Beyond the Cusp

July 2, 2016

The Real Reason for the European Union

 

Brexit is a great thing no matter what those experts on the left and right and in between are telling us. The entire political establishment is furious over the British vote against a unifying of Europe which eventually was to surrender to a unified world order. But that was not the reason the European Union was originally founded and nobody wants to talk about the real reasons behind the European Union (EU).

 

To figure out the real reasoning that formed the EU one needs to go back to the original concept and who were the nations pushing the hardest for an EU and who originally opposed it. The origins of the EU were formed and fashioned between Paris and Berlin, the two main engines to fuel the original EU. Britain was the original opposition and this was to be expected. What the EU was to be was the manner for Germany to finally conquer all of Europe this time instead of militarily to simply take over economically. The Euro was and remains most closely aligned with the German economy. It has little if anything to do with the more agrarian economies and was completely ignored until it became so dire that nobody could endure it any longer as the economic collapses of Spain and Greece and the near collapse of Italy and others signaled the depth the problem had reached. The EU did not take into its planning to any degree the needs of the former Soviet bloc Warsaw Pact nations when they entered the EU in near desperate need of massive infusions of funds to rebuild an infrastructure which was crumbling. Eventually some funding was made available and it was impressed as to how much Germany was sacrificing on their behalf. The assistance to Greece was another expression of German sacrifice and investment. Everything in the EU revolves around German economic power and its influence.

 

The EU really should have been named the Franco-Germanic Economic Empire. This has proven to be the preferred actions for the economic regulators in Brussels which ruled autocratically and approved actions unconscionable by any elected body elsewhere in the world. They overturned laws passed by elected parliaments and approved by the people but opposed by the controllers of this unelected hive mind of bureaucrats who decided they knew what was best more than the elected officials of member governments. The EU controlled trade relations and refused to allow member nations to make any trade deals or negotiate for mutual tariff relief with nations outside the EU. One example which will soon become very evident is now Britain will soon make deals with China, India, Brazil and others where they arrange to conduct free trade agreements, something Britain was barred from doing as a member of the EU because that would not be fair to other nations in the EU. This begs the question of why there was never an effort to have a free trade agreement between China and the EU. The reason is that Germany desired to have the advantage of free trade while blocking any competing nation entry into the German trade block which members of the EU were forced into by the bureaucrats who knew who paid their salaries and supported the main functions of the EU and would do anything and everything demanded to protect German trade relations and to increase the German trade advantage in Europe. With the Euro pegged to the German economy it further gave an advantage to German goods and services as the money used for trade was pegged to their goods and others who may have not quite matched German production paid the price.

 

It is kind of interesting that the EU headquarters was a stone’s throw from both Paris and Berlin, sitting in Brussels, Belgium which is sandwiched between Germany and France and has a history with both. That most nations in the EU were fully vested was in a manner their surrender to the economic drivers of the EU. The fact that the British also were a powerful economic nation, that their acceptance of the EU was conditional, and they kept their currency, the Pound Sterling, independent from the Euro and always available should things turn badly for the EU and Euro crash in value, Britain could fall back on their natural currency to continue to trade and deal with the rest of the world. That fall back will facilitate their departure making it all the easier. Still there are a number of hurdles which could still prevent Brexit from becoming a reality despite the vote by the people. The entire idea could still be presented to the parliament and they could decide that remaining in the EU is the wiser course and the Prime Minister, either Cameron or whoever replaces him after the elections could agree with the Parliament and that would be the end of Brexit so to speak. There is an even bet that the leaving of the EU could be brought before the Parliament as there are many politicians willing to oppose the popular vote and risk their, or enhance depending on their region and its electorate, seat in the coming elections.

 

Pound Sterling

Pound Sterling

 

One can bet that the many areas of Britain will vote their next election along the line of for or against Brexit and that Brexit will be the defining item in the minds of the people. The representatives of the London area and other major metropolises where the voters favored remaining in the EU will elect their parliament members accordingly. The more rural and suburban areas, where the people are somewhat more self-reliant, will vote for representatives who support independence from the EU, as they voted quite overwhelmingly, to the great surprise of almost every pollster and many of those predicting the failure of the Brexit proposition, to politely depart the EU. We are glad we supported Brexit for our British friends as we almost always will fall on the side of independence from bureaucratic dictatorial bodies, a.k.a. the European Union. Our best wishes to the British and we hope that others find their way clear of the overreaching arms of the Brussels Bureaucracy. Perhaps Brussels Bureaucracy, or the Double B, should have been the proper name for the EU as BB is even more simple an abbreviation and rolls off the tongue so much easier. Try it, BB or EU, EU sounds too close to something yucky, you know, ‘ew’ as an expression to an awful smell, rhymes with PU. Britain will hopefully be back dependent solely on the Pound Sterling and will soon arrange free trade with the China, Brazil, India and even United States, after President Obama exits office as he does not particularly like Britain as proven when he discarded the bust of Winston Churchill back to Britain as President Obama believes that the man who saved the world from Hitler was a despicable human being. If the British are seeking an honored place for that particular sculpture, we would love to give it a place of honor and show it off to our many British friends here in our little corner of the world. E-mail us if you are interested as we would be honored to have such a prized possession. To be able to say that we are hosting the bust of Winston Churchill that President Obama so ingloriously returned to Britain as a slap in the face and insult would make us prouder than a peacock in full plumage.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 29, 2016

Why the European Union Will Die

 

After our Brexit article some inquired why we claimed the European Union would die, or more aptly, implode, as we had stated at one point. A few expressly pointed to the fact that there were signs of economic recovery and that the steps taken by the European Union were working to bring the troubled nations, especially Spain and Italy, back from the brink. While it would be quite a blessing should the European Union make a recovery of unparalleled dimensions resembling the great periods of the post-World War II era but the likelihood is slender as there is not about to be another Marshall Plan as the United States too is facing lean years and will be working on their own recovery for the immediate future. The challenges to the Western World are mounting and if not addressed and some mitigation found the refugees flowing into Europe and North America on top of the brutal effects the refugees are placing on Turkey and more so on Jordan threaten to topple leaders as the strains on the economies will be extensive.

 

The challenge for Europeans as well as Turkey and Jordan will be to alter the manner in which they treat refugees and those who come from foreign extraction and to integrate them into their society rather than all but forcing them to live in autonomous zones separate and anything but equal. The French produced a 2,200-page report, “Banlieue de la République.” The report had numerous suggestions and goals which could be enacted which might alleviate some of the difficulties but are unlikely to see the light of day. The challenges listed in the French report can easily be applied to the other nations, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Finland, Britain and other nations will be a test of whether Europe can adapt and commit to integrating those who are unlike the native population as unless the Muslims are integrated and have opportunities the probability of rioting and radicalization rises. We are not equating lack of work and the other poverty and similar tags which have often been blamed for terrorism as not even claiming that their frustration and lack of address of grievances by government will produce terrorism, we are identifying such as a drain on the finances and budgetary balancing will be a factor which may tip the scales from an affordable situation to a destabilizing financial drain. Such situations can also be exploited leading to rioting and lawlessness. The same is true for Turkey and Jordan as their economies are not so vigorous such that they can integrate the thousands upon thousands of refugees which are streaming across their borders. Jordan has the added problem of refugees streaming in from Iraq as well. Even Israel is feeling some financial effects as she is called upon increasingly to provide medical treatment both for refugees as well as injured fighters from the various factions in the Syrian war zones, many of which are bordering the Israeli Golan Heights which makes Israel the best place to get emergency treatments. 

 

What will come about is the death of the European Union as a super-governance or providing a standard currency and economic plans as it has been the disparate rules and economic plans which are not universal which has caused much of the problems. With the work week standard being a 40 hour week we find that those who do work from national average to another are surprising in the numbers we were able to find from 2013 with Greece leading at 42.0 and the Netherlands with a mere 30.0 (see below).

 

European Average Hours Worked by Those with Employment

European Average Hours Worked by Those with Employment

 

The next important, actually vital, statistic is the unemployment rate by nation. We found records for 2014 and 2015 graphed (see below) where the lowest recorded at 5% for Austria followed closely by Germany and with Greece and Spain hovering at about 25%. During our researching we found that Youth unemployment usually ran from half again to around double the figures for population in total.

 

European Unemployment by Country for 2014 and 2015

European Unemployment by Country for 2014 and 2015

 

Another measure of the health of an economy is the debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a measurement where the lower the percentage the healthier the national economy. The percentages range from Sweden at 38% all the way to Greece at 157%. (see below) The one regularity which one has seen consistently was that Greece and Spain are at the end of the figures which are least desirable and Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian nations tend to be the most desirable positions which also explains why these nations rated amongst the happiest of nations in Europe. The main rational behind these numerous graphs and statistics was to generate the vast disparity between many of the European Union nations and to point out why the sharing of a singular currency, the Euro, places strains and limitations on the necessary monetary policies each individual nation has at their disposal as well as economic policy restrictions. For those at the disadvantaged end of the scales their not having their own adjustable currency means that they must make allowances in policies to the largest economic powers as they drive the European Union’s viability but while doing so they imperil the lesser economies.

 

Debt Expressed as % of GDP for European Nations

Debt Expressed as % of GDP for European Nations

 

The difficulties the European Union is facing goes beyond the individual national monetary and fiscal policies and the single currency enforcing economic policies of the strongest power nations upon the least national economies thus perpetuating their difficulty and in most cases condemning them to deficit spending and an ever rising debt load with little if any recourse. The financial difficulties are aggravated further by the bureaucracy in Brussels which continues to grow and demand more and more treasure be skimmed from the economy of the entirety of the European Union nations. This results in an ever more drastic effect upon the economically weaker nations sending their finances ever further into the red. The European Union regulation are simply one more drain on every economy throughout the European Union and once more the effect is disproportionally more dramatic on the weakest once again. When one observes the growth of the European Union Legislation and Legal Action Surge one starts to realize exactly where and why the European Union will eventually legislate itself out of existence.

 

Growth in European Union Legislation And Legal Action Surge 1973 to 2008

Growth in European Union Legislation
And Legal Action Surge 1973 to 2008

 

The vote next month will tell the story and will very likely be the last chance for the Western World to finally start to turn away from socialism and its guaranteed outcomes instead of simply providing a guaranteed equality of opportunity and a level playing field. Initially when the precursor of the European Union started, the European Common Market, it worked well as it basically created a low or no tariff zone within Europe for its member states. By the time it had grown and transited into the European Union it was already showing signs of becoming a super governance which was obviously heading to becoming the central power over the entirety of Europe. This was made all the worse by the fact that many of those in positions of influence and power were unelected individuals who need not report to any individual nation as they were employed to look out for the European Union and not babysit or hold the hand of any one country. From this humble beginning the European Union began to write large edicts. Many were about certain levels of pollutants one might put into the air, water or ground and also writing the procedures for handling and disposing of poisonous chemicals. Many of these regulations were quite important such as where to store spent nuclear fuel rods safely. The European Union also set standards for each nation on pollution control due to agreements entered into either by the nations or the European Union. Soon the European Union has become a super government which rules in a dictatorial manner with the individual European nations being incapable of altering their relations once a decision has come down from on high in Brussels.

 

This is part of what has galled many British voters and it is only the youth who have graduated within the past decade and probably left university knowing less than they went in but are now assured that they know everything and it will be their charge to come out and teach those out in the workforce what is the only approved manner of performing any work. They will expound regularly the complaints about income inequality and how it is not fair that older people receive higher salaries just because they have proven their ability, which, they will tell us, is a form of ageism except this particular time it is the youth at a disadvantage. Once the youth of today become a majority, be prepared for their instruction in college to come to the fore in our society and Capitalism will disappear and Socialism will become the new perfection of society and our national problems. They will address the income inequality by setting a maximum wage one will be permitted. Let us assume we have two people, one making 35,000 Euro per year and another making 250,000 Euro per year. Without even addressing how these two individuals came to be making such different amounts but will defer to the one making the higher wage and simple make the difference far less. Their newly adjusted salaries after the equality of worth standings are applied result in the first gentleman going from making 35,000 Euros per year to making 95,000 Euros per year and the gentleman who once made 250,000 Euros per year will now be making 135,000 Euros per year leaving the government with 55,000 Euros in redistribution fees. This will be the future when the youth get to make all the decisions across Europe and then slowly the rest of the Western World. Between an economy teetering on the point of exasperation and a flooding of refugees who are largely seeking the government relief and expecting the government to feed, clothe and house them and pay them salaries as they were told was their right upon arrival. The refugees seeking such as this will be the lesser of the problems as there are those who upon arrival disappeared into the woodwork and have yet to be found and it is these individuals who are most likely terrorists planted within the midst of the Europeans and the Americans and Western nations as ticking time bombs primed and ready to detonate at a moment’s notice.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 16, 2016

Should the Haredi be an Israeli Priesthood?

 

There are a number of schools of thought on whether or not the Haredi should be permitted to study Torah and allow that to be their contribution generally to Israeli society. Some are demanding that the Haredi face mandatory enlistment into the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) exactly the same as the rest of Jewish youths. Some are in favor of just young men while permitting the women not need to be enlisted with some claiming they be encouraged or made to serve in alternate public service. Then there are those who desire to allow the entirety of Haredi population simply lead pious lives dedicated to learning Torah with the referencing the numerous Haredi who spend as much as twelve hours every day except Sabbath either in services or learning Torah. Some less observant Israelis have pointed out the appearance of Haredi young men apparently strolling parks or in other non-study activities as proof that such a deferment for Torah study has been abused by some Haredi with which they broad brush the entirety of Haredi. There are few who desire to force the true and studious Torah scholars to not be permitted their honest scholarly pursuits as thus too is an important service whether all understand or even believe such dedication actually serve the State. Any serious answer to this situation, this challenge to the leadership of both the State of Israel and the Haredi society must find a reasonable and sensible solution which also takes into account some obvious demographic realities of the situation.

 

The one problem is that the Haredi community is a growing sector which would eventually reach a critical percentage where they would exceed the ability of the nation to support their complete absence from the societal productive engines. Simply stated, at some point in the not far distant future the Haredi community will be required to become productive if only to offset any costs their entire segment of society places on the State. The claim that the Haredi cover their own costs may be accurate to a point but at some point just producing sufficient food and clothing would exceed the potential of the state to produce and/or import even if the Haredi pay for their consumption as should they become over half, if not merely a lesser percentage, the production of the remainder of the population could not produce sufficient without employing the entirety of the remainder at a pace to support twice their population. At some point the Haredi will be made to make a judgement of which of their population show a particular promise or special talent lending them capable of receiving support to dedicate themselves to Torah study and such deferment should also be provided for any Israeli judged and desiring such dedication. There should be similar requirements as exist for professors at universities and colleges or teaching at Yeshivas. Also the Yeshivas should also be teaching at the least a basic education in addition to Torah study and perhaps a Torah curriculum for the public schools could be taught by religious scholars not just at Yeshivas. Such dispensations could and should be pursued with a plan to utilize those best suited in Torah scholarship to pursue such ends while it will soon be imperative for parts of the Haredi community to join the workforce and also serve in the IDF in special units which would allow for their observant lifestyle and restrictions not be challenged either intentionally, as has been the appearance in some instances, or through misunderstanding. These units will also likely require that a percentage, if not majority, of the officers and command chain be Haredi such that the sensitivities of these units will be better accommodated and understood by their commanders. If Israel is going to be serious about incorporating the Haredi into the society as a whole and especially into the IDF then some accommodations will be required and some give and take will be necessary on both sides. This will even include some arrangements with employers which will benefit all religious Jews and give some additional freedom to secular Jews and Israelis who are not particularly or even slightly Jewish. These accommodations will necessarily include scheduling such that the Sabbath is a say free of work with the obvious exception should rotation require a Haredi combat or mission necessary unit be scheduled for a rotation which counters Sabbath as defense of the nation is an exception recognized under Torah and universally.

 

 

Haredi Soldiers Taking Time for Morning Prayers in the Field During Training

Haredi Soldiers Taking Time
for Morning Prayers in the
Field During Training

 

The accommodations in the workplace would be no different than the accommodations granted Islamic religious members of the workplace who require prayer five times each day with the times set fairly rigidly. There should also be a liberalized attire universally applied for any group which had certain requirements for their appearance and attire. As stated, such accommodations should be universal and inclusive such that every group is comfortable and not unnecessarily required to break with traditional attire whenever possible. Needless to point out, should the required attire of a workplace stand counter to one’s religious requirements they should not seek employ in such locations such as nightclubs, clothing stores with secular progressive clothing requirements, and any place equally obvious which would be stated up front such that those who objected to the requirements would know not to seek employment in such places. There has to be certain rights both respecting the employer as well as the employees. An upscale and modern liberal clothing store would not be a place where Haredi or Islamic attire would be an accepted uniform, of sorts, attire which would necessarily show off such attire as part of being a salesperson. Some things should be obvious even to the most casual of observers, and the law should recognize the right of an employer to have appropriate attire and acceptance of the cliental and activities. A disco might not be an acceptable place for a strictly religious person of many faiths to choose work and such a place could have expectations which would exclude such employees in the first place. Such things should be obvious, period.

 

Military uniforms and other specific requirements for position are also understandable. An elite force which is designed to deploy places where the requirement might include wearing of a gas mask that people with full beards would have difficulties with such a mask and thus might not desire such an assignment or must be willing to remove their facial hair. As far as working in close proximity with women offending some stridently observant individuals, there should be accommodations and allowances whenever and wherever imaginable with a very liberal interpretation if such is possible. The scheduling women singing before a Haredi unit should never even cross the minds of commanders and if such were to be scheduled, then those wishing to excuse themselves should be granted alternate assignments and not just necessarily set free of any work related requirements. They might perhaps be assigned other duties such as cleaning communal areas or guard duty or other duty as seen fit in place of the setting they find objectionable. There is always something that requires doing in a military setting or they could be assigned policing the area of the performance after its completion. Such assignments would be at the discretion of the commanders of each unit.

 

The Haredi community should be granted generous liberties to define who amongst their community show and should be granted liberal special rights classifying them as a Torah sage or an astute and capable educator capable of inspiring students in the ways of Torah and the Written and Oral Laws. Whether or not a quota or percentile of the Haredi population will be permitted special observance privileges to spend their lives studying Torah or teaching Torah and the commandments and traditions in an inspiring fashion will largely depend on the responsible response and classification of their population between dedicated Torah scholars and teachers and those who will serve in the IDF or social services will, in the best possible of worlds, be left to the Haredi for as long as they perform these functions responsibly. Such a compromise needs to be reached such that both the Haredi and the general population are served through a mutual agreement and not through actual legislation, laws, court cases and general animosity. The reality is both the general Israeli public and especially the Haredi are majority Jewish populations and it would be nice to believe they could reach some accord which satisfies both communities. One can only hope that such an agreement is possible and can be attained with minimal if any acrimony as we are both majority Jewish, right?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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