"Left Behind..."

Authored by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,

“Forget Germany, Spain Is The Real Problem”, reads a headline. Eh… no. Germany is definitely the problem in Europe. Spain is a bit player. That doesn’t mean nothing major could happen in Spain in its fight with Catalonia, and soon, but Spain, like all EU nations, is a de facto province of Germany.

What matters in the end is how Brussels and Merkel deal with Spain. And while it’s tempting to say that perhaps Brussels, the EU, is the main European problem, the European Union is run exclusively by and for Germany, so that doesn’t work either.

The only thing that might work if you really want to find a bigger issue than Germany is if you would point at the role the incessant lies about economic conditions for people play. But that’s not a European issue, that’s global.

The talk about how economies are recovering, how there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and how any day now we’ll be back to where we were at some point in time that many can not even remember. But then, at least when it comes to Europe, that happy talk comes from Germany too, to a large degree. Just wait till Draghi starts cutting his QE.

You can try and tell people that they’re doing just great, using the media you control, and it’ll work for a stretch, if only because they want to believe it, badly, but when these same people can’t even feed their children while you make such claims, you will eventually lose their attention and support. The difference between beliefs and experiences.

If you’re a politician, you try to feed people what they want to hear, invariably an upbeat message, but there comes a time when you have to back it up. You can say that austerity is necessary, inevitable, and the only choice, and it will be beneficial to them, but austerity is one of those things that have a very limited best before date.

If you can only make employment numbers look good by creating a gig economy that takes away all their benefits, and their entire sense of security, they’re going to turn their backs on you. Because you’re lying.

Rising inequality is a one way street right up to the point where it turns into a dead end alley. Inequality breeds more inequality until it no longer can, until people say ‘I want that cake you are having because my kids are hungry. And I brought a pitchfork’.

That is where we’re at, and that is why Merkel lost some 25% of her votes. That is why there’s Trump and Brexit, and why an impossible candidate like Marine Le Pen in France gathered so much attention and support. It’s why eastern European countries will start fighting Brussels and Berlin much harder than they have to date, and why Berlin will fight back harder than it has. Poor Greece.

In the US, there’s only one party, and it divvies up the spoils of very rich campaign contributions. Bernie Sanders tried to circumvent this; not a chance. Trump succeeded. In Britain, there was no difference between left and right for a long time, and no alternative party either. That led to Brexit. In France, Macron started a whole new party from scratch and somehow got it funded (bankers?!). It wiped the left off the map.

The same happened in Holland, where like in France the right wing alternative was judged too unpalatable by too many. No left left. The leaders of Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland do not have the visibility for that yet. In Italy, Five Star have a good shot at the throne. Greece’s Syriza already overtook both left and right. In eastern Europe, right wing parties often didn’t even have to overthrow an existing order, they could just slide in.

The pattern is so obvious only those who stand to lose from acknowledging it end up not seeing it, or telling themselves it’s all just an incident. But it’s not, because the shrinking economies everywhere are not. When left and right, either in public or in practice, rule a country together and their promises don’t hold up, people will look for a way out. If far right is the only way available, they will pick that.

It’s not because they’re all nazis or something like that. But people do lean towards smaller units of organization, decentralization, when they get poorer. And despite all the talk of recovery, that is what most people have seen happen to their lives, while their leaders told them they’re just fine. So you get this kind of headline (and map) for the US (h/t Mish/ZH).

Large Parts Of America Are Being Left Behind

Economic prosperity is concentrated in America’s elite zip codes, but in an interesting report on Distressed Communities, from The Economic Innovation Group, it is increasingly clear that economic stability outside of those communities is rapidly deteriorating. As Axios noted, this isn’t a Republican or Democratic problem. At every level of government, both parties represent distressed areas. But the economic fortunes of the haves and have-nots have only helped to widen the political chasm between them, and it has yet to be addressed by substantial policy proposals on either side of the aisle. Economic Prosperity Quintiles.



And a very similar headline appears in the Guardian in a report about the German election.

‘A Lot of People Feel Left Behind’: Voters on the Far-Right Surge in Germany

Sarah, 37, teacher, Bonn: “A lot of people feel left behind. They are looking for scapegoats. It is the easy way to deal with problems. The AFD makes use of this feeling. With the grand coalition, there was no real debating culture left. The CDU went too much into the middle, leaving the right out. Just like the SPD under Schröder left the left-wing out.”

Perhaps a lot of those who voted for Trump, and Brexit, Le Pen, Wilders, the AfD, are not so much looking for scapegoats, they’ve identified those as their incumbent politicians; they’re instead looking for a way away from them. All these people who feel left behind base that feeling primarily on their deteriorating economic circumstances. And if the only alternative they have rants, against foreigners and immigrants, they’ll go with that.

Angela Merkel pushed over 1 million refugees and immigrants down the German population’s throats. She never asked their opinion. But many Germans are not doing any better than many Americans or French or British. So the consequences of such things are predictable. You have to explain, you have to communicate with your people. Just saying ‘we can do this’ is not enough. No more than ‘change we can believe in’ was. It’s just hollow.

Merkel lost ‘only’ 25% of her votes. Because Germans know what right wing is, and what it can do. Germany is not full of nazis, no more than America is. Both countries just have a lot of people who feel trapped in a web of lies, and their existing and alleged democratic systems offer no way out of that web.

All these countries, the people and their politicians, have the tendency to see their situations as somehow unique, but they’d be much better off looking at what they have in common with others.

The only solution is to tell people the truth, that the incumbent political class has screwed up badly because of limited brain capacity and unlimited greed, and that they should elect people next time who are both smarter and less sociopathic. But that is not something that comes voluntarily, that takes a battle. And it tends to end careers, and lives.

That is what we can expect. In many different shapes and forms, but all for the same underlying reasons. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time, you can’t even fool a majority for long. You can only fool a limited number of them for a limited amount of time.

Well, time’s up.


Iconoclast421 Tue, 09/26/2017 - 12:11 Permalink

And yet nothing has changed. No actual results to speak of. Central banks still printing like mad. Still crushing the poor, and the poor are still voting for more of it. Migrants still pouring in. Still sucking. Still raping. Still no wall. Healthcare costs still exploding.

Rapunzal Iconoclast421 Tue, 09/26/2017 - 12:33 Permalink

Since the 18th century the Rothschilds call the shots in Europe, since the 19th the Rockefellers in the US. In the 20th Century those 2 satanic families joined forces and rule the world behind the scenes. Politicians are their puppets, they create countries and declare war. Now oil is getting very expensive to extract and the whole economy has to adjust. People need to get prepared for the next culling. Depopulation is needed to keep the molesting elites in power.

In reply to by Iconoclast421

doctor10 GUS100CORRINA Tue, 09/26/2017 - 13:00 Permalink

At a very basic level-you take your country to war for 15 years-you'd better damn well bring home the loot.

Any Roman Emperor returning from 15 years at war-had they returned without the booty-they get hung. Period.

The reason they get hung-is that going to war impoverishes those funding it. The military bring home hopefully more than what the expedition costs. War Economics 101.

Once again at a basic level-that's the only reason to go to war.

USA is busted flat. No loot.

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

Ramesees Tue, 09/26/2017 - 12:13 Permalink

Life isn’t fair. Some people are born with greater ability.

The government ought to set the rules and let the chips fall where they may.

The issue is that the government is constantly changing the rules, ostensibly to afflict the comfortable, but is actually ensconsing the comfortable and making it impossible for the afflicted to join their ranks.

Justin Case Ramesees Tue, 09/26/2017 - 12:42 Permalink

The government ought to set the rules and let the chips fall where they may.That's what is commonly refered to as "autonomy". We've grown used to bigger moar powerful countries taking away other's autonomy by force, politicsl interference, sanctions or regime change, rather than using diplomatic process and negotiations. The UN is lop sided by collusion of the vassel states and many other organizations seem just job creation and diplomatic assignments, none of which have teeth to do anything, like human rights organizations, that have really sided with the aggressors to justify their intervention or distruction of sovergein nations. Brusssels, with over 10,000 bureaucrats to dictate what EU countries are allowed to do. NATO, ganging up on countries the empire wants destroyed and if NATO does it, it is easier to justify, that it was not one country's agenda for regime change.After progress comes regression.

In reply to by Ramesees

Decoherence Tue, 09/26/2017 - 12:33 Permalink

How long until people figure this out?  Politicians on the left want socialism for the poor, politicians on the right want socialism for the rich.  We the morons, pay the taxes that gives them this loot to distribute.  A politician's job is to take the loot and complain about the other side’s socialism.  When these piece of shit politicians have successfully sold their lies into the brains of we the morons, they too get to decide where the loot goes afterwards.  You gotta love the freedom we have.  When people just start ignoring these pieces of shit and stop taking the bait, maybe things will get better.  If we truly had freedom, we’d be able to control our politicians.  But do you see that happening?  So wave that American flag and keep pretending you’re free.  Abundance is the primary attribute of stupidity.  It's the constant sociopathic politicians don't need to solve for.    

TeethVillage88s Tue, 09/26/2017 - 12:38 Permalink

"Sarah, 37, teacher, Bonn: “A lot of people feel left behind. They are looking for scapegoats. It is the easy way to deal with problems. The AFD makes use of this feeling. With the grand coalition, there was no real debating culture left. The CDU went too much into the middle, leaving the right out. Just like the SPD under Schröder left the left-wing out."

- Just like in the USA
- East Germany & USSR had one Political Party, but some pretended that there was more than one party, just like in the USA
- Europe became a service economy after WWII, just like in the USA
- No one told Europe they would be powerless without the manufacturing might that Germany had, just like in the USA
- Finance Industry, FIREs industry in Europe had great advantages, wealth, secrets, data & info, the top tier of Workers, just like in the USA today!!
- Without Manufacturing power, Taxes & Usury are insidious in Europe especially as prices rose, just like in the USA Today!
- No one told US Citizens that switch to Service industry would destroy the USA, that powerful lobbying & Finance Industry would take over! No one warned that a petro dollar as world reserve currency with few banking regulations would be 'gamed' by schemes and become 'tainted'... but it did!

USA is now no better than Europe, worse really due to $100 Trillion in Debt, $2 Quadrillion in Derivatives. The Dream that was America is no more. The idea that was America is gone with inflation, planned inflation to make up for 'tainted' US Dollar.

- VOTE NO this year on Boskin Commission Reforms on CPI (Inflation) from 1996!

Kidbuck Tue, 09/26/2017 - 12:38 Permalink

Yup, unless Trump abolishes the fed nothing can get better. Even if legally only congress can abolish the fed, Trump should issue an executive order and send the Marines in to blow up the buildings. Fed buildings are the real cultural icons that deserve distruction. I don't even care if if they let the banksters out first.

D.T.Barnum Kidbuck Tue, 09/26/2017 - 13:19 Permalink

He won't turn on his masters like that.  He loves the counterfeiters, he got rich from the counterfeiters.  He is an insecure person so he loves the bling, power, and attention of being filthy rich.  I don't understand how middle America felt a connection with him.  He's a NYC lifelong Dem.  aka a big fat liar."hillary would make a great president. Oprah would make a great vice president. In many ways I identify more as a democrat" -DJT, yes, he said it.  Cog Dis much?

In reply to by Kidbuck

CRM114 Tue, 09/26/2017 - 12:54 Permalink

Nothing has changed because who will lead the people against the politicians?The average Joe won't; he's not a leader.The average politician or union leader or business leader won't; they are all doing very well out of the status quo.Mostly the military leaders won't because they know what happens when the military take over, from history. It starts with good intentions, but you just end up with the same authoritarian exploitation, and more efficient death squads. Which leaves the intelligent leaders who aren't sociopaths. Maybe people like you and I.I'll tell you why I won't.Firstly, the average Joe is not yet badly off enough to risk changing the paradigm. He'll vote for a different politician, but he won't vote for somebody he doesn't know, in the visceral sense. I've had an increasing number, over the last couple of years, tell me when I present a sensible answer to current problems, say "You should go into politics", but that's still a very small proportion of the electorate.Secondly, one or two guys getting in can't change the apparatus of Government significantly, so the ship will simply go down anyway, and one will get the blame for being part of the crew when it sank. "At best", one will only delay the collapse, which in the long run is actually the worst, since the fall will be greater.Thirdly, the current bunch in power will stop at nothing to destroy you if you look like upsetting their apple cart.So, I've insulated myself as much as possible from the coming collapse, and withdrawn my (valuable) labor to hasten it.When the collapse happens, the average Joe will then be begging the likes of you and me to be leaders, and we'll be ready. Or they won't, and we'll contnue to exist without them. And who will suffer most up to and in the early stages of collapse? The average Joe. But he's the one voting in the current bunch, so it's his own fault. And you can no more convince him to change now than you could force democracy on the Afghans. They aren't ready for it, and they d@mn well have to decide  themselves to change.

Nunyadambizness FixItAgainTony Tue, 09/26/2017 - 15:41 Permalink

Agreed.  I would hope they'd start with the Constitution that we currently have, but add a few amendments to it including:

  1. Term limits
  2. Balanced budget 
  3. No administration laws effected without votes by Congress and the President
  4. Congress must live under the exact same laws as the rest of us, no golden healthcare provision, no salary for life provision, etc.
  5. No military interventions without a declaration of war, or imminent threat to the country.
  6. No foreign aid to any country that does not have democratic and free elections, unless for immediate humanitarian reasons (famine, etc.)

I think those are a good start......

In reply to by FixItAgainTony

Killdo CRM114 Tue, 09/26/2017 - 21:09 Permalink

from The Sociopath Next door:"..To illustrate I propose an imaginary society of exactly one hundred adults, in a group that conforms precisely to known statistics. This means that of the one hundred people in my hypothetical society, 4 are psychopaths – they have no conscience. Of the remaining 96 decent citizens, all of whom do have consciences, 62.5% will obey authority more or less without question, quite possibly the authority of one of the more aggressive and controlling sociopaths in the crowd. This leaves 36 people who have both conscience and the strength to bear the burdens of their actions, a little more than a third of the group. These are not impossible odds, but they are not easy ones, either.  .."

In reply to by CRM114

koan Tue, 09/26/2017 - 13:12 Permalink

"you will eventually lose their attention and support."

If there were true religion wouldn't exist, most people are dumb animals.

css1971 Tue, 09/26/2017 - 13:22 Permalink

The systems of fraud have to be removed.Lol.  Not happening...A psychopath will cheerfully and with pleasure kill you all before letting you win. They lose, everyone loses.So isolate yourself from them.

lesterbegood Tue, 09/26/2017 - 14:25 Permalink

Yep, time's up for humanity to grow up and start thinking, being, and doing for themselves and one another. Begin by governing yourselves, therefore you do not need government to think, be and do for you.

youshallnotkill Tue, 09/26/2017 - 20:29 Permalink

Merkel lost 25% because of her refugee policies not rising inequality. Germans are doing very well overall. And I know that from first hand experience going to Germany at least once a year.