whole Federalism idea because i am firmly in the group of people who are going to be losing out due to it, and that's losing out very badly.

Totally legitimate issue, the big states vs small states thing almost aborted the United States Constitution. I just don't it's an issue that can't be solved. The only policies that would HAVE to be uniform across the EU would be foreign policy and monetary/fiscal policy. There's no reason that the Netherlands' liberal social policies would have to bend to the more moderate average in Europe.


I am curious though Liare, how different are Danish policies from Germany/France/UK/etc?


I fully understand and share Liare's concerns with a different reason here as a citizen of one of the supposed-to-be bullies, Germany.

The overall feeling here is that were good enough when the EU needs our Euros (biggest financial contributor to EU budget), but should "shut-up-you-goddamn-nazis-and-just-open-your-freakin'-wallet" when we feel we could ask to accept some rules in return.

As of now, the EU is set up in favor of smaller member states ... in theory, at least.
- Each country has a veto right, meaning the 500k people of Luxemburg can bring down the whole rest of the EU to a halt.
- Number MEPs/country not propertional to number of citizens/country. I.e. A Luxemburg vote is worth ~14 German votes.
- Each country gets to appoint one person into the EU commission (for you yanks: that's the actual "EU government". Not elected by the people, but appointed by the country's governments)

That the theory. It seems the current realtiy is more like what Liare fears: The "big boys" come to arrangements behind closed doors, ignoring both other member states and their own parliaments & citizens.

My fear is that the citizens of all countries have more to lose than to gain.

[Added]
To clarify: I'd personally like to see a U.S.E. But being intersted in politics since my teen days, I doubt that the current and future generation of politicans (and lobby groups) are able to create an U.S.E. that I (and most other people) would proudly call "my home/country".supposed to be ?

Fraulin merkel is basically using Greece as a bailout mechanism for German and French banks, if that's not screwing over a junior partner in the union for their own gain then i dont know what it is, what's to prevent that kind of behaviour once we become on "big happy federal family" ? the piddly influence the smaller nations have in the parliament ?

(yes yes yes, the greeks lied, did you honestly expect them to do anything else ?)

ValorousBob
September 7 2012, 07:39:57 PM
ps: Isn't Britain likely to stay out of a continental European federation? I thought they were a lot less involved in the EU then other countries.
As for the UK being part of a European federation... probably not, but I don't think any non-Euro country would because there's not really a pressing need for them to do it as there is for the single currency nations.

Yeah that's kinda what I figured. The currency debacle is, in the short term, more likely then anything else to make a federation "necessary". Would you say the UK is more or less hostile to a federation than the continental nations? And doesn't the UK have some overseas territories that would kinda be in limbo if the UK was absorbed into a federation? I guess places like the Falklands would go with them because it's not even close to its own nation, but what about all the Caribbean islands that are technically "Crown Dependencies" or something like that?





the thing is China is already stealing IP from everybody and all you get is a shrug and a "not my fucking problem" if you dare to complain about it, and that's in the US, the rest of us just accept that it's going to happen regardless.

And as a United power bloc that was able to bring all of its power to the table you'd have more sway in the matter.American corporations that pretty much own the bloody keys to capitol hill cant do anything, so what difference would it make in that regard ?
Well first of all, the corporations with massive influence in Washington are NOT the tech companies that get screwed by China's IP theft bullshit, so they haven't made it a big issue. In fact the global mega-corps that lobby in Washington gain so much in trade from China that'd it hurt their business if the US clamped down on China. It's pretty much Silicon Valley vs Wall Street, and Wall Street wins.

Second, "A whole is more then just the sum of it's parts". Europe would have a louder "voice" if it was one federation, rather than the equivalent countries just "speaking" in unison separately. The difference is that if Europe is unified and had much more influence, it might actually have enough "soft power" when combined with American influence, to pressure China to change course.




as for Russia invading the Ukraine, that's likely going to happen regardless and uncle ivan has nukes, so what difference does a unification grant? any overt intervention is going to have to face that dilemma.

And as a United power bloc that was able to bring all of its power to the table you'd have more sway in the matter. Is there an echo in here?

Look, I do understand your point. You're Rhode Island, tiny compared to France and Germany and you don't want to lose that independence. I'm not downplaying that at all, but at the very least admit that's the reason you're against it, not because of some proclaimed language barrier. It's a legitimate concern, when was the last time you heard of a US Presidential Candidate addressing the people of Nebraska?because any sort of "all in" military conflict involve Ukraine is liable to cause mushroom clouds, and once you hit that part, any pretty political construct is hilariously irrelevant.

you seem to imagine some sort of unified powerbloc, if there's going to be even a "pretend" democratic representation it wont be unified on any of the issues you outline.

Although an "all in" conflict MIGHT result in nukes flying (really depends on what you mean by "all in"), that's not the scenario that I think is likely to occur. Russia is a rational country, at least most of the time (lolPutin, etc). They weren't "all in" when they attacked Georgia in 2008 and wouldn't be "all in" if they moved against Ukraine in the future. Several nuclear countries have fought each other in the past with conventional armies but not nukes, most notably the USSR and China fighting a series of border wars during the Cold War. It's simply not worth it to them. A standoff between Russia and the EU over Ukraine would be MORE dangerous because neither side is strong enough to get the other to just back down. On the other hand, a standoff between a EF/USE (European Federation/United States of Europe) and Russia would be heavily tilted in Europe's favor, making conflict less likely.

And btw, internal disputes are always a problem, but the one time you can always count on national unity is during war time. In fact, Russia attacking Ukraine could be the catalyst for a unified Europe that Bismarck's engineered Franco-Prussian War was for the unification of Germany. The unity comment could have been addressing something else, but when it comes to national defense or dealing with China I just can't see it being an issue.



that socierty model is the lifeblood of our long term competitiveness, as it allows both companies but indeed the entire population to "re-tool" and "reeducate" very quickly reacting to emerging markets and trends much faster than say Germany or France would be able to on a national level, we command some of the highest average wages in the world precisely because of the implicit flexibility this society model provides, on the individual level i trade job security for a extensive and reliable safety net that allows me to take chances i would be unable to do other places. the irony is that we have some of the proportionally strongest unions in the world and union membership rates are well past the 50% mark but rather than making the job market inflexible they provide a counterweight to the employers by contributing to both the further education of their members. (my recent 2008r2 Windows Server certification while i was unemployed ? union course, paid by public money) and coming down like 20 tons of brick on anybody gaming the system, the net effect is that my employer may hire or fire me at relatively low cost, 3 month trial periods and 3 months after getting your slip is the common contract terms, and those last three months is not additional pay, you're expected to work the period for your pay, unless you and your employer come to some sort of agreement.

project based hiring is not uncommon, especially in my business (IT) many people live on a "project to project" basis and spend some of their time every year on the dole, but it allows people to specialize to a remarkable degree as well.

of course, the EU in its misguided "lets all be citizens of the new and emerging federal union!" is doing what seems like everything they can to sabotage the system outlined above by allowing and indeed encouraging the practice of social dumping (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_dumping) and so forth as a way to promote the integrated labour market.

the greatest weakness of the Flexsecurity model is that it relies on high participation rates and low unemployment (it becomes untenable at around 10% unemployment). simply put it costs a TON of money to keep the machine turning and once people such as builders start falling out at the bottom because they cannot compete on price with the cheap eastern European the more "abusive" employers import the unions start losing their influence, and the balance of power starts skewing in the employers favour over all.

the problem is not the polish carpenter, the problem is the polish carpenter working for a wage so low that the danish carpenter cant compete due to his much higher cost of living, the result has been in recent years that the security has been steadily eroded away because the economics involved, where as any sort of security has not increased at all.

That's an interesting structure/program, I've never heard of a system like that. In regards to unions, how much of the rest of Europe is unionized? EDIT: Nvm, found it on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UnionDensity.jpg) Hahaha btw, I'm very familiar with the IT people living on a "project by project basis". My dad runs a software development and consulting business out of what should have been his dining room. They used to have a small office, but he only has 3 1/2 employees (counting himself) so now there are three cubicles in his house. :lol: Their business is 99% contract work, 1% products that can be sold.





I fully understand and share Liare's concerns with a different reason here as a citizen of one of the supposed-to-be bullies, Germany.

The overall feeling here is that were good enough when the EU needs our Euros (biggest financial contributor to EU budget), but should "shut-up-you-goddamn-nazis-and-just-open-your-freakin'-wallet" when we feel we could ask to accept some rules in return.

As of now, the EU is set up in favor of smaller member states ... in theory, at least.
- Each country has a veto right, meaning the 500k people of Luxemburg can bring down the whole rest of the EU to a halt.
- Number MEPs/country not propertional to number of citizens/country. I.e. A Luxemburg vote is worth ~14 German votes.
- Each country gets to appoint one person into the EU commission (for you yanks: that's the actual "EU government". Not elected by the people, but appointed by the country's governments)

That the theory. It seems the current realtiy is more like what Liare fears: The "big boys" come to arrangements behind closed doors, ignoring both other member states and their own parliaments & citizens.


Good point. It seems obvious now, but I didn't really think about how Germans/French/British would feel about that sort of balance of power. Getting the large countries on board would probably be much harder than I initially imagined. The voting thing is ironic because that's the same argument I used to convince Liare a federation would be GOOD. Unfortunately, it might even get a little worse for the large countries in a federation. In America, the wealthier coastal states pay way more into the federal government than they get back. On a national level, money flows from the coasts to the shitty inland states like Nebraska. In Europe it'd probably flow from Northern/Western Europe to Southern/Eastern Europe.


[Added]
To clarify: I'd personally like to see a U.S.E. But being intersted in politics since my teen days, I doubt that the current and future generation of politicans (and lobby groups) are able to create an U.S.E. that I (and most other people) would proudly call "my home/country".

I don't blame you, but many many countries outside of Europe have dealt with the same problem.



Fraulin merkel is basically using Greece as a bailout mechanism for German and French banks, if that's not screwing over a junior partner in the union for their own gain then i dont know what it is, what's to prevent that kind of behaviour once we become on "big happy federal family" ? the piddly influence the smaller nations have in the parliament ?

Almost that entire scenario is impossible in a federation. Theoretically, the "National" level European bank would be dealing with that situation in a way that's best for Europe as a whole. Germany as a State (equivalent to California in our US-EU metaphor) wouldn't even have it's own bank or banking policies, and Angela Merkel would be a Governor. Not to mention a federal government would almost certainly have the power to regulate inter-state trade, which *should* prevent States from screwing each other.




Perhaps you could spend some time in Europe and get to know the peoples of some of the different countries; I don't see a lot of grounds for comparison with the USA despite your (understandable) efforts to find the common ground. The largest reason for that is that (almost) nobody wants to be a part of the United States of Europe and most American citizens are happy/proud to be citizens of the USA.

The problem is not as easy as you make it out to be, to my mind because the analogy with the USA is off.


Well I don't think Cue or I would argue it'd be easy, just that it'd probably work better than the EU does. I think the US-EU analogy works pretty well but with language/culture being a bigger barrier in Europe. The point of the analogy isn't that America IS like Europe, it's that is used to be like Europe. Yeah most Americans are now happy to be citizens, but lets not forget that Rick Perry (Republican Presidential nominee and Governor of Texas) talked about Texas seceding like it was a reasonable possibility. Not to mention the fact that more Americans were killed in our civil war than all our other wars combined. And before the US was a federation, we were a confederacy for like 10-15 disastrous years. We started out as a confederacy because the colonies saw themselves as individual nations allied in a war for independence, but still separate entities. I guess the real point of the analogy is that all of the roadblocks for a EF/USE have been overcome by other countries in the past, notably the US.

EDIT: spoilered stuff because holyshitmassivepost

Hel OWeen
September 8 2012, 03:16:25 PM
Fraulin merkel is basically using Greece as a bailout mechanism for German and French banks, if that's not screwing over a junior partner in the union for their own gain then i dont know what it is, what's to prevent that kind of behaviour once we become on "big happy federal family" ? the piddly influence the smaller nations have in the parliament ?

I completely agree. And "their" in this case (just like with the sub-prime crisis 2008 in the U.S.) are the banksters. All the money given to Greece was never meant to help the Greece people, but to bail out the banks and make sure Greece continues to pay its interests ... courtesy of EU citizens tax money.

It was no surprise for me that Draghi decided that the ECB will now start to buy national treasure bonds, although explicitly forbidden by the ECB consitution. Ex-Goldman Sachs dude. Need I to say more? And who finances the ECB? In case you haven't guessed it by now - again the European citizens with their taxes, of course.

We throw billions after billions towards banks, to "calm down" and "stabilizes" the stock/bond markets, while at the same time can't be arsed to shell out some meager 20-50 million EUR and build some much needed kindergarden.

Liare
September 9 2012, 10:59:30 AM
Well first of all, the corporations with massive influence in Washington are NOT the tech companies that get screwed by China's IP theft bullshit, so they haven't made it a big issue. In fact the global mega-corps that lobby in Washington gain so much in trade from China that'd it hurt their business if the US clamped down on China. It's pretty much Silicon Valley vs Wall Street, and Wall Street wins.

Second, "A whole is more then just the sum of it's parts". Europe would have a louder "voice" if it was one federation, rather than the equivalent countries just "speaking" in unison separately. The difference is that if Europe is unified and had much more influence, it might actually have enough "soft power" when combined with American influence, to pressure China to change course. you're forgetting that all empires build on nicking the good ideas from somebody else.

just like china is doing now, it's not in their interest to prevent IP theft, yet they are the worlds largest developing market where the opportunities for "growth" are (you know, the stuff that makes stocks go up, rather than the actual profits of the company in question) so why should they ? they are perfectly capable and willing to lean back and say "that's not our problem :trollface:" just as they are now.

so using it as a argument for a unified europe is a bit silly.


Although an "all in" conflict MIGHT result in nukes flying (really depends on what you mean by "all in"), that's not the scenario that I think is likely to occur. Russia is a rational country, at least most of the time (lolPutin, etc). They weren't "all in" when they attacked Georgia in 2008 and wouldn't be "all in" if they moved against Ukraine in the future. Several nuclear countries have fought each other in the past with conventional armies but not nukes, most notably the USSR and China fighting a series of border wars during the Cold War. It's simply not worth it to them. A standoff between Russia and the EU over Ukraine would be MORE dangerous because neither side is strong enough to get the other to just back down. On the other hand, a standoff between a EF/USE (European Federation/United States of Europe) and Russia would be heavily tilted in Europe's favor, making conflict less likely.

And btw, internal disputes are always a problem, but the one time you can always count on national unity is during war time. In fact, Russia attacking Ukraine could be the catalyst for a unified Europe that Bismarck's engineered Franco-Prussian War was for the unification of Germany. The unity comment could have been addressing something else, but when it comes to national defense or dealing with China I just can't see it being an issue. russia loses badly, joint NATO coalition drives towards moscow with the Russian army unable to put up a credible resistance, that's a lose-lose scenario and likely to see the ICBM's fly after the russian airforce starts using its limited stock of tactical sized weapons.

if russia wins entirely and attempts to carry the war further into western Europe, authorization of tactical nukes in such a scenario is not unlikely and escalation from that point is very likely.

there are no winners when both sides have nuclear weapons, there's compromise of some sort or nuclear Armageddon.


That's an interesting structure/program, I've never heard of a system like that. In regards to unions, how much of the rest of Europe is unionized? EDIT: Nvm, found it on Wikipedia Hahaha btw, I'm very familiar with the IT people living on a "project by project basis". My dad runs a software development and consulting business out of what should have been his dining room. They used to have a small office, but he only has 3 1/2 employees (counting himself) so now there are three cubicles in his house. Their business is 99% contract work, 1% products that can be sold."project by project" living extends well outside of the IT sector, it's more common there and overall and gives a good image of things work for many.


Almost that entire scenario is impossible in a federation. Theoretically, the "National" level European bank would be dealing with that situation in a way that's best for Europe as a whole. Germany as a State (equivalent to California in our US-EU metaphor) wouldn't even have it's own bank or banking policies, and Angela Merkel would be a Governor. Not to mention a federal government would almost certainly have the power to regulate inter-state trade, which *should* prevent States from screwing each other. no, what's supposed to be impossible is the EU and/or the big nations dictating domestic policy of other members.

not that it's actually the case, as the events over the last five years have showed so well.


I completely agree. And "their" in this case (just like with the sub-prime crisis 2008 in the U.S.) are the banksters. All the money given to Greece was never meant to help the Greece people, but to bail out the banks and make sure Greece continues to pay its interests ... courtesy of EU citizens tax money.

It was no surprise for me that Draghi decided that the ECB will now start to buy national treasure bonds, although explicitly forbidden by the ECB consitution. Ex-Goldman Sachs dude. Need I to say more? And who finances the ECB? In case you haven't guessed it by now - again the European citizens with their taxes, of course.

We throw billions after billions towards banks, to "calm down" and "stabilizes" the stock/bond markets, while at the same time can't be arsed to shell out some meager 20-50 million EUR and build some much needed kindergarden. watch citizens of other member countries starve in the street while being told that "there's not enough money to feed them."FYP.

let's keep the facts here to the nastier parts, there's no need to go lightly on anybody's feelings, a run-down kindergarden is sad, a old man shooting himself in public because he does not wish to be a burden to his familiy, but cannot face living out of trash cans is a fucking tragedy.

Hel OWeen
September 10 2012, 05:00:02 PM
I completely agree. And "their" in this case (just like with the sub-prime crisis 2008 in the U.S.) are the banksters. All the money given to Greece was never meant to help the Greece people, but to bail out the banks and make sure Greece continues to pay its interests ... courtesy of EU citizens tax money.

It was no surprise for me that Draghi decided that the ECB will now start to buy national treasure bonds, although explicitly forbidden by the ECB consitution. Ex-Goldman Sachs dude. Need I to say more? And who finances the ECB? In case you haven't guessed it by now - again the European citizens with their taxes, of course.

We throw billions after billions towards banks, to "calm down" and "stabilizes" the stock/bond markets, while at the same time can't be arsed to shell out some meager 20-50 million EUR and build some much needed kindergarden. watch citizens of other member countries starve in the street while being told that "there's not enough money to feed them."FYP.

let's keep the facts here to the nastier parts, there's no need to go lightly on anybody's feelings, a run-down kindergarden is sad, a old man shooting himself in public because he does not wish to be a burden to his familiy, but cannot face living out of trash cans is a fucking tragedy.

Well, as I explained in the first part of that post, although our politicans are not getting tired to claim that "we're helping the Greeks", all the money sent to Athens goes straight away back to the banks (and other financial institutions). Greece Governemt pays the intrests with it. No single Euro any EU member state sends to Greece actually reaches the people. I really feel with the Greeks. But as long as we don't hand out money directly to them, that situation won't change.

And finnaly let's also not forget that there are still EU member states (Bulgaria & Romania come to mind), where the standard of living is lower than in Greece.

indi
September 10 2012, 05:12:08 PM
One of the problems with Greece is that their economy is incredibly informal. They're literally over 50 years behind compared to for instance Germany. Think of their health system where you theoretically are entitled to health care, but nothing will happen until you bribe the doctor. The entire country works that way - the number of civil servants is staggering and retiring at 50? wth? It's hard to bend around to a situation where suddenly everyone realises 'oh wait, we do have to pay taxes'. At the same time, I am looking forward to not retiring before I"m 70 at the earliest, and that's fine - but then I don't really care to see France lowering its retirement age, just to name an example... Bah, it's complicated.

Liare
September 10 2012, 05:16:22 PM
One of the problems with Greece is that their economy is incredibly informal. They're literally over 50 years behind compared to for instance Germany. Think of their health system where you theoretically are entitled to health care, but nothing will happen until you bribe the doctor. The entire country works that way - the number of civil servants is staggering and retiring at 50? wth? It's hard to bend around to a situation where suddenly everyone realises 'oh wait, we do have to pay taxes'. At the same time, I am looking forward to not retiring before I"m 70 at the earliest, and that's fine - but then I don't really care to see France lowering its retirement age, just to name an example... Bah, it's complicated.i like how you expect to retire, rather than die from a heart attack at 80 induced by working 50-70 hours a week the last 40 years with the constant threat of being redundant hanging over your head.

my retirement, that i have been paying into since i turned 25 is more or less a tax free emergency piggybank at this point, things go really really badly (greece/spain badly or wose) it gets liquidated and i jump to another country, i dont expect to ever enjoy that money for a actual retirement.

also, derail. :facepalm:

could the next poster move us back on the traintrack to... well where ever this topic is going.

Nicholai Pestot
September 10 2012, 05:53:22 PM
As a UK citizen I would actually be rather chill about a federal union with zee Germans and the Scandinavian counties. I feel their social policies, work ethic and business methods would mesh well with ours. They would have a positive impact on us and we would have a positive impact on them. Combining the best of these regions would result in something quite awesome.

The rest of Europe can fuck right off.

Liare
September 10 2012, 06:01:16 PM
the irony is that, if the EU collapses the Scandinavian countries are liable to jump into bed and create some sort of mutual cooperation pact, that may or may not end up evolving into a federal state, our economies are that interdependent at this point and unlike the union itself, the social and cultural differences are small enough to make it work if it's possible to find the public backing for it.

ValorousBob
September 10 2012, 06:37:03 PM
Well first of all, the corporations with massive influence in Washington are NOT the tech companies that get screwed by China's IP theft bullshit, so they haven't made it a big issue. In fact the global mega-corps that lobby in Washington gain so much in trade from China that'd it hurt their business if the US clamped down on China. It's pretty much Silicon Valley vs Wall Street, and Wall Street wins.

Second, "A whole is more then just the sum of it's parts". Europe would have a louder "voice" if it was one federation, rather than the equivalent countries just "speaking" in unison separately. The difference is that if Europe is unified and had much more influence, it might actually have enough "soft power" when combined with American influence, to pressure China to change course. you're forgetting that all empires build on nicking the good ideas from somebody else.

just like china is doing now, it's not in their interest to prevent IP theft, yet they are the worlds largest developing market where the opportunities for "growth" are (you know, the stuff that makes stocks go up, rather than the actual profits of the company in question) so why should they ? they are perfectly capable and willing to lean back and say "that's not our problem :trollface:" just as they are now.

so using it as a argument for a unified europe is a bit silly.

I'm not sure about your intention with the first sentence, is that supposed to be a justification for China ignoring international copyright laws?

Of course it's in China's short term interest (medium to long term, not necessarily) to ignore IP/copyright theft, that's part of my point. Since they want to keep doing, the only way to make them stop is having enough leverage/soft power to MAKE them stop. The US can't make them stop on our own, but a the US with a unified Europe would possibly have enough economic and political weight to do so. How is that silly?



Although an "all in" conflict MIGHT result in nukes flying (really depends on what you mean by "all in"), that's not the scenario that I think is likely to occur. Russia is a rational country, at least most of the time (lolPutin, etc). They weren't "all in" when they attacked Georgia in 2008 and wouldn't be "all in" if they moved against Ukraine in the future. Several nuclear countries have fought each other in the past with conventional armies but not nukes, most notably the USSR and China fighting a series of border wars during the Cold War. It's simply not worth it to them. A standoff between Russia and the EU over Ukraine would be MORE dangerous because neither side is strong enough to get the other to just back down. On the other hand, a standoff between a EF/USE (European Federation/United States of Europe) and Russia would be heavily tilted in Europe's favor, making conflict less likely.

And btw, internal disputes are always a problem, but the one time you can always count on national unity is during war time. In fact, Russia attacking Ukraine could be the catalyst for a unified Europe that Bismarck's engineered Franco-Prussian War was for the unification of Germany. The unity comment could have been addressing something else, but when it comes to national defense or dealing with China I just can't see it being an issue. russia loses badly, joint NATO coalition drives towards moscow with the Russian army unable to put up a credible resistance, that's a lose-lose scenario and likely to see the ICBM's fly after the russian airforce starts using its limited stock of tactical sized weapons.

if russia wins entirely and attempts to carry the war further into western Europe, authorization of tactical nukes in such a scenario is not unlikely and escalation from that point is very likely.

there are no winners when both sides have nuclear weapons, there's compromise of some sort or nuclear Armageddon.

I feel like I'm repeating what I said in my previous post, but the situation you're laying out is kind of ridiculous and doesn't present any reason why a European federation would be worse in that situation then what we/you have now. Russia going after Ukraine isn't going to turn into WWIII with tactical nukes. It's geopolitical posturing and maneuvering. NATO trying to march all the way to Moscow is ridiculous; they'd show up, kick Russia out of Ukraine, call a ceasefire and enforce some light punishment on Russia. That's it. As for Russia advancing west past Ukraine, why the fuck would they do that?? Regardless of how shit goes down, Europe being more unified in the face of an external threat is a good thing. My previous post already addressed the idea behind the last part (I bolded it) so I'm gonna stop repeating myself.



Almost that entire scenario is impossible in a federation. Theoretically, the "National" level European bank would be dealing with that situation in a way that's best for Europe as a whole. Germany as a State (equivalent to California in our US-EU metaphor) wouldn't even have it's own bank or banking policies, and Angela Merkel would be a Governor. Not to mention a federal government would almost certainly have the power to regulate inter-state trade, which *should* prevent States from screwing each other. no, what's supposed to be impossible is the EU and/or the big nations dictating domestic policy of other members.

not that it's actually the case, as the events over the last five years have showed so well.

So? You gave a scenario that you thought shouldn't happen and I demonstrated how a federation should prevent that scenario. I don't see how current EU faggotry is relevant to that.

Liare
September 10 2012, 06:46:48 PM
I'm not sure about your intention with the first sentence, is that supposed to be a justification for China ignoring international copyright laws?

Of course it's in China's short term interest (medium to long term, not necessarily) to ignore IP/copyright theft, that's part of my point. Since they want to keep doing, the only way to make them stop is having enough leverage/soft power to MAKE them stop. The US can't make them stop on our own, but a the US with a unified Europe would possibly have enough economic and political weight to do so. How is that silly?no, my point is that it's economically and politically unfeasable to stop trading with China, so adding another "powerful" (for some degree of "powerful" given of fragmented the backing to a unified federal state here will be) waving their proverbial cocks about in anger is still not going to stop the Chinese from nodding and doing nothing because doing so is precisely in their interest.


I feel like I'm repeating what I said in my previous post, but the situation you're laying out is kind of ridiculous and doesn't present any reason why a European federation would be worse in that situation then what we/you have now. Russia going after Ukraine isn't going to turn into WWIII with tactical nukes. It's geopolitical posturing and maneuvering. NATO trying to march all the way to Moscow is ridiculous; they'd show up, kick Russia out of Ukraine, call a ceasefire and enforce some light punishment on Russia. That's it. As for Russia advancing west past Ukraine, why the fuck would they do that?? Regardless of how shit goes down, Europe being more unified in the face of an external threat is a good thing. My previous post already addressed the idea behind the last part (I bolded it) so I'm gonna stop repeating myself.i would hope it's entirely ridiculous, because it's a prelude to a nightmare scenario over here. :)

my point is that the NATO pacts provide the needed security, so using security as a leverage for a federal state is only really viable in case of internal unrest of some sort, you know, precisely the scenario nobody wants.


So? You gave a scenario that you thought shouldn't happen and I demonstrated how a federation should prevent that scenario. I don't see how current EU faggotry is relevant to that. i gave a example of current faggotry that's supposed to be impossible, but clearly is not, so what makes you assume a Federation is going to prevent further faggotry ?

the union apparatus is already making a virtue of ignoring the rules that are supposed to bind it, and you argue for transferring more power into that?

Hast
September 10 2012, 07:55:28 PM
the irony is that, if the EU collapses the Scandinavian countries are liable to jump into bed and create some sort of mutual cooperation pact, that may or may not end up evolving into a federal state, our economies are that interdependent at this point and unlike the union itself, the social and cultural differences are small enough to make it work if it's possible to find the public backing for it.

This is a highly Danish and possibly Swedish point of view. Most Norwegian do not feel this way at all, we haven't forgotten the Kalmar union, danish rule from 1536–1814 and then swedish rule from 1814-1905. ;)

indi
September 10 2012, 08:09:17 PM
the irony is that, if the EU collapses the Scandinavian countries are liable to jump into bed and create some sort of mutual cooperation pact, that may or may not end up evolving into a federal state, our economies are that interdependent at this point and unlike the union itself, the social and cultural differences are small enough to make it work if it's possible to find the public backing for it.

Same here at the very least with Germany. Belgium & Luxembourg would probably follow along.

Liare
September 10 2012, 08:10:59 PM
the irony is that, if the EU collapses the Scandinavian countries are liable to jump into bed and create some sort of mutual cooperation pact, that may or may not end up evolving into a federal state, our economies are that interdependent at this point and unlike the union itself, the social and cultural differences are small enough to make it work if it's possible to find the public backing for it.

This is a highly Danish and possibly Swedish point of view. Most Norwegian do not feel this way at all, we haven't forgotten the Kalmar union, danish rule from 1536–1814 and then swedish rule from 1814-1905. ;)push comes to shove, we have invaded you before and won individually, working together should present a minimum of problems. ;)

in all honesty, any such "federal union" would be 30-100 years or more down the line, but in case of the EU coming crashing down i can definitely see the Scandinavian countries, including Finland and possibly the Baltic countries joining some sort of union construct centred around the same principles that govern the current "common market" but without a lot of the needless and downright unwanted fluff that the EU brings to the table.

maybe we should invite those strange blokes up from Iceland too. ;)

Diicc Tater
September 11 2012, 06:59:45 AM
The Nordic Council has been acting for at least 50 years. It's one of the reasons we could go between Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland without passports and that we already had a "shared" labor market.
It has reduced impact since the EU came about though.

I would expect it to be reinforced should the EU fall.
The members are Denmark, Finland, Faroe Islands*, Geenland*, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Åland*.
(*autonomous subarea or province).

Liare
September 11 2012, 05:34:36 PM
The Nordic Council has been acting for at least 50 years. It's one of the reasons we could go between Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland without passports and that we already had a "shared" labor market.
It has reduced impact since the EU came about though.

I would expect it to be reinforced should the EU fall.
The members are Denmark, Finland, Faroe Islands*, Geenland*, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Åland*.
(*autonomous subarea or province).oi, thanks for pointing that out.
odd how that's mostly glossed over here, with a bunch of "it was all the unions idea!" lipstick applied, or maybe not given all our mainstream political parties support the union, i knew of the Nordic council of course but always perceived it as a "regional discussion forum" sort of thing.

anyways, plus reps for that.

Diicc Tater
September 12 2012, 11:34:19 AM
oi, thanks for pointing that out.
odd how that's mostly glossed over here, with a bunch of "it was all the unions idea!" lipstick applied, or maybe not given all our mainstream political parties support the union, i knew of the Nordic council of course but always perceived it as a "regional discussion forum" sort of thing.

anyways, plus reps for that.

Well, it is a bit of a hassle to pinpoint what they do. There is the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Council.