Euro tõeline missioon

Greece and the true purpose of the euro

by Lars Syll

The idea that the euro has “failed” is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor – and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it – predicted and planned for it to do.

That progenitor is former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell. The architect of “supply-side economics” is now a professor at Columbia University, but I knew him through his connection to my Chicago professor, Milton Friedman, back before Mundell’s research on currencies and exchange rates had produced the blueprint for European monetary union and a common European currency.

Mundell, then, was more concerned with his bathroom arrangements. Professor Mundell, who has both a Nobel Prize and an ancient villa in Tuscany, told me, incensed:

“They won’t even let me have a toilet. They’ve got rules that tell me I can’t have a toilet in this room! Can you imagine?”

As it happens, I can’t. But I don’t have an Italian villa, so I can’t imagine the frustrations of bylaws governing commode placement.

But Mundell, a can-do Canadian-American, intended to do something about it: come up with a weapon that would blow away government rules and labor regulations. (He really hated the union plumbers who charged a bundle to move his throne.)

“It’s very hard to fire workers in Europe,” he complained. His answer: the euro.

The euro would really do its work when crises hit, Mundell explained. Removing a government’s control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession.

“It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians,” he said. “[And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business.”

He cited labor laws, environmental regulations and, of course, taxes. All would be flushed away by the euro. Democracy would not be allowed to interfere with the marketplace – or the plumbing.

As another Nobelist, Paul Krugman, notes, the creation of the eurozone violated the basic economic rule known as “optimum currency area”. This was a rule devised by Bob Mundell.

That doesn’t bother Mundell. For him, the euro wasn’t about turning Europe into a powerful, unified economic unit. It was about Reagan and Thatcher.

“Ronald Reagan would not have been elected president without Mundell’s influence,” once wrote Jude Wanniski in the Wall Street Journal. The supply-side economics pioneered by Mundell became the theoretical template for Reaganomics – or as George Bush the Elder called it, “voodoo economics”: the magical belief in free-market nostrums that also inspired the policies of Mrs Thatcher.

Mundell explained to me that, in fact, the euro is of a piece with Reaganomics:

“Monetary discipline forces fiscal discipline on the politicians as well.”

And when crises arise, economically disarmed nations have little to do but wipe away government regulations wholesale, privatize state industries en masse, slash taxes and send the European welfare state down the drain.

Greg Palast/The Guardian

Kreekas tuleb nüüd referendum. Olenemata selle tulemusest, seisavad Kreekal ees rasked ajad. Kreekas on ebakompetentne valitsus ja ebakompetentne rahandusminister, kes on korduvalt eurost loobumist katastroofiks nimetanud. Nüüd on pangajooks ja tõenäoliselt kehtestatakse kapitali kontrollid (pankadest ei saa raha vabalt välismaale liigutada). Rahvas on ära hirmutatud ja arvatavasti ütleb referendumil, et on nõus troika (jah ma tean, et vasakpopulistide häbistamisest taheti hoiduda ning troika nimetati ümber institutsioonideks) kasinusmeetmete ja tingimustega.  Olenemata sellest, kas jätkatakse euroga või eurota, ei saa praegune valitsus hakkama oma ebakompetentsuse tõttu. Neil puudub plaan euroga ja eurota jätkamiseks. Euroga on nende plaan siiamaani olnud kuidagi välja vingerdada, et valijale mulje jätta nagu nad ikkagi oleksid kasinuse vastu. Majanduslikult on nende idee olnud kasinusega jätkamine, visioon neil puudub, saaks ainult natuke pikendada Kreeka agooniat(küll siis vaatab, mis edasi saab, kui järgmine kuupäev kätte jõuab). Arvan isiklikult, et selle valitsuse päevad on loetud, kuigi nende populaarsus tundub kõrge olevat praegu. Negatiivne, mis sellest sündida võib, on see, et kasinusvastaseid poliitilisi jõude enam valija ei usalda. Poliitikas ei tundu ratsionaalsed argumendid lugevat. See ei tähenda, et nad tegelikult kasinusvastased ei olnud. Kui meedia maalib nendest pildi kui kasinusvastastest, siis poliitiliselt võib kaotada kasinuse vastasus ja kõik need, kes ennast niimoodi sildistavad.

Majanduslikult ebakompetentne valitsus ja hoolimata sellest, kuidas neid alguses üles haibiti, et neil on mingi kaval strateegia jne, on nad ka strateegiliselt läbi kukkunud. Siit moraal, populiste valida ei tohi. Kasinuse lõpetamine ja euroga jätkamine olid selgelt teineteist välistavad tingimused.  Referendum tundub ju õige asi olevat. Strateegiliselt on nad hiljaks jäänud referendumiga, selle oleks pidanud varem korraldama.

 

 

About Kristjan

Defitsiidi terrorismi vastase pataljoni eriüksuslane (finantsignorantsuse vastu võitlemise osakond). Treening: MMT, postkeinsism, Tartu Ülikool Majandusteadus
This entry was posted in English, Estonian. Bookmark the permalink.

Lisa kommentaar

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Muuda )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Muuda )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Muuda )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Muuda )

Connecting to %s