Roland Dürre
Monday June 18th, 2012

EURO + GREECE + BILLIONS + FUTURE

On Sunday evening, I watched “The News”. Incidentally, this is a stupid euphemism! How would you watch news?

I found it remarkable that they were talking about a “Fateful Hour for Europe”. Just because they had tiny general elections in a tiny European country.  Incidentally, the same country will get a really serious beating next Friday in the soccer game. Because they misbehaved big time.

🙂 Or maybe they will cause a sensation. Well, when we are talking soccer, nothing is impossible.

But they call it a “Fateful Hour” – and for all of Europe, at that! Another one of those euphemisms. Are we looking at the next “European War”, or what?

So what is this all about?

For me, the Munich decision about the Third Runway is more important. Perhaps this is really the beginning of an about-face – away from the concrete-chromium-jet-set society? I am not yet courageous enough to be hopeful.

But let us get back to all those billions. In German, one billion means 1,000 times 1,000 million. Unlike the British convention!
Then I heard in the news how fortunate it is for us Germans, too, that Greece will now remain in the EURO zone (?). Otherwise, we Germans would have had to pay additional costs to the tune of more than 100 billion Euros.

Now that, too, is bullshit. But even if it were so: what is an extra 100 billion in this game? In this game, the public corporations of the FRG are already indebted by more than 2,000 billion Euros. Not too long ago, it was a little less than 2,000 billion. In view of this, 100 billion are less than 5 %. This is ridiculous.

And currently the national debt is increasing faster than ever before, regardless of the “debt brake” (another one of those linguistic stupidities) and “an overwhelming tax flow”. Neither the “obligation to economize“, nor the “fiscal package“ (again twice linguistic stupidity) can change anything about that fact. The system is no longer linked to a person. It just runs as it runs.
Besides, it is quite irrelevant whether we reach the 3,000 billion for our national debt sooner or later. Basically, it is quite simple:

This kind of national debt, no matter if we are talking Germany, Greece, Europe or the USA, can only be overcome by one means: inflation (or even better: collapse of the currency).

Let us discuss the friendlier version: inflation (I consider collapse rather unlikely, which is why I am not discussing it).
If we want to achieve a nominal reduction from 2 billion in real debt to 1 billion in a certain time interval (let us say, for instance, five years), then the value of the money must be reduced to half its worth. If we want a reduction from nominally three to one billion, then the money value must be reduced by the factor three. In terms of inflation, there is not that much difference, is there?

Firstly, it is not such a bad idea if the very rich, for a change, have to let go of some of their wealth. The determining factor whether or not someone is going to lose or actually even profit is his or her mixture of investments. And this is one area where the rich cannot be sure about the best strategy. Gold and real estates will not necessarily be the best choice. Which is why mostly the losers are in the majority. In the past, quite a few millionaires ended up paupers.

Unfortunately, the truly poor people who have nothing but their retirement money are the real losers. For instance “Grandma with her savings account” or the “Hartz 4″ recipient. And many more. But it will happen anyway. All we can hope for is that the pain will be eased a little.

Maybe the solution is actually some sort of “un-conditional basic income” – along with supplementary occupations in the typical low-income sector. There is enough work in our society – even for the so-called “social fringe groups“ and “persons with few qualifications“ (another one of those unfortunate phrases).

When we are talking inflation, we often forget that many basic necessities, such as food, are still relatively cheap in Germany, regardless of all the inflation we have. With many products, inflation was softened in the past through an “increase in productivity“ and a “readiness to forego top quality”.

The latter of the two aspects is something I cannot understand. But it can be explained by a (slow) adaption to the lower living standards based on the consumer being massively influenced towards poorer but more attractively labeled products – which, in actual fact reveal a tendency towards an abnormal living quality – through marketing.

The former of the two aspects, increased productivity, might well be a dying swan. After all, “increased productivity“ is only partly due to “real creativity“ and “innovative solutions“. In fact, it is mostly more the result of us treating nature and resources extremely lavishly. Along with a systematic exploitation of humans, both here and in other regions of the world. Using humans and nature in a “non-sustainable“ way might be another one of those euphemisms.

Well, the wealthy people, in particular, are now changing their consumer habits. More and more often, quality beats quantity. It gets more attractive to have “less” instead of “more”.

We face many problems – and they get more and more obvious. However, the only way to solve them will be through creativity, innovation and a different mental concept. “Everything is functioning quite well” and “this is what we always did” will get us nowhere!

So here we go – start NOW

RMD
(Translated by EG)

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