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But I hated his neo-Marxist biased approach opposing an abstract idealistic democratic ...
on 24 July 2017
Streeck’s book sounded promising and his general idea of buying time to maintain social peace through different methods (tax and benefits increase, lending at cheap rates through national banks, etc.) is appealing. But I hated his neo-Marxist biased approach opposing an abstract idealistic democratic approach incorporated by good trade unions representing the working force against THE MARKETS, presented as a super being threatening everything and terribly successful in depriving the masses of their legitimate share of income. Along these lines I found the film "I, David Blake" much more convincing. It is the story of a carpenter who loses his job after a heart attack, but is told to seek a new job if he does not want to lose his benefits, as a medical specialist (who is not qualified in medical terms at all) determines that he is fit for employment despite the categorical different views of this doctors. He fights his way bravely through the UK civil service or its outsourced parts, but cannot beat the internet and robots set-up to deny benefits, and the few human interfaces he meets are prisoners of the software they must use. Watch this moving if you can. It is so absolutely true and so tragic. What I hate with Streeck, this sociology scholar, and his cronies, is that they compare income, without taking into account what happens with this income. Yet income used to spend should never be compared with income used to invest. And Shreeck obviously does not believe that too much tax kills the tax. For him the state cannot collect enough tax. He ignores also the fact the “financial markets” are for the most part pension funds (particularly in Switzerland) and not one of the few billionaires. He is obsessed with Europe (Germany) but ignores that the world is tilting towards Asia. And during all the reading I wondered what the conclusion would be. I could not believe that his dream would be dismantling the EURO and going back to the failed Bretton would system, without even discussing why what failed would produce better results now than before. He completely overlooks the initial price increase exaggerations in Italy and Greece in particular following the introduction of the Euro, wihtout correspoding increase in efficiency - which requires a onetime correction - and he is obsessed with Mario Monti’s past at Goldman Sachs, repeating this statement numerous times! It is true the Europe has a serious problem with its currency and with the governemetns of the southern part of Europe liking to have inflation while Germany is obsessed with the need to avoid it. But if the Greek public sector did not want to accept the cut-backs needed, the Greeks, like the Italians, Portuguese or Spaniards want the stable EURO at least as much as the Germans or the French. The majority of the people in all those countries would not want to return to worthless national currencies, because the poor suffered more form the losses due to devaluation of loss of value of their currencies than the big exporters, another fact ignored by Streeck. It is true that the policies differences lead to high tensions, because the traditional politics in the south of Europe are incompatible with the stable currency. Streeck is right in pointing this out, but he ignores completely that contradictions lie within the voters who want tow incompativle things, i.e all the benefits without the corresponding costs. He prefers to oppose the markets to the unions, a XIXth century approach, which keeps him his job as director of the MAx-Plank Insitute, but does not help solve the XXI st. century issues.