This commonality continues to bind together transatlantic capitalism
in the face of new, shared challenges: the sovereign debt and
banking crises in the euro area, the American financial crises, the
public and private debt overhang and the rise of Chinese state capitalism.
Just as the United States and Europe rebuilt the shattered
western European economy after World War II because it was in
the self-interest of people on both sides of the Atlantic, Americans
and Europeans now need to work together to revive their shared
economic space in the wake of the devastation wrought by the
Great Recession, which is still ongoing in Europe. They need to
cooperate to craft rules of the road, especially for the transatlantic
capital market, to avoid such catastrophes again. And they must
jointly face the competitive challenge posed by China’s growing
weight in the commercial realm, ensuring that it is the norms of
transatlantic capitalism – open competition, transparency, limited
state involvement in the economy, the rule of law – and European
and American regulatory and technological standards that prevail
in the global marketplace.
The EU and the United States have gone separate ways in the aftermath
of the crisis, a result of both slightly differing economic
traditions and the fact that the US still functions at the centre of the
dollar zone that remains central to the world economy. The immediate
post-crisis period has, however, brought both sides of the
Atlantic to a common point of deleveraging and austerity. There is
now a strong rationale for a new effort to merge transatlantic growth
paths to enhance future prospects and avoid future clashes.
Gleiche Voraussetzung, unterschiedliche Entwicklung
Destroying America for controlling the world
Wenn es um die eigenen Finanzen geht, ist der Chef der europäischen Exekutive weniger streng. Barroso möchte den EU-Etat für das kommende Jahr kräftig aufstocken, um 6,8 Prozent auf 138 Milliarden Euro. Andernfalls könne er die geplanten Wachstumsprogramme nicht bezahlen. Doch Barroso braucht die Milliarden nicht nur für die Krisenbekämpfung. Er muss auch seinen Verwaltungsapparat am Laufen halten. Und die EU-Beamten sind nicht billig. Sie werden ausgesprochen gut bezahlt und genießen dazu weitreichende Privilegien – Zulagen, freie Tage, Fortbildungsansprüche. Privilegien, die knallhart verteidigt werden.
Zwar verhandeln Kommission, Europaparlament und Nationalregierungen derzeit über eine Reform des EU-Beamtenstatuts. So soll die Wochenarbeitszeit von 37,5 auf 40 Stunden angehoben werden. Doch darüber hinaus sieht es nicht danach aus, als sei man in Brüssel zu größeren Einschnitten bereit. Die Bundesregierung sei vom “Einsparvolumen der Reformvorschläge enttäuscht und wünscht sich erhebliche Nachbesserungen”, heißt es aus dem für das Beamtenrecht zuständigen Bundesinnenministerium gegenüber SPIEGEL ONLINE.
This week has provided two very clear examples of why it is so important to keep on prepping. In the United States, the historic drought ravaging the central part of the country is absolutely devastating our crops. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, drought is affecting nearly 90 percent of all corn crops in America at this point. This is pushing the price of corn to levels never seen before. On Tuesday, the price of corn hit another new record high of$8.20 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Over the past six weeks the price of corn has risen more than 50 percent, and it could go a lot higher as the drought continues to absolutely bake America. Meanwhile, the massive power grid failures in India are reminding us all just how incredibly dependent we are on electricity and technology. Power was cut off to nearly a tenth of the entire global population on Tuesday, and there was quite a bit of panic about that even though power is rapidly being restored. So what would happen to them (or to us) someday if the power went off for good?
As much as humanity would like to think that our technology has conquered nature, that simply is not the case.
Without the rain that falls from the sky, there would be mass starvation on this planet. We are not immune to drought, and there are a lot of indications that the drought we are experiencing right now is just the beginning of a longer trend.
For example, one team of scientists has just published a study that says that the western United States could be facing a “100-year drought“.
They say that the recent drought of 2000-2004 was the worst long-term drought in more than 800 years. The following is from a recent CTVNews article….
Russia is currently in the grips of an extremely strong heat wave. City and town residents are suffocating from the sweltering heat. For example, it is about 30 degrees in Moscow with prospects of the thermometer going up in the next few days. The heat wave situation is aggravated by wild fires producing clods of poisonous smoke. The wood rich Siberian taiga near Krasnoyarsk is fighting 83 fires on the territory of 12.130 hectares. As for rural Russia, that only last year was the world’s third-biggest grain producer, it suffers colossal damages. It threats to destroy a significant part of the crops. If last year’s harvest amounted to 94 million tons, this year it is a predicted at 80 to 85 million. Given the situation, earlier in July the Agriculture Ministry had to revise its harvest predictions.
As Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes, the hardest hit are the important grain-producing areas including Kuban, Stavropol, Volgograd, Volga, Rostov-on-Don, Lipetsk, Penza, Ulyanovsk, Kurgan and Altai. Nevertheless, Arkady Zlochevsky, president of the Russian Grain Union thinks that “The risks are there, but then there is a chance to avoid them.” Zlochevksy added that there will be 85 million tons of crops and the size of the harvest would depend on the weather. With the leftover stocks from previous harvests, the export potential will then be about 18-20 million tons. Although this is less than last year, when the country exported more than 26 million tons, it is still better than 2010, when the droughts and wild fires in Russia ruined about a third of all the grain harvested and the country had to impose an embargo on grain exports. The area of Russia’s irrigated fields is about 2.5 million hectares, and Russia has 44 million hectares of land under spring crops this year. “The biggest losses are not caused by the weather, it is rather the failure to comply with production rules in bad weather,” said Zlochevsky.