Sent: 11-10-2011 10:38:04
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Europe's Problems and Dissent
As the fate of the euro and its twin, the euro project, lapses from one crisis to another, it's sometimes useful to remember how we got into this mess in the first place.
Europe's - and Japan's - problems are actually quite simple. They have social security systems which are based on an increasing working population but have failed to have enough children to provide that larger workforce. Despite the falling numbers of workers everyone remains entitled to receive their "promised" government benefits.
In Greece 100 grandparents have 42 grandchildren.
China is repeating this mistake with staggering success. A Chinese Government official recently told a US Federal Parliamentary Committee that their population was 400 million less because of its one child policy. For a nation of about 1.2 billion people that's some reduction.
Putting this to one side - when the euro currency came in, I never expected it to last very long. I mostly kept my views to myself because I'm not an expert on these matters and also because all of my colleagues, in concert with the 'experts', were very much in favour of it. (As an aside I think the euro will continue for a while yet because the political class has spent a lot of political capital and can't walk away from this obvious disaster without a significant fight.)
More to the point the treatment of people who sought to vocally argue against such obviously good policies was ostracism of a swift and often brutal kind.
It reminds me of the treatment of people who opposed the republic referendum over 10 years ago. I'm very much in favour of constitutional monarchy because it's about the only effective check on the power of politicians who always look to take our freedoms away by assuming more authority. But heaven help anyone who said this out loud in Australian business circles in 1999.
Just after the republic referendum was defeated, by chance, I was part of a group which included the MD of the organisation I then worked for. Asked about the failure of the referendum, our MD said, "I'm yet to meet anyone who voted against it.".
Dopey me spoke up and said, "Well I voted against it." The look of horror and disbelief on his and my other colleagues' faces told me I'd made a terrible mistake in speaking up. If only I'd used my common sense and kept quiet!
And so we come to global warming, climate change, energy efficiency or whatever problem the carbon tax is actually attempting to solve. It doesn't matter what your views are on this subject. If you express any doubt about an aspect of the policy, or so called settled science behind it, you're treated with the same disdain that is normally reserved for religious nutters.
There is a brilliant new publication about the euro and the people - primarily from the British point of view - who argued against it when there was a big push in the UK to join it. I would be surprised if there is anyone in the UK today who isn't extremely grateful that they didn't buy into the euro lemon. You can find out more about these people and the treatment they received in this article:
But better still buy the booklet, "Guilty Men" that is mentioned in the article. It will make your hair stand on end and hopefully make you stand back and call 'Stop' the next time everyone is aggressively in favour of a policy which everyone seems to agree will recreate the Garden of Eden.
Finally please consider purchasing a copy of my book "A How To Book Of Self Managed Super Funds". You can look at the contents page at the following link: http://www.atcbiz.com.au/r.php?r=0mjd6ne
For details of the changes made from version 4 to version 5 visit: http://www.atcbiz.com.au/r.php?r=d5xcpch
As you'll see from the list there have been many changes.
Two purchase options are available - once only subscription - $55 inc GST - or an annual subscription will gives you access to all the updates made throughout the year ($120 inc GST). The book can be purchased at the following link: http://www.atcbiz.com.au/r.php?r=5a4agqb
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