US elections and austerity in Europe.
. First of all, the wonderfully complex process of gerrymandering. I discovered, not the thing, but the word, while looking at the 2012 US elections. The Wikipedia article dealing with that dubious political practice is absolutely top notch, and the origins of the term almost too good a story to be true. Go check it. Great word, isn’t it? Gerrymandering. Gerrymandering…
. Second: this pedagogical piece by Alexandre Delaigue on austerity and the Eurocrisis. Delaigue started a new series of blog-posts on economic questions, which he produces at an absolutely staggering pace.
It is in French – here is what Google Translate makes of it. The money quote is at the end, translated in English by yours truly:
The European trade unions are right on one point: austerity in Europe will not work. But the solutions they advocate (a European stimulus policy, europeanization of public debts, European social redistribution…) work on the false assumption that the main problem would be solved. Employees who protested yesterday would be the first to protest if their productivity efforts led to economic recovery … in neighboring countries. The “European problem” remains the same as ever: what could work economically is not politically feasible; what is politically realistic does not work economically.
I couldn’t put it any better. Europe suffers from a political problem, which only multiplies the continent’s economic woes. This question of “political feasibility”, which in essence is the question of nationalism, is as always the crux of the matter.