Sunday, January 11, 2004

Michael--"Your servant"--you're silly! I'm the American, everybody's servant, remember? Wink, wink!
OK, our odd humor aside, thanks for the great post. I've really gone from worrying that the EU will be like the UN to worrying that the EU will be like a larger version of the US government over the last few weeks of having your posts to read. We (Americans) know too well about the "negotiating" that goes on to pass something if it is blocked, here it has ballooned into the most ridiculous waste of our money EVER. Hmm, the Senator from Illinois is going to block that vote that we really need, we'll give Illinois $3 million written into the bill (because we know that our constituency never actually reads the laws that we write, if they read them all they wouldn't have time to sleep, work, and raise a family) for a new multi cultural center. Well, if Europe wants to give more money to larger government, I guess that it shouldn't worry me. But that is why we all think that the EU is a disaster in the making economically. Though much younger than Europe, this is one area where we have more experience.

And contrary to the UN, the EU?s countries? economies are getting so intertwined there?s plenty of room for bargaining, so that if again France would refuse to bend, it has to reckon that e.g. other countries won?t be that indulgent when at a next meeting Frances interests would be more directly involved.

This is a really adequate parallel to our states in the US, the economies are intertwined, and it forces bargaining, but if say Texas refuses to bend on a bill that would be great for its southwestern neighbors, but bad for Texas, and they block it, guess what happens? One of two things, either just what you said, which means when Texas needs something, Arizona and New Mexico et al decide they will block it causing a huge stalemate paid for by YOU while these idiots hammer it out, and nothing happens, OR more likely Texas in turn sweetens the deal with something for Arizona to get their vote, again paid for by YOU. In theory, we all have control over this, because we are a democratic nation, and can complain enough to our Senators or Representatives to get them to truly represent us. However, here's where the inequality comes in. CA being a more populated state has far more Representatives in the House than say, Maine. (Kind of like France and Germany having by far the most seats in the EU parliament.) Population is not always indicative of monies contributed to the tax base, since there are many factors, how much of the population is at what income level, how friendly that state is to businesses, etc. However, if I make $60,000 per year, my federal income tax is the same as anyone else anywhere in the US that makes that. So my FICA is helping to pay for more things in states with higher populations and more seats than it is doing things for my own state here in Maine. And people actually believe that the electoral system should be done away with! Good Lord, what a disaster that would be! Anyway, the idea is that the Senate is a "check" to that, but if the House passes something by an overwhelming margin, it is seen as being supported by the American people, so it usually passes the Senate at that point.

I'm just putting this out there, it isn't definitively what would happen in the EU, again, it has just been our experience that more government isn't necessarily better government.

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