Saturday, April 23, 2005

How do the welfare states exploit and oppress the world? This is a subject that has manifold aspects to it, and I will have to write and expand on it in sections, time permitting. (In the end, work takes priority).

There are several broad arenas to examine:

1. The exploitative yet dependent relationship welfare states (the EU) have to a group of worker-consumers (the US) that do not have welfare state protections, but who must continue to lack welfare state protections in order to guarantee welfare state protections for the EU.

Contrary to the common impression – that this relationship happened accidentally, and that the exploited quite willingly acceded to their role – it is clear that the European leadership always knew what they were doing, and continue to deceive the European public as to the reality of the relationship.

2. Welfare states have engendered a class system that is controlled by an elite which consciously limits possibilities for class mobility.

Social strata are codified, even if the need for such strata is suspect. Look at the number of farmers that are kept in farms, when there is no need for such numbers. Look at the number of workers that are kept in factories, when there is no need for them anymore. And look at the elite that makes the decisions where everyone is kept, when there is no need for them anymore, either.

In the end, social democracy is a benign form of communism, but perhaps because it is so benign it is more insidious than communism.

3. Welfare states burn up the wealth and resources of the world, without giving anything of equal or of enhanced value back in return.

Shorter working hours and leisurely living arrangements of welfare states are touted as a value and a resource, but they are completely lost hours and lost resources, as they produce nothing of real value that can be shared with the rest of the world. Those values are also guaranteed at the expense of the Third World, who wind up being the biggest losers, if welfare states are the winners. Contrast that to the US worker, who works longer hours, and shares more of the wealth and knowledge created from that labor with the rest of the world, - than the EU is ever willing to do.

4. Welfare states spread their statist ideology to Third World entities without regard to the harm it causes.

The reason they do this is simply to guarantee their own survival against the free market model. Never mind that the resultant poverty winds up causing more havoc than they are able to deal with. Foreign aid is a proven disaster; foreign trade a proven success.

5. Welfare state justifications for their own existence have created a culture of moral relativism that provides the greatest support for ideologies that spawn terrorism.

In the end, even the 9/11 attacks can be ideologically traced to European welfare state academia.

All good reasons to work for the destruction of the welfare states of Europe, including that of Finland.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's the beef, puntti? You think we believe all your crap just because you wrote it, in bold? Again, opinions - or rather - ultra-capitalist propaganda - with no rational factual detailed explanations.

May take on these subjects, too.

1. If US, or rather, it's economical-political elite is so short-term self-centered stupid, that it don't want to protect it's markets, labour and citizens (contrary to Europe), because of the elite's insatiable greed, then who's fault is it?

Puntti thinks Euros are easy scapegoats, heh.

2. Again a lie, see my point 1. Yes, Europe is bitten by globalisation and tries to protect it's citizen, whrereas in USA, when you loose big time, you are on the street or jail. And in US that is of course always your own fault. That seems to be common American groupthinking.

3. Corporate USA is very keen on securing it's own interests in various parts of the world - with forceful intervention (like Iraq) if it sees fit. And it has continuously refused to match the UN-recommended quota of it's GNP to development aid. Compared to USA, Europe does not that bad.

Weird that Puntti, from the land of the Free, sees lack of slave labourism as a shortcoming in Europe. Have no worry, there are still plenty of developing nations where you can establish new sweatshops.

4. Wellfare states, by definition, want their citizen to have wellfare. That must be a great harm to turd world countries, if spread there - according to this greedy exploitive corporist, who would have to pay more to mojiques in their countries. Remember, Puntti, mojiques may start thinking there's a payback time.

5. I refer to my former point 4 (now, this is getting a habit). This is the weirdest point you could make up. Admitted, Euros could start being more vigilant about terrorism, including Finland. That also means limiting immigration from out of EU. But the US southern border (other borders probably too) leak like a sieve, and you are getting a fair load of domestic troubles that way. I hope the US should wake up, eventually.

None of your "reasons" have any objective ground. They are all crap, utter crap.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finnpundit, how do yo see the role of European Defence Forces in the eventual Chinese invasion of Taiwan, given that according to Javier Solana, China is now the most important strategic ally of the EU.
Now that Chirac has got his cash (cool 200 billion euros), the Chinese surely want quite a lot in return.


11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finnpundit, how do yo see the role of European Defence Forces in the eventual Chinese invasion of Taiwan, given that according to Javier Solana, China is now the most important strategic ally of the EU.
Now that Chirac has got his cash (cool 200 billion euros), the Chinese surely want quite a lot in return.


11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, double posting. My Explorer exploded.


11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

Antti, I doubt Europe has the courage to do anything when that conflict finally happens. What's more, the European Defense Forces are a joke, and the Europeans wouldn't be able to do anything even if they had the courage.

Just look how Europeans twiddled their thumbs while the Yugoslavian holocaust was taking place. It was a quite pathetic display, considering Europe's history.

But Solana actually said that? Interesting. Would you happen to have a link to the news item? Also, what 200 billion are you referring to?

I'm all for the dissolution of America's alliances with Europe, - though I still advocate supporting the new democracies of New Europe and, of course, Britain. As for the rest, by now it's clear that Old Europe is rapidly becoming an enemy.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

Anonymous, your irritation seems to indicate that the arguments have an effect. That is quite interesting.

I’ll have to reply to the more salient points in your rants, on a post-by-post basis.

1. You still haven’t grasped the central point: because taxes are so high in Europe, European welfare state economies are dependent on consumers in America to preserve their economic viability. If Americans were taxed at the same level, the buying power of the American consumer would be diminished to the point that the European welfare states would not be able to fund itself.

The European welfare state leadership is very aware of this, yet they cannot say anything about it publicly, because on principle they have to be on record as advocating welfare statism for all, including Americans.

Yet what every finance minister in Old Europe constantly monitors are those quarterly reports on the level of American consumer demand. And they’re glad Americans have low taxes (though they don’t like America running a deficit because that lowers the value of the dollar and the value of their sales in America). The finance ministers know their jobs will become untenable when those American consumers stop buying due to higher taxes. That's why they preach a balanced budget, but don't offer any exhortations that Americans should increase taxes.

2. Europe tries to protect its citizens? But why not ask whether citizens need so much protecting? That is the question that can’t be asked in Europe, because the state assigns roles to different sets of laborers, all in the name of “protecting” them. And everybody winds up suffering, together.

I’m still aghast at how comfortable Europeans are with the notion that certain high school kids should be directed to the role of factory laborers, for their own good. And this at a time when it’s clear Europeans are losing manufacturing jobs to the third world.

The welfare state is an inefficient planner for what the people really want to do. Only a freer labor market can answer that.

3. The UN recommended quota is a joke. Ask yourself this (admittedly very simplified) question: after several decades of several hundreds of billions in foreign aid flowing from Nordic countries to parts of Africa, why are these African countries still poor?

And then look at how hundreds of millions of Chinese have been lifted out of poverty, because they have been given access to the American consumer.

4. I guess you couldn’t figure out anything to say at this point, since your statement is rather incoherent. But you do seem to acknowledge that welfare states only care about themselves, and not the third world. Ironically, it is the capitalist, free-market states that by definition wind up reaching out to the world.

And welfare states are, to the core, extremely greedy (just look how France behaves). That's all the more reason to preach charity to the world, though, since charity costs so much less than opening up your borders.

5. And by now you seem to run out of steam, as you begin to discuss border controls, and not the poisonous ideology espoused in welfare state academia, which continuously justifies terrorism, and which filtered through to the Arab world, and beyond.

You should broaden your mind and see the world from another point of view. I, too, was a leftist, in my younger days. But having to actually make a living all by myself was the single salient eye-opener for me. That, and 9/11.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finnpundit, according to Wikipedia, Javier Solana has strong marxist-leninist backround. And, as you are full aware, these people don't change., just scroll down a bit and you come to post about PM Raffarins China-visit, If The Money is Right.


2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said..., post is If the Price is Right, couple of days ago.


2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also of interest, Taiwanese reaction to Raffarins visit to China,


2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about double postings today, guess it's time to change to Firefox...


3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Puntti, you seek the destruction of democratically established European states, that is, againts their citizens own will.

But what about destroying America? How it could be done? Some Americans have themselves already given answer to that.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

Anonymous, democratically elected states or not, welfare state deserve to be eradicated, simply because they oppress the rest of the world.

As to your trawlings on the internet, I'm sure you'll always come across some interesting aspects to America's rich diversity. It must come as a surprise to a Finn, who's not used to such a lack of conformist thinking.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous TA said...

"In the end, even the 9/11 attacks can be ideologically traced to European welfare state academia."

I'm all for being challenged by different viewpoints to my own, but now you are just starting to sound silly.

Clearly Hasan al-Banna was influenced by Western thought as much as Islamic thought but a) this included ideas that predate the concept of the welfare state and that led as much to the present day US as to present day France; and b) al Banna wasn't the only influence on Qutb who inturn wasn't the only influence on bin Laden. That and a million other things that I won't clog up your website with.

But saying European welfare states led to 9/11 is as unhelpful and as wrong as saying that "American motorists caused 9/11". You just sound like you have an axe to grind, and the sparks flying off are blinding you to the rest of the world.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

I'll have to write more about it, as time permits. But keep in mind how Palestinian terrorism gets a pass in European academia, and how the Arab world has learned the art of moral relativism from its graduates in Europe's universities.

Then there's the whole issue of support for Marxist guerrillas and militancy, and the notion that acts of terrorism can be viewed as some sort of a legitimate struggle.

No, the evidence is quite clear. A line can be traced back to philosophies that justify state socio-economic activism, as opposed to free market societies.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous TA said...

You are either just trolling or you know very very little about Islamism, middle East politics and the history of asymmetric/guerilla/insurgent/terrorist warfare.

"But keep in mind how Palestinian terrorism gets a pass in European academia"

As does Israeli expansionism in certain parts of both European and American academia. But we can go around in circles on that one so there isn't a lot of point.

"Then there's the whole issue of support for Marxist guerrillas and militancy, and the notion that acts of terrorism can be viewed as some sort of a legitimate struggle."

Terrorism is social construct - all it shows is who has the power to label a movement "terrorist" or not. You should read "Images of Terror" by Philip Jenkins of Penn State on this, an excellent book. US has long supported anti-regime insurgents (Cuba, Nicaragua, Angola - even Afghanistan - being the obvious ones that spring to mind). Of course they will name those they oppose terrorists, whilst giving a pass to those they support, which country wouldn't? But if you can't see this there isn't much worth discussing.

"No, the evidence is quite clear. A line can be traced back to philosophies that justify state socio-economic activism, as opposed to free market societies."

All you've done is suggest that leftwing European academics supported marxists terrorist (gosh! really? well I never...) - the rest is an assertion with out any evidence.

I was actually thinking about your original argument in a bit more depth whilst cycling home yesterday: that European welfare states led to the moral relativism that led to al-Qaeda. Bizarre. How on earth did you ever get to that?! Have you actually ever read a statement by bin Laden or indeed any global jihadi group? Moral relativism is not a concept they are particularly aware of!

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Great stuff man!! Looking forward to reading more on this from you.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Antti said...

TA: "As does Israeli expansionism in certain parts of both European and American academia". Could you specify a bit. What academia, in what certain parts? Just a couple of names to clarify your point here.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous TA said...

Antti - in the US just need to go to to see a list of approved and blacklisted academics for having the "right" and "wrong" opinions on the Israel-Palestine issue. Martin Kramer and Bernard Lewis are the two most obvious serious academics, but there is no denying that people like Daniel Pipes are real academic experts even if their line is hardcore Likudnik. Add to this half the scholars working at AEI or Heritage and you get my point. There are whole think tanks in Washington dedicated to supporting US-Israeli relations.

In Europe it is less organised and I can't think of names from the top of my head, but there are a number of pro-Israeli intellectuals in France and Italy that I've read stuff by and I've come across some in the UK. Not sure about Scandinavia though!

2:32 AM  
Anonymous Antti said...

TA: "In Europe it is less organised and I can't think of names from the top of my head..." No comments needed. I've read stuff, too.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

TA: I'll have to address point no. 5 more thoroughly at a later date, as I've got some heavy projects to deal with at this time. But I'll give you an idea of where I'm coming from...

I had to study French Marxist deconstruction theory heavily in post-graduate study, and while it was a source of inspiration in many ways, today I find that it can be viewed from a different, not so benign angle. Post-modernism, moral relativism, and the extollment of multiculturalism are not peaceful goals. Rather, they tend to set up oppositional and antagonistic scenarios in order to favor a certain type of political settlement where the state is given an unnecessarily powerful role.

It is this role given to the state in European thinking that is the problem (as opposed to, say, multi-national corporations and shareholders, or federalist structures in the US). A controlling state will either have to become a benign, welfare state, - or it will spawn violent reaction.

(We can see this line of thinking developing from the French traditional dichotomy of "l'etat, c'est moi" statism, and the ever present Paris Mob, - still around, but now unionized and organizing strikes...)

The other aspect of the welfare state - that it is inherently nationalistic - contributes to the mix in an alarming way. We can see this most clearly in the IRA and ETA. And it is these aspects that the Arab world winds up picking up, unfortunately, and regurgitating in an even more violent manner.

But from a historical point-of-view, agreed, terrorism is a social construct defined by the powerful; however, so is what we call "right-wing reactionaries". Right-wing reaction to Marxism is not terrorism, since the right wing has traditionally favored working with and improving pre-existing institutions, rather than overthrowing them. Marxism, on the other hand, has always had a totalitarian insistence on a complete overhaul, with all resistance neutralized. Reacting to that just makes sense.

To keep blaming the US for support of right-wing insurgencies is to stick one's head in the sand as to how all of that got started in the first place. Each and every year that the Soviet Union was in existence, the annual communist party congress reaffirmed its goal to spread Marxism thoughout the world, by force. Only the US stood in its way, and we should be glad that it did, considering how everything communism touched caused so much misery.

As to Bin Laden, no, he is not familiar at all with European, welfare state academia. However, certain things that he has said point to an influence in his thinking that could only come from younger Arabs who are familiar. So there is a link, though, of course, Bin Laden imprints his own, fundamentalist ideology in the final output.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Junakohtaus said...


There is a problem here.

When last i checked, the US was the biggest loan taker in the world, not EU.

So who lives on other peoples work here?

2:26 AM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

Taking a loan is living off of other people's work? Just where do you get that loopy idea? It's the debtors who go to work, and who are bankable because they do work, and much more so than the creditors.

And... it's to the creditors advantage that these debtors don't go spending money on such silly things as a welfare state. So yes, European exploitation of the American worker-consumer continues...

10:38 AM  
Blogger Junakohtaus said...

Well, no. Simply no.

Because the US doesn't pay the debts, nor probalbly intends to. The only payment anybody gets is a piece of paper that promises a payment, sometime, perhaps. But no money.

That's how the US economy works. Loan more to pay the debts.

Try to picture an individual doing the same thing. Is s/he living on other peoples work?

11:29 AM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

You're displaying your ignorance here. The US government's bonds are considered the safest financial instruments in the world, safer than even those of Europe. If that was not the case, the deficit would not be possible.

Only countries like Argentina default: greedy welfare states run by corrupt government officials who simply expected big banks to finance their welfare spending. The result was a disaster, and now they are paying the price.

I don't know how much background you have in economics and finance, but it might be useful for you to learn more before forming opinions that display simplistic thinking.

The main thing to watch in the US is not the size of the deficit (which is not even as high as it was in 1992), but the growth rate of the economy, which is a direct indication of the ability of that economy to pay back the debt. And the financial data released this week shows that the US economy in the last quarter grew at an unexpected pace...

As to exploitation, you simply don't understand how much the exports of Europe are dependent on the buying power of the American consumer. Nokia's fortunes were made in America, not in Finland...

9:13 AM  
Blogger Junakohtaus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:29 AM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

Finnish language post deleted.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Junakohtaus said...

Yeah, I can see that.

Now can everybody else, too.

So much for your expertise on Finland.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

Actually, I am fluent in Finnish, as I am a Finn. But since I've lived abroad for so many years, I don't have the same blinders on most Finns have.

The main reason I delete Finnish language posts is because I want Americans to see what kind of bigots Finns are. Finns hide behind their language, as they ultimately know who really pays the bills for the excesses of Finland

4:41 PM  
Blogger Junakohtaus said...

Yeah, sure, what ever you say.

Being in debt to everybody and deficit growing means supporting the rest of the world.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

Ah, it seems you're finally getting it.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Jussi said...

"Welfare states have engendered a class system that is controlled by an elite which consciously limits possibilities for class mobility"

The opposite is true, you can see it in the numbers, and you can see it in the US. Americans have less social and class mobility than Swedes, and that's a fact - even The Economist says so.

The root of the trouble is the free market approach, which has stratified American society, and you could even say calcified it. The rich get richer, and the poor stay poor. 30 years ago, the annual compensation of the top 100 executives 39 times the pay of the average worker. Today it is over 1,000 times the pay of the average worker.

You probably think "That can't be true because we've always had a free market approach" - well, not quite. Listen to this quote from 1951: "The job of management is to maintain an equitable and working balance among the claims of the various directly integrated groups". Who do you think said that? A commie agitator, or maybe even Karl Marx. Neither - it was Frank Abrams, the chairman of Standard Oil.

Of course, nowadays they don't think like that, because free market mentality means feathering your own nest, and usually at the expense of others. And that's what they do.

Free market approach also leads to cheating and corruption. How many US lawyers overcharge their clients? - practically all, I'm afraid. How many accountants collude with their clients, at the expense of shareholders and the public in general? - a distressingly large number, and we DO know it. How many Americans cheat on their taxes? - well, the IRS puts tax fraud at $250 billion per year, but that's a conservative estimate: others put it at $500 billion. To put that in perspective, federal tax revenue for 2003 was around $1,650 billion.

Believe me, you're in it up to your neck with that approach.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

The news studies the Economist cites disingenously use a time frame that ends in an economic downturn. As we all know, a free-market society has constant ups and downs. Why not measure things when things are up?

As to all of your other arguments, you just don't get it: Finland's welfare state can only exist if America exists. In other words, without a capitalist dynamo to buy consumer products, Europe's welfare states would not be able to afford their present standards of welfare. So, the model is a failure.

As to all of your other cites, there is tons of corruption in the EU, too. You just don't hear that much about it, because so much of the media is subsidized by the various governments.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Jussi said...

"Finland's welfare state can only exist if America exists"

Nope, only about 8% of our exports are to the US, and our welfare state will exist with or without you. We have always existed without your help, and we always will. Even when it's hard.

As for corruption, it is a serious problem in the US. It runs from presidential elections, through Congress, the Senate right down to the counties. They're all dependent on donations, and they're all on graft in one way or another. Corruption pure! US = graft.

I'm so pleased we don't have that kind of deal here. It's pure dishonesty and such a betrayal of society.

4:00 AM  

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