Monday, September 24, 2012

Merkel is a Failed Leader

Angela Merkel says the right things and does the wrong things.  As a conservative leader, she and her conservative sidekick Nicolas Sarcozy, led the Eurozone down the bailout track while loudly proclaiming that responsibility for foolish behavior would not be rewarded.  But rewards were soon forthcoming from Merkel and Sarcozy.  Merkel still strikes the pose of frugal leader while steamrolling Germany toward the largest bailout in world history.

Merkel talks about saving the Euro.  The issues in the Eurozone have little or nothing to do with saving the Euro.  The Euro is doing fine.  What is not doing fine is the fiscal situation of the Euro member states.  They are all going bankrupt, including Germany.  What currency is in place is of little importance if you cannot pay your debts and the Eurozone cannot pay their debts.  What they have is a temporary reprieve and a lot of conversation.  The endgame in this is all too obvious.  But, it won't include Chancellor Merkel.  She will be long gone by the time we get to the endgame.  She will join her pal Sarcozy in the losers bracket.

Meanwhile, the left takes the podium -- Francois Hollande of France.  His absurd policies will simply hasten the economic collapse of France.  Somehow, all of the Eurozone seems obsessed with the idea that rhetoric is a substitute for policy.  The conversation continues as the Eurozone slides into economic collapse.  What once was a shining example of the fruits of capitalism has now become a monument to socialism and poor policy.  All socialist experiments end in the same economic junk pile.

The cconomic end to all of this is obvious -- the collapse of the economies in the Eurozone.  What will not happen is that Germany will emerge a strong economy while Greek collapses.  Germany will be swept along with Greece.  Germany's economic policies differ only in degree from the policies that are currently driving Greece into the economic ditch -- there is no difference in kind.

The more interesting question is:  will democracy survive in the Eurozone?  Based upon history, it is unlikely that democracy will survive.  Demagogues thrive when democracy fails to deliver economic prosperity.  Polls show that extremist political groups are benefitting from the chaos in the Eurozone.  The first country to fall to the extremists will be Greece, but they won't be the last.  The ultimate end to the welfare state is economic collapse and political chaos.  We are at the earliest stages of that process.

Merkel and Sarcozy won election in their respective countries running as conservatives.  Their policies are a tribute to the fact that conservatives are just as likely to support the welfare state as liberals.  While there may be minor and insignificant differences between Merkel and Sarcozy and their liberal opponents, their policies are essentially the same -- extend and pretend.  Misleading the public about the cost of the welfare state is common practice for all the major political parties in the western world, including the US.