STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
DB Briefs: EU Hits a German Wall / USA – Food Stamps for All … For Now / Hurricane Irene's Fear-Based Politics Surge to the Fore
By Staff News & Analysis - August 29, 2011

EU Hits a German Wall … Euro bail-out in doubt as “hysteria” sweeps Germany … German Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer has enough coalition votes in the Bundestag to secure backing for Europe’s revamped rescue machinery, threatening a consitutional crisis in Germany and a fresh eruption of the euro debt saga. – UK Telegraph

USA – Food Stamps for All … For Now … USA becomes Food Stamp Nation but is it sustainable? … Genna Saucedo supervises cashiers at a Wal-Mart in Pico Rivera, California, but her wages aren’t enough to feed herself and her 12-year-old son. Saucedo, who earns $9.70 an hour for about 26 hours a week and lives with her mother, is one of the many Americans who survive because of government handouts in what has rapidly become a food stamp nation. Altogether, there are now almost 46 million people in the United States on food stamps, roughly 15 percent of the population. That’s an increase of 74 percent since 2007, just before the financial crisis and a deep recession led to mass job losses. – Reuters

Hurricane Irene’s Fear-Based Politics Surge to the Fore … Obama warns Hurricane Irene flooding could worsen … U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday warned that flooding from Hurricane Irene could worsen as rivers flood their banks and said federal recovery efforts would last a few weeks. “I want people to understand this is not over,” Obama said in an appearance at the White House. “Response and recovery efforts will be an ongoing operation.” – Reuters

EU Hits a German Wall

Euro bail-out in doubt as “hysteria” sweeps Germany … German Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer has enough coalition votes in the Bundestag to secure backing for Europe’s revamped rescue machinery, threatening a consitutional crisis in Germany and a fresh eruption of the euro debt saga. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: The EU experiment is not in doubt and never will be. No matter what happens, the EU will last.

Free-Market Analysis: Germany is the motor of the European Union; the rest of the EU troubles can be seen as something of a sideshow. But now the challenges facing the EU may deepen considerably. Chancellor Angela Merkel has had a habit of proclaiming that Germans will not stand for a transfer union and then arranging in increasing detail to implement one anyhow. Now her constituents may have had enough. Merkel is feeling the heat. She recently cancelled a journey to Russia to stay home while the German constitutional court rules on the legality of the EU’s bail-out machinery. There is certainly a chance that the Court shall rule Merkel’s various deals with the EU to be unconstitutional under Germany’s original treaty with the EU.

In fact, there is little doubt that Merkel has crossed the line. Now fed-up Germans are ready to push back. “Hysteria is sweeping Germany,” said Klaus Regling, the EFSF’s director. What this means is that Merkel cannot count on cooperation even from her own party when it comes to keeping the EU afloat. Over 20 members of her own coalition plan to oppose the latest bailout package that Merkel engineered with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and others. This is a very big story. Germany is not Spain, Greece or Portugal. If the Germans are in a defiant mood, they can bring down the EU, the euro and the entire post-World War II European economic consensus.


USA – Food Stamps for All … For Now

USA becomes Food Stamp Nation but is it sustainable? … Genna Saucedo supervises cashiers at a Wal-Mart in Pico Rivera, California, but her wages aren’t enough to feed herself and her 12-year-old son. Saucedo, who earns $9.70 an hour for about 26 hours a week and lives with her mother, is one of the many Americans who survive because of government handouts in what has rapidly become a food stamp nation. Altogether, there are now almost 46 million people in the United States on food stamps, roughly 15 percent of the population. That’s an increase of 74 percent since 2007, just before the financial crisis and a deep recession led to mass job losses. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: America is a compassionate nation and food stamps are a concrete example of how compassion operates.

Free-Market Analysis: The demise and fall of the United States is sad to watch. From a Republic that created jobs and innovation for the entire world to a nation that produces only poverty and military hardware, the US’s fall has taken place in front of a disbelieving world. Even now many around the globe still are sure that America is a land of great opportunity. They have no idea of how the US has changed: the endless security measures; the invasiveness of the military-industrial complex; the oppressive taxation and regulation; the general involvement of the government at a federal, state and local level in every aspect of life. All of these factors are draining what is left of America’s entrepreneurial vitality.

What is left in America is aptly summed up by the food-stamp program that serves one-eighth of America’s total population. But like all government programs, it will eventually prove too costly now that so many Americans depend on it. Citizens will again find as they have before that government is not a partner but an adversary and that there is no such thing as a compassionate bureaucracy. Government programs such as food-stamps are merely a way-station on the journey to totalitarianism and massive depression and dysfunction. There is no reason to believe the increasingly problematic American journey toward failure will end anywhere else but the “dustbin of history.”


Hurricane Irene’s Fear-Based Politics Surge to the Fore

Obama warns Hurricane Irene flooding could worsen … U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday warned that flooding from Hurricane Irene could worsen as rivers flood their banks and said federal recovery efforts would last a few weeks. “I want people to understand this is not over,” Obama said in an appearance at the White House. “Response and recovery efforts will be an ongoing operation.” – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: Thank goodness for President Barack Obama and other politicos who guided the nation successfully through one of the greatest storms in the history of modern broadcasting.

Free-Market Analysis: The angst surrounding Hurricane Irene was palpable before it actually made landfall – and then the entire charade collapsed. The Northeast US rarely gets hit with really severe weather and sure enough, Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday that brought only rain and wind to the Northeast United States. This didn’t stop the forces of fear that continually inculcate the idea that without massive government interference citizens would be subject to manifold disasters that they could not overcome. Media and politics have increasingly forged an alliance of panic that squeezes citizens between the propaganda of fear.

New York City appeared to have avoided the mass devastation that many had feared, the Reuters article offers. But Obama and others were still nattering on about flooding, “devastation” and “dodging a bullet” – as if the hype and lies surrounding Irene and its potential devastation were part and parcel of some sort of necessary ritual, an offering to the Gods in the hopes of palliating the worst of what was to come. New Yorkers didn’t buy any of it, showing once again how even the most mundane fear-based promotions are beginning to fail in this era of the Internet Reformation.

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