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yerevan-protests-2018

There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days.

I don’t follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan – who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs – has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the Prime Ministership. This was accompanied by a bill making Armenia a parliamentary republic, in effect extending his rule.

Although the opposition is relatively more pro-EU, the reality is that any minimally sane “maidanist” government in Armenia will still be pro-Russian, as I pointed out three years ago during a similar round of protests.

Here is the reason why in one chart:

armenia-azerbaijan-military-spending

Of course, the essential qualifier is “minimally sane.” But Maidanism is more of a religious phenomenon, so no firm predictions can be made.

Some of my old articles on Armenia:

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Armenia, Color Revolution 
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  2. One thing I’m worried about is if Armenia implodes, we’ll get all the refugees.

    Read More
    • Replies: @silviosilver

    One thing I’m worried about is if Armenia implodes, we’ll get all the refugees.
     
    I assume then that you don't think much of Armenians, but what is the general feeling towards them in Russia?
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  3. g2k says:

    A few thoughts:

    I think Serzh rubs Yerevanites up the wrong way because he’s part of a cabal of Krabach veterans that have dominated the government since the second presidency and become quite rich off the back of it. This is kind of comparable to the way that Kievans disliked Yanukovych because he came from Donbass, even before he ever did anything.

    The opposition leading these protests is made up of Yeravan yuppies and diaspora (not huge fans of Krabakh warlords). Though they’ve taken great care to not to make the protests about EAEU/EU, the Yelk movement is quite Euro-Atlaticist. There’s an element of “we’re real Europeans donchaknow” to their mindset; make of that what you will.

    The place is absolutely awash with Soros/NGO money.

    The protests have broader appeal than just opposition supporters: this guy is about as non-altanticist as you can possibly get https://twitter.com/zinvor

    State department/EU haven’t been explicitly siding with the protesters and blaming the government for all violence as was the case in Ukraine.

    Their new president is a maths professor and probably the smartest head of state in the world.

    Read More
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  4. Speaking of color revolutions, is one being fomented in Hungary?

    Thread

    This on the heels of the news that Soros is decamping from Hungary. Central European University, his primary brainwashing institution is apparently moving to Berlin. Many of his NGOs are also leaving after Orban vowed to tighten the rules even more for NGOs if he got elected. Maybe Soros and his network wants to go out with a bang.

    Also, just as an aside, seems the swamp Germans are going to try to ramp up the economic pressure on Russia even more, though through EU channels of course. The Dutch have often punched above their weight and they are looking for allies. They will likely get all the Nordics, the Baltics and sizable portions of Central Europe along with them. If they get Big Brother Germany along with the ride, the chances of it passing are high. A further sign of estrangement. The “reset” is as dead as it ever was.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    What makes you think that Germans (and other Europeans) have much agency in this situation at all? The consensus view in Russia is that Washington is behind all these anti-Russian moves. The EU is a US-led institution that serves US goals - Michael McFaul, former US ambassador in Russia said it outright.
    , @reiner Tor

    Speaking of color revolutions, is one being fomented in Hungary?
     
    They (Soros, the NGOs, the opposition parties, and the demonstrators themselves) would of course love it, but I very much doubt it’d come to this. Jobbik is marching with them (but some of their hardcore nationalist supporters have gone over to Fidesz), but it’s mostly yuppies and intellectuals and the like. They are mostly not soldiers of some revolution.
    , @Mitleser

    ...named after a late Russian activist
     
    First this criminal accountant mutated into a lawyer, now into an activist.
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  5. I have previously detailed the 2017 asylum statistics for the EU, however those were only applications. Some countries, on the basis of unfortunate geography, may get a lot of applications and may turn down a lot. Hungary in 2015-6 certainly belongs in that category.

    To get a clear view, you really need to look at decisions. Until recently we only had up until 2016 for that, but Eurostat recently changed that fact and released the 2017 numbers here.

    Overall highlights:

    * Total positive decisions down by 25% from 2016. Still high but declining (but for how long?). This is not because of stricter standards but because of fewer applications (see my previous post).

    * Sweden is no longer the most extreme on a per million basis. In 2016 they had 7000 positive asylum decisions per million, now it is “only” half that. Instead, it is Germany which is now in the lead with almost 4000 per million.

    * Just to re-iterate that it isn’t just geography. France accepts around 605 per million. This is around their historical norm. In 2016 they accepted around 550 per million. In fact, supposedly “right-wing” Switzerland accepts 1700 per million. Denmark, which is often painted as very right-wing is about as liberal as France.

    * Onto the V4. Slovakia now holds the crown with the harshest acceptance rate. 10 per million. Poland has 15 per million. Czechia is also at 15 per million. Hungary is at a very surprising 130(!) per million.

    * Quality-wise, Poland has the “best” refugees. Over half of ours are from Ukraine. 2nd place is Russia(though most of our “refugees” from Russia are in fact Chechens, literally all of them get rejected. We do in fact take in some people with Polish or even in some cases Ukrainian/Belorussian ancestry from Russia under the pretext they are oppressed). Only on third place do we get to Tajikistan. Which is around 35 people on a population of 38 500 000. Still too high, of course. By contrast, even Slovakia or Czechia has Syria/Afghanistan as #1 and #2.

    * Portugal is at 50 per million, so more than 2X as strict as Hungary though still behind the harshest (SK+PL+CZ). Of the major Western European countries with a large population, Spain has the harshest standards (100 per million). This is not new, to those who have paid attention. Ireland is also stingy (150). Austria is at 3865, higher than even Sweden and close to Germany. Hopefully the new government will end the utter disarray there.

    P.S.

    If you look at my profile, it seems someone has been using my name and posting comments on Israel Shamir articles. I don’t know what’s more insulting, that someone would impersonate me or that someone would even think I would post on such articles in the first place.

    To be clear, I almost only post on AK blogs. I have posted a few odd comments on iSteve. To the extent I post anything outside those two blogs it is never on Russia. All Russia-related stuff(including Russian actions in Syria, which doesn’t interest me greatly to begin with) will be posted on AK. So if anyone sees my name on Shamir/Saker/whatever articles, know it is fake. I hope the imposter gets rooted out. I certainly don’t want to get my comment history wiped because of some douchebag using my name.

    AK: This has been sorted out. The commend in question was made by somebody who shared your IP, so a case of mistaken identity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dante
    I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your comments on here, always a good read.
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  6. @Polish Perspective
    Speaking of color revolutions, is one being fomented in Hungary?

    https://i.imgur.com/2M3Houd.jpg

    Thread

    This on the heels of the news that Soros is decamping from Hungary. Central European University, his primary brainwashing institution is apparently moving to Berlin. Many of his NGOs are also leaving after Orban vowed to tighten the rules even more for NGOs if he got elected. Maybe Soros and his network wants to go out with a bang.

    Also, just as an aside, seems the swamp Germans are going to try to ramp up the economic pressure on Russia even more, though through EU channels of course. The Dutch have often punched above their weight and they are looking for allies. They will likely get all the Nordics, the Baltics and sizable portions of Central Europe along with them. If they get Big Brother Germany along with the ride, the chances of it passing are high. A further sign of estrangement. The "reset" is as dead as it ever was.

    What makes you think that Germans (and other Europeans) have much agency in this situation at all? The consensus view in Russia is that Washington is behind all these anti-Russian moves. The EU is a US-led institution that serves US goals – Michael McFaul, former US ambassador in Russia said it outright.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    EU is a millenarian, religious-mythological project - very popular with some demographics in Europe.
    , @neutral

    What makes you think that Germans (and other Europeans) have much agency in this situation at all?
     
    I agree with this, but take it a step further, what makes you think that Americans (as in their politicians) have much agency? Their allegiance to Israel is absolute, the US is in turn a jewish led institution.
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  7. @Polish Perspective
    Speaking of color revolutions, is one being fomented in Hungary?

    https://i.imgur.com/2M3Houd.jpg

    Thread

    This on the heels of the news that Soros is decamping from Hungary. Central European University, his primary brainwashing institution is apparently moving to Berlin. Many of his NGOs are also leaving after Orban vowed to tighten the rules even more for NGOs if he got elected. Maybe Soros and his network wants to go out with a bang.

    Also, just as an aside, seems the swamp Germans are going to try to ramp up the economic pressure on Russia even more, though through EU channels of course. The Dutch have often punched above their weight and they are looking for allies. They will likely get all the Nordics, the Baltics and sizable portions of Central Europe along with them. If they get Big Brother Germany along with the ride, the chances of it passing are high. A further sign of estrangement. The "reset" is as dead as it ever was.

    Speaking of color revolutions, is one being fomented in Hungary?

    They (Soros, the NGOs, the opposition parties, and the demonstrators themselves) would of course love it, but I very much doubt it’d come to this. Jobbik is marching with them (but some of their hardcore nationalist supporters have gone over to Fidesz), but it’s mostly yuppies and intellectuals and the like. They are mostly not soldiers of some revolution.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dante
    I agree that this is not going to amount to much as stated it is likely a parting blow from Soros etc. The majority of Hungarians support Orban and the 2nd biggest party Jobbik is also Nationalist.
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  8. Mitleser says:
    @Polish Perspective
    Speaking of color revolutions, is one being fomented in Hungary?

    https://i.imgur.com/2M3Houd.jpg

    Thread

    This on the heels of the news that Soros is decamping from Hungary. Central European University, his primary brainwashing institution is apparently moving to Berlin. Many of his NGOs are also leaving after Orban vowed to tighten the rules even more for NGOs if he got elected. Maybe Soros and his network wants to go out with a bang.

    Also, just as an aside, seems the swamp Germans are going to try to ramp up the economic pressure on Russia even more, though through EU channels of course. The Dutch have often punched above their weight and they are looking for allies. They will likely get all the Nordics, the Baltics and sizable portions of Central Europe along with them. If they get Big Brother Germany along with the ride, the chances of it passing are high. A further sign of estrangement. The "reset" is as dead as it ever was.

    …named after a late Russian activist

    First this criminal accountant mutated into a lawyer, now into an activist.

    Read More
    • Agree: for-the-record
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  9. Dmitry says:

    The problem in Armenia is their bad economy.

    Lack of military spending is just symptom of that (along with lack of spending in every area)..

    Aside from some lucky rich people – the best solution for average Armenians is emigration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @g2k
    It's bad but not absolutely terrible. Last year's growth was over 7%, albeit from a very low base and salieries are practically nothing. Its GDP/capita is about equal to Georgia's which has gone the opposite direction politically. Saying that, Georgia is also very, very poor. Liberal Yerevantsy refuse to believe this fact though and think of Georgia as some kind of economic powerhouse where everything is perfect. The Georgians have been given bezvis to the schengen zone which has left Armenia relatively more isolated. This was a political bribe and wouldn't have happened had there been no Ukraine crisis or brexit.

    The economy has become quite heavily Yerevan centric since the collapse of communism. Vanadzor, in particular, looks like a pink Pripyat, though those guys aren't the ones protesting.

    , @Art Deco
    Aside from some lucky rich people – the best solution for average Armenians is emigration.

    Best solution to what? Emigrate to where?
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  10. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich
    What makes you think that Germans (and other Europeans) have much agency in this situation at all? The consensus view in Russia is that Washington is behind all these anti-Russian moves. The EU is a US-led institution that serves US goals - Michael McFaul, former US ambassador in Russia said it outright.

    EU is a millenarian, religious-mythological project – very popular with some demographics in Europe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    That doesn't explain anti-Russian agenda.
    , @Art Deco
    No, it's a poorly constructed collection of bureaucracies. Vested interests leavened with bad social ideology.
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  11. Dmitry says:

    The question is how would you develop the Armenia economy.

    The unusually bad thing is that even as neighbouring powers, like Turkey and Russia, have had massive economic growth – Armenia has hardly managed to make advantage of the opportunity.

    Their main source of revenue is Armenian emigrants, sending money back home.

    Probably development of tourism is the best opportunity. I don’t really understand how they can not be successful , considering geographical proximity to many growing economies. Or that Georgia became one of the most fashionable recent tourist destinations where they now have too many tourists to be able to serve or accommodate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @g2k
    Georgia has much more to offer tourists naturally, in particular it has a coastline and a slice of the greater Caucasus. The nunber one country of origin for Georgian tourists is Turkey which is a nonstarter for Armenia. Flights are also considerably cheaper into Georgia due to Pegasus and whizz. Armenia severed diplomatic relations with Hungary after they released an Azeri axe murderer, so no whizz flights. Pobeda fly to Gyumri though for about $30.

    Having said that, Georgia is now being bought out quite rapidly by Gulf Arabs and Turks. Last time I was there, quite a lot of restaurants were advertising halal meat; this was nonexistent just a year ago. This must be quite painful, given how nationalistic they are.

    Yerevan has an extremely highly developed service sector which is surprising given its size and poverty. They export a lot of food and luxury goods to Russia and there's some mining operations in the north.

    , @Art Deco
    The question is how would you develop the Armenia economy.

    Annual growth rate in per capita income has been about 3.3% since 1990. They're developing at an adequate pace.



    Their main source of revenue is Armenian emigrants, sending money back home.

    Remittances accounted for about 12.5% of gross national income in 2016.
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  12. Sean says:

    Assad put up the price of basic necessities, and got a civil war. In hindsight, Russia should have given him more subsidies. The Soviet Union was financially drained by its empire.

    Read More
    • Troll: Twodees Partain
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    How is it that US-backed governments in Eastern Europe and the Ukraine can get away with raising the prices of basic necessities and only grow more stable as a result?

    As a Russian I don't agree with the idea that we must subsidise friedly regimes the way Soviet Union did. Ideally our allies must bring us profits, not costs.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. g2k says:
    @Dmitry
    The problem in Armenia is their bad economy.

    Lack of military spending is just symptom of that (along with lack of spending in every area)..

    Aside from some lucky rich people - the best solution for average Armenians is emigration.

    It’s bad but not absolutely terrible. Last year’s growth was over 7%, albeit from a very low base and salieries are practically nothing. Its GDP/capita is about equal to Georgia’s which has gone the opposite direction politically. Saying that, Georgia is also very, very poor. Liberal Yerevantsy refuse to believe this fact though and think of Georgia as some kind of economic powerhouse where everything is perfect. The Georgians have been given bezvis to the schengen zone which has left Armenia relatively more isolated. This was a political bribe and wouldn’t have happened had there been no Ukraine crisis or brexit.

    The economy has become quite heavily Yerevan centric since the collapse of communism. Vanadzor, in particular, looks like a pink Pripyat, though those guys aren’t the ones protesting.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Georgia has been in the same economic position.

    But the tourist industry in Georgia is a sudden good perspective and windfall. Actually we somehow didn't notice to mention it in the Georgia discussion post a few weeks ago.

    Georgia received 7.5 million tourists last year. And they predict a massive growth in the future.

    Tourism in Armenia is also going through a boom, but in a multiply smaller scale.

    Armenia received 1.5 million tourists last year, the highest number of tourists they ever receive (which is an increase of three times over the last decade - in 2008, they only received 500,000 tourists). I would guess this increase is partly a spillover from Georgia, which became over-demanded.
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  14. @Dmitry
    EU is a millenarian, religious-mythological project - very popular with some demographics in Europe.

    That doesn’t explain anti-Russian agenda.

    Read More
    • Replies: @g2k
    It was always loosely atlanticist from inception, but, in the early 90s this was codefied with the common defense and security policy. The expansion into the old Warsaw pact has also injected a solidly anti-russian block at the same time as the economies, and thus influence, of the, relatively moderate, southern European counties became weak.

    You also have, what looks like, the end of French de gaulism.

    , @Dmitry
    I don't have any knowledge or opinion on that question.

    But the EU project itself, is something like a religion in some European demographics - with a genuine religious passion and fanaticism.

    It has more dimensions than just foreign policy, which in some sense seems the weakest component. And it is far from a rationally motivated project.
    , @Mitleser
    It is not just anti-Russian.
    It is also anti-British, anti-Turkish, anti-German, etc.
    The European project wants to dominate western Eurasia and opposes everyone in that part of the world who does not submit to Brüssel.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. @Sean
    Assad put up the price of basic necessities, and got a civil war. In hindsight, Russia should have given him more subsidies. The Soviet Union was financially drained by its empire.

    How is it that US-backed governments in Eastern Europe and the Ukraine can get away with raising the prices of basic necessities and only grow more stable as a result?

    As a Russian I don’t agree with the idea that we must subsidise friedly regimes the way Soviet Union did. Ideally our allies must bring us profits, not costs.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. g2k says:
    @Felix Keverich
    That doesn't explain anti-Russian agenda.

    It was always loosely atlanticist from inception, but, in the early 90s this was codefied with the common defense and security policy. The expansion into the old Warsaw pact has also injected a solidly anti-russian block at the same time as the economies, and thus influence, of the, relatively moderate, southern European counties became weak.

    You also have, what looks like, the end of French de gaulism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    The expansion into the old Warsaw pact has also injected a solidly anti-russian block at the same time as the economies, and thus influence, of the, relatively moderate, southern European counties became weak.
     
    I still think you guys imbue Europeans with more agency than they deserve. Estonia is the reason why new anti-Russian sanctions are being considered right now? Don't make me laugh! These decisions are simply not made in the European capitals.

    Think of the EU as a herd, and the US as a shepherd - this is how "Trans-Atlantic community" works IMO.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. g2k says:
    @Dmitry
    The question is how would you develop the Armenia economy.

    The unusually bad thing is that even as neighbouring powers, like Turkey and Russia, have had massive economic growth - Armenia has hardly managed to make advantage of the opportunity.

    Their main source of revenue is Armenian emigrants, sending money back home.

    Probably development of tourism is the best opportunity. I don't really understand how they can not be successful , considering geographical proximity to many growing economies. Or that Georgia became one of the most fashionable recent tourist destinations where they now have too many tourists to be able to serve or accommodate.

    Georgia has much more to offer tourists naturally, in particular it has a coastline and a slice of the greater Caucasus. The nunber one country of origin for Georgian tourists is Turkey which is a nonstarter for Armenia. Flights are also considerably cheaper into Georgia due to Pegasus and whizz. Armenia severed diplomatic relations with Hungary after they released an Azeri axe murderer, so no whizz flights. Pobeda fly to Gyumri though for about $30.

    Having said that, Georgia is now being bought out quite rapidly by Gulf Arabs and Turks. Last time I was there, quite a lot of restaurants were advertising halal meat; this was nonexistent just a year ago. This must be quite painful, given how nationalistic they are.

    Yerevan has an extremely highly developed service sector which is surprising given its size and poverty. They export a lot of food and luxury goods to Russia and there’s some mining operations in the north.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Georgia has much more to offer tourists naturally, in particular it has a coastline and a slice of the greater Caucasus. The nunber one country of origin for Georgian tourists is Turkey which is a nonstarter for Armenia. Flights are also considerably cheaper into Georgia due to Pegasus and whizz. Armenia severed diplomatic relations with Hungary after they released an Azeri axe murderer, so no whizz flights. Pobeda fly to Gyumri though for about $30.

    Having said that, Georgia is now being bought out quite rapidly by Gulf Arabs and Turks. Last time I was there, quite a lot of restaurants were advertising halal meat; this was nonexistent just a year ago. This must be quite painful, given how nationalistic they are.
     
    In rich countries, I think they can legitimately complain about things like that.

    But in Georgia, what happens to tourism in the last 5 years, is something pretty amazing - that will benefit every area of their economy. It changes the whole 'calculus' for their economy.

    The impact of this many tourists, in such a small economy - is transformative. They need to award Whizz Air as national heroes.
    , @Talha

    Having said that, Georgia is now being bought out quite rapidly by Gulf Arabs and Turks.
     
    Followed by...

    This must be quite painful, given how nationalistic they are.
     
    Major contradictions here; they can't really be seriously nationalistic if they are selling off real-estate to Arabs and Turks, right? That certainly doesn't fit together.

    Peace.
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  18. Dmitry says:
    @g2k
    It's bad but not absolutely terrible. Last year's growth was over 7%, albeit from a very low base and salieries are practically nothing. Its GDP/capita is about equal to Georgia's which has gone the opposite direction politically. Saying that, Georgia is also very, very poor. Liberal Yerevantsy refuse to believe this fact though and think of Georgia as some kind of economic powerhouse where everything is perfect. The Georgians have been given bezvis to the schengen zone which has left Armenia relatively more isolated. This was a political bribe and wouldn't have happened had there been no Ukraine crisis or brexit.

    The economy has become quite heavily Yerevan centric since the collapse of communism. Vanadzor, in particular, looks like a pink Pripyat, though those guys aren't the ones protesting.

    Georgia has been in the same economic position.

    But the tourist industry in Georgia is a sudden good perspective and windfall. Actually we somehow didn’t notice to mention it in the Georgia discussion post a few weeks ago.

    Georgia received 7.5 million tourists last year. And they predict a massive growth in the future.

    Tourism in Armenia is also going through a boom, but in a multiply smaller scale.

    Armenia received 1.5 million tourists last year, the highest number of tourists they ever receive (which is an increase of three times over the last decade – in 2008, they only received 500,000 tourists). I would guess this increase is partly a spillover from Georgia, which became over-demanded.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Aren’t they geographically more isolated than Georgia, and lacking a seashore? Hence, less tourists and less economic opportunities in general.
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  19. @g2k
    It was always loosely atlanticist from inception, but, in the early 90s this was codefied with the common defense and security policy. The expansion into the old Warsaw pact has also injected a solidly anti-russian block at the same time as the economies, and thus influence, of the, relatively moderate, southern European counties became weak.

    You also have, what looks like, the end of French de gaulism.

    The expansion into the old Warsaw pact has also injected a solidly anti-russian block at the same time as the economies, and thus influence, of the, relatively moderate, southern European counties became weak.

    I still think you guys imbue Europeans with more agency than they deserve. Estonia is the reason why new anti-Russian sanctions are being considered right now? Don’t make me laugh! These decisions are simply not made in the European capitals.

    Think of the EU as a herd, and the US as a shepherd – this is how “Trans-Atlantic community” works IMO.

    Read More
    • Replies: @g2k
    There's certainly an element of that, but it's definitely not the whole picture. There was genuine alarm in Europe when Trump was elected and there was a possibility that the US would walk away from NATO et al. The event that brought about the severest EU sanctions was the downing of that jet. There haven't been any over Syria. Sikorski and Bildt did more to stir up the Ukraine crisis than anyone else.
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  20. Dmitry says:
    @g2k
    Georgia has much more to offer tourists naturally, in particular it has a coastline and a slice of the greater Caucasus. The nunber one country of origin for Georgian tourists is Turkey which is a nonstarter for Armenia. Flights are also considerably cheaper into Georgia due to Pegasus and whizz. Armenia severed diplomatic relations with Hungary after they released an Azeri axe murderer, so no whizz flights. Pobeda fly to Gyumri though for about $30.

    Having said that, Georgia is now being bought out quite rapidly by Gulf Arabs and Turks. Last time I was there, quite a lot of restaurants were advertising halal meat; this was nonexistent just a year ago. This must be quite painful, given how nationalistic they are.

    Yerevan has an extremely highly developed service sector which is surprising given its size and poverty. They export a lot of food and luxury goods to Russia and there's some mining operations in the north.

    Georgia has much more to offer tourists naturally, in particular it has a coastline and a slice of the greater Caucasus. The nunber one country of origin for Georgian tourists is Turkey which is a nonstarter for Armenia. Flights are also considerably cheaper into Georgia due to Pegasus and whizz. Armenia severed diplomatic relations with Hungary after they released an Azeri axe murderer, so no whizz flights. Pobeda fly to Gyumri though for about $30.

    Having said that, Georgia is now being bought out quite rapidly by Gulf Arabs and Turks. Last time I was there, quite a lot of restaurants were advertising halal meat; this was nonexistent just a year ago. This must be quite painful, given how nationalistic they are.

    In rich countries, I think they can legitimately complain about things like that.

    But in Georgia, what happens to tourism in the last 5 years, is something pretty amazing – that will benefit every area of their economy. It changes the whole ‘calculus’ for their economy.

    The impact of this many tourists, in such a small economy – is transformative. They need to award Whizz Air as national heroes.

    Read More
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  21. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich
    That doesn't explain anti-Russian agenda.

    I don’t have any knowledge or opinion on that question.

    But the EU project itself, is something like a religion in some European demographics – with a genuine religious passion and fanaticism.

    It has more dimensions than just foreign policy, which in some sense seems the weakest component. And it is far from a rationally motivated project.

    Read More
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  22. @Dmitry
    Georgia has been in the same economic position.

    But the tourist industry in Georgia is a sudden good perspective and windfall. Actually we somehow didn't notice to mention it in the Georgia discussion post a few weeks ago.

    Georgia received 7.5 million tourists last year. And they predict a massive growth in the future.

    Tourism in Armenia is also going through a boom, but in a multiply smaller scale.

    Armenia received 1.5 million tourists last year, the highest number of tourists they ever receive (which is an increase of three times over the last decade - in 2008, they only received 500,000 tourists). I would guess this increase is partly a spillover from Georgia, which became over-demanded.

    Aren’t they geographically more isolated than Georgia, and lacking a seashore? Hence, less tourists and less economic opportunities in general.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I don't think the difference should be significant.

    If you consider a number of tourists driving or taking the boat into Georgia - it is not going to be high.

    Tourists arrive by air, so there is no physical reason Armenia and Georgia should get less traffic.

    g2k has mentioned more political reasons. For example, about Turkish tourists being less interested in Armenia. Although Turkish tourists are one of the main growth sectors for Armenian tourism industry at the moment.

    -

    I just looked at data for Georgia in 2017. Without reading carefully, it seems that tourists' spending in Georgia, was around 20% of Georgia's entire GDP for that year.
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  23. Art Deco says:

    But Maidanism is more of a religious phenomenon, so no firm predictions can be made.

    No, they just don’t like you. Get over it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    It would be pretty strange for Armenians to not like their only guarantor against Azeri designs on their territory, and their only friend in the region apart from Iran.

    (Though as Felix correctly points out, not exactly something that would bother Russians, since Armenia benefits from the relationship far more).

    But it's not strange, because you are making things up, as you are regrettably wont to. In reality, Armenia is one of the few countries where Putin is even more popular than in Russia itself.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/world-map-putin-approval-2015-details.png
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  24. Art Deco says:
    @Dmitry
    EU is a millenarian, religious-mythological project - very popular with some demographics in Europe.

    No, it’s a poorly constructed collection of bureaucracies. Vested interests leavened with bad social ideology.

    Read More
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  25. g2k says:
    @Felix Keverich

    The expansion into the old Warsaw pact has also injected a solidly anti-russian block at the same time as the economies, and thus influence, of the, relatively moderate, southern European counties became weak.
     
    I still think you guys imbue Europeans with more agency than they deserve. Estonia is the reason why new anti-Russian sanctions are being considered right now? Don't make me laugh! These decisions are simply not made in the European capitals.

    Think of the EU as a herd, and the US as a shepherd - this is how "Trans-Atlantic community" works IMO.

    There’s certainly an element of that, but it’s definitely not the whole picture. There was genuine alarm in Europe when Trump was elected and there was a possibility that the US would walk away from NATO et al. The event that brought about the severest EU sanctions was the downing of that jet. There haven’t been any over Syria. Sikorski and Bildt did more to stir up the Ukraine crisis than anyone else.

    Read More
    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Bildt and Sikorski are on the payroll. No one in Europe cares about Russia, the people at the top are simply paid to care about Russia.
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  26. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor
    Aren’t they geographically more isolated than Georgia, and lacking a seashore? Hence, less tourists and less economic opportunities in general.

    I don’t think the difference should be significant.

    If you consider a number of tourists driving or taking the boat into Georgia – it is not going to be high.

    Tourists arrive by air, so there is no physical reason Armenia and Georgia should get less traffic.

    g2k has mentioned more political reasons. For example, about Turkish tourists being less interested in Armenia. Although Turkish tourists are one of the main growth sectors for Armenian tourism industry at the moment.

    -

    I just looked at data for Georgia in 2017. Without reading carefully, it seems that tourists’ spending in Georgia, was around 20% of Georgia’s entire GDP for that year.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Armenia is surrounded by enemies, even Georgia is close to being an enemy. I didn’t expect Georgian tourism to be driven by Turkish tourism.

    Anyway, the lack of a seashore is normally quite significant, since many (most?) tourists are only looking for cheap sea resorts. I think way more tourists visit for example Croatia than Slovenia, even on a per capita basis, due to the much longer seashore.
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  27. Art Deco says:
    @Dmitry
    The problem in Armenia is their bad economy.

    Lack of military spending is just symptom of that (along with lack of spending in every area)..

    Aside from some lucky rich people - the best solution for average Armenians is emigration.

    Aside from some lucky rich people – the best solution for average Armenians is emigration.

    Best solution to what? Emigrate to where?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    The best solution for a significant proportion - especially young people, who want a job where they can afford a normal life.

    The main emigration is to Russian Federation, although I'm not sure if there is data available on the exact number of work permits issued each year.

    There are probably as many, ,or more, Armenians in Russia at any single time, than in Armenia.
    , @RadicalCenter
    The Glendale-Burbank-LA Area, quite often.
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  28. @Dmitry
    I don't think the difference should be significant.

    If you consider a number of tourists driving or taking the boat into Georgia - it is not going to be high.

    Tourists arrive by air, so there is no physical reason Armenia and Georgia should get less traffic.

    g2k has mentioned more political reasons. For example, about Turkish tourists being less interested in Armenia. Although Turkish tourists are one of the main growth sectors for Armenian tourism industry at the moment.

    -

    I just looked at data for Georgia in 2017. Without reading carefully, it seems that tourists' spending in Georgia, was around 20% of Georgia's entire GDP for that year.

    Armenia is surrounded by enemies, even Georgia is close to being an enemy. I didn’t expect Georgian tourism to be driven by Turkish tourism.

    Anyway, the lack of a seashore is normally quite significant, since many (most?) tourists are only looking for cheap sea resorts. I think way more tourists visit for example Croatia than Slovenia, even on a per capita basis, due to the much longer seashore.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    The political considerations are not always that dominant for tourists, unless or until there is some 'hot conflict'. And even then...

    Consider that the most consistent tourists in Ukraine, are still Russians. Or that the most booming travel destination for Israelis - is Turkey.


    -

    The tourist boom in Georgia is not driven by Westerners though - but by Armenians, Russians, Azerbaijanis and Turks.

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A2%D1%83%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%BC_%D0%B2_%D0%93%D1%80%D1%83%D0%B7%D0%B8%D0%B8#%D0%A2%D1%83%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D1%8B_%D0%BF%D0%BE_%D1%81%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%BC
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  29. Art Deco says:
    @Dmitry
    The question is how would you develop the Armenia economy.

    The unusually bad thing is that even as neighbouring powers, like Turkey and Russia, have had massive economic growth - Armenia has hardly managed to make advantage of the opportunity.

    Their main source of revenue is Armenian emigrants, sending money back home.

    Probably development of tourism is the best opportunity. I don't really understand how they can not be successful , considering geographical proximity to many growing economies. Or that Georgia became one of the most fashionable recent tourist destinations where they now have too many tourists to be able to serve or accommodate.

    The question is how would you develop the Armenia economy.

    Annual growth rate in per capita income has been about 3.3% since 1990. They’re developing at an adequate pace.

    Their main source of revenue is Armenian emigrants, sending money back home.

    Remittances accounted for about 12.5% of gross national income in 2016.

    Read More
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  30. Dmitry says:
    @Art Deco
    Aside from some lucky rich people – the best solution for average Armenians is emigration.

    Best solution to what? Emigrate to where?

    The best solution for a significant proportion – especially young people, who want a job where they can afford a normal life.

    The main emigration is to Russian Federation, although I’m not sure if there is data available on the exact number of work permits issued each year.

    There are probably as many, ,or more, Armenians in Russia at any single time, than in Armenia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @g2k
    That will have put some pressure on living standards as the Dram hasn't budged at all against the dollar as the Ruble devalued in 2014-15.
    , @Art Deco
    The best solution for a significant proportion – especially young people, who want a job where they can afford a normal life.

    People's sense of both 'normal life' and what they 'can afford' is derived from the context they're used to. The country has a depressed labor market, but the outmigration rate peaked in 1995 and is now as low as it has been in 30-odd years (0.2% of the population per annum).



    There are probably as many, ,or more, Armenians in Russia at any single time, than in Armenia.

    The last census found 1.2 million Armenians in Russia, v. 2.9 million in Armenia.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Seems right. I have met two Armenians who were born and raised in Moscow, one now settled in Glendale CA and the other in Burbank CA.

    I’d guess there are as many Armenians in the USA as in Yerevan (a million), with at least 250-300,000 of those in Glendale-LA Area alone (LA and cities bordering LA to the north such as Burbank, Montrose, and La Crescenta).

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  31. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor
    Armenia is surrounded by enemies, even Georgia is close to being an enemy. I didn’t expect Georgian tourism to be driven by Turkish tourism.

    Anyway, the lack of a seashore is normally quite significant, since many (most?) tourists are only looking for cheap sea resorts. I think way more tourists visit for example Croatia than Slovenia, even on a per capita basis, due to the much longer seashore.

    The political considerations are not always that dominant for tourists, unless or until there is some ‘hot conflict’. And even then…

    Consider that the most consistent tourists in Ukraine, are still Russians. Or that the most booming travel destination for Israelis – is Turkey.

    -

    The tourist boom in Georgia is not driven by Westerners though – but by Armenians, Russians, Azerbaijanis and Turks.

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A2%D1%83%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%BC_%D0%B2_%D0%93%D1%80%D1%83%D0%B7%D0%B8%D0%B8#%D0%A2%D1%83%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D1%8B_%D0%BF%D0%BE_%D1%81%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%BC

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    You have already answered me three times, but you haven’t yet addressed my point about the lack of a seashore. Is there anything interesting in Armenia? I thought even most historical sites are in Turkey.
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  32. g2k says:
    @Dmitry
    The best solution for a significant proportion - especially young people, who want a job where they can afford a normal life.

    The main emigration is to Russian Federation, although I'm not sure if there is data available on the exact number of work permits issued each year.

    There are probably as many, ,or more, Armenians in Russia at any single time, than in Armenia.

    That will have put some pressure on living standards as the Dram hasn’t budged at all against the dollar as the Ruble devalued in 2014-15.

    Read More
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  33. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich
    That doesn't explain anti-Russian agenda.

    It is not just anti-Russian.
    It is also anti-British, anti-Turkish, anti-German, etc.
    The European project wants to dominate western Eurasia and opposes everyone in that part of the world who does not submit to Brüssel.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    I don't recall them freezing the assets of top officials in Erdogan's government. That's because Turkey happens to be a key ally of Washington. By contrast, EU policies are anti-Russian in a very literal sense. European bureacracy openly states that their goal is to cause Russia harm.

    When you look at EU efforts to blocks Russian pipelines for example, they make zero sense from the perspective of European interests. Because Nord Stream 2 is going to make Europe richer. But they make perfect sense in terms of American interests, i.e. trying to sell its overpriced LNG in the European market.

    The point I'm trying to make is that nobody in Europe submits to Brussels. Brussels is not even a power center. It is simply an agent of Washington in Europe.

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  34. @Dmitry
    The political considerations are not always that dominant for tourists, unless or until there is some 'hot conflict'. And even then...

    Consider that the most consistent tourists in Ukraine, are still Russians. Or that the most booming travel destination for Israelis - is Turkey.


    -

    The tourist boom in Georgia is not driven by Westerners though - but by Armenians, Russians, Azerbaijanis and Turks.

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A2%D1%83%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%BC_%D0%B2_%D0%93%D1%80%D1%83%D0%B7%D0%B8%D0%B8#%D0%A2%D1%83%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D1%8B_%D0%BF%D0%BE_%D1%81%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%BC

    You have already answered me three times, but you haven’t yet addressed my point about the lack of a seashore. Is there anything interesting in Armenia? I thought even most historical sites are in Turkey.

    Read More
    • Replies: @g2k
    There are interesting things in Armenia, but quite a lot of those things are niche: Yerevan itself is a pleasant and cultured place to spend some time; a sort of cross between a mini-Moscow and Beirut, there are skiable mountains (albeit with crap lifts), a mountain lake with beaches, good food and drink and historical sights. All of those things and more are available in Georgia though (Tbilisi isn't quite as cultured as Yerevan IMHO), for a cheaper air fare.
    , @Dmitry
    But people are not usually going to Georgia for the beach

    I have never yet been on holiday to the region (so you better read g2k).

    I'm sure I'll write a lot of reviews in tripadvisor when I go eventually.

    But all three of these destinations (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan), get extremely good reviews with tourists, and it is the new fashion to go on holiday there.

    My parents went on holiday in Baku last year and they sounded very happy about the holiday.
    , @for-the-record
    Is there anything interesting in Armenia?

    https://velvetescape.com/places-in-armenia/
    , @iffen
    Is there anything interesting in Armenia?

    Do they have a genocide museum?
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  35. g2k says:
    @reiner Tor
    You have already answered me three times, but you haven’t yet addressed my point about the lack of a seashore. Is there anything interesting in Armenia? I thought even most historical sites are in Turkey.

    There are interesting things in Armenia, but quite a lot of those things are niche: Yerevan itself is a pleasant and cultured place to spend some time; a sort of cross between a mini-Moscow and Beirut, there are skiable mountains (albeit with crap lifts), a mountain lake with beaches, good food and drink and historical sights. All of those things and more are available in Georgia though (Tbilisi isn’t quite as cultured as Yerevan IMHO), for a cheaper air fare.

    Read More
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  36. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor
    You have already answered me three times, but you haven’t yet addressed my point about the lack of a seashore. Is there anything interesting in Armenia? I thought even most historical sites are in Turkey.

    But people are not usually going to Georgia for the beach

    I have never yet been on holiday to the region (so you better read g2k).

    I’m sure I’ll write a lot of reviews in tripadvisor when I go eventually.

    But all three of these destinations (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan), get extremely good reviews with tourists, and it is the new fashion to go on holiday there.

    My parents went on holiday in Baku last year and they sounded very happy about the holiday.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jayce
    Tbilisi and Yerevan are also where Tehran goes to drink.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    1. Armenia has actually done quite well, I think. Considering it's surrounded by hostile states on two sides, and has to spend a lot of $$$ on the military, this is all the more impressive.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/developing-transition.png

    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it's really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine - half-Jewish, MacBook toting "creative" person - is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of "soft power" among the spending classes.

    3. The Caucasus isn't anywhere near the top of my to go list (that's reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I'd go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it's grossly overrated.
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  37. @reiner Tor
    You have already answered me three times, but you haven’t yet addressed my point about the lack of a seashore. Is there anything interesting in Armenia? I thought even most historical sites are in Turkey.

    Is there anything interesting in Armenia?

    https://velvetescape.com/places-in-armenia/

    Read More
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  38. @Mitleser
    It is not just anti-Russian.
    It is also anti-British, anti-Turkish, anti-German, etc.
    The European project wants to dominate western Eurasia and opposes everyone in that part of the world who does not submit to Brüssel.

    I don’t recall them freezing the assets of top officials in Erdogan’s government. That’s because Turkey happens to be a key ally of Washington. By contrast, EU policies are anti-Russian in a very literal sense. European bureacracy openly states that their goal is to cause Russia harm.

    When you look at EU efforts to blocks Russian pipelines for example, they make zero sense from the perspective of European interests. Because Nord Stream 2 is going to make Europe richer. But they make perfect sense in terms of American interests, i.e. trying to sell its overpriced LNG in the European market.

    The point I’m trying to make is that nobody in Europe submits to Brussels. Brussels is not even a power center. It is simply an agent of Washington in Europe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    I don’t recall them freezing the assets of top officials in Erdogan’s government.
     
    They froze Turkey's EU accession bid.
    Considering that Turkey has to adjust its tariffs and duties to match those of the EU (Customs Union) and Turkey's economic dependence on EUrope, that is not a good thing for Turkey.

    That’s because Turkey happens to be a key ally of Washington.

     


    Congress has revived threats to sanction Turkey over the detention of North Carolina Pastor Andrew Brunson, as well as other US citizens and Turkish staff members of US diplomatic missions that it believes are being held as “political pawns.”

    Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., declared in a joint statement April 19 that they would pursue targeted sanctions against Turkish officials in the foreign affairs spending bill for fiscal year 2019. Their statement noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “has continued to violate the trust between our two nations by holding Pastor Brunson and other innocent Americans behind bars on fabricated charges. … Turkish officials who participate in the detainment of any innocent American citizen should face international consequences, and the actions against Pastor Brunson, in particular, qualify as hostage-taking.”
     

    Ankara's bigger worry is the size and terms of the fine the US Treasury will likely slap on Halkbank for sanctions-busting. Turkish officials warn that if the fine is "disproportionately high" and ends up coming out of Turkish taxpayers’ pockets, this will sink relations to new lows.
     

    “Chances of the sanctions language appearing in the next funding cycle are very high,” the source predicted. Moreover, none of this precludes the use of sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act against Turkish officials for human rights abuses or corruption. “There will be annual lists. This is a very broad authority. If human rights groups want anyone added to the list, they have to build the legal case and give it to Congress to submit to the administration. It’s terrible, but this is the first time the Hill stopped listening to State on Turkey. This is a good time to push,” the source added. “What Erdogan has been doing is shocking. And [the State Department] is shocked. They don’t know what to do. And they’ve been beaten [by senators] into submission.”
     

    Yet should Mike Pompeo be confirmed as the new secretary of state, Washington may grow even less accommodating. Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, served as a deacon and taught Sunday school at the Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita, which is part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church that Brunson belongs to.
     
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/us-sanctions-loom-defiant-turkey-erdogan-pastor.html

    In a sign that Turkey will continue to stock up on gold, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on April 17 argued that international loans should be based on gold rather than dollars. Speaking at an economic gathering in Istanbul, he remarked, “Why do you have to make the loans in dollars? Let’s base the loans on gold. We need to rid states and nations of exchange rate pressure. Throughout history, gold has never been a means of pressure.” Erdogan also said that he had made the suggestion to International Monetary Fund officials at a G-20 meeting.

    Ankara’s desire to boost the use of gold pertains not only to borrowing, but also to trade. This meshes with its efforts to promote interest-free banking, where lending systems are based on gold. Some, however, see more covert motives behind Turkey’s stocking on gold.

    Ufuk Soylemez, a former state minister for the economy and former head of the state-owned Halkbank, believes Ankara might be taking precautions against the prospect of US sanctions against Halkbank for its role in a scheme to get around sanctions on Iran. In January, Mehmet Atilla, a senior Halkbank manager, was found guilty of conspiracy and bank fraud after a monthlong trial in a New York federal court.

    Soylemez told Al-Monitor, “With an abrupt policy change, the central bank has been selling dollars and raising gold reserves to unprecedented levels, which could be a precaution against the risk of multi-billion dollar US fines on Turkish banks.”

    He also drew attention to other unusual moves by the central bank, noting, “Since the end of last year, it has been intensively selling its US bonds and converting its deposits in the United Sates to gold, in addition to moving gold reserves kept in the United States to Europe.” He added, “As of Feb. 23, gold reserves hit $25.2 billion, up from $14 billion at the end of 2016. Gold now makes up almost a fourth of the total reserves, which are worth some $114.5 billion.”

    According to Soylemez, the idea of using gold to curb the dollar’s dominance in the international banking system and financial markets is easier said than done. “This method can materialize only through bilateral consensus and agreements between countries,” he said. “With Iran, for instance, there was a similar trade in return for gold. Yet convincing the world to accept this as a new system is not easy.”

    In what Soylemez views as another sign of Turkey-US tensions, he noted that the 30-year-old New York branch of the state-owned Ziraat Bank had been recently closed.

    In an April 17 article, Hurriyet’s economy pundit Ugur Gurses reported that last year the central bank withdrew all 28.6 tons of gold it was keeping at the US Federal Reserve, moving it to the Switzerland-based Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and the Bank of England. According to the report, at the end of 2017, Turkey’s gold reserves totaled 564.7 tons, including 375.4 tons at the Bank of England, 18.7 tons at BIS, 33.7 tons at the Turkish central bank and 136.8 tons in the central bank’s account at the Istanbul stock exchange.
     
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/turkey-why-gold-reserves-on-the-rise.html

    So much, for "key ally of Washington".

    When you look at EU efforts to blocks Russian pipelines for example, they make zero sense from the perspective of European interests.
     
    It makes sense from the perspective of the anti-Russian European interests who are opposed to Russia's increasing share in the European gas market.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Exporting LNG, at least in large quantities, isn't really in our interests at all.

    This will cause our domestic gas prices to rise. In theory, they will rise until they will converge with high-cost markets like East Asia.

    This will terminate our current competitive edge in industries such as petrochemicals and sponge iron.

    Exporting American LNG is rather about:

    1 - The interests of the oil companies themselves
    2 - America's absurd and dangerous Russophobia

    Fortunately just this once I can be grateful to the environmentalists and NIMBYs. There will only be a limited number of LNG export terminals built, so our gas prices will remain low.
    , @for-the-record
    Brussels is not even a power center. It is simply an agent of Washington in Europe.

    Unfortunately that seems to be increasingly true. While there is some historical anti-Russian sentiment in the West, I think that most of it can simply be attributed to the fact that any country that does not submit to US hegemony is ostracized. If Yeltsin redux were to take place, everything would be forgiven.
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  39. Jayce says:
    @Dmitry
    But people are not usually going to Georgia for the beach

    I have never yet been on holiday to the region (so you better read g2k).

    I'm sure I'll write a lot of reviews in tripadvisor when I go eventually.

    But all three of these destinations (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan), get extremely good reviews with tourists, and it is the new fashion to go on holiday there.

    My parents went on holiday in Baku last year and they sounded very happy about the holiday.

    Tbilisi and Yerevan are also where Tehran goes to drink.

    Read More
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  40. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich
    I don't recall them freezing the assets of top officials in Erdogan's government. That's because Turkey happens to be a key ally of Washington. By contrast, EU policies are anti-Russian in a very literal sense. European bureacracy openly states that their goal is to cause Russia harm.

    When you look at EU efforts to blocks Russian pipelines for example, they make zero sense from the perspective of European interests. Because Nord Stream 2 is going to make Europe richer. But they make perfect sense in terms of American interests, i.e. trying to sell its overpriced LNG in the European market.

    The point I'm trying to make is that nobody in Europe submits to Brussels. Brussels is not even a power center. It is simply an agent of Washington in Europe.

    I don’t recall them freezing the assets of top officials in Erdogan’s government.

    They froze Turkey’s EU accession bid.
    Considering that Turkey has to adjust its tariffs and duties to match those of the EU (Customs Union) and Turkey’s economic dependence on EUrope, that is not a good thing for Turkey.

    That’s because Turkey happens to be a key ally of Washington.

    Congress has revived threats to sanction Turkey over the detention of North Carolina Pastor Andrew Brunson, as well as other US citizens and Turkish staff members of US diplomatic missions that it believes are being held as “political pawns.”

    Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., declared in a joint statement April 19 that they would pursue targeted sanctions against Turkish officials in the foreign affairs spending bill for fiscal year 2019. Their statement noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “has continued to violate the trust between our two nations by holding Pastor Brunson and other innocent Americans behind bars on fabricated charges. … Turkish officials who participate in the detainment of any innocent American citizen should face international consequences, and the actions against Pastor Brunson, in particular, qualify as hostage-taking.”

    Ankara’s bigger worry is the size and terms of the fine the US Treasury will likely slap on Halkbank for sanctions-busting. Turkish officials warn that if the fine is “disproportionately high” and ends up coming out of Turkish taxpayers’ pockets, this will sink relations to new lows.

    “Chances of the sanctions language appearing in the next funding cycle are very high,” the source predicted. Moreover, none of this precludes the use of sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act against Turkish officials for human rights abuses or corruption. “There will be annual lists. This is a very broad authority. If human rights groups want anyone added to the list, they have to build the legal case and give it to Congress to submit to the administration. It’s terrible, but this is the first time the Hill stopped listening to State on Turkey. This is a good time to push,” the source added. “What Erdogan has been doing is shocking. And [the State Department] is shocked. They don’t know what to do. And they’ve been beaten [by senators] into submission.”

    Yet should Mike Pompeo be confirmed as the new secretary of state, Washington may grow even less accommodating. Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, served as a deacon and taught Sunday school at the Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita, which is part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church that Brunson belongs to.

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/us-sanctions-loom-defiant-turkey-erdogan-pastor.html

    In a sign that Turkey will continue to stock up on gold, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on April 17 argued that international loans should be based on gold rather than dollars. Speaking at an economic gathering in Istanbul, he remarked, “Why do you have to make the loans in dollars? Let’s base the loans on gold. We need to rid states and nations of exchange rate pressure. Throughout history, gold has never been a means of pressure.” Erdogan also said that he had made the suggestion to International Monetary Fund officials at a G-20 meeting.

    Ankara’s desire to boost the use of gold pertains not only to borrowing, but also to trade. This meshes with its efforts to promote interest-free banking, where lending systems are based on gold. Some, however, see more covert motives behind Turkey’s stocking on gold.

    Ufuk Soylemez, a former state minister for the economy and former head of the state-owned Halkbank, believes Ankara might be taking precautions against the prospect of US sanctions against Halkbank for its role in a scheme to get around sanctions on Iran. In January, Mehmet Atilla, a senior Halkbank manager, was found guilty of conspiracy and bank fraud after a monthlong trial in a New York federal court.

    Soylemez told Al-Monitor, “With an abrupt policy change, the central bank has been selling dollars and raising gold reserves to unprecedented levels, which could be a precaution against the risk of multi-billion dollar US fines on Turkish banks.”

    He also drew attention to other unusual moves by the central bank, noting, “Since the end of last year, it has been intensively selling its US bonds and converting its deposits in the United Sates to gold, in addition to moving gold reserves kept in the United States to Europe.” He added, “As of Feb. 23, gold reserves hit $25.2 billion, up from $14 billion at the end of 2016. Gold now makes up almost a fourth of the total reserves, which are worth some $114.5 billion.”

    According to Soylemez, the idea of using gold to curb the dollar’s dominance in the international banking system and financial markets is easier said than done. “This method can materialize only through bilateral consensus and agreements between countries,” he said. “With Iran, for instance, there was a similar trade in return for gold. Yet convincing the world to accept this as a new system is not easy.”

    In what Soylemez views as another sign of Turkey-US tensions, he noted that the 30-year-old New York branch of the state-owned Ziraat Bank had been recently closed.

    In an April 17 article, Hurriyet’s economy pundit Ugur Gurses reported that last year the central bank withdrew all 28.6 tons of gold it was keeping at the US Federal Reserve, moving it to the Switzerland-based Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and the Bank of England. According to the report, at the end of 2017, Turkey’s gold reserves totaled 564.7 tons, including 375.4 tons at the Bank of England, 18.7 tons at BIS, 33.7 tons at the Turkish central bank and 136.8 tons in the central bank’s account at the Istanbul stock exchange.

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/turkey-why-gold-reserves-on-the-rise.html

    So much, for “key ally of Washington”.

    When you look at EU efforts to blocks Russian pipelines for example, they make zero sense from the perspective of European interests.

    It makes sense from the perspective of the anti-Russian European interests who are opposed to Russia’s increasing share in the European gas market.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    In Europe, they also don't want to have Turkey accepted into the EU, because it will result in many additional millions of Turkish immigrants living in European Union countries.

    This is probably a good idea, as Turkey has the same population as Germany - which would result in it as the joint largest country of EU.

    In addition, Turkey has a relatively poor population, which would result in huge immigration from Turkey into Western Europe - of millions of people.
    , @Felix Keverich

    It makes sense from the perspective of the anti-Russian European interests who are opposed to Russia’s increasing share in the European gas market.
     
    Which are those? You aren't talking about the government of Poland, are you? LOL
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  41. @Felix Keverich
    I don't recall them freezing the assets of top officials in Erdogan's government. That's because Turkey happens to be a key ally of Washington. By contrast, EU policies are anti-Russian in a very literal sense. European bureacracy openly states that their goal is to cause Russia harm.

    When you look at EU efforts to blocks Russian pipelines for example, they make zero sense from the perspective of European interests. Because Nord Stream 2 is going to make Europe richer. But they make perfect sense in terms of American interests, i.e. trying to sell its overpriced LNG in the European market.

    The point I'm trying to make is that nobody in Europe submits to Brussels. Brussels is not even a power center. It is simply an agent of Washington in Europe.

    Exporting LNG, at least in large quantities, isn’t really in our interests at all.

    This will cause our domestic gas prices to rise. In theory, they will rise until they will converge with high-cost markets like East Asia.

    This will terminate our current competitive edge in industries such as petrochemicals and sponge iron.

    Exporting American LNG is rather about:

    1 – The interests of the oil companies themselves
    2 – America’s absurd and dangerous Russophobia

    Fortunately just this once I can be grateful to the environmentalists and NIMBYs. There will only be a limited number of LNG export terminals built, so our gas prices will remain low.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    Exporting LNG, at least in large quantities, isn’t really in our interests at all.

    This will cause our domestic gas prices to rise. In theory, they will rise until they will converge with high-cost markets like East Asia.
     
    They won't converge. Domestic natural gas prices in the US will always be substantially below the international levels, because the costs associated with liquefying gas and trasporting it in tankers are immense.
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  42. @Felix Keverich
    I don't recall them freezing the assets of top officials in Erdogan's government. That's because Turkey happens to be a key ally of Washington. By contrast, EU policies are anti-Russian in a very literal sense. European bureacracy openly states that their goal is to cause Russia harm.

    When you look at EU efforts to blocks Russian pipelines for example, they make zero sense from the perspective of European interests. Because Nord Stream 2 is going to make Europe richer. But they make perfect sense in terms of American interests, i.e. trying to sell its overpriced LNG in the European market.

    The point I'm trying to make is that nobody in Europe submits to Brussels. Brussels is not even a power center. It is simply an agent of Washington in Europe.

    Brussels is not even a power center. It is simply an agent of Washington in Europe.

    Unfortunately that seems to be increasingly true. While there is some historical anti-Russian sentiment in the West, I think that most of it can simply be attributed to the fact that any country that does not submit to US hegemony is ostracized. If Yeltsin redux were to take place, everything would be forgiven.

    Read More
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  43. LondonBob says:
    @g2k
    There's certainly an element of that, but it's definitely not the whole picture. There was genuine alarm in Europe when Trump was elected and there was a possibility that the US would walk away from NATO et al. The event that brought about the severest EU sanctions was the downing of that jet. There haven't been any over Syria. Sikorski and Bildt did more to stir up the Ukraine crisis than anyone else.

    Bildt and Sikorski are on the payroll. No one in Europe cares about Russia, the people at the top are simply paid to care about Russia.

    Read More
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  44. Dmitry says:
    @Mitleser

    I don’t recall them freezing the assets of top officials in Erdogan’s government.
     
    They froze Turkey's EU accession bid.
    Considering that Turkey has to adjust its tariffs and duties to match those of the EU (Customs Union) and Turkey's economic dependence on EUrope, that is not a good thing for Turkey.

    That’s because Turkey happens to be a key ally of Washington.

     


    Congress has revived threats to sanction Turkey over the detention of North Carolina Pastor Andrew Brunson, as well as other US citizens and Turkish staff members of US diplomatic missions that it believes are being held as “political pawns.”

    Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., declared in a joint statement April 19 that they would pursue targeted sanctions against Turkish officials in the foreign affairs spending bill for fiscal year 2019. Their statement noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “has continued to violate the trust between our two nations by holding Pastor Brunson and other innocent Americans behind bars on fabricated charges. … Turkish officials who participate in the detainment of any innocent American citizen should face international consequences, and the actions against Pastor Brunson, in particular, qualify as hostage-taking.”
     

    Ankara's bigger worry is the size and terms of the fine the US Treasury will likely slap on Halkbank for sanctions-busting. Turkish officials warn that if the fine is "disproportionately high" and ends up coming out of Turkish taxpayers’ pockets, this will sink relations to new lows.
     

    “Chances of the sanctions language appearing in the next funding cycle are very high,” the source predicted. Moreover, none of this precludes the use of sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act against Turkish officials for human rights abuses or corruption. “There will be annual lists. This is a very broad authority. If human rights groups want anyone added to the list, they have to build the legal case and give it to Congress to submit to the administration. It’s terrible, but this is the first time the Hill stopped listening to State on Turkey. This is a good time to push,” the source added. “What Erdogan has been doing is shocking. And [the State Department] is shocked. They don’t know what to do. And they’ve been beaten [by senators] into submission.”
     

    Yet should Mike Pompeo be confirmed as the new secretary of state, Washington may grow even less accommodating. Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, served as a deacon and taught Sunday school at the Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita, which is part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church that Brunson belongs to.
     
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/us-sanctions-loom-defiant-turkey-erdogan-pastor.html

    In a sign that Turkey will continue to stock up on gold, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on April 17 argued that international loans should be based on gold rather than dollars. Speaking at an economic gathering in Istanbul, he remarked, “Why do you have to make the loans in dollars? Let’s base the loans on gold. We need to rid states and nations of exchange rate pressure. Throughout history, gold has never been a means of pressure.” Erdogan also said that he had made the suggestion to International Monetary Fund officials at a G-20 meeting.

    Ankara’s desire to boost the use of gold pertains not only to borrowing, but also to trade. This meshes with its efforts to promote interest-free banking, where lending systems are based on gold. Some, however, see more covert motives behind Turkey’s stocking on gold.

    Ufuk Soylemez, a former state minister for the economy and former head of the state-owned Halkbank, believes Ankara might be taking precautions against the prospect of US sanctions against Halkbank for its role in a scheme to get around sanctions on Iran. In January, Mehmet Atilla, a senior Halkbank manager, was found guilty of conspiracy and bank fraud after a monthlong trial in a New York federal court.

    Soylemez told Al-Monitor, “With an abrupt policy change, the central bank has been selling dollars and raising gold reserves to unprecedented levels, which could be a precaution against the risk of multi-billion dollar US fines on Turkish banks.”

    He also drew attention to other unusual moves by the central bank, noting, “Since the end of last year, it has been intensively selling its US bonds and converting its deposits in the United Sates to gold, in addition to moving gold reserves kept in the United States to Europe.” He added, “As of Feb. 23, gold reserves hit $25.2 billion, up from $14 billion at the end of 2016. Gold now makes up almost a fourth of the total reserves, which are worth some $114.5 billion.”

    According to Soylemez, the idea of using gold to curb the dollar’s dominance in the international banking system and financial markets is easier said than done. “This method can materialize only through bilateral consensus and agreements between countries,” he said. “With Iran, for instance, there was a similar trade in return for gold. Yet convincing the world to accept this as a new system is not easy.”

    In what Soylemez views as another sign of Turkey-US tensions, he noted that the 30-year-old New York branch of the state-owned Ziraat Bank had been recently closed.

    In an April 17 article, Hurriyet’s economy pundit Ugur Gurses reported that last year the central bank withdrew all 28.6 tons of gold it was keeping at the US Federal Reserve, moving it to the Switzerland-based Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and the Bank of England. According to the report, at the end of 2017, Turkey’s gold reserves totaled 564.7 tons, including 375.4 tons at the Bank of England, 18.7 tons at BIS, 33.7 tons at the Turkish central bank and 136.8 tons in the central bank’s account at the Istanbul stock exchange.
     
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/turkey-why-gold-reserves-on-the-rise.html

    So much, for "key ally of Washington".

    When you look at EU efforts to blocks Russian pipelines for example, they make zero sense from the perspective of European interests.
     
    It makes sense from the perspective of the anti-Russian European interests who are opposed to Russia's increasing share in the European gas market.

    In Europe, they also don’t want to have Turkey accepted into the EU, because it will result in many additional millions of Turkish immigrants living in European Union countries.

    This is probably a good idea, as Turkey has the same population as Germany – which would result in it as the joint largest country of EU.

    In addition, Turkey has a relatively poor population, which would result in huge immigration from Turkey into Western Europe – of millions of people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Turkey in the EU is nuts from a European perspective, the US pushes it to keep Turkey Atlanticist aligned. Same with all these less developed EE countries which should have been delayed.
    , @German_reader

    which would result in it as the joint largest country of EU.
     
    Which would give Turkey immense political influence in the EU.
    Given that Erdogan and his ilk - who are supported by about 50% of Turkish voters - are basically anti-Western Islamists who openly threaten, insult and blackmail European countries on a regular basis, this would be absolutely disastrous. It's bizarre and a sign of European weakness that Turkish EU membership is even still discussed at this point.
    , @Mitleser

    In Europe, they also don’t want to have Turkey accepted into the EU, because it will result in many additional millions of Turkish immigrants living in European Union countries.
     
    But at the same time they do not want to end the negotiations for EU full membership of Turkey which would be basically an admission that the European project has partially failed and continue the favorable customs union with Turkey.
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  45. LondonBob says:
    @Dmitry
    In Europe, they also don't want to have Turkey accepted into the EU, because it will result in many additional millions of Turkish immigrants living in European Union countries.

    This is probably a good idea, as Turkey has the same population as Germany - which would result in it as the joint largest country of EU.

    In addition, Turkey has a relatively poor population, which would result in huge immigration from Turkey into Western Europe - of millions of people.

    Turkey in the EU is nuts from a European perspective, the US pushes it to keep Turkey Atlanticist aligned. Same with all these less developed EE countries which should have been delayed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    With all respect for civilized and secular Turks who also exist - overall, you could not achieve a faster way to turn Western Europe into an Islamic zone, than accession of Turkey (and her huge population) to Schengen Area.
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  46. @Dmitry
    In Europe, they also don't want to have Turkey accepted into the EU, because it will result in many additional millions of Turkish immigrants living in European Union countries.

    This is probably a good idea, as Turkey has the same population as Germany - which would result in it as the joint largest country of EU.

    In addition, Turkey has a relatively poor population, which would result in huge immigration from Turkey into Western Europe - of millions of people.

    which would result in it as the joint largest country of EU.

    Which would give Turkey immense political influence in the EU.
    Given that Erdogan and his ilk – who are supported by about 50% of Turkish voters – are basically anti-Western Islamists who openly threaten, insult and blackmail European countries on a regular basis, this would be absolutely disastrous. It’s bizarre and a sign of European weakness that Turkish EU membership is even still discussed at this point.

    Read More
    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    It’s bizarre and a sign of European weakness that Turkish EU membership is even still discussed at this point.
     
    Europeans who do that do not want to get the blame for ending the negotiations and retain European influence in Turkey.

    It was no surprise Turkey's latest report card from the EU was its worst ever. The first clue was the report's title. Unlike past "progress reports," this one was simply called the "2018 Report on Turkey." French diplomat Marc Pierini, a former EU ambassador in Ankara and a top expert on bilateral relations, went one step further, calling it the "Turkey Regress Report."

    The annual reports by the European Commission assess the efforts Turkey has supposedly made to join the bloc. The commission is often critical, but the April 17 report was like the final nail in the coffin of Turkey's long-running bid for acceptance.
     

    The statement also said, "EU membership continues to remain our strategic priority."

    Such a sugary response indicates that the harshest EU report is actually toothless. As long as Turkey doesn't budge from its "strategic priority" of EU membership, the EU will apparently maintain the status quo with Turkey. That is, as Pierini puts it, cooperation will go on at lower levels, but it will remain arduous.

    That's the EU's optimal state for the relationship and for continuing the game of chicken with Turkey: Neither wants to be the first to back down. Some see this as the EU merely stringing Turkey along.
     
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/turkey-mildly-reacts-to-european-union-harshest-report.html
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  47. Dmitry says:
    @LondonBob
    Turkey in the EU is nuts from a European perspective, the US pushes it to keep Turkey Atlanticist aligned. Same with all these less developed EE countries which should have been delayed.

    With all respect for civilized and secular Turks who also exist – overall, you could not achieve a faster way to turn Western Europe into an Islamic zone, than accession of Turkey (and her huge population) to Schengen Area.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Yes. A prescient warning about the folly of Turkish EU membership.

    Austria would be the first to go not only Muslim but simply Turkish. Turks by the millions would flock to Austria and Germany to join their large kin networks that are already in place. Already Austria, with its tiny population and consistently low fertility rate, was on the road to drastic demographic and cultural change in the near future. Beautiful Vienna will be a more savage, intolerant place ruled by sharia:

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4229/austria-muslims-vienna-schools

    That column was written four years ago. The population numbers are slightly worse now.

    What did all those brave men suffer and die for at the gates of Vienna in the 1600s and centuries before?

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  48. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry
    In Europe, they also don't want to have Turkey accepted into the EU, because it will result in many additional millions of Turkish immigrants living in European Union countries.

    This is probably a good idea, as Turkey has the same population as Germany - which would result in it as the joint largest country of EU.

    In addition, Turkey has a relatively poor population, which would result in huge immigration from Turkey into Western Europe - of millions of people.

    In Europe, they also don’t want to have Turkey accepted into the EU, because it will result in many additional millions of Turkish immigrants living in European Union countries.

    But at the same time they do not want to end the negotiations for EU full membership of Turkey which would be basically an admission that the European project has partially failed and continue the favorable customs union with Turkey.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I was tempted to say that EU has some structural similarity to the Ponzi scheme, with its constant need to expand the member base.

    But of course, this would be wrong to say, as in the Ponzi scheme, it is the new members who bring in the money, whereas in the EU it is the opposite - it is the new members which drain the money, and the old members who provide it.

    Hence, it is a quite paradox, as there is plenty of incentive for new members to join the EU, but the incentive for existing members to accede the new members, is not. And yet the existing EU members nonetheless continue to looks for expansion, even to the edge of suicide (acceding Turkey would be such a suicide). It is here - in this irrationality - that the religious and millenarian aspects of the EU project become more clear.

    I also add that the two dimensions of EU - width and depth of integration - are generally incompatible with eachother and should be trading-off, while the EU nonetheless attempts to raise the value of both variables.

    If the EU would become more shallowly integrated, there would be far better benefit to cost ratio, when expanding its width. In its original form as just a free-trade area, actually even Russia would have been easily acceded.
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  49. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader

    which would result in it as the joint largest country of EU.
     
    Which would give Turkey immense political influence in the EU.
    Given that Erdogan and his ilk - who are supported by about 50% of Turkish voters - are basically anti-Western Islamists who openly threaten, insult and blackmail European countries on a regular basis, this would be absolutely disastrous. It's bizarre and a sign of European weakness that Turkish EU membership is even still discussed at this point.

    It’s bizarre and a sign of European weakness that Turkish EU membership is even still discussed at this point.

    Europeans who do that do not want to get the blame for ending the negotiations and retain European influence in Turkey.

    It was no surprise Turkey’s latest report card from the EU was its worst ever. The first clue was the report’s title. Unlike past “progress reports,” this one was simply called the “2018 Report on Turkey.” French diplomat Marc Pierini, a former EU ambassador in Ankara and a top expert on bilateral relations, went one step further, calling it the “Turkey Regress Report.”

    The annual reports by the European Commission assess the efforts Turkey has supposedly made to join the bloc. The commission is often critical, but the April 17 report was like the final nail in the coffin of Turkey’s long-running bid for acceptance.

    The statement also said, “EU membership continues to remain our strategic priority.”

    Such a sugary response indicates that the harshest EU report is actually toothless. As long as Turkey doesn’t budge from its “strategic priority” of EU membership, the EU will apparently maintain the status quo with Turkey. That is, as Pierini puts it, cooperation will go on at lower levels, but it will remain arduous.

    That’s the EU’s optimal state for the relationship and for continuing the game of chicken with Turkey: Neither wants to be the first to back down. Some see this as the EU merely stringing Turkey along.

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/turkey-mildly-reacts-to-european-union-harshest-report.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Europeans who do that do not want to get the blame for ending the negotiations and retain European influence in Turkey.
     
    I'm not even sure that we have much influence in Turkey...it doesn't seem to prevent Erdogan from openly insulting and threatening Germany, Austria and other European countries.
    A large factor in keeping up the pretense of EU membership negotiations with Turkey imo is fear what could happen if they end...Turkey might become even more openly Islamist and Erdogan might reinforce his attempts at using the millions of Turks in EU countries for subversion. European politicians have no idea how to deal with such a prospect and just keep kicking the can down the road.
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  50. Dmitry says:
    @Mitleser

    In Europe, they also don’t want to have Turkey accepted into the EU, because it will result in many additional millions of Turkish immigrants living in European Union countries.
     
    But at the same time they do not want to end the negotiations for EU full membership of Turkey which would be basically an admission that the European project has partially failed and continue the favorable customs union with Turkey.

    I was tempted to say that EU has some structural similarity to the Ponzi scheme, with its constant need to expand the member base.

    But of course, this would be wrong to say, as in the Ponzi scheme, it is the new members who bring in the money, whereas in the EU it is the opposite – it is the new members which drain the money, and the old members who provide it.

    Hence, it is a quite paradox, as there is plenty of incentive for new members to join the EU, but the incentive for existing members to accede the new members, is not. And yet the existing EU members nonetheless continue to looks for expansion, even to the edge of suicide (acceding Turkey would be such a suicide). It is here – in this irrationality – that the religious and millenarian aspects of the EU project become more clear.

    I also add that the two dimensions of EU – width and depth of integration – are generally incompatible with eachother and should be trading-off, while the EU nonetheless attempts to raise the value of both variables.

    If the EU would become more shallowly integrated, there would be far better benefit to cost ratio, when expanding its width. In its original form as just a free-trade area, actually even Russia would have been easily acceded.

    Read More
    • Replies: @LondonBob
    No country with a GDP per capita higher than the EU average will join. Iceland has moved on, Norway is no closer. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Scandinavian countries look to leave.
    , @Spisarevski

    the EU it is the opposite – it is the new members which drain the money, and the old members who provide it.
     
    Actually it's the old members who drain the human and natural resources of the new members.
    The "money" the old members provide is not that much - in Bulgaria for example, when the membership fees are subtracted, the net funds received are about 500-600 million EUR per year, which is not a big deal, even for our small economy .
    Meanwhile, just the education of all the specialists who go to work in Western Europe costs billions of dollars more than the funds we received, and that education was paid with our taxes. There are all sorts of other hidden losses and lost profits as well - being forced to close perfectly safe nuclear reactors, to sell state monopolies and important industries to western entities under disadvantageous contracts that can't be broken because of "free trade" or something, and many others.
    Old member Germany is building a second Nord Stream while South Stream was denied to Bulgaria.

    Anyway I think Anatoly said somewhere recently that one of the main reasons the USSR fell apart is because it was uncool. While I agree, I can only hope that this will be true for the EU as well, I can't really imagine something more uncool than the EU.

    And this is why I can't understand for the life of me why are there sill sizeable factions in some countries that want to become part of the Western empire of niggerfaggotry, enormous and unaccountable bureaucracy (with commissars and everything) and hypocritical totalitarianism (the thought police varies from country to country but if this monstrosity doesn't fall apart, then we will all live in 1984 sooner or later).
    There is no freedom or prosperity waiting for you once you join these faggots - in fact, just the opposite.

    , @Mitleser
    The goal of the EU and its supporters is an "ever closer union" which means that a shallow integration is not an option.

    On the other hand, the logical endpoint of an ever closer union is the transformation of the EU into the European nation state which does require irrational elements and myths as basis for its nation building.

    In the end, it is only partially about money.
    The founding elites of the European project wants to spread their influence and values in Europe.
    Expansion is only limited by their willingness to dilute their control in the enlarged EU.
    That is why would not let Turkey and Russia join and oppose the ones in Europe who do not accept their vision.
    , @Art Deco
    I was tempted to say that EU has some structural similarity to the Ponzi scheme, with its constant need to expand the member base.

    Don't know why you're tempted to say that. It's a nonsense statement.
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  51. @Mitleser

    It’s bizarre and a sign of European weakness that Turkish EU membership is even still discussed at this point.
     
    Europeans who do that do not want to get the blame for ending the negotiations and retain European influence in Turkey.

    It was no surprise Turkey's latest report card from the EU was its worst ever. The first clue was the report's title. Unlike past "progress reports," this one was simply called the "2018 Report on Turkey." French diplomat Marc Pierini, a former EU ambassador in Ankara and a top expert on bilateral relations, went one step further, calling it the "Turkey Regress Report."

    The annual reports by the European Commission assess the efforts Turkey has supposedly made to join the bloc. The commission is often critical, but the April 17 report was like the final nail in the coffin of Turkey's long-running bid for acceptance.
     

    The statement also said, "EU membership continues to remain our strategic priority."

    Such a sugary response indicates that the harshest EU report is actually toothless. As long as Turkey doesn't budge from its "strategic priority" of EU membership, the EU will apparently maintain the status quo with Turkey. That is, as Pierini puts it, cooperation will go on at lower levels, but it will remain arduous.

    That's the EU's optimal state for the relationship and for continuing the game of chicken with Turkey: Neither wants to be the first to back down. Some see this as the EU merely stringing Turkey along.
     
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/turkey-mildly-reacts-to-european-union-harshest-report.html

    Europeans who do that do not want to get the blame for ending the negotiations and retain European influence in Turkey.

    I’m not even sure that we have much influence in Turkey…it doesn’t seem to prevent Erdogan from openly insulting and threatening Germany, Austria and other European countries.
    A large factor in keeping up the pretense of EU membership negotiations with Turkey imo is fear what could happen if they end…Turkey might become even more openly Islamist and Erdogan might reinforce his attempts at using the millions of Turks in EU countries for subversion. European politicians have no idea how to deal with such a prospect and just keep kicking the can down the road.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    These insults and threats are just rhetoric.
    As much the EUropean politicians are afraid of what could happened if the EU membership negotiations end, the same applies to Turkish politicians who know that economically Turkey is closely tied to EUrope and they are the weaker side.
    In such a situation being more openly Islamist would be a necessity for Turks as an ideological alternative* to the European perspective.

    *Kemalist Turkish nationalism is pro-European and does not offer such an alternative
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  52. LondonBob says:
    @Dmitry
    I was tempted to say that EU has some structural similarity to the Ponzi scheme, with its constant need to expand the member base.

    But of course, this would be wrong to say, as in the Ponzi scheme, it is the new members who bring in the money, whereas in the EU it is the opposite - it is the new members which drain the money, and the old members who provide it.

    Hence, it is a quite paradox, as there is plenty of incentive for new members to join the EU, but the incentive for existing members to accede the new members, is not. And yet the existing EU members nonetheless continue to looks for expansion, even to the edge of suicide (acceding Turkey would be such a suicide). It is here - in this irrationality - that the religious and millenarian aspects of the EU project become more clear.

    I also add that the two dimensions of EU - width and depth of integration - are generally incompatible with eachother and should be trading-off, while the EU nonetheless attempts to raise the value of both variables.

    If the EU would become more shallowly integrated, there would be far better benefit to cost ratio, when expanding its width. In its original form as just a free-trade area, actually even Russia would have been easily acceded.

    No country with a GDP per capita higher than the EU average will join. Iceland has moved on, Norway is no closer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Scandinavian countries look to leave.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    That's the logical and rational view.

    But EU is also worshiped by some - middle-class and educated - Western demographics as a new religion.

    Even in the UK, it was very divided, the society, on this question - and the end result of the voting was within a couple of percent.

    And the UK - is the country in the EU, with the lowest approval ratings for the EU.

    In addition, I would worry that younger generations are very brainwashed into this religion.

    This is much more amongst people like Spanish. When I was learning Spanish, I used read sometimes the Spanish newspaper websites - and they publish many irrational and emotional articles saying how wonderful the EU is (it is a very accepted viewpoint there).
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  53. @Dmitry
    I was tempted to say that EU has some structural similarity to the Ponzi scheme, with its constant need to expand the member base.

    But of course, this would be wrong to say, as in the Ponzi scheme, it is the new members who bring in the money, whereas in the EU it is the opposite - it is the new members which drain the money, and the old members who provide it.

    Hence, it is a quite paradox, as there is plenty of incentive for new members to join the EU, but the incentive for existing members to accede the new members, is not. And yet the existing EU members nonetheless continue to looks for expansion, even to the edge of suicide (acceding Turkey would be such a suicide). It is here - in this irrationality - that the religious and millenarian aspects of the EU project become more clear.

    I also add that the two dimensions of EU - width and depth of integration - are generally incompatible with eachother and should be trading-off, while the EU nonetheless attempts to raise the value of both variables.

    If the EU would become more shallowly integrated, there would be far better benefit to cost ratio, when expanding its width. In its original form as just a free-trade area, actually even Russia would have been easily acceded.

    the EU it is the opposite – it is the new members which drain the money, and the old members who provide it.

    Actually it’s the old members who drain the human and natural resources of the new members.
    The “money” the old members provide is not that much – in Bulgaria for example, when the membership fees are subtracted, the net funds received are about 500-600 million EUR per year, which is not a big deal, even for our small economy .
    Meanwhile, just the education of all the specialists who go to work in Western Europe costs billions of dollars more than the funds we received, and that education was paid with our taxes. There are all sorts of other hidden losses and lost profits as well – being forced to close perfectly safe nuclear reactors, to sell state monopolies and important industries to western entities under disadvantageous contracts that can’t be broken because of “free trade” or something, and many others.
    Old member Germany is building a second Nord Stream while South Stream was denied to Bulgaria.

    Anyway I think Anatoly said somewhere recently that one of the main reasons the USSR fell apart is because it was uncool. While I agree, I can only hope that this will be true for the EU as well, I can’t really imagine something more uncool than the EU.

    And this is why I can’t understand for the life of me why are there sill sizeable factions in some countries that want to become part of the Western empire of niggerfaggotry, enormous and unaccountable bureaucracy (with commissars and everything) and hypocritical totalitarianism (the thought police varies from country to country but if this monstrosity doesn’t fall apart, then we will all live in 1984 sooner or later).
    There is no freedom or prosperity waiting for you once you join these faggots – in fact, just the opposite.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    It's true there is a brain-drain of the poorer countries, as well as many young people leaving to work, and expansion of markets for richer, old members' companies.

    So indeed, there is benefit to business elites in the old member countries, and loss for some of the new countries.

    But for the standard taxpayers, there is a complete inversion, where the money of taxpayers in richer countries, is simply transferred to poorer countries (for 'structural adjustment funds').

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)

    The amount of free aid money Poland gets is surely lucky for them, even if they have lost a lot of workers to brain-drain .

    The money they receive from EU each year, is equivalent to what large oil exporting countries can earn.

    https://msp.gov.pl/en/polish-economy/economic-news/4015,Poland-to-get-nearly-EUR-106-bln-from-2014-2020-EU-budget-pool-expected-impact-o.html

    Bulgaria does not receive even close in terms of money, so it is clear to say that the distribution system of the aid money is not balanced across the new members.

    Kiev was looking at Poland, and dreaming of this kind of wealth transfer (but of course it will not happen for Ukraine, and if it did, the funds would be lost rapidly to corruption).
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    "the old members who drain the human and natural resources of the new members"

    Most British working people experience the drain on themselves, through lower wages, increased crime and worse public services. British employers, on the other hand, love the fact that they consider $10 an hour a great wage.

    The vast majority of the 3.5 million foreign workers in the UK are doing low-paid jobs, and paying little tax (for the others, see my next paragraph). One Polish child at a UK primary school costs about £6,000 a year, paid from taxes, while the tax paid by a minimum wage worker is about £880, so you need the tax from seven workers just for one child's primary education.

    Male real median wages in the UK are lower now than in 1997.

    "the education of all the specialists who go to work in Western Europe costs billions of dollars more than the funds we received, and that education was paid with our taxes"

    You have a point there. My sister's dentist surgery has dentists from Portugal, Bulgaria and Romania.
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  54. Dmitry says:
    @LondonBob
    No country with a GDP per capita higher than the EU average will join. Iceland has moved on, Norway is no closer. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Scandinavian countries look to leave.

    That’s the logical and rational view.

    But EU is also worshiped by some – middle-class and educated – Western demographics as a new religion.

    Even in the UK, it was very divided, the society, on this question – and the end result of the voting was within a couple of percent.

    And the UK – is the country in the EU, with the lowest approval ratings for the EU.

    In addition, I would worry that younger generations are very brainwashed into this religion.

    This is much more amongst people like Spanish. When I was learning Spanish, I used read sometimes the Spanish newspaper websites – and they publish many irrational and emotional articles saying how wonderful the EU is (it is a very accepted viewpoint there).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Singh
    Well each abrahamic variant sets up its own ideal homogenized populace & empire।।

    Now that catholic continental Europe finally got whore dom enlightenment infection since 60s EU will come।।

    'Enlightenment' is the latest & most virulent abrahamic variant.
    , @Ali Choudhury
    The young quite like the prospect of being able to work, travel, study and live without restriction in a polity of half a billion people. How they live their lives and spend their time predisposes them to favour the EU.
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  55. Dmitry says:
    @Spisarevski

    the EU it is the opposite – it is the new members which drain the money, and the old members who provide it.
     
    Actually it's the old members who drain the human and natural resources of the new members.
    The "money" the old members provide is not that much - in Bulgaria for example, when the membership fees are subtracted, the net funds received are about 500-600 million EUR per year, which is not a big deal, even for our small economy .
    Meanwhile, just the education of all the specialists who go to work in Western Europe costs billions of dollars more than the funds we received, and that education was paid with our taxes. There are all sorts of other hidden losses and lost profits as well - being forced to close perfectly safe nuclear reactors, to sell state monopolies and important industries to western entities under disadvantageous contracts that can't be broken because of "free trade" or something, and many others.
    Old member Germany is building a second Nord Stream while South Stream was denied to Bulgaria.

    Anyway I think Anatoly said somewhere recently that one of the main reasons the USSR fell apart is because it was uncool. While I agree, I can only hope that this will be true for the EU as well, I can't really imagine something more uncool than the EU.

    And this is why I can't understand for the life of me why are there sill sizeable factions in some countries that want to become part of the Western empire of niggerfaggotry, enormous and unaccountable bureaucracy (with commissars and everything) and hypocritical totalitarianism (the thought police varies from country to country but if this monstrosity doesn't fall apart, then we will all live in 1984 sooner or later).
    There is no freedom or prosperity waiting for you once you join these faggots - in fact, just the opposite.

    It’s true there is a brain-drain of the poorer countries, as well as many young people leaving to work, and expansion of markets for richer, old members’ companies.

    So indeed, there is benefit to business elites in the old member countries, and loss for some of the new countries.

    But for the standard taxpayers, there is a complete inversion, where the money of taxpayers in richer countries, is simply transferred to poorer countries (for ‘structural adjustment funds’).

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)

    The amount of free aid money Poland gets is surely lucky for them, even if they have lost a lot of workers to brain-drain .

    The money they receive from EU each year, is equivalent to what large oil exporting countries can earn.

    https://msp.gov.pl/en/polish-economy/economic-news/4015,Poland-to-get-nearly-EUR-106-bln-from-2014-2020-EU-budget-pool-expected-impact-o.html

    Bulgaria does not receive even close in terms of money, so it is clear to say that the distribution system of the aid money is not balanced across the new members.

    Kiev was looking at Poland, and dreaming of this kind of wealth transfer (but of course it will not happen for Ukraine, and if it did, the funds would be lost rapidly to corruption).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Polish Perspective

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)

     

    https://i.imgur.com/yNvMzzD.jpg

    Poland isn't even in the top 5 once you adjust for GNI. It's true that Poland gets most in absolute terms, but that's also because we are way bigger than most EE countries. I find a lot of economic innumerate to fail to understand this point and just repeat "yes but they get THIS MANY BILLIONS". But without adjusting for economic size is meaningless. Sad to see that you are not smarter than this, Dmitry.

    Also, this is counted from the year 2000. The latest EU funds flow constitute about 1% of our GNI according to our central bank. The next one will be half that, even if no change is done, simply on account of a growing economy and a closer realignment to the EU median.

    Furthermore, whenever we are talking about EU funds this should be kept in mind:

    https://i.imgur.com/YNiPO03.png

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge ("see, it's only thanks to us because of us generous we are!"). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.

    And I haven't even talked about the fact that Western European countries benefit massively from labour and we lose, in some instances permanently.

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  56. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader

    Europeans who do that do not want to get the blame for ending the negotiations and retain European influence in Turkey.
     
    I'm not even sure that we have much influence in Turkey...it doesn't seem to prevent Erdogan from openly insulting and threatening Germany, Austria and other European countries.
    A large factor in keeping up the pretense of EU membership negotiations with Turkey imo is fear what could happen if they end...Turkey might become even more openly Islamist and Erdogan might reinforce his attempts at using the millions of Turks in EU countries for subversion. European politicians have no idea how to deal with such a prospect and just keep kicking the can down the road.

    These insults and threats are just rhetoric.
    As much the EUropean politicians are afraid of what could happened if the EU membership negotiations end, the same applies to Turkish politicians who know that economically Turkey is closely tied to EUrope and they are the weaker side.
    In such a situation being more openly Islamist would be a necessity for Turks as an ideological alternative* to the European perspective.

    *Kemalist Turkish nationalism is pro-European and does not offer such an alternative

    Read More
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  57. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry
    I was tempted to say that EU has some structural similarity to the Ponzi scheme, with its constant need to expand the member base.

    But of course, this would be wrong to say, as in the Ponzi scheme, it is the new members who bring in the money, whereas in the EU it is the opposite - it is the new members which drain the money, and the old members who provide it.

    Hence, it is a quite paradox, as there is plenty of incentive for new members to join the EU, but the incentive for existing members to accede the new members, is not. And yet the existing EU members nonetheless continue to looks for expansion, even to the edge of suicide (acceding Turkey would be such a suicide). It is here - in this irrationality - that the religious and millenarian aspects of the EU project become more clear.

    I also add that the two dimensions of EU - width and depth of integration - are generally incompatible with eachother and should be trading-off, while the EU nonetheless attempts to raise the value of both variables.

    If the EU would become more shallowly integrated, there would be far better benefit to cost ratio, when expanding its width. In its original form as just a free-trade area, actually even Russia would have been easily acceded.

    The goal of the EU and its supporters is an “ever closer union” which means that a shallow integration is not an option.

    On the other hand, the logical endpoint of an ever closer union is the transformation of the EU into the European nation state which does require irrational elements and myths as basis for its nation building.

    In the end, it is only partially about money.
    The founding elites of the European project wants to spread their influence and values in Europe.
    Expansion is only limited by their willingness to dilute their control in the enlarged EU.
    That is why would not let Turkey and Russia join and oppose the ones in Europe who do not accept their vision.

    Read More
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  58. neutral says:
    @Felix Keverich
    What makes you think that Germans (and other Europeans) have much agency in this situation at all? The consensus view in Russia is that Washington is behind all these anti-Russian moves. The EU is a US-led institution that serves US goals - Michael McFaul, former US ambassador in Russia said it outright.

    What makes you think that Germans (and other Europeans) have much agency in this situation at all?

    I agree with this, but take it a step further, what makes you think that Americans (as in their politicians) have much agency? Their allegiance to Israel is absolute, the US is in turn a jewish led institution.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    I agree with this, but take it a step further, what makes you think that Americans (as in their politicians) have much agency? Their allegiance to Israel is absolute, the US is in turn a jewish led institution.
     
    US is dominated by its own "Jewish community", but Washington is an actual power center, a place where political decisions are being made, unlike Brussels, whose main function is to relay and enforce orders from Washington.
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  59. Mitleser says:

    Pro-EUropean propaganda from the German magazine Der Spiegel

    Demands that more German tax money should be entrusted to Macron.

    Read More
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  60. iffen says:
    @reiner Tor
    You have already answered me three times, but you haven’t yet addressed my point about the lack of a seashore. Is there anything interesting in Armenia? I thought even most historical sites are in Turkey.

    Is there anything interesting in Armenia?

    Do they have a genocide museum?

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsitsernakaberd

    I'd suppose that doesn't compensate for the lack of seashore though.
    , @Talha
    They do have some fabulous old Christian heritage stuff - really, really old churches and what not.

    Maybe they can appeal to religious tourists; they must have some places where old saints are buried and stuff.

    I know Turkey makes a killing off of people visiting cities Konya to check out the mausoleum and museum of Maulana Rumi (ra):
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_hpEYudIBmNs/TF7eg1T744I/AAAAAAAACKg/ucptzaUSxhM/s1600/jalaluddin-rumi-02-500.jpg

    Peace.
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  61. @iffen
    Is there anything interesting in Armenia?

    Do they have a genocide museum?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsitsernakaberd

    I’d suppose that doesn’t compensate for the lack of seashore though.

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  62. Art Deco says:
    @Dmitry
    The best solution for a significant proportion - especially young people, who want a job where they can afford a normal life.

    The main emigration is to Russian Federation, although I'm not sure if there is data available on the exact number of work permits issued each year.

    There are probably as many, ,or more, Armenians in Russia at any single time, than in Armenia.

    The best solution for a significant proportion – especially young people, who want a job where they can afford a normal life.

    People’s sense of both ‘normal life’ and what they ‘can afford’ is derived from the context they’re used to. The country has a depressed labor market, but the outmigration rate peaked in 1995 and is now as low as it has been in 30-odd years (0.2% of the population per annum).

    There are probably as many, ,or more, Armenians in Russia at any single time, than in Armenia.

    The last census found 1.2 million Armenians in Russia, v. 2.9 million in Armenia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia - and numbers are probably higher considering the situation with illegal and undocumented immigrants.

    As for emigration rate, the majority come to Russia on work permits. However, if we look just at the minority that successfully obtain Russian citizenship - almost 1% of the total population in Armenia obtains Russian citizenship each year.
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  63. Art Deco says:
    @Dmitry
    I was tempted to say that EU has some structural similarity to the Ponzi scheme, with its constant need to expand the member base.

    But of course, this would be wrong to say, as in the Ponzi scheme, it is the new members who bring in the money, whereas in the EU it is the opposite - it is the new members which drain the money, and the old members who provide it.

    Hence, it is a quite paradox, as there is plenty of incentive for new members to join the EU, but the incentive for existing members to accede the new members, is not. And yet the existing EU members nonetheless continue to looks for expansion, even to the edge of suicide (acceding Turkey would be such a suicide). It is here - in this irrationality - that the religious and millenarian aspects of the EU project become more clear.

    I also add that the two dimensions of EU - width and depth of integration - are generally incompatible with eachother and should be trading-off, while the EU nonetheless attempts to raise the value of both variables.

    If the EU would become more shallowly integrated, there would be far better benefit to cost ratio, when expanding its width. In its original form as just a free-trade area, actually even Russia would have been easily acceded.

    I was tempted to say that EU has some structural similarity to the Ponzi scheme, with its constant need to expand the member base.

    Don’t know why you’re tempted to say that. It’s a nonsense statement.

    Read More
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  64. Avery says:

    {I don’t follow domestic Armenian politics, }

    It is obvious you don’t, that’s why you don’t know.

    {but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan – who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs –}

    Former President, and now PM Serzh Sargsyan _is_ unpopular, but it has nothing to do with utilities tariff: the tariffs issue was long time ago, it was resolved, and not a current issue. He is unpopular for other reasons.

    { This was accompanied by a bill making Armenia a parliamentary republic, in effect extending his rule.}

    Nope, it was not a bill
    You can’t do that by a bill.
    There was a constitutional referendum in 2015, passed by 66% with ~51% turnout that changed the form of government so that instead of the President being directly elected by the people, the majority party in the Parliament would select both the President and the Prime Minister. There were some other changes, but that was the main reason for the referendum.

    The title of ‘Prime Minister’ is a little misleading in this context, because generally in a Parliamentary form of government the PM is real head of state, the Commander in Chief, etc and a President is just a ceremonial post, if one exists. In Armenia the President is the Commander in Chief, responsible for foreign affairs, etc and the PM is for internal: economy and such.

    The constitutional change was championed by Serzh Sargsyan. Understanding by the people for approving the change was that he would not seek to become the PM, and thus extend his rule indefinitely on the sly. He kinda/sorta promised as much when selling the change.

    The current protests are because the people feel as if Serzh Sargsyan is just spitting on their face by becoming PM.

    He made a BIG mistake.
    He should have been happy with his accomplishments, and retired from public life honorably.
    Now he is despised and ridiculed.
    And the word from Yerevan is that the source of much discontent in Armenia – the group of oligarchs and big thieves who rob the country and the economy (…one of whom is his own brother), and who were protected by Serzh’s administration – pretty much forced him to take the PM position, because they are afraid to lose their privileged positions if new blood comes in.

    {There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days.}

    One can never say “never”, but highly unlikely.
    Too many reasons why something like that is a near impossibility in Armenia.
    Maybe another post.

    Read More
    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks for this comment.

    Invaluable to have the input of an Armenian on this issue.
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  65. Dmitry says:
    @Art Deco
    The best solution for a significant proportion – especially young people, who want a job where they can afford a normal life.

    People's sense of both 'normal life' and what they 'can afford' is derived from the context they're used to. The country has a depressed labor market, but the outmigration rate peaked in 1995 and is now as low as it has been in 30-odd years (0.2% of the population per annum).



    There are probably as many, ,or more, Armenians in Russia at any single time, than in Armenia.

    The last census found 1.2 million Armenians in Russia, v. 2.9 million in Armenia.

    There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia – and numbers are probably higher considering the situation with illegal and undocumented immigrants.

    As for emigration rate, the majority come to Russia on work permits. However, if we look just at the minority that successfully obtain Russian citizenship – almost 1% of the total population in Armenia obtains Russian citizenship each year.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    As for emigration rate, the majority come to Russia on work permits.
     
    Actually now with the Customs Unions since 2015, they don't even need to buy a work permit to come to Russia, and the purpose of their unlimited entry and exit to the country does not have to be recorded.
    , @Avery
    {There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia }

    How do you know this?
    Where did you get that number from?
    , @Art Deco
    There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia –

    Known to you, but not to Russian census enumerators.
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  66. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry
    There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia - and numbers are probably higher considering the situation with illegal and undocumented immigrants.

    As for emigration rate, the majority come to Russia on work permits. However, if we look just at the minority that successfully obtain Russian citizenship - almost 1% of the total population in Armenia obtains Russian citizenship each year.

    As for emigration rate, the majority come to Russia on work permits.

    Actually now with the Customs Unions since 2015, they don’t even need to buy a work permit to come to Russia, and the purpose of their unlimited entry and exit to the country does not have to be recorded.

    Read More
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  67. Avery says:
    @Dmitry
    There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia - and numbers are probably higher considering the situation with illegal and undocumented immigrants.

    As for emigration rate, the majority come to Russia on work permits. However, if we look just at the minority that successfully obtain Russian citizenship - almost 1% of the total population in Armenia obtains Russian citizenship each year.

    {There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia }

    How do you know this?
    Where did you get that number from?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    It was 3 million - two years ago.

    https://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=2528568

    By now the figure will be over 3 million, into the customs union.

    https://regnum.ru/news/2316978.html
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  68. @Dmitry
    It's true there is a brain-drain of the poorer countries, as well as many young people leaving to work, and expansion of markets for richer, old members' companies.

    So indeed, there is benefit to business elites in the old member countries, and loss for some of the new countries.

    But for the standard taxpayers, there is a complete inversion, where the money of taxpayers in richer countries, is simply transferred to poorer countries (for 'structural adjustment funds').

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)

    The amount of free aid money Poland gets is surely lucky for them, even if they have lost a lot of workers to brain-drain .

    The money they receive from EU each year, is equivalent to what large oil exporting countries can earn.

    https://msp.gov.pl/en/polish-economy/economic-news/4015,Poland-to-get-nearly-EUR-106-bln-from-2014-2020-EU-budget-pool-expected-impact-o.html

    Bulgaria does not receive even close in terms of money, so it is clear to say that the distribution system of the aid money is not balanced across the new members.

    Kiev was looking at Poland, and dreaming of this kind of wealth transfer (but of course it will not happen for Ukraine, and if it did, the funds would be lost rapidly to corruption).

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)


    Poland isn’t even in the top 5 once you adjust for GNI. It’s true that Poland gets most in absolute terms, but that’s also because we are way bigger than most EE countries. I find a lot of economic innumerate to fail to understand this point and just repeat “yes but they get THIS MANY BILLIONS”. But without adjusting for economic size is meaningless. Sad to see that you are not smarter than this, Dmitry.

    Also, this is counted from the year 2000. The latest EU funds flow constitute about 1% of our GNI according to our central bank. The next one will be half that, even if no change is done, simply on account of a growing economy and a closer realignment to the EU median.

    Furthermore, whenever we are talking about EU funds this should be kept in mind:

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge (“see, it’s only thanks to us because of us generous we are!”). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.

    And I haven’t even talked about the fact that Western European countries benefit massively from labour and we lose, in some instances permanently.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Polish Perspective
    Speaking of EU funds.

    EU budget revamp set to shift funds to southern states

    As can be seen from the chart above, Greece has benefited more than Poland on a total basis since 2000. Their GDP per capita (PPP-adjusted) is also lower than Poland's. It's a bottomless pit.

    A quote from the article:

    Brussels wants to end the practice of distributing cohesion money almost exclusively on the basis of gross domestic product per head, replacing it with much broader criteria covering everything from youth unemployment, education and the environment to migration and innovation.
    On top of revising the allocation of funds, the commission is reinforcing conditions on eligibility, including rule of law compliance, and applying more restrictions on how the EU money can be used.
     

    That means: take more refugees and accept Soros influence, or else.

    Also, the article goes on the misleading nonsense of talking in absolute nominal values, the same mistake Dmitry does. Difference is that Dmitry is just ignorant, these people do it because they count on the fact that most of their readers are innumerate and won't critically ask "okay, but what about adjusted to GNI as a percentage" or even "what about per capita". We're not even in the top 5 on both of these as of now and we'll get even less after this.

    What this means, in effect, is that there will be even fewer motivations to heed what Brussels says, freeing up our hands even more. Not just on migration but even on things like taxing foreign retail (which is almost completely colonised by Western European firms), which has been resulted in autistic screeching from Brussels whenever we broached the subject.

    The threat of "what about FDI" is no longer as powerful either. FDI is still needed but far less than 15-20 years ago. Back then even basic FDI was required. Today we can do most stuff ourselves with only specialised FDI needed and you don't even need EU firms for that. The investments into battery manufacturing supply chain is done by South Korean firms, for instance, in both Poland and Hungary.

    Ultimately it had to come to this and better sooner than later.

    , @reiner Tor
    In Hungary the genius leftist-liberal government in the 1990s privatized most public utilities. So you get your electricity from E.ON, your water supply from Veolia Environnement, etc. Our first conservative government (not yet Fidesz) In 1993 sold our telephone monopoly to Deutsche Telekom. They immediately raised prices and “sold” the Hungarian subsidiary their own obsolete equipment which was due to be replaced in Germany anyway. Now the Hungarian customers paid for it anyway within a couple of years through higher prices, but now we’re paying them permanent dividends. They are now in the broadband internet provider monopoly business (in most areas there’s still very little competition, with either them or UPC, or sometimes some other firm), which could easily be done by a Hungarian owned company. Though at least cell phone service (where DT became also dominant due to its earlier presence in the telephone monopoly, when the mobile business was still insignificant) is the more important part (probably it needs a bigger company as owner due to economies of scale), but even here: I understand we needed foreigners to run the show, and I understand that the Germans are not worse than others, but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.
    , @Frederic Bastiat

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge (“see, it’s only thanks to us because of us generous we are!”). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.
     
    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/foreign-direct-investment
    https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/gdp

    , @Dmitry
    There's nothing ignorant in noting that Poland has received more of the aid than any of the countries.

    You can interpret this how you like, or complain that it still hasn't received the most in per capita terms. The country/economy has the received most, and the numbers are amazing.

    But if Ukraine thinks they can repeat the story in the future, it is going to be heavily disappointed.
    , @Thorfinnsson

    https://i.imgur.com/YNiPO03.png

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge (“see, it’s only thanks to us because of us generous we are!”). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

     

    You are correct, but the chart doesn't show that. It's quite misleading.

    In only compares the net inflow of EU transfers to the net outflow of capital income.

    Other inflows include:

    • FDI (FDI into Poland for 2016 was around 3% of GDP it appears--more than EU transfers)
    • Exports
    • Foreign portfolio investment (i.e. investment into a business short of direct control, as well as bond purchases)
    • Bank lending
    • Repatriated foreign earnings and debt repayments

    Other outflows include:

    • Outbound FDI
    • Imports
    • Outbound foreign portfolio investment
    • Outbound bank lending
    • Foreign aid

    In theory the capital (FDI, portfolio investment, lending) and current accounts (trade, debt service, repatriated earnings) must always balance, though in reality this isn't always true (see the Eurodollar market for instance).

    Depending on what EU funds are actually used for they could represent a very good deal in that EU funds do not represent FDI, portfolio investment, or lending and thus involve no obligation to service foreign debt or send capital income to foreign investors. Knowing the EU I doubt the funds are used for anything useful but you would know better.

    In general outside of East Asia fast-growing and/or converging economies run current account deficits in order to grow faster. Norway for instance ran a current account deficit of 13% of GDP while it was getting its North Sea oil industry off the ground.

    If you want to avoid that you have to suppress consumption and increase domestic saving, hence the famously high household savings rate in China (and Japan until recently). Or you accept slower growth. Inbound FDI also makes it easier to acquire foreign technology and know-how.

    A good way to split the difference is through joint ventures and forced technology transfers.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.
     

    Sure, but ALDI, Lidl, Kaufmann, and Carrefour doubtless have higher productivity and better merchandising skills than anything that existed in the Visegrad 4 or could've come to the fore in the post-communist period.

    As a result Visegrad people exchange lost profits for lower prices, better quality, and improved product selection.

    Of course you can argue that efficient retailers would've developed anyway, but this surely would've taken more time.

    The real question is whether the Visegrad 4 can create successful multinational corporations or if they will forever be comprador economies controlled by the German 1%. There are worse fates than that incidentally. Australia and Canada have been a comprador economies from day one for instance.

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  69. @Polish Perspective

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)

     

    https://i.imgur.com/yNvMzzD.jpg

    Poland isn't even in the top 5 once you adjust for GNI. It's true that Poland gets most in absolute terms, but that's also because we are way bigger than most EE countries. I find a lot of economic innumerate to fail to understand this point and just repeat "yes but they get THIS MANY BILLIONS". But without adjusting for economic size is meaningless. Sad to see that you are not smarter than this, Dmitry.

    Also, this is counted from the year 2000. The latest EU funds flow constitute about 1% of our GNI according to our central bank. The next one will be half that, even if no change is done, simply on account of a growing economy and a closer realignment to the EU median.

    Furthermore, whenever we are talking about EU funds this should be kept in mind:

    https://i.imgur.com/YNiPO03.png

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge ("see, it's only thanks to us because of us generous we are!"). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.

    And I haven't even talked about the fact that Western European countries benefit massively from labour and we lose, in some instances permanently.

    Speaking of EU funds.

    EU budget revamp set to shift funds to southern states

    As can be seen from the chart above, Greece has benefited more than Poland on a total basis since 2000. Their GDP per capita (PPP-adjusted) is also lower than Poland’s. It’s a bottomless pit.

    A quote from the article:

    Brussels wants to end the practice of distributing cohesion money almost exclusively on the basis of gross domestic product per head, replacing it with much broader criteria covering everything from youth unemployment, education and the environment to migration and innovation.
    On top of revising the allocation of funds, the commission is reinforcing conditions on eligibility, including rule of law compliance, and applying more restrictions on how the EU money can be used.

    That means: take more refugees and accept Soros influence, or else.

    Also, the article goes on the misleading nonsense of talking in absolute nominal values, the same mistake Dmitry does. Difference is that Dmitry is just ignorant, these people do it because they count on the fact that most of their readers are innumerate and won’t critically ask “okay, but what about adjusted to GNI as a percentage” or even “what about per capita”. We’re not even in the top 5 on both of these as of now and we’ll get even less after this.

    What this means, in effect, is that there will be even fewer motivations to heed what Brussels says, freeing up our hands even more. Not just on migration but even on things like taxing foreign retail (which is almost completely colonised by Western European firms), which has been resulted in autistic screeching from Brussels whenever we broached the subject.

    The threat of “what about FDI” is no longer as powerful either. FDI is still needed but far less than 15-20 years ago. Back then even basic FDI was required. Today we can do most stuff ourselves with only specialised FDI needed and you don’t even need EU firms for that. The investments into battery manufacturing supply chain is done by South Korean firms, for instance, in both Poland and Hungary.

    Ultimately it had to come to this and better sooner than later.

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  70. Talha says:
    @g2k
    Georgia has much more to offer tourists naturally, in particular it has a coastline and a slice of the greater Caucasus. The nunber one country of origin for Georgian tourists is Turkey which is a nonstarter for Armenia. Flights are also considerably cheaper into Georgia due to Pegasus and whizz. Armenia severed diplomatic relations with Hungary after they released an Azeri axe murderer, so no whizz flights. Pobeda fly to Gyumri though for about $30.

    Having said that, Georgia is now being bought out quite rapidly by Gulf Arabs and Turks. Last time I was there, quite a lot of restaurants were advertising halal meat; this was nonexistent just a year ago. This must be quite painful, given how nationalistic they are.

    Yerevan has an extremely highly developed service sector which is surprising given its size and poverty. They export a lot of food and luxury goods to Russia and there's some mining operations in the north.

    Having said that, Georgia is now being bought out quite rapidly by Gulf Arabs and Turks.

    Followed by…

    This must be quite painful, given how nationalistic they are.

    Major contradictions here; they can’t really be seriously nationalistic if they are selling off real-estate to Arabs and Turks, right? That certainly doesn’t fit together.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    Just because the people selling their country to the highest bidder only care about getting the highest price doesn't mean ordinary Georgians don't resent it.

    Considering how even in full-pozzed London I've heard ordinary people complain about all the foreign oligarchs buying up everything, I don't find it hard to believe that Georgians might find it painful.
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  71. @Polish Perspective

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)

     

    https://i.imgur.com/yNvMzzD.jpg

    Poland isn't even in the top 5 once you adjust for GNI. It's true that Poland gets most in absolute terms, but that's also because we are way bigger than most EE countries. I find a lot of economic innumerate to fail to understand this point and just repeat "yes but they get THIS MANY BILLIONS". But without adjusting for economic size is meaningless. Sad to see that you are not smarter than this, Dmitry.

    Also, this is counted from the year 2000. The latest EU funds flow constitute about 1% of our GNI according to our central bank. The next one will be half that, even if no change is done, simply on account of a growing economy and a closer realignment to the EU median.

    Furthermore, whenever we are talking about EU funds this should be kept in mind:

    https://i.imgur.com/YNiPO03.png

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge ("see, it's only thanks to us because of us generous we are!"). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.

    And I haven't even talked about the fact that Western European countries benefit massively from labour and we lose, in some instances permanently.

    In Hungary the genius leftist-liberal government in the 1990s privatized most public utilities. So you get your electricity from E.ON, your water supply from Veolia Environnement, etc. Our first conservative government (not yet Fidesz) In 1993 sold our telephone monopoly to Deutsche Telekom. They immediately raised prices and “sold” the Hungarian subsidiary their own obsolete equipment which was due to be replaced in Germany anyway. Now the Hungarian customers paid for it anyway within a couple of years through higher prices, but now we’re paying them permanent dividends. They are now in the broadband internet provider monopoly business (in most areas there’s still very little competition, with either them or UPC, or sometimes some other firm), which could easily be done by a Hungarian owned company. Though at least cell phone service (where DT became also dominant due to its earlier presence in the telephone monopoly, when the mobile business was still insignificant) is the more important part (probably it needs a bigger company as owner due to economies of scale), but even here: I understand we needed foreigners to run the show, and I understand that the Germans are not worse than others, but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Though a significant portion of the profit repatriations is now manufacturing. There’s nothing wrong with it: the big German firms like Daimler or Audi (Volkswagen) built huge factories and now repatriate some of the profits. This is mutually beneficial.

    What I don’t like so much is retail, telecom, etc., which are basically just windfalls for the foreign owners.
    , @Polish Perspective

    I understand we needed foreigners to run the show
     
    There's a significant difference between taking in selective FDI in key industries and outright letting "foreigners run the show". East Asia and especially China did the former. Are you sure you are a nationalist?

    but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.
     
    My argument is much simpler. The West gains more from the East once you consider all three factors: public funds, private funds and labour movement. In the debate, we only hear about the first. We never hear about the last two.

    Therefore, the solution I prefer is clean and simple: we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market. Don't forget that 75% of our EU funds are re-invested in Western European companies.

    The thing is, the West knows this. Günther Öttinger, who is in charge of cohesion funds has all but admitted this. There's a quote I'm too lazy to google where he says in half-jest that if anything the EU should pay EE countries more. But instead of that, my preferred option would achieve a far cleaner break. However, the West would also never agree to it, precisely because they know the real scorecard, which is why their threats of cutting EU funds during the asylum crisis was always a hoax.

    It's interesting, but perhaps not surprising, that Eastern Europeans like yourself have completely and whoolly swallowed the "you should be grateful" meme, while warning about "morality tales" when you aren't advocating for your own colonisation of "letting foreigners running the show".

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  72. Talha says:
    @iffen
    Is there anything interesting in Armenia?

    Do they have a genocide museum?

    They do have some fabulous old Christian heritage stuff – really, really old churches and what not.

    Maybe they can appeal to religious tourists; they must have some places where old saints are buried and stuff.

    I know Turkey makes a killing off of people visiting cities Konya to check out the mausoleum and museum of Maulana Rumi (ra):

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Toronto Russian

    They do have some fabulous old Christian heritage stuff – really, really old churches and what not.

    Maybe they can appeal to religious tourists; they must have some places where old saints are buried and stuff.
     
    The problem is their Church has been dogmatically different from most others since the Halcedon Council of 451. It's not regarded as heresy (the sacraments of Armenians are recognized by Orthodox and vice versa), but still as something alien. Armenian and Greek Churches especially aren't fond of each other:
    https://youtu.be/Jn90BNz729k
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  73. @reiner Tor
    In Hungary the genius leftist-liberal government in the 1990s privatized most public utilities. So you get your electricity from E.ON, your water supply from Veolia Environnement, etc. Our first conservative government (not yet Fidesz) In 1993 sold our telephone monopoly to Deutsche Telekom. They immediately raised prices and “sold” the Hungarian subsidiary their own obsolete equipment which was due to be replaced in Germany anyway. Now the Hungarian customers paid for it anyway within a couple of years through higher prices, but now we’re paying them permanent dividends. They are now in the broadband internet provider monopoly business (in most areas there’s still very little competition, with either them or UPC, or sometimes some other firm), which could easily be done by a Hungarian owned company. Though at least cell phone service (where DT became also dominant due to its earlier presence in the telephone monopoly, when the mobile business was still insignificant) is the more important part (probably it needs a bigger company as owner due to economies of scale), but even here: I understand we needed foreigners to run the show, and I understand that the Germans are not worse than others, but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.

    Though a significant portion of the profit repatriations is now manufacturing. There’s nothing wrong with it: the big German firms like Daimler or Audi (Volkswagen) built huge factories and now repatriate some of the profits. This is mutually beneficial.

    What I don’t like so much is retail, telecom, etc., which are basically just windfalls for the foreign owners.

    Read More
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  74. @Talha

    Having said that, Georgia is now being bought out quite rapidly by Gulf Arabs and Turks.
     
    Followed by...

    This must be quite painful, given how nationalistic they are.
     
    Major contradictions here; they can't really be seriously nationalistic if they are selling off real-estate to Arabs and Turks, right? That certainly doesn't fit together.

    Peace.

    Just because the people selling their country to the highest bidder only care about getting the highest price doesn’t mean ordinary Georgians don’t resent it.

    Considering how even in full-pozzed London I’ve heard ordinary people complain about all the foreign oligarchs buying up everything, I don’t find it hard to believe that Georgians might find it painful.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    OK - makes sense - it's much of the same everywhere; the elite sell out the locals to the highest bidder.

    Peace.
    , @Ali Choudhury
    Outside of a few ritzy neighborhoods which would have been out of reach of the ordinary locals going back decades, foreign oligarchs have not been buying that much property in London. Low interest rates are the primary reason prices have skyrocketed.
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  75. Singh says:
    @Dmitry
    That's the logical and rational view.

    But EU is also worshiped by some - middle-class and educated - Western demographics as a new religion.

    Even in the UK, it was very divided, the society, on this question - and the end result of the voting was within a couple of percent.

    And the UK - is the country in the EU, with the lowest approval ratings for the EU.

    In addition, I would worry that younger generations are very brainwashed into this religion.

    This is much more amongst people like Spanish. When I was learning Spanish, I used read sometimes the Spanish newspaper websites - and they publish many irrational and emotional articles saying how wonderful the EU is (it is a very accepted viewpoint there).

    Well each abrahamic variant sets up its own ideal homogenized populace & empire।।

    Now that catholic continental Europe finally got whore dom enlightenment infection since 60s EU will come।।

    ‘Enlightenment’ is the latest & most virulent abrahamic variant.

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  76. @Mitleser

    I don’t recall them freezing the assets of top officials in Erdogan’s government.
     
    They froze Turkey's EU accession bid.
    Considering that Turkey has to adjust its tariffs and duties to match those of the EU (Customs Union) and Turkey's economic dependence on EUrope, that is not a good thing for Turkey.

    That’s because Turkey happens to be a key ally of Washington.

     


    Congress has revived threats to sanction Turkey over the detention of North Carolina Pastor Andrew Brunson, as well as other US citizens and Turkish staff members of US diplomatic missions that it believes are being held as “political pawns.”

    Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., declared in a joint statement April 19 that they would pursue targeted sanctions against Turkish officials in the foreign affairs spending bill for fiscal year 2019. Their statement noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “has continued to violate the trust between our two nations by holding Pastor Brunson and other innocent Americans behind bars on fabricated charges. … Turkish officials who participate in the detainment of any innocent American citizen should face international consequences, and the actions against Pastor Brunson, in particular, qualify as hostage-taking.”
     

    Ankara's bigger worry is the size and terms of the fine the US Treasury will likely slap on Halkbank for sanctions-busting. Turkish officials warn that if the fine is "disproportionately high" and ends up coming out of Turkish taxpayers’ pockets, this will sink relations to new lows.
     

    “Chances of the sanctions language appearing in the next funding cycle are very high,” the source predicted. Moreover, none of this precludes the use of sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act against Turkish officials for human rights abuses or corruption. “There will be annual lists. This is a very broad authority. If human rights groups want anyone added to the list, they have to build the legal case and give it to Congress to submit to the administration. It’s terrible, but this is the first time the Hill stopped listening to State on Turkey. This is a good time to push,” the source added. “What Erdogan has been doing is shocking. And [the State Department] is shocked. They don’t know what to do. And they’ve been beaten [by senators] into submission.”
     

    Yet should Mike Pompeo be confirmed as the new secretary of state, Washington may grow even less accommodating. Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, served as a deacon and taught Sunday school at the Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita, which is part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church that Brunson belongs to.
     
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/us-sanctions-loom-defiant-turkey-erdogan-pastor.html

    In a sign that Turkey will continue to stock up on gold, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on April 17 argued that international loans should be based on gold rather than dollars. Speaking at an economic gathering in Istanbul, he remarked, “Why do you have to make the loans in dollars? Let’s base the loans on gold. We need to rid states and nations of exchange rate pressure. Throughout history, gold has never been a means of pressure.” Erdogan also said that he had made the suggestion to International Monetary Fund officials at a G-20 meeting.

    Ankara’s desire to boost the use of gold pertains not only to borrowing, but also to trade. This meshes with its efforts to promote interest-free banking, where lending systems are based on gold. Some, however, see more covert motives behind Turkey’s stocking on gold.

    Ufuk Soylemez, a former state minister for the economy and former head of the state-owned Halkbank, believes Ankara might be taking precautions against the prospect of US sanctions against Halkbank for its role in a scheme to get around sanctions on Iran. In January, Mehmet Atilla, a senior Halkbank manager, was found guilty of conspiracy and bank fraud after a monthlong trial in a New York federal court.

    Soylemez told Al-Monitor, “With an abrupt policy change, the central bank has been selling dollars and raising gold reserves to unprecedented levels, which could be a precaution against the risk of multi-billion dollar US fines on Turkish banks.”

    He also drew attention to other unusual moves by the central bank, noting, “Since the end of last year, it has been intensively selling its US bonds and converting its deposits in the United Sates to gold, in addition to moving gold reserves kept in the United States to Europe.” He added, “As of Feb. 23, gold reserves hit $25.2 billion, up from $14 billion at the end of 2016. Gold now makes up almost a fourth of the total reserves, which are worth some $114.5 billion.”

    According to Soylemez, the idea of using gold to curb the dollar’s dominance in the international banking system and financial markets is easier said than done. “This method can materialize only through bilateral consensus and agreements between countries,” he said. “With Iran, for instance, there was a similar trade in return for gold. Yet convincing the world to accept this as a new system is not easy.”

    In what Soylemez views as another sign of Turkey-US tensions, he noted that the 30-year-old New York branch of the state-owned Ziraat Bank had been recently closed.

    In an April 17 article, Hurriyet’s economy pundit Ugur Gurses reported that last year the central bank withdrew all 28.6 tons of gold it was keeping at the US Federal Reserve, moving it to the Switzerland-based Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and the Bank of England. According to the report, at the end of 2017, Turkey’s gold reserves totaled 564.7 tons, including 375.4 tons at the Bank of England, 18.7 tons at BIS, 33.7 tons at the Turkish central bank and 136.8 tons in the central bank’s account at the Istanbul stock exchange.
     
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/turkey-why-gold-reserves-on-the-rise.html

    So much, for "key ally of Washington".

    When you look at EU efforts to blocks Russian pipelines for example, they make zero sense from the perspective of European interests.
     
    It makes sense from the perspective of the anti-Russian European interests who are opposed to Russia's increasing share in the European gas market.

    It makes sense from the perspective of the anti-Russian European interests who are opposed to Russia’s increasing share in the European gas market.

    Which are those? You aren’t talking about the government of Poland, are you? LOL

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  77. @Polish Perspective

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)

     

    https://i.imgur.com/yNvMzzD.jpg

    Poland isn't even in the top 5 once you adjust for GNI. It's true that Poland gets most in absolute terms, but that's also because we are way bigger than most EE countries. I find a lot of economic innumerate to fail to understand this point and just repeat "yes but they get THIS MANY BILLIONS". But without adjusting for economic size is meaningless. Sad to see that you are not smarter than this, Dmitry.

    Also, this is counted from the year 2000. The latest EU funds flow constitute about 1% of our GNI according to our central bank. The next one will be half that, even if no change is done, simply on account of a growing economy and a closer realignment to the EU median.

    Furthermore, whenever we are talking about EU funds this should be kept in mind:

    https://i.imgur.com/YNiPO03.png

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge ("see, it's only thanks to us because of us generous we are!"). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.

    And I haven't even talked about the fact that Western European countries benefit massively from labour and we lose, in some instances permanently.

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge (“see, it’s only thanks to us because of us generous we are!”). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/foreign-direct-investment

    https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/gdp

    Read More
    • Replies: @Frederic Bastiat
    Ah, I see that GDP was in US Dollar. FDI in Euros. Apples and Oranges. Still, does not change the big picture.

    I would guess that Old Europe has a majority share in FDI in Poland because of the unified market. That is probably also a huge incentive for investors from other countries because they can export their products from Poland to Western Europe which has much higher purchasing power.
    , @Polish Perspective

    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.
     
    China gets around 100-120 billion USD per year in FDI. Who knew that Poland gets 50% more than China with less than 1/20th the population?

    Please, learn basic math first before opining. Your basic common sense should have kicked in long ago when you even typed that comment.
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  78. @Thorfinnsson
    Exporting LNG, at least in large quantities, isn't really in our interests at all.

    This will cause our domestic gas prices to rise. In theory, they will rise until they will converge with high-cost markets like East Asia.

    This will terminate our current competitive edge in industries such as petrochemicals and sponge iron.

    Exporting American LNG is rather about:

    1 - The interests of the oil companies themselves
    2 - America's absurd and dangerous Russophobia

    Fortunately just this once I can be grateful to the environmentalists and NIMBYs. There will only be a limited number of LNG export terminals built, so our gas prices will remain low.

    Exporting LNG, at least in large quantities, isn’t really in our interests at all.

    This will cause our domestic gas prices to rise. In theory, they will rise until they will converge with high-cost markets like East Asia.

    They won’t converge. Domestic natural gas prices in the US will always be substantially below the international levels, because the costs associated with liquefying gas and trasporting it in tankers are immense.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JL
    This is an oversimplification and Thorfinnsson also wrote "in theory". Once the infrastructure is built (supertankers and LNG plants), the costs are not so immense. Furthermore, even if export prices were to fall, that infrastructure represents sunken costs which need to be recouped, even if that means operating at a loss.

    This was seen with the shale oil industry in the US. Lifting costs, before 2014, were around $80/barrel. But they mostly kept on pumping even with the price at half that because their creditors would rather see $0.50 on the dollar returned than zero. Technology and adjustments down the services chain have reduced costs on shale oil, but they're still not very far from break even.
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  79. Mitleser says:

    Aren’t they Europeans who have European interests?

    If the German government and others can prevent South Stream and get away with it, why shouldn’t the Polish government do the same to NS II?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Was that a response to my comment?

    We seem to have very different views on how EU operates, and in my opinion your views are ridiculous! It's plain absurd to think that Eastern EU members like Poland can have much impact on EU decisionmaking.

    It was Washington's idea to block South Stream and Nord Stream. The European Comission then succesfully imposed Washington's will on a little Bulgaria, but has struggled to impose it on Germany thus far. The role of Poland in this story is to act as a cheerleader for US-led action, nothing more. The role of the European Comission is to be an enforcer (comissar) for Washington's obkom.
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  80. @Frederic Bastiat

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge (“see, it’s only thanks to us because of us generous we are!”). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.
     
    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/foreign-direct-investment
    https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/gdp

    Ah, I see that GDP was in US Dollar. FDI in Euros. Apples and Oranges. Still, does not change the big picture.

    I would guess that Old Europe has a majority share in FDI in Poland because of the unified market. That is probably also a huge incentive for investors from other countries because they can export their products from Poland to Western Europe which has much higher purchasing power.

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  81. @Avery
    {I don’t follow domestic Armenian politics, }

    It is obvious you don't, that's why you don't know.


    {but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan – who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs –}

    Former President, and now PM Serzh Sargsyan _is_ unpopular, but it has nothing to do with utilities tariff: the tariffs issue was long time ago, it was resolved, and not a current issue. He is unpopular for other reasons.

    { This was accompanied by a bill making Armenia a parliamentary republic, in effect extending his rule.}

    Nope, it was not a bill
    You can't do that by a bill.
    There was a constitutional referendum in 2015, passed by 66% with ~51% turnout that changed the form of government so that instead of the President being directly elected by the people, the majority party in the Parliament would select both the President and the Prime Minister. There were some other changes, but that was the main reason for the referendum.

    The title of 'Prime Minister' is a little misleading in this context, because generally in a Parliamentary form of government the PM is real head of state, the Commander in Chief, etc and a President is just a ceremonial post, if one exists. In Armenia the President is the Commander in Chief, responsible for foreign affairs, etc and the PM is for internal: economy and such.

    The constitutional change was championed by Serzh Sargsyan. Understanding by the people for approving the change was that he would not seek to become the PM, and thus extend his rule indefinitely on the sly. He kinda/sorta promised as much when selling the change.

    The current protests are because the people feel as if Serzh Sargsyan is just spitting on their face by becoming PM.

    He made a BIG mistake.
    He should have been happy with his accomplishments, and retired from public life honorably.
    Now he is despised and ridiculed.
    And the word from Yerevan is that the source of much discontent in Armenia - the group of oligarchs and big thieves who rob the country and the economy (...one of whom is his own brother), and who were protected by Serzh's administration - pretty much forced him to take the PM position, because they are afraid to lose their privileged positions if new blood comes in.


    {There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days.}

    One can never say "never", but highly unlikely.
    Too many reasons why something like that is a near impossibility in Armenia.
    Maybe another post.

    Thanks for this comment.

    Invaluable to have the input of an Armenian on this issue.

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  82. @Mitleser
    @Felix Keverich

    Aren't they Europeans who have European interests?

    If the German government and others can prevent South Stream and get away with it, why shouldn't the Polish government do the same to NS II?

    Was that a response to my comment?

    We seem to have very different views on how EU operates, and in my opinion your views are ridiculous! It’s plain absurd to think that Eastern EU members like Poland can have much impact on EU decisionmaking.

    It was Washington’s idea to block South Stream and Nord Stream. The European Comission then succesfully imposed Washington’s will on a little Bulgaria, but has struggled to impose it on Germany thus far. The role of Poland in this story is to act as a cheerleader for US-led action, nothing more. The role of the European Comission is to be an enforcer (comissar) for Washington’s obkom.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Was that a response to my comment?
     
    Yes.

    We seem to have very different views on how EU operates, and in my opinion your views are ridiculous!
     
    Says the guy who denies Europeans agency.

    It was Washington’s idea to block South Stream and Nord Stream.
     
    Why are so certain that it was the case?
    The German government would not back NS II as much as they did if it would not strengthen Germany's role as European gas hub.
    South Stream did not serve this role and was blocked.
    For Poles, it would be beneficially not to reduce Poland's role as transit country, hence they have a legit reason to oppose NS II which avoids Poland.

    It is not always Washington to blame. Europeans countries are perfectly willing to screw each other.
    One of the reasons why Americans are so dominant in Europe is that they can take advantage of that.
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  83. JL says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Exporting LNG, at least in large quantities, isn’t really in our interests at all.

    This will cause our domestic gas prices to rise. In theory, they will rise until they will converge with high-cost markets like East Asia.
     
    They won't converge. Domestic natural gas prices in the US will always be substantially below the international levels, because the costs associated with liquefying gas and trasporting it in tankers are immense.

    This is an oversimplification and Thorfinnsson also wrote “in theory”. Once the infrastructure is built (supertankers and LNG plants), the costs are not so immense. Furthermore, even if export prices were to fall, that infrastructure represents sunken costs which need to be recouped, even if that means operating at a loss.

    This was seen with the shale oil industry in the US. Lifting costs, before 2014, were around $80/barrel. But they mostly kept on pumping even with the price at half that because their creditors would rather see $0.50 on the dollar returned than zero. Technology and adjustments down the services chain have reduced costs on shale oil, but they’re still not very far from break even.

    Read More
    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Whole point of sunk costs is that they aren't factored in and should be dismissed. In this case that cost is now irrelevant and if you get a higher return shipping to Europe or Asia than selling domestically then you should.

    I find it hard to believe US LNG will ever be cheaper than Rus nat gas, or MENA nat gas, for Europe. Building more LNG facilities makes no sense, unless justified by bogus geopolitical concerns. Reality is a number of EE countries joined NATO even whilst depending on Rus nat gas one hundred percent, and their elites pursue very unfriendly foreign policies regardless of dependency on Rus nat gas.
    , @Felix Keverich
    Irrelevant. I wasn't making a comment on the commercial viability of LNG exports from the US. I said that the price of this exported gas will always be greater than the price of gas in the US.

    To be sure American companies, under certain conditions, will export LNG at a loss. Even then the price of this gas must account for liquefaction and transportation costs.

    Simply put:

    Price of exported LNG = price of gas on the domestic market + liquefaction and transportation costs
    (those include the cost of electricity for the plants, fuel for the tankers, wages - they remain substantial even after infrustructure is build).

    ^This equation will always hold in a market economy.


    Russia’s policy of subsidizing former Soviet republics with cheap gas and open markets in exchange for neutral (not even friendly!) foreign policies seemed quite reasonable, yet here we are.
     
    It was a stupid policy and Russia deserved to be punished for disregarding the rules of the market economy.
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  84. @neutral

    What makes you think that Germans (and other Europeans) have much agency in this situation at all?
     
    I agree with this, but take it a step further, what makes you think that Americans (as in their politicians) have much agency? Their allegiance to Israel is absolute, the US is in turn a jewish led institution.

    I agree with this, but take it a step further, what makes you think that Americans (as in their politicians) have much agency? Their allegiance to Israel is absolute, the US is in turn a jewish led institution.

    US is dominated by its own “Jewish community”, but Washington is an actual power center, a place where political decisions are being made, unlike Brussels, whose main function is to relay and enforce orders from Washington.

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  85. LondonBob says:
    @JL
    This is an oversimplification and Thorfinnsson also wrote "in theory". Once the infrastructure is built (supertankers and LNG plants), the costs are not so immense. Furthermore, even if export prices were to fall, that infrastructure represents sunken costs which need to be recouped, even if that means operating at a loss.

    This was seen with the shale oil industry in the US. Lifting costs, before 2014, were around $80/barrel. But they mostly kept on pumping even with the price at half that because their creditors would rather see $0.50 on the dollar returned than zero. Technology and adjustments down the services chain have reduced costs on shale oil, but they're still not very far from break even.

    Whole point of sunk costs is that they aren’t factored in and should be dismissed. In this case that cost is now irrelevant and if you get a higher return shipping to Europe or Asia than selling domestically then you should.

    I find it hard to believe US LNG will ever be cheaper than Rus nat gas, or MENA nat gas, for Europe. Building more LNG facilities makes no sense, unless justified by bogus geopolitical concerns. Reality is a number of EE countries joined NATO even whilst depending on Rus nat gas one hundred percent, and their elites pursue very unfriendly foreign policies regardless of dependency on Rus nat gas.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JL

    Whole point of sunk costs is that they aren’t factored in and should be dismissed. In this case that cost is now irrelevant and if you get a higher return shipping to Europe or Asia than selling domestically then you should.
     
    Yes, that was my point, perhaps I wasn't being clear.

    I find it hard to believe US LNG will ever be cheaper than Rus nat gas, or MENA nat gas, for Europe. Building more LNG facilities makes no sense, unless justified by bogus geopolitical concerns. Reality is a number of EE countries joined NATO even whilst depending on Rus nat gas one hundred percent, and their elites pursue very unfriendly foreign policies regardless of dependency on Rus nat gas.
     
    You and I may find those geopolitical concerns bogus, others take them quite seriously. The Euro currency doesn't make much economic sense, but geopolitical concerns have managed to hold it together far longer than I thought would be tenable. As for the EE countries joining NATO while being completely dependent on natural gas, human nature seems to suggest that people often think it is feasible to have their cake and eat it too. Russia's policy of subsidizing former Soviet republics with cheap gas and open markets in exchange for neutral (not even friendly!) foreign policies seemed quite reasonable, yet here we are.
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  86. JL says:
    @LondonBob
    Whole point of sunk costs is that they aren't factored in and should be dismissed. In this case that cost is now irrelevant and if you get a higher return shipping to Europe or Asia than selling domestically then you should.

    I find it hard to believe US LNG will ever be cheaper than Rus nat gas, or MENA nat gas, for Europe. Building more LNG facilities makes no sense, unless justified by bogus geopolitical concerns. Reality is a number of EE countries joined NATO even whilst depending on Rus nat gas one hundred percent, and their elites pursue very unfriendly foreign policies regardless of dependency on Rus nat gas.

    Whole point of sunk costs is that they aren’t factored in and should be dismissed. In this case that cost is now irrelevant and if you get a higher return shipping to Europe or Asia than selling domestically then you should.

    Yes, that was my point, perhaps I wasn’t being clear.

    I find it hard to believe US LNG will ever be cheaper than Rus nat gas, or MENA nat gas, for Europe. Building more LNG facilities makes no sense, unless justified by bogus geopolitical concerns. Reality is a number of EE countries joined NATO even whilst depending on Rus nat gas one hundred percent, and their elites pursue very unfriendly foreign policies regardless of dependency on Rus nat gas.

    You and I may find those geopolitical concerns bogus, others take them quite seriously. The Euro currency doesn’t make much economic sense, but geopolitical concerns have managed to hold it together far longer than I thought would be tenable. As for the EE countries joining NATO while being completely dependent on natural gas, human nature seems to suggest that people often think it is feasible to have their cake and eat it too. Russia’s policy of subsidizing former Soviet republics with cheap gas and open markets in exchange for neutral (not even friendly!) foreign policies seemed quite reasonable, yet here we are.

    Read More
    • Replies: @LondonBob
    I did think you meant that.
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  87. LondonBob says:
    @JL

    Whole point of sunk costs is that they aren’t factored in and should be dismissed. In this case that cost is now irrelevant and if you get a higher return shipping to Europe or Asia than selling domestically then you should.
     
    Yes, that was my point, perhaps I wasn't being clear.

    I find it hard to believe US LNG will ever be cheaper than Rus nat gas, or MENA nat gas, for Europe. Building more LNG facilities makes no sense, unless justified by bogus geopolitical concerns. Reality is a number of EE countries joined NATO even whilst depending on Rus nat gas one hundred percent, and their elites pursue very unfriendly foreign policies regardless of dependency on Rus nat gas.
     
    You and I may find those geopolitical concerns bogus, others take them quite seriously. The Euro currency doesn't make much economic sense, but geopolitical concerns have managed to hold it together far longer than I thought would be tenable. As for the EE countries joining NATO while being completely dependent on natural gas, human nature seems to suggest that people often think it is feasible to have their cake and eat it too. Russia's policy of subsidizing former Soviet republics with cheap gas and open markets in exchange for neutral (not even friendly!) foreign policies seemed quite reasonable, yet here we are.

    I did think you meant that.

    Read More
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  88. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich
    Was that a response to my comment?

    We seem to have very different views on how EU operates, and in my opinion your views are ridiculous! It's plain absurd to think that Eastern EU members like Poland can have much impact on EU decisionmaking.

    It was Washington's idea to block South Stream and Nord Stream. The European Comission then succesfully imposed Washington's will on a little Bulgaria, but has struggled to impose it on Germany thus far. The role of Poland in this story is to act as a cheerleader for US-led action, nothing more. The role of the European Comission is to be an enforcer (comissar) for Washington's obkom.

    Was that a response to my comment?

    Yes.

    We seem to have very different views on how EU operates, and in my opinion your views are ridiculous!

    Says the guy who denies Europeans agency.

    It was Washington’s idea to block South Stream and Nord Stream.

    Why are so certain that it was the case?
    The German government would not back NS II as much as they did if it would not strengthen Germany’s role as European gas hub.
    South Stream did not serve this role and was blocked.
    For Poles, it would be beneficially not to reduce Poland’s role as transit country, hence they have a legit reason to oppose NS II which avoids Poland.

    It is not always Washington to blame. Europeans countries are perfectly willing to screw each other.
    One of the reasons why Americans are so dominant in Europe is that they can take advantage of that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    OTOH the Americans were also quite opposed to both Streams. I remember back when in 2008 the then leftist Hungarian PM Gyurcsány had good relations with Putin, and pushed for South Stream, and the Americans were criticizing us for it.
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  89. @JL
    This is an oversimplification and Thorfinnsson also wrote "in theory". Once the infrastructure is built (supertankers and LNG plants), the costs are not so immense. Furthermore, even if export prices were to fall, that infrastructure represents sunken costs which need to be recouped, even if that means operating at a loss.

    This was seen with the shale oil industry in the US. Lifting costs, before 2014, were around $80/barrel. But they mostly kept on pumping even with the price at half that because their creditors would rather see $0.50 on the dollar returned than zero. Technology and adjustments down the services chain have reduced costs on shale oil, but they're still not very far from break even.

    Irrelevant. I wasn’t making a comment on the commercial viability of LNG exports from the US. I said that the price of this exported gas will always be greater than the price of gas in the US.

    To be sure American companies, under certain conditions, will export LNG at a loss. Even then the price of this gas must account for liquefaction and transportation costs.

    Simply put:

    Price of exported LNG = price of gas on the domestic market + liquefaction and transportation costs
    (those include the cost of electricity for the plants, fuel for the tankers, wages – they remain substantial even after infrustructure is build).

    ^This equation will always hold in a market economy.

    Russia’s policy of subsidizing former Soviet republics with cheap gas and open markets in exchange for neutral (not even friendly!) foreign policies seemed quite reasonable, yet here we are.

    It was a stupid policy and Russia deserved to be punished for disregarding the rules of the market economy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    They'll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

    This has already happened in Australia in fact.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/gas-cartel-is-pushing-gas-prices-up-in-australia/news-story/61acc1864d54fb6eb4801c332e683fbd

    And it appears that in parts of Australia gas is somehow now more expensive than LNG in Japan.

    Between 2006 and 2015, increases to residential gas prices ranged from 23 per cent in Victoria, to 74 per cent in Tasmania.

    Industrial users saw price increases ranging from 16 per cent in Tasmania to 113 per cent in North West Queensland.
    [...]
    Much of the blame for high gas prices has been linked to increased demand after three export terminals were built in Gladstone that enabled companies to ship gas overseas for the first time, combined with a low oil price that has discouraged gas exploration, as well as restrictions on gas exploration and development in states.
     

    The United States should strictly limit its gas exports and ban the building of any new thermal fossil fuel electric powerstations in order to keep domestic gas prices as low as possible.

    Of course, this will require rounding up atomophobes and herding them into concentration camps. The trout fishermen who don't understand the concept of "fish ladders" in dams also require reeducation. But these things are already 100% necessary.

    Coal should continue to be used at existing powerstations for economic reasons, but no new ones should be constructed. Export infrastructure to deliver coal to Asia must be built. Currently this is being held up by environmentalist criminals in Washington state for "water use" reasons. These people need to be rounded up and shot.

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  90. @Mitleser

    Was that a response to my comment?
     
    Yes.

    We seem to have very different views on how EU operates, and in my opinion your views are ridiculous!
     
    Says the guy who denies Europeans agency.

    It was Washington’s idea to block South Stream and Nord Stream.
     
    Why are so certain that it was the case?
    The German government would not back NS II as much as they did if it would not strengthen Germany's role as European gas hub.
    South Stream did not serve this role and was blocked.
    For Poles, it would be beneficially not to reduce Poland's role as transit country, hence they have a legit reason to oppose NS II which avoids Poland.

    It is not always Washington to blame. Europeans countries are perfectly willing to screw each other.
    One of the reasons why Americans are so dominant in Europe is that they can take advantage of that.

    OTOH the Americans were also quite opposed to both Streams. I remember back when in 2008 the then leftist Hungarian PM Gyurcsány had good relations with Putin, and pushed for South Stream, and the Americans were criticizing us for it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    OTOH the Americans were also quite opposed to both Streams.
     
    "OTOH"? This isn't really up to a debate. The only side who is interested in stopping these pipelines is the US. The European Comission is simply following orders from the US.
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  91. Mitleser says:

    YEREVAN, April 23. /TASS/. Armenia’s newly elected Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan has tendered resignation after six days in office.

    He came out with a statement to this effect on Monday.

    http://tass.com/world/1001285

    What next?

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  92. @Art Deco
    But Maidanism is more of a religious phenomenon, so no firm predictions can be made.

    No, they just don't like you. Get over it.

    It would be pretty strange for Armenians to not like their only guarantor against Azeri designs on their territory, and their only friend in the region apart from Iran.

    (Though as Felix correctly points out, not exactly something that would bother Russians, since Armenia benefits from the relationship far more).

    But it’s not strange, because you are making things up, as you are regrettably wont to. In reality, Armenia is one of the few countries where Putin is even more popular than in Russia itself.

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    • Replies: @neutral
    What is interesting about that map is how the world community thinks about things vs the "world community" (i.e. all the puppets of the US that the media declares to be the world).

    With India and China you already have a big chunk of the world population, assuming that the rest of Africa leans like Nigeria and Congo, then you have the bulk of world actually being pro and not anti, contradicting the narrative of the cuckservative and SJW media.

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  93. @Dmitry
    But people are not usually going to Georgia for the beach

    I have never yet been on holiday to the region (so you better read g2k).

    I'm sure I'll write a lot of reviews in tripadvisor when I go eventually.

    But all three of these destinations (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan), get extremely good reviews with tourists, and it is the new fashion to go on holiday there.

    My parents went on holiday in Baku last year and they sounded very happy about the holiday.

    1. Armenia has actually done quite well, I think. Considering it’s surrounded by hostile states on two sides, and has to spend a lot of $$$ on the military, this is all the more impressive.

    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.

    3. The Caucasus isn’t anywhere near the top of my to go list (that’s reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I’d go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it’s grossly overrated.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson


    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.
     
    Why?

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Saakashvili?

    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I'm not Russian.
    , @Dmitry
    I’m not sure how to read the graph – i.e. I’m not sure what is the y axis showing?

    About the general economic situation.

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2018/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=15&pr.y=6&sy=1999&ey=2016&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=911%2C912%2C922%2C915%2C186%2C926&s=NGDPD%2CPPPGDP%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPPC%2CLP%2CGGXWDG_NGDP&grp=0&a=

    I looked at the countries in the IMF database – I’m not sure how negatively to interpret their situation overall? I think of all the economies, it is the one I would like the least after Ukraine (the three - Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine - with negative population growth).
    , @Dmitry

    3. The Caucasus isn’t anywhere near the top of my to go list (that’s reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I’d go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it’s grossly overrated.
     
    Sure - I feel the same. I'm much more excited to think about visiting places like Cuba or Argentina. But Tbilisi or Baku are a cheap 'weekend', it is not comparable to more expensive holidays.

    Iran will be interesting with the visa-restriction going to be removed soon - but presumably the kind of place it would be easier to visit in a tour-group.
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  94. Dmitry says:
    @Avery
    {There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia }

    How do you know this?
    Where did you get that number from?

    It was 3 million – two years ago.

    https://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=2528568

    By now the figure will be over 3 million, into the customs union.

    https://regnum.ru/news/2316978.html

    Read More
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  95. @Felix Keverich
    Irrelevant. I wasn't making a comment on the commercial viability of LNG exports from the US. I said that the price of this exported gas will always be greater than the price of gas in the US.

    To be sure American companies, under certain conditions, will export LNG at a loss. Even then the price of this gas must account for liquefaction and transportation costs.

    Simply put:

    Price of exported LNG = price of gas on the domestic market + liquefaction and transportation costs
    (those include the cost of electricity for the plants, fuel for the tankers, wages - they remain substantial even after infrustructure is build).

    ^This equation will always hold in a market economy.


    Russia’s policy of subsidizing former Soviet republics with cheap gas and open markets in exchange for neutral (not even friendly!) foreign policies seemed quite reasonable, yet here we are.
     
    It was a stupid policy and Russia deserved to be punished for disregarding the rules of the market economy.

    They’ll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

    This has already happened in Australia in fact.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/gas-cartel-is-pushing-gas-prices-up-in-australia/news-story/61acc1864d54fb6eb4801c332e683fbd

    And it appears that in parts of Australia gas is somehow now more expensive than LNG in Japan.

    Between 2006 and 2015, increases to residential gas prices ranged from 23 per cent in Victoria, to 74 per cent in Tasmania.

    Industrial users saw price increases ranging from 16 per cent in Tasmania to 113 per cent in North West Queensland.
    [...]
    Much of the blame for high gas prices has been linked to increased demand after three export terminals were built in Gladstone that enabled companies to ship gas overseas for the first time, combined with a low oil price that has discouraged gas exploration, as well as restrictions on gas exploration and development in states.

    The United States should strictly limit its gas exports and ban the building of any new thermal fossil fuel electric powerstations in order to keep domestic gas prices as low as possible.

    Of course, this will require rounding up atomophobes and herding them into concentration camps. The trout fishermen who don’t understand the concept of “fish ladders” in dams also require reeducation. But these things are already 100% necessary.

    Coal should continue to be used at existing powerstations for economic reasons, but no new ones should be constructed. Export infrastructure to deliver coal to Asia must be built. Currently this is being held up by environmentalist criminals in Washington state for “water use” reasons. These people need to be rounded up and shot.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    They’ll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

     

    You forgot about Iran. Iran has massive natural gas production, but can't export due to sanctions, so gas in Iran is practically free. You want America to be more like Iran?

    Obviously, allowing more exports will raise the prices on the domestic market. But I can guarantee they will still be much lower than prices in SE Asia, where US will export.
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  96. @reiner Tor
    OTOH the Americans were also quite opposed to both Streams. I remember back when in 2008 the then leftist Hungarian PM Gyurcsány had good relations with Putin, and pushed for South Stream, and the Americans were criticizing us for it.

    OTOH the Americans were also quite opposed to both Streams.

    “OTOH”? This isn’t really up to a debate. The only side who is interested in stopping these pipelines is the US. The European Comission is simply following orders from the US.

    Read More
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  97. Art Deco says:
    @Dmitry
    There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia - and numbers are probably higher considering the situation with illegal and undocumented immigrants.

    As for emigration rate, the majority come to Russia on work permits. However, if we look just at the minority that successfully obtain Russian citizenship - almost 1% of the total population in Armenia obtains Russian citizenship each year.

    There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia –

    Known to you, but not to Russian census enumerators.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    The census will only track a fraction of emigrants/workers. You can see above that officials are not using it when estimating for this question.
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  98. Dmitry says:
    @Polish Perspective

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)

     

    https://i.imgur.com/yNvMzzD.jpg

    Poland isn't even in the top 5 once you adjust for GNI. It's true that Poland gets most in absolute terms, but that's also because we are way bigger than most EE countries. I find a lot of economic innumerate to fail to understand this point and just repeat "yes but they get THIS MANY BILLIONS". But without adjusting for economic size is meaningless. Sad to see that you are not smarter than this, Dmitry.

    Also, this is counted from the year 2000. The latest EU funds flow constitute about 1% of our GNI according to our central bank. The next one will be half that, even if no change is done, simply on account of a growing economy and a closer realignment to the EU median.

    Furthermore, whenever we are talking about EU funds this should be kept in mind:

    https://i.imgur.com/YNiPO03.png

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge ("see, it's only thanks to us because of us generous we are!"). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.

    And I haven't even talked about the fact that Western European countries benefit massively from labour and we lose, in some instances permanently.

    There’s nothing ignorant in noting that Poland has received more of the aid than any of the countries.

    You can interpret this how you like, or complain that it still hasn’t received the most in per capita terms. The country/economy has the received most, and the numbers are amazing.

    But if Ukraine thinks they can repeat the story in the future, it is going to be heavily disappointed.

    Read More
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  99. @Anatoly Karlin
    1. Armenia has actually done quite well, I think. Considering it's surrounded by hostile states on two sides, and has to spend a lot of $$$ on the military, this is all the more impressive.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/developing-transition.png

    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it's really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine - half-Jewish, MacBook toting "creative" person - is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of "soft power" among the spending classes.

    3. The Caucasus isn't anywhere near the top of my to go list (that's reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I'd go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it's grossly overrated.

    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.

    Why?

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Saakashvili?

    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I’m not Russian.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen

    Why?
    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?
    Saakashvili?
    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I’m not Russian.
     
    Maybe some Russians are making pilgrimages.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin_Museum,_Gori

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stalin%C5%AFv_rodn%C3%BD_d%C5%AFm.JPG
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?
     
    Correct, though only true for the sovok generation.

    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes. Only French cuisine really is world class, whereas Georgian cuisine isn't (same for the wines). Now that there are mid-range Georgian establishments, the older Soviet people like to frequent them, since they continue to regard them as prestigious, even though there are no end of much cheaper (and better) restaurants and eateries.

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it's more about Georgia's (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a "European" country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.
    , @Dmitry
    I've never have been. But you can see the popularity for people.

    Relatively cheap flight - and you end up in an exotic (but easy to navigate culturally/linguistically) destination, with colourful local people/traditions.

    Everything is also cheap and you can eat Georgian cuisine a lot more cheaply than in restaurants outside Georgia.

    As Karlin says - they are also clever at viral marketing themselves to kind of hipster, middle class tastes


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsH1IUF8ESA
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  100. @Thorfinnsson
    They'll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

    This has already happened in Australia in fact.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/gas-cartel-is-pushing-gas-prices-up-in-australia/news-story/61acc1864d54fb6eb4801c332e683fbd

    And it appears that in parts of Australia gas is somehow now more expensive than LNG in Japan.

    Between 2006 and 2015, increases to residential gas prices ranged from 23 per cent in Victoria, to 74 per cent in Tasmania.

    Industrial users saw price increases ranging from 16 per cent in Tasmania to 113 per cent in North West Queensland.
    [...]
    Much of the blame for high gas prices has been linked to increased demand after three export terminals were built in Gladstone that enabled companies to ship gas overseas for the first time, combined with a low oil price that has discouraged gas exploration, as well as restrictions on gas exploration and development in states.
     

    The United States should strictly limit its gas exports and ban the building of any new thermal fossil fuel electric powerstations in order to keep domestic gas prices as low as possible.

    Of course, this will require rounding up atomophobes and herding them into concentration camps. The trout fishermen who don't understand the concept of "fish ladders" in dams also require reeducation. But these things are already 100% necessary.

    Coal should continue to be used at existing powerstations for economic reasons, but no new ones should be constructed. Export infrastructure to deliver coal to Asia must be built. Currently this is being held up by environmentalist criminals in Washington state for "water use" reasons. These people need to be rounded up and shot.

    They’ll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

    You forgot about Iran. Iran has massive natural gas production, but can’t export due to sanctions, so gas in Iran is practically free. You want America to be more like Iran?

    Obviously, allowing more exports will raise the prices on the domestic market. But I can guarantee they will still be much lower than prices in SE Asia, where US will export.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    There are other major gas producers besides the one I listed, yes, and not just Iran.

    The USA unlike Iran has no barriers to global trade (other than idiotic self-imposed ones thanks to our sanctions love affair), and we are a much more developed country with a much better business climate.

    The shale boom has led to a renaissance in the US chemicals industry, which previously had been migrating offshore for decades in pursuit of lower input costs.

    I'm not able to find it now, but a few years ago the CEO of Dow Chemicals wrote an essay decrying the rush to export surplus gas. He produced a list of $100 billion worth of capital investment being made in America owing to low gas prices. Other corporate executives denounced him for "protectionism" since our business class has largely gotten high on its own supply.

    My general position is that with the exception of labor costs it should be government policy to keep input costs as low as possible (without resorting to subsidies of course) in order to gain a competitive edge against rival foreign countries. We're not any better at engineering or management than Western Europe or Japan, but we do have bountiful natural resources unlike them.

    It's okay to export surplus raw materials within reason, but you never want to do so when the opportunity cost results in foreign industries adding value instead of your own industries. Mercantilism 101.

    It's not enough to have lower gas prices than gas importing countries. Gas prices must be competitive with other major gas producing countries where modern industrial plants can be constructed.

    , @Mitleser

    You want America to be more like Iran?
     
    Give the CSA a chance, brother.

    https://d1u5p3l4wpay3k.cloudfront.net/alphacentauri_en/b/bd/AC_Fac_Ldr_002.png
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  101. JL says:

    So Sargsyan resigned his post as PM. Perhaps Avery could comment on what to expect next?

    Read More
    • Replies: @g2k
    I suspect that the Parliament will appoint Karen Karapetyan as PM.
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  102. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    1. Armenia has actually done quite well, I think. Considering it's surrounded by hostile states on two sides, and has to spend a lot of $$$ on the military, this is all the more impressive.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/developing-transition.png

    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it's really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine - half-Jewish, MacBook toting "creative" person - is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of "soft power" among the spending classes.

    3. The Caucasus isn't anywhere near the top of my to go list (that's reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I'd go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it's grossly overrated.

    I’m not sure how to read the graph – i.e. I’m not sure what is the y axis showing?

    About the general economic situation.

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2018/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=15&pr.y=6&sy=1999&ey=2016&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=911%2C912%2C922%2C915%2C186%2C926&s=NGDPD%2CPPPGDP%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPPC%2CLP%2CGGXWDG_NGDP&grp=0&a=

    I looked at the countries in the IMF database – I’m not sure how negatively to interpret their situation overall? I think of all the economies, it is the one I would like the least after Ukraine (the three – Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine – with negative population growth).

    Read More
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  103. g2k says:
    @JL
    So Sargsyan resigned his post as PM. Perhaps Avery could comment on what to expect next?

    I suspect that the Parliament will appoint Karen Karapetyan as PM.

    Read More
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  104. @Felix Keverich

    They’ll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

     

    You forgot about Iran. Iran has massive natural gas production, but can't export due to sanctions, so gas in Iran is practically free. You want America to be more like Iran?

    Obviously, allowing more exports will raise the prices on the domestic market. But I can guarantee they will still be much lower than prices in SE Asia, where US will export.

    There are other major gas producers besides the one I listed, yes, and not just Iran.

    The USA unlike Iran has no barriers to global trade (other than idiotic self-imposed ones thanks to our sanctions love affair), and we are a much more developed country with a much better business climate.

    The shale boom has led to a renaissance in the US chemicals industry, which previously had been migrating offshore for decades in pursuit of lower input costs.

    I’m not able to find it now, but a few years ago the CEO of Dow Chemicals wrote an essay decrying the rush to export surplus gas. He produced a list of $100 billion worth of capital investment being made in America owing to low gas prices. Other corporate executives denounced him for “protectionism” since our business class has largely gotten high on its own supply.

    My general position is that with the exception of labor costs it should be government policy to keep input costs as low as possible (without resorting to subsidies of course) in order to gain a competitive edge against rival foreign countries. We’re not any better at engineering or management than Western Europe or Japan, but we do have bountiful natural resources unlike them.

    It’s okay to export surplus raw materials within reason, but you never want to do so when the opportunity cost results in foreign industries adding value instead of your own industries. Mercantilism 101.

    It’s not enough to have lower gas prices than gas importing countries. Gas prices must be competitive with other major gas producing countries where modern industrial plants can be constructed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I've read this viewpoint (I think in Bloomberg article).

    But a lot of industry can be made more competitive through productivity gains and investment in capital. Not from having cheaper energy costs.

    If you can compare it to farming for example. America did not become the world's largest food exporter, by 'lowering the costs of water and soil'.

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.
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  105. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    They’ll be lower than the cost of LNG.

    They will not be lower than the cost of gas compared to other major producing countries such as Canada, Russia, Qatar, etc.

     

    You forgot about Iran. Iran has massive natural gas production, but can't export due to sanctions, so gas in Iran is practically free. You want America to be more like Iran?

    Obviously, allowing more exports will raise the prices on the domestic market. But I can guarantee they will still be much lower than prices in SE Asia, where US will export.

    You want America to be more like Iran?

    Give the CSA a chance, brother.

    Read More
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  106. Dmitry says:
    @Art Deco
    There are over 3 million Armenians at any time in Russia –

    Known to you, but not to Russian census enumerators.

    The census will only track a fraction of emigrants/workers. You can see above that officials are not using it when estimating for this question.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    You mean they'll find them once you've told them where to look.
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  107. iffen says:
    @Thorfinnsson


    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.
     
    Why?

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Saakashvili?

    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I'm not Russian.

    Why?
    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?
    Saakashvili?
    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I’m not Russian.

    Maybe some Russians are making pilgrimages.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin_Museum,_Gori

    Read More
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  108. neutral says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    It would be pretty strange for Armenians to not like their only guarantor against Azeri designs on their territory, and their only friend in the region apart from Iran.

    (Though as Felix correctly points out, not exactly something that would bother Russians, since Armenia benefits from the relationship far more).

    But it's not strange, because you are making things up, as you are regrettably wont to. In reality, Armenia is one of the few countries where Putin is even more popular than in Russia itself.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/world-map-putin-approval-2015-details.png

    What is interesting about that map is how the world community thinks about things vs the “world community” (i.e. all the puppets of the US that the media declares to be the world).

    With India and China you already have a big chunk of the world population, assuming that the rest of Africa leans like Nigeria and Congo, then you have the bulk of world actually being pro and not anti, contradicting the narrative of the cuckservative and SJW media.

    Read More
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  109. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    1. Armenia has actually done quite well, I think. Considering it's surrounded by hostile states on two sides, and has to spend a lot of $$$ on the military, this is all the more impressive.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/developing-transition.png

    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it's really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine - half-Jewish, MacBook toting "creative" person - is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of "soft power" among the spending classes.

    3. The Caucasus isn't anywhere near the top of my to go list (that's reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I'd go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it's grossly overrated.

    3. The Caucasus isn’t anywhere near the top of my to go list (that’s reserved for China, India, and a bunch of Mediterranean and ME places, inc. Israel and Iran). However, if I was to go there, I’d go to Armenia or Azerbaijan before Georgia. Armenia has a more impressive history, while Baku is the biggest city in the region and people say good things about it. Last draw is Georgian cuisine, but I am of the opinion that it’s grossly overrated.

    Sure – I feel the same. I’m much more excited to think about visiting places like Cuba or Argentina. But Tbilisi or Baku are a cheap ‘weekend’, it is not comparable to more expensive holidays.

    Iran will be interesting with the visa-restriction going to be removed soon – but presumably the kind of place it would be easier to visit in a tour-group.

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  110. @Thorfinnsson


    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.
     
    Why?

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Saakashvili?

    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I'm not Russian.

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Correct, though only true for the sovok generation.

    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes. Only French cuisine really is world class, whereas Georgian cuisine isn’t (same for the wines). Now that there are mid-range Georgian establishments, the older Soviet people like to frequent them, since they continue to regard them as prestigious, even though there are no end of much cheaper (and better) restaurants and eateries.

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it’s more about Georgia’s (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a “European” country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it’s more about Georgia’s (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a “European” country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.
     
    It's a good hypothesis - but I'm not sure that can be true for people who actually like their holiday in Georgia though.

    People I know was there, say that they like it because how cheap, primitive and 'crazy' the atmosphere is - the kind of same reason people talk about countries like India or Mexico.

    The kind of tourists who like clean, European destinations - it's a slightly different taste, although sure there's plenty who like both (both primitive and sophisticated destinations, but it's difficult to confuse them).

    I like both kind of destinations but I would not confuse them.

    I like the developed and posh places like Cambridge and Oxford and Salzburg. But also like undeveloped looking places like Israel. But although Israel is economically rich and allied with Western powers, you could never confuse it on the ground with a Western country. Israel is very primitive, Middle Eastern, chaotic, undeveloped atmosphere country. On the ground, surely much more similar to Tehran (not that I have been there), than to New York .

    The way a country allies is not so much reflected in the experience a tourist has. For example, in Moscow, you get a much more 'Western European' style experience than you would get in (say) Mexico City.

    And the kind of energy you get in Georgia will surely be quite an opposite, of what you get in the actual West.
    , @Art Deco
    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes.

    They did? I can't recall a single one in my home town, where live 600,000 people and (at one time) the world headquarters of several major corporations.



    Only French cuisine really is world class, w

    "World class"? What does that even mean? Are you referring to quality, snob appeal, or something else?
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  111. Dmitry says:
    @Thorfinnsson


    2. Another factor driving Georgian tourism is that it’s really prestigious among the Moscow yuppie hipster crowd. For instance, one acquaintance of mine – half-Jewish, MacBook toting “creative” person – is going there to get married this weekend. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has this sort of “soft power” among the spending classes.
     
    Why?

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?

    Saakashvili?

    Georgia to me is another irrelevant joke. Of course I'm not Russian.

    I’ve never have been. But you can see the popularity for people.

    Relatively cheap flight – and you end up in an exotic (but easy to navigate culturally/linguistically) destination, with colourful local people/traditions.

    Everything is also cheap and you can eat Georgian cuisine a lot more cheaply than in restaurants outside Georgia.

    As Karlin says – they are also clever at viral marketing themselves to kind of hipster, middle class tastes

    Read More
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  112. Talha says:
    @Hyperborean
    Just because the people selling their country to the highest bidder only care about getting the highest price doesn't mean ordinary Georgians don't resent it.

    Considering how even in full-pozzed London I've heard ordinary people complain about all the foreign oligarchs buying up everything, I don't find it hard to believe that Georgians might find it painful.

    OK – makes sense – it’s much of the same everywhere; the elite sell out the locals to the highest bidder.

    Peace.

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  113. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?
     
    Correct, though only true for the sovok generation.

    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes. Only French cuisine really is world class, whereas Georgian cuisine isn't (same for the wines). Now that there are mid-range Georgian establishments, the older Soviet people like to frequent them, since they continue to regard them as prestigious, even though there are no end of much cheaper (and better) restaurants and eateries.

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it's more about Georgia's (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a "European" country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it’s more about Georgia’s (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a “European” country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.

    It’s a good hypothesis – but I’m not sure that can be true for people who actually like their holiday in Georgia though.

    People I know was there, say that they like it because how cheap, primitive and ‘crazy’ the atmosphere is – the kind of same reason people talk about countries like India or Mexico.

    The kind of tourists who like clean, European destinations – it’s a slightly different taste, although sure there’s plenty who like both (both primitive and sophisticated destinations, but it’s difficult to confuse them).

    I like both kind of destinations but I would not confuse them.

    I like the developed and posh places like Cambridge and Oxford and Salzburg. But also like undeveloped looking places like Israel. But although Israel is economically rich and allied with Western powers, you could never confuse it on the ground with a Western country. Israel is very primitive, Middle Eastern, chaotic, undeveloped atmosphere country. On the ground, surely much more similar to Tehran (not that I have been there), than to New York .

    The way a country allies is not so much reflected in the experience a tourist has. For example, in Moscow, you get a much more ‘Western European’ style experience than you would get in (say) Mexico City.

    And the kind of energy you get in Georgia will surely be quite an opposite, of what you get in the actual West.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    This is all very plausible.

    There's been occasional stories in the media about Jewish repats who went back to Russia (i.e. Moscow) because Israel was too provincial for the tastes they'd developed.
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  114. @Dmitry

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it’s more about Georgia’s (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a “European” country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.
     
    It's a good hypothesis - but I'm not sure that can be true for people who actually like their holiday in Georgia though.

    People I know was there, say that they like it because how cheap, primitive and 'crazy' the atmosphere is - the kind of same reason people talk about countries like India or Mexico.

    The kind of tourists who like clean, European destinations - it's a slightly different taste, although sure there's plenty who like both (both primitive and sophisticated destinations, but it's difficult to confuse them).

    I like both kind of destinations but I would not confuse them.

    I like the developed and posh places like Cambridge and Oxford and Salzburg. But also like undeveloped looking places like Israel. But although Israel is economically rich and allied with Western powers, you could never confuse it on the ground with a Western country. Israel is very primitive, Middle Eastern, chaotic, undeveloped atmosphere country. On the ground, surely much more similar to Tehran (not that I have been there), than to New York .

    The way a country allies is not so much reflected in the experience a tourist has. For example, in Moscow, you get a much more 'Western European' style experience than you would get in (say) Mexico City.

    And the kind of energy you get in Georgia will surely be quite an opposite, of what you get in the actual West.

    This is all very plausible.

    There’s been occasional stories in the media about Jewish repats who went back to Russia (i.e. Moscow) because Israel was too provincial for the tastes they’d developed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Yes compared to Moscow, it is surely very culturally provincial, in every sense.

    But the chaotic, primitive Middle Eastern, atmosphere is a different issue entirely (some people instantly fall in love with chaotic Middle Eastern atmospheres, some people hate it).

    -

    By the way I read a good article this week on people emigrating from Israel

    https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3591450


    -


    As for Georgia. I haven't been to the region. But the atmosphere surely something similar there. And plenty of tourists are falling in love with these more chaotic atmospheres. But I don't think they will confuse it with the West.
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  115. In other news, it seems I was broadly correct (despite my lack of knowledge of Armenian political specifics as Avery pointed out).

    Sargsyan has resigned, but there has been no wave of anti-Russian sentiment to go with it.

    Instead of hanging on to unpopular foreign leaders, Russia has maintained neutrality over what is an internal Armenian political squabble: https://www.facebook.com/maria.zakharova.167/posts/10216573046828327

    (Before anyone rushes in to make the Ukraine comparison, that wasn’t really a choice in 2013-14, because the Maidan was explicitly anti-Russian from the start. Unlike the Ukraine, Armenia really does need Russia).

    Read More
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  116. Dmitry says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    There are other major gas producers besides the one I listed, yes, and not just Iran.

    The USA unlike Iran has no barriers to global trade (other than idiotic self-imposed ones thanks to our sanctions love affair), and we are a much more developed country with a much better business climate.

    The shale boom has led to a renaissance in the US chemicals industry, which previously had been migrating offshore for decades in pursuit of lower input costs.

    I'm not able to find it now, but a few years ago the CEO of Dow Chemicals wrote an essay decrying the rush to export surplus gas. He produced a list of $100 billion worth of capital investment being made in America owing to low gas prices. Other corporate executives denounced him for "protectionism" since our business class has largely gotten high on its own supply.

    My general position is that with the exception of labor costs it should be government policy to keep input costs as low as possible (without resorting to subsidies of course) in order to gain a competitive edge against rival foreign countries. We're not any better at engineering or management than Western Europe or Japan, but we do have bountiful natural resources unlike them.

    It's okay to export surplus raw materials within reason, but you never want to do so when the opportunity cost results in foreign industries adding value instead of your own industries. Mercantilism 101.

    It's not enough to have lower gas prices than gas importing countries. Gas prices must be competitive with other major gas producing countries where modern industrial plants can be constructed.

    I’ve read this viewpoint (I think in Bloomberg article).

    But a lot of industry can be made more competitive through productivity gains and investment in capital. Not from having cheaper energy costs.

    If you can compare it to farming for example. America did not become the world’s largest food exporter, by ‘lowering the costs of water and soil’.

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.
     
    That and very favorable geography which includes cheap water and soil.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/usa_great.jpg
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Sure, and I've long maintained that human capital trumps natural capital.

    And generally machinery (if we could somehow separate it from the kn0w-how needed to operate) trumps natural capital.

    But there's no reason to ignore the role of natural capital. The choice between processing natural gas into higher value-added products like chemicals, fertilizer, steel, fiberglas, etc. vs. simply exporting it makes it clear the former is more valuable.

    Keeping input costs low (without subsidies) is a form of low-hanging fruit. Capital and know-how on the other hand take more time to build up.

    And while the investment into know-how, farm machinery, improved genetics, etc. are obviously very important for why America is the world's largest food exporter, it should also be noted that we have more arable land than any other country in the world. #2 and #3 in arable land area are India and China, who for obvious reasons can't export as much food as us. #4 is Russia who with its smaller population perhaps will one day export as much as us (already has surpassed us in wheat exports).

    Even here my thinking is relevant. The #1 cash crop in America is corn (maize). A huge fraction of this is wastefully turned into sugar and fuel substitutes. In the absence of our bullshit ethanol and HFCS industries, we would export far more food.

    If you want a real investment story for agricultural success look to the world's second agro-exporter...which amazingly is the tiny country of the Netherlands.

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/holland-agriculture-sustainable-farming/

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  117. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry
    I've read this viewpoint (I think in Bloomberg article).

    But a lot of industry can be made more competitive through productivity gains and investment in capital. Not from having cheaper energy costs.

    If you can compare it to farming for example. America did not become the world's largest food exporter, by 'lowering the costs of water and soil'.

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.

    That and very favorable geography which includes cheap water and soil.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    And all those waterways connecting to the world ocean. Almost free transport.
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  118. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    This is all very plausible.

    There's been occasional stories in the media about Jewish repats who went back to Russia (i.e. Moscow) because Israel was too provincial for the tastes they'd developed.

    Yes compared to Moscow, it is surely very culturally provincial, in every sense.

    But the chaotic, primitive Middle Eastern, atmosphere is a different issue entirely (some people instantly fall in love with chaotic Middle Eastern atmospheres, some people hate it).

    -

    By the way I read a good article this week on people emigrating from Israel

    https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3591450

    -

    As for Georgia. I haven’t been to the region. But the atmosphere surely something similar there. And plenty of tourists are falling in love with these more chaotic atmospheres. But I don’t think they will confuse it with the West.

    Read More
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  119. @Dmitry
    I've read this viewpoint (I think in Bloomberg article).

    But a lot of industry can be made more competitive through productivity gains and investment in capital. Not from having cheaper energy costs.

    If you can compare it to farming for example. America did not become the world's largest food exporter, by 'lowering the costs of water and soil'.

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.

    Sure, and I’ve long maintained that human capital trumps natural capital.

    And generally machinery (if we could somehow separate it from the kn0w-how needed to operate) trumps natural capital.

    But there’s no reason to ignore the role of natural capital. The choice between processing natural gas into higher value-added products like chemicals, fertilizer, steel, fiberglas, etc. vs. simply exporting it makes it clear the former is more valuable.

    Keeping input costs low (without subsidies) is a form of low-hanging fruit. Capital and know-how on the other hand take more time to build up.

    And while the investment into know-how, farm machinery, improved genetics, etc. are obviously very important for why America is the world’s largest food exporter, it should also be noted that we have more arable land than any other country in the world. #2 and #3 in arable land area are India and China, who for obvious reasons can’t export as much food as us. #4 is Russia who with its smaller population perhaps will one day export as much as us (already has surpassed us in wheat exports).

    Even here my thinking is relevant. The #1 cash crop in America is corn (maize). A huge fraction of this is wastefully turned into sugar and fuel substitutes. In the absence of our bullshit ethanol and HFCS industries, we would export far more food.

    If you want a real investment story for agricultural success look to the world’s second agro-exporter…which amazingly is the tiny country of the Netherlands.

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/holland-agriculture-sustainable-farming/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    You will surely be right that having lowers cost of inputs - should improve competitiveness of industries that use them.

    But to go back to the gas discussion, why is keeping the domestic gas price lower (and thereby subsidizing some industries), preferable to exporting more of gas as LNG, and directly managing to 'cash in'.

    I guess the answer would require study comparing the two situations.

    But there seems no intrinsic reason why the former is better.

    And the latter would seem preferable to me, because the result of lower gas prices in America (combined with export restrictions of LNG or I'm not sure what you propose), will be lower gas production other things equal.
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  120. @Art Deco
    Aside from some lucky rich people – the best solution for average Armenians is emigration.

    Best solution to what? Emigrate to where?

    The Glendale-Burbank-LA Area, quite often.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    The Census Bureau has it that there are 63,000 Armenian-born people in the 4 counties around LA. Not bad for a circumscribed area, but not a horde either.
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  121. Dmitry says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    Sure, and I've long maintained that human capital trumps natural capital.

    And generally machinery (if we could somehow separate it from the kn0w-how needed to operate) trumps natural capital.

    But there's no reason to ignore the role of natural capital. The choice between processing natural gas into higher value-added products like chemicals, fertilizer, steel, fiberglas, etc. vs. simply exporting it makes it clear the former is more valuable.

    Keeping input costs low (without subsidies) is a form of low-hanging fruit. Capital and know-how on the other hand take more time to build up.

    And while the investment into know-how, farm machinery, improved genetics, etc. are obviously very important for why America is the world's largest food exporter, it should also be noted that we have more arable land than any other country in the world. #2 and #3 in arable land area are India and China, who for obvious reasons can't export as much food as us. #4 is Russia who with its smaller population perhaps will one day export as much as us (already has surpassed us in wheat exports).

    Even here my thinking is relevant. The #1 cash crop in America is corn (maize). A huge fraction of this is wastefully turned into sugar and fuel substitutes. In the absence of our bullshit ethanol and HFCS industries, we would export far more food.

    If you want a real investment story for agricultural success look to the world's second agro-exporter...which amazingly is the tiny country of the Netherlands.

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/holland-agriculture-sustainable-farming/

    You will surely be right that having lowers cost of inputs – should improve competitiveness of industries that use them.

    But to go back to the gas discussion, why is keeping the domestic gas price lower (and thereby subsidizing some industries), preferable to exporting more of gas as LNG, and directly managing to ‘cash in’.

    I guess the answer would require study comparing the two situations.

    But there seems no intrinsic reason why the former is better.

    And the latter would seem preferable to me, because the result of lower gas prices in America (combined with export restrictions of LNG or I’m not sure what you propose), will be lower gas production other things equal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Low domestic gas prices are only a problem if it results in production dropping below domestic demand, with demand substituted by imports.

    Obviously this will not happen since the imports themselves would be LNG, excluding Canadian imports which are benign (and Canada doesn't have enough reserves to replace American producers in bulk).

    Increased gas production to satisfy export demand will simply result in us running out of gas reserves sooner at the expensive of a smaller heavy industrial production base.

    In the long-term I'm also skeptical of the viability of LNG in any case. With the development of OBOR and Russia's own efforts it's inevitable that FSU and Persian Gulf gas will be delivered to East Asia by pipeline.

    It's also worth pointing out that according to the US Energy Information Agency that China presently has the world's largest reserves of technically recoverable shale gas. Exploitation is a problem owing to distance from water resources and a lack of technological expertise.

    These are surmountable problems as proven by America's fracking industry. Both the Eagle Ford and Bakken formations are in dry areas not very close to fresh water, and the fracking industry didn't even exist at the turn of the century. Dick Cheney promoted invading Iraq because his energy working group predicted that by this time America would be importing 90% of its oil consumption.

    Meanwhile larger and more competitive industries in chemicals, steel, fertilizer, plastics, cement, etc. add more final value and represent a greater overall level of product complexity and technical efficiency. As most of these products are themselves intermediate input goods they'll increase the competitiveness of our final goods industries as well.

    Another possible use of our gas supremacy is in our world class freight railroad system. Currently this system is diesel-based. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad (a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary) is currently experimenting with gas-powered locomotives.
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  122. @Dmitry
    The best solution for a significant proportion - especially young people, who want a job where they can afford a normal life.

    The main emigration is to Russian Federation, although I'm not sure if there is data available on the exact number of work permits issued each year.

    There are probably as many, ,or more, Armenians in Russia at any single time, than in Armenia.

    Seems right. I have met two Armenians who were born and raised in Moscow, one now settled in Glendale CA and the other in Burbank CA.

    I’d guess there are as many Armenians in the USA as in Yerevan (a million), with at least 250-300,000 of those in Glendale-LA Area alone (LA and cities bordering LA to the north such as Burbank, Montrose, and La Crescenta).

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  123. @Dmitry
    With all respect for civilized and secular Turks who also exist - overall, you could not achieve a faster way to turn Western Europe into an Islamic zone, than accession of Turkey (and her huge population) to Schengen Area.

    Yes. A prescient warning about the folly of Turkish EU membership.

    Austria would be the first to go not only Muslim but simply Turkish. Turks by the millions would flock to Austria and Germany to join their large kin networks that are already in place. Already Austria, with its tiny population and consistently low fertility rate, was on the road to drastic demographic and cultural change in the near future. Beautiful Vienna will be a more savage, intolerant place ruled by sharia:

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4229/austria-muslims-vienna-schools

    That column was written four years ago. The population numbers are slightly worse now.

    What did all those brave men suffer and die for at the gates of Vienna in the 1600s and centuries before?

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    • Replies: @Mitleser

    What did all those brave men suffer and die for at the gates of Vienna in the 1600s and centuries before?
     
    What did all those brave Roman men suffer and die for at the gates of Anatolia in the 900s and centuries before?
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  124. Mitleser says:
    @RadicalCenter
    Yes. A prescient warning about the folly of Turkish EU membership.

    Austria would be the first to go not only Muslim but simply Turkish. Turks by the millions would flock to Austria and Germany to join their large kin networks that are already in place. Already Austria, with its tiny population and consistently low fertility rate, was on the road to drastic demographic and cultural change in the near future. Beautiful Vienna will be a more savage, intolerant place ruled by sharia:

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4229/austria-muslims-vienna-schools

    That column was written four years ago. The population numbers are slightly worse now.

    What did all those brave men suffer and die for at the gates of Vienna in the 1600s and centuries before?

    What did all those brave men suffer and die for at the gates of Vienna in the 1600s and centuries before?

    What did all those brave Roman men suffer and die for at the gates of Anatolia in the 900s and centuries before?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    "So that a man's right to publicly dress up as a fruity Roman soldier shall not perish from this Earth!"
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/4549794-3x2-940x627.jpg

    If it weren't for those darned Turks, it would be happening in Constantinople too!
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/7545282-3x2-940x627.jpg
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-27/turkish-anti-riot-police-officers-disperse-lgbt-community/7545284

    "So that the poz shall perish from the Earth!"

    Peace.
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  125. @Frederic Bastiat

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge (“see, it’s only thanks to us because of us generous we are!”). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.
     
    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/foreign-direct-investment
    https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/gdp

    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.

    China gets around 100-120 billion USD per year in FDI. Who knew that Poland gets 50% more than China with less than 1/20th the population?

    Please, learn basic math first before opining. Your basic common sense should have kicked in long ago when you even typed that comment.

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    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    The guy named himself after Frederic Bastiat, what do you expect?

    Bastiat is the same genius who proposed that France should unilaterally disarm, and that this good example would inspire Prussia to disarm.

    Louis Napoleon thought otherwise and wished to expand the French Army to a million men, but his liberal ministers were more inclined to agree with Bastiat's thinking though they didn't go as far as unilateral disarmament.


    Despite his failing health, Napoleon III could see that the Prussian Army, combined with the armies of Bavaria and the other German states, would be a formidable enemy. In 1866, Prussia, with a population of 22 million, had been able to mobilize an army of 700,000 men, while France, with population of 26 million, had an army of only 385,000 men, of whom 100,000 were in Algeria, Mexico, and Rome.[131] In the autumn of 1867, Napoleon III proposed a form of universal military service, similar to the Prussian system, to increase the size of the French Army, if needed, to 1 million. His proposal was opposed by many French officers, such as Marechal Randon, who preferred a smaller, more professional army; he said: "This proposal will only give us recruits; it's soldiers we need."[132] It was also strongly opposed by the republican opposition in the French parliament, who denounced the proposal as a militarization of French society. The republican deputy, Émile Ollivier, who later became Napoleon's prime minister, declared: "The armies of France, which I always considered too large, are now going to be increased to an exorbitant size. Why? What is the necessity? Where is the danger? Who is threatening us? ...If France were to disarm, the Germans would know how to convince their governments to do the same. "[133] Facing almost certain defeat in the parliament, Napoleon III withdrew the proposal. It was replaced in January 1868 by a much more modest project to create a garde mobile, or reserve force, to support the army. [134]
     
    Woops...
    , @Frederic Bastiat
    My mistake. The figure I cited was probably FDI stock. FDI net inflows are much lower, of course. Actual figure is 16 billion.
    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.KLT.DINV.CD.WD?locations=PL

    Your basic common sense should have kicked in long ago when you even typed that comment.
     
    I stay corrected.
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  126. @Dmitry
    You will surely be right that having lowers cost of inputs - should improve competitiveness of industries that use them.

    But to go back to the gas discussion, why is keeping the domestic gas price lower (and thereby subsidizing some industries), preferable to exporting more of gas as LNG, and directly managing to 'cash in'.

    I guess the answer would require study comparing the two situations.

    But there seems no intrinsic reason why the former is better.

    And the latter would seem preferable to me, because the result of lower gas prices in America (combined with export restrictions of LNG or I'm not sure what you propose), will be lower gas production other things equal.

    Low domestic gas prices are only a problem if it results in production dropping below domestic demand, with demand substituted by imports.

    Obviously this will not happen since the imports themselves would be LNG, excluding Canadian imports which are benign (and Canada doesn’t have enough reserves to replace American producers in bulk).

    Increased gas production to satisfy export demand will simply result in us running out of gas reserves sooner at the expensive of a smaller heavy industrial production base.

    In the long-term I’m also skeptical of the viability of LNG in any case. With the development of OBOR and Russia’s own efforts it’s inevitable that FSU and Persian Gulf gas will be delivered to East Asia by pipeline.

    It’s also worth pointing out that according to the US Energy Information Agency that China presently has the world’s largest reserves of technically recoverable shale gas. Exploitation is a problem owing to distance from water resources and a lack of technological expertise.

    These are surmountable problems as proven by America’s fracking industry. Both the Eagle Ford and Bakken formations are in dry areas not very close to fresh water, and the fracking industry didn’t even exist at the turn of the century. Dick Cheney promoted invading Iraq because his energy working group predicted that by this time America would be importing 90% of its oil consumption.

    Meanwhile larger and more competitive industries in chemicals, steel, fertilizer, plastics, cement, etc. add more final value and represent a greater overall level of product complexity and technical efficiency. As most of these products are themselves intermediate input goods they’ll increase the competitiveness of our final goods industries as well.

    Another possible use of our gas supremacy is in our world class freight railroad system. Currently this system is diesel-based. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad (a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary) is currently experimenting with gas-powered locomotives.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    This is exactly my thinking. I’ve always thought it made exactly zero sense to export raw materials or fossil fuels in the long run. There might be short term reasons for that, but exporters should aim to move away from that and instead add value.

    An example could be Emirates or Qatar Airways. By taking advantage of their fortunate geographic location and the low fuel prices resulting from their hydrocarbon reserves they are selling a service with much higher added value than just exporting oil.
    , @Ali Choudhury
    China (and Asia in general) are going to be severely water-stressed over the next few decades.
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  127. @reiner Tor
    In Hungary the genius leftist-liberal government in the 1990s privatized most public utilities. So you get your electricity from E.ON, your water supply from Veolia Environnement, etc. Our first conservative government (not yet Fidesz) In 1993 sold our telephone monopoly to Deutsche Telekom. They immediately raised prices and “sold” the Hungarian subsidiary their own obsolete equipment which was due to be replaced in Germany anyway. Now the Hungarian customers paid for it anyway within a couple of years through higher prices, but now we’re paying them permanent dividends. They are now in the broadband internet provider monopoly business (in most areas there’s still very little competition, with either them or UPC, or sometimes some other firm), which could easily be done by a Hungarian owned company. Though at least cell phone service (where DT became also dominant due to its earlier presence in the telephone monopoly, when the mobile business was still insignificant) is the more important part (probably it needs a bigger company as owner due to economies of scale), but even here: I understand we needed foreigners to run the show, and I understand that the Germans are not worse than others, but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.

    I understand we needed foreigners to run the show

    There’s a significant difference between taking in selective FDI in key industries and outright letting “foreigners run the show”. East Asia and especially China did the former. Are you sure you are a nationalist?

    but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.

    My argument is much simpler. The West gains more from the East once you consider all three factors: public funds, private funds and labour movement. In the debate, we only hear about the first. We never hear about the last two.

    Therefore, the solution I prefer is clean and simple: we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market. Don’t forget that 75% of our EU funds are re-invested in Western European companies.

    The thing is, the West knows this. Günther Öttinger, who is in charge of cohesion funds has all but admitted this. There’s a quote I’m too lazy to google where he says in half-jest that if anything the EU should pay EE countries more. But instead of that, my preferred option would achieve a far cleaner break. However, the West would also never agree to it, precisely because they know the real scorecard, which is why their threats of cutting EU funds during the asylum crisis was always a hoax.

    It’s interesting, but perhaps not surprising, that Eastern Europeans like yourself have completely and whoolly swallowed the “you should be grateful” meme, while warning about “morality tales” when you aren’t advocating for your own colonisation of “letting foreigners running the show”.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    foreigners run the show
     
    I used it in the context of cell phone providers, where at least two decades ago there could have been some need for economies of scale. I’m not wholly sure.

    In general I think my comment wasn’t clear enough, I mostly agreed with you. E.g. the “morality tale” referred to the supposed western “subsidies” which we lazy Easterners supposedly receive.

    Anyway, now there are some points you made which I actually disagree with.

    we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market.
     
    It’s impossible. Our educated elites (and even the not so educated unwashed masses) actively want the ability to choose to go to work in Western Europe. Short of Eastern Bloc style border fences and criminalization of emigration, how can you prevent the West (actually, the western elites) from taking advantage of your labor force?

    And short of capital controls and full scale nationalization, how can you prevent the profit repatriations?

    So the EU funds will be cut, unless the V4 can somehow show some force, but it’s unclear how. Cutting those funds is actually popular in Germany, I’m sure.
    , @Ali Choudhury
    I doubt most Poles would be keen to ditch the opportunity of making German wages out of some sort of nationalistic amour propre.
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  128. @Polish Perspective

    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.
     
    China gets around 100-120 billion USD per year in FDI. Who knew that Poland gets 50% more than China with less than 1/20th the population?

    Please, learn basic math first before opining. Your basic common sense should have kicked in long ago when you even typed that comment.

    The guy named himself after Frederic Bastiat, what do you expect?

    Bastiat is the same genius who proposed that France should unilaterally disarm, and that this good example would inspire Prussia to disarm.

    Louis Napoleon thought otherwise and wished to expand the French Army to a million men, but his liberal ministers were more inclined to agree with Bastiat’s thinking though they didn’t go as far as unilateral disarmament.

    Despite his failing health, Napoleon III could see that the Prussian Army, combined with the armies of Bavaria and the other German states, would be a formidable enemy. In 1866, Prussia, with a population of 22 million, had been able to mobilize an army of 700,000 men, while France, with population of 26 million, had an army of only 385,000 men, of whom 100,000 were in Algeria, Mexico, and Rome.[131] In the autumn of 1867, Napoleon III proposed a form of universal military service, similar to the Prussian system, to increase the size of the French Army, if needed, to 1 million. His proposal was opposed by many French officers, such as Marechal Randon, who preferred a smaller, more professional army; he said: “This proposal will only give us recruits; it’s soldiers we need.”[132] It was also strongly opposed by the republican opposition in the French parliament, who denounced the proposal as a militarization of French society. The republican deputy, Émile Ollivier, who later became Napoleon’s prime minister, declared: “The armies of France, which I always considered too large, are now going to be increased to an exorbitant size. Why? What is the necessity? Where is the danger? Who is threatening us? …If France were to disarm, the Germans would know how to convince their governments to do the same. “[133] Facing almost certain defeat in the parliament, Napoleon III withdrew the proposal. It was replaced in January 1868 by a much more modest project to create a garde mobile, or reserve force, to support the army. [134]

    Woops…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Bastiat is the same genius who proposed that France should unilaterally disarm, and that this good example would inspire Prussia to disarm.
     
    I wish more Frenchmen were like him...
    Europe would be a better place.
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  129. Mitleser says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    The guy named himself after Frederic Bastiat, what do you expect?

    Bastiat is the same genius who proposed that France should unilaterally disarm, and that this good example would inspire Prussia to disarm.

    Louis Napoleon thought otherwise and wished to expand the French Army to a million men, but his liberal ministers were more inclined to agree with Bastiat's thinking though they didn't go as far as unilateral disarmament.


    Despite his failing health, Napoleon III could see that the Prussian Army, combined with the armies of Bavaria and the other German states, would be a formidable enemy. In 1866, Prussia, with a population of 22 million, had been able to mobilize an army of 700,000 men, while France, with population of 26 million, had an army of only 385,000 men, of whom 100,000 were in Algeria, Mexico, and Rome.[131] In the autumn of 1867, Napoleon III proposed a form of universal military service, similar to the Prussian system, to increase the size of the French Army, if needed, to 1 million. His proposal was opposed by many French officers, such as Marechal Randon, who preferred a smaller, more professional army; he said: "This proposal will only give us recruits; it's soldiers we need."[132] It was also strongly opposed by the republican opposition in the French parliament, who denounced the proposal as a militarization of French society. The republican deputy, Émile Ollivier, who later became Napoleon's prime minister, declared: "The armies of France, which I always considered too large, are now going to be increased to an exorbitant size. Why? What is the necessity? Where is the danger? Who is threatening us? ...If France were to disarm, the Germans would know how to convince their governments to do the same. "[133] Facing almost certain defeat in the parliament, Napoleon III withdrew the proposal. It was replaced in January 1868 by a much more modest project to create a garde mobile, or reserve force, to support the army. [134]
     
    Woops...

    Bastiat is the same genius who proposed that France should unilaterally disarm, and that this good example would inspire Prussia to disarm.

    I wish more Frenchmen were like him…
    Europe would be a better place.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Well, it would be a more GERMAN place ;)
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  130. @Thorfinnsson
    Low domestic gas prices are only a problem if it results in production dropping below domestic demand, with demand substituted by imports.

    Obviously this will not happen since the imports themselves would be LNG, excluding Canadian imports which are benign (and Canada doesn't have enough reserves to replace American producers in bulk).

    Increased gas production to satisfy export demand will simply result in us running out of gas reserves sooner at the expensive of a smaller heavy industrial production base.

    In the long-term I'm also skeptical of the viability of LNG in any case. With the development of OBOR and Russia's own efforts it's inevitable that FSU and Persian Gulf gas will be delivered to East Asia by pipeline.

    It's also worth pointing out that according to the US Energy Information Agency that China presently has the world's largest reserves of technically recoverable shale gas. Exploitation is a problem owing to distance from water resources and a lack of technological expertise.

    These are surmountable problems as proven by America's fracking industry. Both the Eagle Ford and Bakken formations are in dry areas not very close to fresh water, and the fracking industry didn't even exist at the turn of the century. Dick Cheney promoted invading Iraq because his energy working group predicted that by this time America would be importing 90% of its oil consumption.

    Meanwhile larger and more competitive industries in chemicals, steel, fertilizer, plastics, cement, etc. add more final value and represent a greater overall level of product complexity and technical efficiency. As most of these products are themselves intermediate input goods they'll increase the competitiveness of our final goods industries as well.

    Another possible use of our gas supremacy is in our world class freight railroad system. Currently this system is diesel-based. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad (a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary) is currently experimenting with gas-powered locomotives.

    This is exactly my thinking. I’ve always thought it made exactly zero sense to export raw materials or fossil fuels in the long run. There might be short term reasons for that, but exporters should aim to move away from that and instead add value.

    An example could be Emirates or Qatar Airways. By taking advantage of their fortunate geographic location and the low fuel prices resulting from their hydrocarbon reserves they are selling a service with much higher added value than just exporting oil.

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    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    It rather depends on the quantity of raw materials available vs. the real and potential domestic demand.

    Dubai for instance has far fewer reserves than Abu Dhabi, which is why they went for major diversification.

    Admittedly Emirates (as well as Etihad and Qatar Airways) could get into trouble in the future as a result of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. But if they do they had a good run, and Dubai's value as an entrepot remains.

    But yes, the classical mercantilist formula is to reduce the cost of raw materials and increase the amount of value added by your own industry. There were some flaws in the formula of course such as the obsessive focus on the accumulation of bullion, and while "comparative advantage" is complete nonsense there are still advantages in less managed trade.
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  131. Eurostat is out with numbers on book reading. Curious trivia.

    France looks curiously low. And share is not the same as time spent. Here’s that:

    So France continues to underperform. Very strange. Finally a map:

    Unfortunately the mapmaker is retarded. It isn’t the “share of people” but “time spent” that is being highlighted. I was positively surprised by Greece and to some extent even Turkey. Outside of France I’d say the biggest negative outlier is Austria.

    Though if you look at expenditure on newspapers, books etc, both the French and the Austrians do decently well. Maybe they just buy more expensive books which are more intellectual but read less? Or maybe their newspapers are high-brow enough that less of book-reading is needed.

    I’d be interested in the quality of books rather than just time spent on books. Someone reading Harry Potter, 50 shades of grey and a ton of chick-lit isn’t on the same level as someone reading a few major intellectual tomes per year. But I guess that would be too “elitist”, or maybe hard to measure.

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    • Replies: @LondonBob
    France is no longer a European country.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    I’d be interested in the quality of books rather than just time spent on books. Someone reading Harry Potter, 50 shades of grey and a ton of chick-lit isn’t on the same level as someone reading a few major intellectual tomes per year.
     
    Might be able to compile this from an index of sales stats based on popular, widely-translated science, history, etc. books (though I imagine Eastern Europe will be a bit underweighed due to widespread piracy).
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  132. @reiner Tor
    This is exactly my thinking. I’ve always thought it made exactly zero sense to export raw materials or fossil fuels in the long run. There might be short term reasons for that, but exporters should aim to move away from that and instead add value.

    An example could be Emirates or Qatar Airways. By taking advantage of their fortunate geographic location and the low fuel prices resulting from their hydrocarbon reserves they are selling a service with much higher added value than just exporting oil.

    It rather depends on the quantity of raw materials available vs. the real and potential domestic demand.

    Dubai for instance has far fewer reserves than Abu Dhabi, which is why they went for major diversification.

    Admittedly Emirates (as well as Etihad and Qatar Airways) could get into trouble in the future as a result of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. But if they do they had a good run, and Dubai’s value as an entrepot remains.

    But yes, the classical mercantilist formula is to reduce the cost of raw materials and increase the amount of value added by your own industry. There were some flaws in the formula of course such as the obsessive focus on the accumulation of bullion, and while “comparative advantage” is complete nonsense there are still advantages in less managed trade.

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  133. @Spisarevski

    the EU it is the opposite – it is the new members which drain the money, and the old members who provide it.
     
    Actually it's the old members who drain the human and natural resources of the new members.
    The "money" the old members provide is not that much - in Bulgaria for example, when the membership fees are subtracted, the net funds received are about 500-600 million EUR per year, which is not a big deal, even for our small economy .
    Meanwhile, just the education of all the specialists who go to work in Western Europe costs billions of dollars more than the funds we received, and that education was paid with our taxes. There are all sorts of other hidden losses and lost profits as well - being forced to close perfectly safe nuclear reactors, to sell state monopolies and important industries to western entities under disadvantageous contracts that can't be broken because of "free trade" or something, and many others.
    Old member Germany is building a second Nord Stream while South Stream was denied to Bulgaria.

    Anyway I think Anatoly said somewhere recently that one of the main reasons the USSR fell apart is because it was uncool. While I agree, I can only hope that this will be true for the EU as well, I can't really imagine something more uncool than the EU.

    And this is why I can't understand for the life of me why are there sill sizeable factions in some countries that want to become part of the Western empire of niggerfaggotry, enormous and unaccountable bureaucracy (with commissars and everything) and hypocritical totalitarianism (the thought police varies from country to country but if this monstrosity doesn't fall apart, then we will all live in 1984 sooner or later).
    There is no freedom or prosperity waiting for you once you join these faggots - in fact, just the opposite.

    “the old members who drain the human and natural resources of the new members”

    Most British working people experience the drain on themselves, through lower wages, increased crime and worse public services. British employers, on the other hand, love the fact that they consider $10 an hour a great wage.

    The vast majority of the 3.5 million foreign workers in the UK are doing low-paid jobs, and paying little tax (for the others, see my next paragraph). One Polish child at a UK primary school costs about £6,000 a year, paid from taxes, while the tax paid by a minimum wage worker is about £880, so you need the tax from seven workers just for one child’s primary education.

    Male real median wages in the UK are lower now than in 1997.

    “the education of all the specialists who go to work in Western Europe costs billions of dollars more than the funds we received, and that education was paid with our taxes”

    You have a point there. My sister’s dentist surgery has dentists from Portugal, Bulgaria and Romania.

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  134. @Polish Perspective

    FDI was 176 Billion in 2016. Polish GDP was 469 Billion.
     
    China gets around 100-120 billion USD per year in FDI. Who knew that Poland gets 50% more than China with less than 1/20th the population?

    Please, learn basic math first before opining. Your basic common sense should have kicked in long ago when you even typed that comment.

    My mistake. The figure I cited was probably FDI stock. FDI net inflows are much lower, of course. Actual figure is 16 billion.

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.KLT.DINV.CD.WD?locations=PL

    Your basic common sense should have kicked in long ago when you even typed that comment.

    I stay corrected.

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  135. Art Deco says:
    @Dmitry
    The census will only track a fraction of emigrants/workers. You can see above that officials are not using it when estimating for this question.

    You mean they’ll find them once you’ve told them where to look.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry
    No, that's not the ambition of the census. As you can see the officials, estimate over 3 million Armenians in Russia.
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  136. @Polish Perspective

    I understand we needed foreigners to run the show
     
    There's a significant difference between taking in selective FDI in key industries and outright letting "foreigners run the show". East Asia and especially China did the former. Are you sure you are a nationalist?

    but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.
     
    My argument is much simpler. The West gains more from the East once you consider all three factors: public funds, private funds and labour movement. In the debate, we only hear about the first. We never hear about the last two.

    Therefore, the solution I prefer is clean and simple: we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market. Don't forget that 75% of our EU funds are re-invested in Western European companies.

    The thing is, the West knows this. Günther Öttinger, who is in charge of cohesion funds has all but admitted this. There's a quote I'm too lazy to google where he says in half-jest that if anything the EU should pay EE countries more. But instead of that, my preferred option would achieve a far cleaner break. However, the West would also never agree to it, precisely because they know the real scorecard, which is why their threats of cutting EU funds during the asylum crisis was always a hoax.

    It's interesting, but perhaps not surprising, that Eastern Europeans like yourself have completely and whoolly swallowed the "you should be grateful" meme, while warning about "morality tales" when you aren't advocating for your own colonisation of "letting foreigners running the show".

    foreigners run the show

    I used it in the context of cell phone providers, where at least two decades ago there could have been some need for economies of scale. I’m not wholly sure.

    In general I think my comment wasn’t clear enough, I mostly agreed with you. E.g. the “morality tale” referred to the supposed western “subsidies” which we lazy Easterners supposedly receive.

    Anyway, now there are some points you made which I actually disagree with.

    we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market.

    It’s impossible. Our educated elites (and even the not so educated unwashed masses) actively want the ability to choose to go to work in Western Europe. Short of Eastern Bloc style border fences and criminalization of emigration, how can you prevent the West (actually, the western elites) from taking advantage of your labor force?

    And short of capital controls and full scale nationalization, how can you prevent the profit repatriations?

    So the EU funds will be cut, unless the V4 can somehow show some force, but it’s unclear how. Cutting those funds is actually popular in Germany, I’m sure.

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    • Replies: @Polish Perspective

    Our educated elites (and even the not so educated unwashed masses) actively want the ability to choose to go to work in Western Europe.
     
    You can't stop braindrain. On that we agree. But you certainly can stop the great masses. We certainly didn't see the kind of flood we saw post-2004 before and that is entirely by design.

    And short of capital controls and full scale nationalization, how can you prevent the profit repatriations?
     
    Capital controls may not be a hugely bad thing. China still maintain them. It's important here to distinguish between FPI (foreign portfolio investments) and FDI. It's the latter which you want, and even then I'd say that only some types of FDI is actually beneficial, and only if it is directed towards genuine productive and technological capacity. As for full scale nationalisation, it isn't feasible today nor would it even be preferable even if it was.

    I don't think the state should be running retail stores. I do think that we have enough domestic firms to do a good job today. Given that we can't wrest control out of foreign ownership hands, we can at least tax them appropriately given their massively monopolistic position. However this has been blocked by Brussels at every turn. In an environment where modest EU funds get cut even more, I don't see why we should restrain ourselves despite massive Brussels screeching on this.

    So the EU funds will be cut, unless the V4 can somehow show some force, but it’s unclear how. Cutting those funds is actually popular in Germany, I’m sure.
     
    On an annual basis, Germany contributes around 0.1% of GNI. It's a rounding-error. I don't think the general public actually cares much, and I also don't think the general public which cares even understands how little Germany pays.

    That said, none of this changes my stated position: the best outcome would not only be cutting EU funds but completely eliminating them - in exchange for ending Schengen and ending monopolistic market dominance. The latter two will never be accepted by the West because those are the two areas where they are draining the Eastern part of Europe. This is also why we never hear about them in the debate, because it doesn't the fit the narrative of "we're subsiding the poor EEs".

    The best outcome is rarely the most realistic outcome, but I honestly think less EU funds will be good for us in the long term. At any rate, the current EU funds is about 1% of GNI according to our central bank and it has halved for each funding cycle. This is what successful convergence is supposed to mean. So us losing EU funds will not be a huge blow at any rate and it will free up political capital to go after areas which causes a lot of butthurt in Brussels in the economic sphere. It will also make us even more immune to blackmail on 3rd world quotas.
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  137. LondonBob says:
    @Polish Perspective
    Eurostat is out with numbers on book reading. Curious trivia.

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/People-reading-books.png

    France looks curiously low. And share is not the same as time spent. Here's that:

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Time-spent-reading-books.png

    So France continues to underperform. Very strange. Finally a map:

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Share-of-people-reading-books-2016-Eurostat-Jo-Di-graphics_.png

    Unfortunately the mapmaker is retarded. It isn't the "share of people" but "time spent" that is being highlighted. I was positively surprised by Greece and to some extent even Turkey. Outside of France I'd say the biggest negative outlier is Austria.

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Expenditure-on-books.png

    Though if you look at expenditure on newspapers, books etc, both the French and the Austrians do decently well. Maybe they just buy more expensive books which are more intellectual but read less? Or maybe their newspapers are high-brow enough that less of book-reading is needed.

    I'd be interested in the quality of books rather than just time spent on books. Someone reading Harry Potter, 50 shades of grey and a ton of chick-lit isn't on the same level as someone reading a few major intellectual tomes per year. But I guess that would be too "elitist", or maybe hard to measure.

    France is no longer a European country.

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    • Agree: RadicalCenter
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  138. Art Deco says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Legacy of its cuisine reputation in the USSR?
     
    Correct, though only true for the sovok generation.

    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes. Only French cuisine really is world class, whereas Georgian cuisine isn't (same for the wines). Now that there are mid-range Georgian establishments, the older Soviet people like to frequent them, since they continue to regard them as prestigious, even though there are no end of much cheaper (and better) restaurants and eateries.

    For the Moscow yuppies I think it's more about Georgia's (admittedly not entirely fictive) success at larping as a "European" country. This allows them to status signal how European and progressive they are.

    Georgian restaurants in the USSR played the role of French restaurants in the US, as the elite place to go to place for status signalling purposes.

    They did? I can’t recall a single one in my home town, where live 600,000 people and (at one time) the world headquarters of several major corporations.

    Only French cuisine really is world class, w

    “World class”? What does that even mean? Are you referring to quality, snob appeal, or something else?

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  139. how smart are Armenians?

    Armenia blows but all the Armenians in the diaspora are geniuses. And you can’t just say that all the smart Armenians left because Armenia does well in all the chess olympiads and kicked the shit out of the much bigger Azjerkoffistan or whatever it’s called in their war.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry
    It's more that Americans are incredibly stupid on average - so that any foreigner who arrives there will seem like a genius.
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  140. Art Deco says:
    @RadicalCenter
    The Glendale-Burbank-LA Area, quite often.

    The Census Bureau has it that there are 63,000 Armenian-born people in the 4 counties around LA. Not bad for a circumscribed area, but not a horde either.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Surely it’s more, and I’m counting Armenian-Americans. Easily four to five times that number.

    There are probably more than 100,000 Armenians and Armenian-Americans in the city of Glendale alone (more than 40% of its population, I think).

    Also thousands of Armenians in montrose and again la crescenta.

    Or do I spend too much time in Glendale? ;)
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  141. @reiner Tor

    foreigners run the show
     
    I used it in the context of cell phone providers, where at least two decades ago there could have been some need for economies of scale. I’m not wholly sure.

    In general I think my comment wasn’t clear enough, I mostly agreed with you. E.g. the “morality tale” referred to the supposed western “subsidies” which we lazy Easterners supposedly receive.

    Anyway, now there are some points you made which I actually disagree with.

    we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market.
     
    It’s impossible. Our educated elites (and even the not so educated unwashed masses) actively want the ability to choose to go to work in Western Europe. Short of Eastern Bloc style border fences and criminalization of emigration, how can you prevent the West (actually, the western elites) from taking advantage of your labor force?

    And short of capital controls and full scale nationalization, how can you prevent the profit repatriations?

    So the EU funds will be cut, unless the V4 can somehow show some force, but it’s unclear how. Cutting those funds is actually popular in Germany, I’m sure.

    Our educated elites (and even the not so educated unwashed masses) actively want the ability to choose to go to work in Western Europe.

    You can’t stop braindrain. On that we agree. But you certainly can stop the great masses. We certainly didn’t see the kind of flood we saw post-2004 before and that is entirely by design.

    And short of capital controls and full scale nationalization, how can you prevent the profit repatriations?

    Capital controls may not be a hugely bad thing. China still maintain them. It’s important here to distinguish between FPI (foreign portfolio investments) and FDI. It’s the latter which you want, and even then I’d say that only some types of FDI is actually beneficial, and only if it is directed towards genuine productive and technological capacity. As for full scale nationalisation, it isn’t feasible today nor would it even be preferable even if it was.

    I don’t think the state should be running retail stores. I do think that we have enough domestic firms to do a good job today. Given that we can’t wrest control out of foreign ownership hands, we can at least tax them appropriately given their massively monopolistic position. However this has been blocked by Brussels at every turn. In an environment where modest EU funds get cut even more, I don’t see why we should restrain ourselves despite massive Brussels screeching on this.

    So the EU funds will be cut, unless the V4 can somehow show some force, but it’s unclear how. Cutting those funds is actually popular in Germany, I’m sure.

    On an annual basis, Germany contributes around 0.1% of GNI. It’s a rounding-error. I don’t think the general public actually cares much, and I also don’t think the general public which cares even understands how little Germany pays.

    That said, none of this changes my stated position: the best outcome would not only be cutting EU funds but completely eliminating them – in exchange for ending Schengen and ending monopolistic market dominance. The latter two will never be accepted by the West because those are the two areas where they are draining the Eastern part of Europe. This is also why we never hear about them in the debate, because it doesn’t the fit the narrative of “we’re subsiding the poor EEs”.

    The best outcome is rarely the most realistic outcome, but I honestly think less EU funds will be good for us in the long term. At any rate, the current EU funds is about 1% of GNI according to our central bank and it has halved for each funding cycle. This is what successful convergence is supposed to mean. So us losing EU funds will not be a huge blow at any rate and it will free up political capital to go after areas which causes a lot of butthurt in Brussels in the economic sphere. It will also make us even more immune to blackmail on 3rd world quotas.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    But you certainly can stop the great masses. We certainly didn’t see the kind of flood we saw post-2004 before and that is entirely by design.
     
    Well, they didn't let the masses in. Now that they are letting them in, how can you prevent them from leaving? It's up to the Western Europeans to stop the flows, and they won't be doing that. (Maybe the UK.)

    On an annual basis, Germany contributes around 0.1% of GNI. It’s a rounding-error. I don’t think the general public actually cares much, and I also don’t think the general public which cares even understands how little Germany pays.
     
    German_reader might correct me if he wishes so, but I think most people's impression is that they are paying a lot while there are still poor people inside of Germany (even many poor Germans), and the other thing is that they are net contributing something closer to maybe 0.5% of GNI.

    And of course perceptions matter a great deal: if people think that they are paying a lot, then cutting those contributions will be popular, no matter what. I can assure you their media won't do anything to correct their perceptions. Those unwilling to pay will now have virtue signaling on their side. "See, we'd like to pay, but not to those racist dictatorships unwilling to adhere to our European values..." Where "our European values" stand for "accepting anyone to Europe, except those unwilling to accept anyone to Europe."

    Capital controls may not be a hugely bad thing.
     
    No. But their introduction would induce a huge panic among our populations. It'd be difficult. Most people associate the end of capital controls with the end of communism. One of the negative effects of communism (the positive effect being protecting us from western poz) is that they inoculated us against the idea that the West could be rotting while we're developing into a happier, nicer future. Because, umm, that's what the communists used to say, and how'd that turned out?

    You might even close the borders if everyone agreed with us, but even relatively based people (the redneck/vatnik types) are just following their instincts, and I don't think that, if there will be a bank panic among rich people while the government is introducing capital controls and strict border controls and getting into a huge political conflict with the West, then their instincts will tell them to just stay calm. And let's face it, our intellectual classes are hugely pozzed.
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  142. Walmart is said close to $12 billion-plus deal for Flipkart

    Why should you care? Because if this deal goes through, a major Indian giant in the making will be snuffed out. We need more competition among the tech giants away from the US-controlled dogma.

    I had earlier speculated about the far more Westernised Indian elites and how that plays badly into a divergence path – as compared to Chinese elites who are far more rooted in their own country. If you look at India’s digital landscape, virtually nothing is different from a typical Western country in terms of what tech they use.

    The irony here is that Snapdeal(an also-ran) and Flipkart were both loudly talking about imposing capital rules which would have meant that foreign investors can invest but they can’t get controlling interest. Something similar was mulled in China after Naspers got a big stake in several Chinese companies, but those companies remained in Chinese hands even with a lot of foreign capital. This may now not happen in India.

    The NDA – the ruling Indian coalition with the BJP as its head – exposed the lie of them being any different than the Congress – the previous rulers, who are dynastic in Indian politics – when it refused these proposed rules.

    I actually read the BJP 2014 manifesto all those years ago and was excited when they mentioned a break with Western dogma. Sadly it was all fluff. They have maintained a neoliberal line and they don’t seem to understand the importance of your own domestic tech sector. India is one of the very few countries which can pull it off. I’ve argued before that in order to get Big Tech you need a Big Market first.

    So India is throwing this away, if the deal is completed. This on the heels of Indian elites embracing SJW trends like feminism with gusto in a way that doesn’t appear to be happening in China to even nearly the same extent. Of course, Polish elites are of low quality, but our excuse is that given our precarious position and our far smaller economy, it was inevitable that we were going to end up in someone’s orbit. India is big enough to chart its own course far more independently but the tragedy is that it seems completely unwilling or even incapable of doing that.

    So only China will truly challenge the US dominance in all fields. India seems intent on playing the supplicant. Russia is the only other major country which stands up to the US and for that it needs our thanks, especially in foreign policy. If even the Indian “nationalists” won’t do this, there’s no hope for the opposition. Then again, the Congress has actually run a more independent foreign policy than the BJP, interestingly enough. Especially when it comes to regime change etc.

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  143. @Polish Perspective

    Poland, for example, receives around twice as much free money or aid from the EU, than the entire world UN annual budget. I guess Poland might be the most aid receiving country in the world? (I wonder if anyone has done calculations of this topic?)

     

    https://i.imgur.com/yNvMzzD.jpg

    Poland isn't even in the top 5 once you adjust for GNI. It's true that Poland gets most in absolute terms, but that's also because we are way bigger than most EE countries. I find a lot of economic innumerate to fail to understand this point and just repeat "yes but they get THIS MANY BILLIONS". But without adjusting for economic size is meaningless. Sad to see that you are not smarter than this, Dmitry.

    Also, this is counted from the year 2000. The latest EU funds flow constitute about 1% of our GNI according to our central bank. The next one will be half that, even if no change is done, simply on account of a growing economy and a closer realignment to the EU median.

    Furthermore, whenever we are talking about EU funds this should be kept in mind:

    https://i.imgur.com/YNiPO03.png

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge ("see, it's only thanks to us because of us generous we are!"). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.

    And I haven't even talked about the fact that Western European countries benefit massively from labour and we lose, in some instances permanently.


    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge (“see, it’s only thanks to us because of us generous we are!”). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

    You are correct, but the chart doesn’t show that. It’s quite misleading.

    In only compares the net inflow of EU transfers to the net outflow of capital income.

    Other inflows include:

    • FDI (FDI into Poland for 2016 was around 3% of GDP it appears–more than EU transfers)
    • Exports
    • Foreign portfolio investment (i.e. investment into a business short of direct control, as well as bond purchases)
    • Bank lending
    • Repatriated foreign earnings and debt repayments

    Other outflows include:

    • Outbound FDI
    • Imports
    • Outbound foreign portfolio investment
    • Outbound bank lending
    • Foreign aid

    In theory the capital (FDI, portfolio investment, lending) and current accounts (trade, debt service, repatriated earnings) must always balance, though in reality this isn’t always true (see the Eurodollar market for instance).

    Depending on what EU funds are actually used for they could represent a very good deal in that EU funds do not represent FDI, portfolio investment, or lending and thus involve no obligation to service foreign debt or send capital income to foreign investors. Knowing the EU I doubt the funds are used for anything useful but you would know better.

    In general outside of East Asia fast-growing and/or converging economies run current account deficits in order to grow faster. Norway for instance ran a current account deficit of 13% of GDP while it was getting its North Sea oil industry off the ground.

    If you want to avoid that you have to suppress consumption and increase domestic saving, hence the famously high household savings rate in China (and Japan until recently). Or you accept slower growth. Inbound FDI also makes it easier to acquire foreign technology and know-how.

    A good way to split the difference is through joint ventures and forced technology transfers.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.

    Sure, but ALDI, Lidl, Kaufmann, and Carrefour doubtless have higher productivity and better merchandising skills than anything that existed in the Visegrad 4 or could’ve come to the fore in the post-communist period.

    As a result Visegrad people exchange lost profits for lower prices, better quality, and improved product selection.

    Of course you can argue that efficient retailers would’ve developed anyway, but this surely would’ve taken more time.

    The real question is whether the Visegrad 4 can create successful multinational corporations or if they will forever be comprador economies controlled by the German 1%. There are worse fates than that incidentally. Australia and Canada have been a comprador economies from day one for instance.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser

    There are worse fates than that incidentally. Australia and Canada have been a comprador economies from day one for instance.
     
    These economies were economic colonies of other English-speaking countries from day one.
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  144. @Thorfinnsson
    Low domestic gas prices are only a problem if it results in production dropping below domestic demand, with demand substituted by imports.

    Obviously this will not happen since the imports themselves would be LNG, excluding Canadian imports which are benign (and Canada doesn't have enough reserves to replace American producers in bulk).

    Increased gas production to satisfy export demand will simply result in us running out of gas reserves sooner at the expensive of a smaller heavy industrial production base.

    In the long-term I'm also skeptical of the viability of LNG in any case. With the development of OBOR and Russia's own efforts it's inevitable that FSU and Persian Gulf gas will be delivered to East Asia by pipeline.

    It's also worth pointing out that according to the US Energy Information Agency that China presently has the world's largest reserves of technically recoverable shale gas. Exploitation is a problem owing to distance from water resources and a lack of technological expertise.

    These are surmountable problems as proven by America's fracking industry. Both the Eagle Ford and Bakken formations are in dry areas not very close to fresh water, and the fracking industry didn't even exist at the turn of the century. Dick Cheney promoted invading Iraq because his energy working group predicted that by this time America would be importing 90% of its oil consumption.

    Meanwhile larger and more competitive industries in chemicals, steel, fertilizer, plastics, cement, etc. add more final value and represent a greater overall level of product complexity and technical efficiency. As most of these products are themselves intermediate input goods they'll increase the competitiveness of our final goods industries as well.

    Another possible use of our gas supremacy is in our world class freight railroad system. Currently this system is diesel-based. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad (a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary) is currently experimenting with gas-powered locomotives.

    China (and Asia in general) are going to be severely water-stressed over the next few decades.

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  145. @Polish Perspective

    I understand we needed foreigners to run the show
     
    There's a significant difference between taking in selective FDI in key industries and outright letting "foreigners run the show". East Asia and especially China did the former. Are you sure you are a nationalist?

    but please don’t turn this into a morality play of how they are supposed to “subsidize” us.
     
    My argument is much simpler. The West gains more from the East once you consider all three factors: public funds, private funds and labour movement. In the debate, we only hear about the first. We never hear about the last two.

    Therefore, the solution I prefer is clean and simple: we stop receiving public funds(literal pay-off money) and they stop getting free labour+monopolistic access to our domestic market. Don't forget that 75% of our EU funds are re-invested in Western European companies.

    The thing is, the West knows this. Günther Öttinger, who is in charge of cohesion funds has all but admitted this. There's a quote I'm too lazy to google where he says in half-jest that if anything the EU should pay EE countries more. But instead of that, my preferred option would achieve a far cleaner break. However, the West would also never agree to it, precisely because they know the real scorecard, which is why their threats of cutting EU funds during the asylum crisis was always a hoax.

    It's interesting, but perhaps not surprising, that Eastern Europeans like yourself have completely and whoolly swallowed the "you should be grateful" meme, while warning about "morality tales" when you aren't advocating for your own colonisation of "letting foreigners running the show".

    I doubt most Poles would be keen to ditch the opportunity of making German wages out of some sort of nationalistic amour propre.

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  146. @Mitleser

    It came from the investment in capital/technology.
     
    That and very favorable geography which includes cheap water and soil.

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/usa_great.jpg

    And all those waterways connecting to the world ocean. Almost free transport.

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  147. @Hyperborean
    Just because the people selling their country to the highest bidder only care about getting the highest price doesn't mean ordinary Georgians don't resent it.

    Considering how even in full-pozzed London I've heard ordinary people complain about all the foreign oligarchs buying up everything, I don't find it hard to believe that Georgians might find it painful.

    Outside of a few ritzy neighborhoods which would have been out of reach of the ordinary locals going back decades, foreign oligarchs have not been buying that much property in London. Low interest rates are the primary reason prices have skyrocketed.

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    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    Well that's what I hear from people there. Although, you are right that the perception and actual cause of the problem are not necessarily the same.
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  148. @Dmitry
    That's the logical and rational view.

    But EU is also worshiped by some - middle-class and educated - Western demographics as a new religion.

    Even in the UK, it was very divided, the society, on this question - and the end result of the voting was within a couple of percent.

    And the UK - is the country in the EU, with the lowest approval ratings for the EU.

    In addition, I would worry that younger generations are very brainwashed into this religion.

    This is much more amongst people like Spanish. When I was learning Spanish, I used read sometimes the Spanish newspaper websites - and they publish many irrational and emotional articles saying how wonderful the EU is (it is a very accepted viewpoint there).

    The young quite like the prospect of being able to work, travel, study and live without restriction in a polity of half a billion people. How they live their lives and spend their time predisposes them to favour the EU.

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    • Replies: @neutral
    "The young" means the endless hordes of Sub Saharan Africans, as they are the true youth demographic of the world. The few remaining young whites left in Europe will not like that very much.
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  149. Aedib says:

    Russia is not irked by the resignation. Declarations indicate indifference toward the unrest.

    https://themoscowtimes.com/news/moscow-reacts-to-resignation-of-armenian-prime-minister-sargsyan-61243

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  150. Talha says:
    @Mitleser

    What did all those brave men suffer and die for at the gates of Vienna in the 1600s and centuries before?
     
    What did all those brave Roman men suffer and die for at the gates of Anatolia in the 900s and centuries before?

    “So that a man’s right to publicly dress up as a fruity Roman soldier shall not perish from this Earth!”

    If it weren’t for those darned Turks, it would be happening in Constantinople too!

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-27/turkish-anti-riot-police-officers-disperse-lgbt-community/7545284

    “So that the poz shall perish from the Earth!”

    Peace.

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  151. @Polish Perspective
    Eurostat is out with numbers on book reading. Curious trivia.

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/People-reading-books.png

    France looks curiously low. And share is not the same as time spent. Here's that:

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Time-spent-reading-books.png

    So France continues to underperform. Very strange. Finally a map:

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Share-of-people-reading-books-2016-Eurostat-Jo-Di-graphics_.png

    Unfortunately the mapmaker is retarded. It isn't the "share of people" but "time spent" that is being highlighted. I was positively surprised by Greece and to some extent even Turkey. Outside of France I'd say the biggest negative outlier is Austria.

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Expenditure-on-books.png

    Though if you look at expenditure on newspapers, books etc, both the French and the Austrians do decently well. Maybe they just buy more expensive books which are more intellectual but read less? Or maybe their newspapers are high-brow enough that less of book-reading is needed.

    I'd be interested in the quality of books rather than just time spent on books. Someone reading Harry Potter, 50 shades of grey and a ton of chick-lit isn't on the same level as someone reading a few major intellectual tomes per year. But I guess that would be too "elitist", or maybe hard to measure.

    I’d be interested in the quality of books rather than just time spent on books. Someone reading Harry Potter, 50 shades of grey and a ton of chick-lit isn’t on the same level as someone reading a few major intellectual tomes per year.

    Might be able to compile this from an index of sales stats based on popular, widely-translated science, history, etc. books (though I imagine Eastern Europe will be a bit underweighed due to widespread piracy).

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  152. @Ali Choudhury
    Outside of a few ritzy neighborhoods which would have been out of reach of the ordinary locals going back decades, foreign oligarchs have not been buying that much property in London. Low interest rates are the primary reason prices have skyrocketed.

    Well that’s what I hear from people there. Although, you are right that the perception and actual cause of the problem are not necessarily the same.

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  153. anon[289] • Disclaimer says:

    http://beta.nydailynews.com/news/world/ten-people-dead-15-wounded-van-plows-crowd-toronto-article-1.3950187

    In related news, another 10 people are killed with truck in Toronto, and the alleged perpetrator is Armenian. At the same time color revolution is going on in Armenia, is it mere coincidence?
    What does the local Conspiracy Command thinks?

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    He supposedly was an incel who worshipped "supreme gentleman" Elliott Rodger and wanted to kill "normies". So probably just coincidence.
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  154. Dmitry says:
    @Art Deco
    You mean they'll find them once you've told them where to look.

    No, that’s not the ambition of the census. As you can see the officials, estimate over 3 million Armenians in Russia.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    What 'officials'? Is 'officials' your new name?
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  155. Dmitry says:
    @Greasy William
    how smart are Armenians?

    Armenia blows but all the Armenians in the diaspora are geniuses. And you can't just say that all the smart Armenians left because Armenia does well in all the chess olympiads and kicked the shit out of the much bigger Azjerkoffistan or whatever it's called in their war.

    It’s more that Americans are incredibly stupid on average – so that any foreigner who arrives there will seem like a genius.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    It’s more that Americans are incredibly stupid on average – so that any foreigner who arrives there will seem like a genius.

    And, yet, we incredibly stupid people outproduce our Eurotrash detractors, year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation.
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  156. OT

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-23/70-taiwanese-willing-fight-china

    I’d be interested in Daniel Chiah’s comments.

    Different topic:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-23/us-centcom-chief-makes-secret-and-unprecedented-visit-israel-russia-mulls-arming

    Even though the Americans seem to be clinging to the claim that not a single missile was shot down by Syrian air defense (maybe it’s just weaseling, because they think it was the Russian air defense which took them down…), both they and the Israelis seem to be terrified of the prospect of having the most modern Russian air defense systems installed in Syria.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Daniel Chieh, sorry, I think it's the second time I'm committing the typo.
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  157. @Polish Perspective

    Our educated elites (and even the not so educated unwashed masses) actively want the ability to choose to go to work in Western Europe.
     
    You can't stop braindrain. On that we agree. But you certainly can stop the great masses. We certainly didn't see the kind of flood we saw post-2004 before and that is entirely by design.

    And short of capital controls and full scale nationalization, how can you prevent the profit repatriations?
     
    Capital controls may not be a hugely bad thing. China still maintain them. It's important here to distinguish between FPI (foreign portfolio investments) and FDI. It's the latter which you want, and even then I'd say that only some types of FDI is actually beneficial, and only if it is directed towards genuine productive and technological capacity. As for full scale nationalisation, it isn't feasible today nor would it even be preferable even if it was.

    I don't think the state should be running retail stores. I do think that we have enough domestic firms to do a good job today. Given that we can't wrest control out of foreign ownership hands, we can at least tax them appropriately given their massively monopolistic position. However this has been blocked by Brussels at every turn. In an environment where modest EU funds get cut even more, I don't see why we should restrain ourselves despite massive Brussels screeching on this.

    So the EU funds will be cut, unless the V4 can somehow show some force, but it’s unclear how. Cutting those funds is actually popular in Germany, I’m sure.
     
    On an annual basis, Germany contributes around 0.1% of GNI. It's a rounding-error. I don't think the general public actually cares much, and I also don't think the general public which cares even understands how little Germany pays.

    That said, none of this changes my stated position: the best outcome would not only be cutting EU funds but completely eliminating them - in exchange for ending Schengen and ending monopolistic market dominance. The latter two will never be accepted by the West because those are the two areas where they are draining the Eastern part of Europe. This is also why we never hear about them in the debate, because it doesn't the fit the narrative of "we're subsiding the poor EEs".

    The best outcome is rarely the most realistic outcome, but I honestly think less EU funds will be good for us in the long term. At any rate, the current EU funds is about 1% of GNI according to our central bank and it has halved for each funding cycle. This is what successful convergence is supposed to mean. So us losing EU funds will not be a huge blow at any rate and it will free up political capital to go after areas which causes a lot of butthurt in Brussels in the economic sphere. It will also make us even more immune to blackmail on 3rd world quotas.

    But you certainly can stop the great masses. We certainly didn’t see the kind of flood we saw post-2004 before and that is entirely by design.

    Well, they didn’t let the masses in. Now that they are letting them in, how can you prevent them from leaving? It’s up to the Western Europeans to stop the flows, and they won’t be doing that. (Maybe the UK.)

    On an annual basis, Germany contributes around 0.1% of GNI. It’s a rounding-error. I don’t think the general public actually cares much, and I also don’t think the general public which cares even understands how little Germany pays.

    German_reader might correct me if he wishes so, but I think most people’s impression is that they are paying a lot while there are still poor people inside of Germany (even many poor Germans), and the other thing is that they are net contributing something closer to maybe 0.5% of GNI.

    And of course perceptions matter a great deal: if people think that they are paying a lot, then cutting those contributions will be popular, no matter what. I can assure you their media won’t do anything to correct their perceptions. Those unwilling to pay will now have virtue signaling on their side. “See, we’d like to pay, but not to those racist dictatorships unwilling to adhere to our European values…” Where “our European values” stand for “accepting anyone to Europe, except those unwilling to accept anyone to Europe.”

    Capital controls may not be a hugely bad thing.

    No. But their introduction would induce a huge panic among our populations. It’d be difficult. Most people associate the end of capital controls with the end of communism. One of the negative effects of communism (the positive effect being protecting us from western poz) is that they inoculated us against the idea that the West could be rotting while we’re developing into a happier, nicer future. Because, umm, that’s what the communists used to say, and how’d that turned out?

    You might even close the borders if everyone agreed with us, but even relatively based people (the redneck/vatnik types) are just following their instincts, and I don’t think that, if there will be a bank panic among rich people while the government is introducing capital controls and strict border controls and getting into a huge political conflict with the West, then their instincts will tell them to just stay calm. And let’s face it, our intellectual classes are hugely pozzed.

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  158. @reiner Tor
    OT

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-23/70-taiwanese-willing-fight-china

    I'd be interested in Daniel Chiah's comments.

    Different topic:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-23/us-centcom-chief-makes-secret-and-unprecedented-visit-israel-russia-mulls-arming

    Even though the Americans seem to be clinging to the claim that not a single missile was shot down by Syrian air defense (maybe it's just weaseling, because they think it was the Russian air defense which took them down...), both they and the Israelis seem to be terrified of the prospect of having the most modern Russian air defense systems installed in Syria.

    Daniel Chieh, sorry, I think it’s the second time I’m committing the typo.

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  159. With the S-300 for Syria, Russia has again put itself in a difficult position — if it doesn’t in the end give them to Syria, it’s going to look like it folded to US/Israeli pressure (and it will certainly be perceived by the latter 2 countries as the case).

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    They shouldn't have announced it in advance.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    I wonder if the recent softening of sanctions (Rusal sanctions to be lifted if Deripaska sells it) has anything to do with it.

    There was also some European pressure - Rusal sanctions will have major impacts on jobs in some European countries - but not sure this would play much of a role in US calculations.
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  160. @for-the-record
    With the S-300 for Syria, Russia has again put itself in a difficult position -- if it doesn't in the end give them to Syria, it's going to look like it folded to US/Israeli pressure (and it will certainly be perceived by the latter 2 countries as the case).

    They shouldn’t have announced it in advance.

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  161. @for-the-record
    With the S-300 for Syria, Russia has again put itself in a difficult position -- if it doesn't in the end give them to Syria, it's going to look like it folded to US/Israeli pressure (and it will certainly be perceived by the latter 2 countries as the case).

    I wonder if the recent softening of sanctions (Rusal sanctions to be lifted if Deripaska sells it) has anything to do with it.

    There was also some European pressure – Rusal sanctions will have major impacts on jobs in some European countries – but not sure this would play much of a role in US calculations.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Russia should tell the Americans privately that they will sell S-400 to Iran in response to any new sanctions. I know the Russians don't trust or like Iran (and the feelings are mutual...), but I think it'd be an even more effective deterrent.
    , @Dmitry
    Reading between the lines of today's news, I get the impression the actual reason for the years of delay has been that Syria cannot pay the $1 billion pricetag.

    Because the news Kommersant is claiming today, is that they now plan to give it to Syria "for free".

    But what will happen if the $1 billion free present will be bombed by Israel, with some airstrike at night, in about two years. I can predict this will happen - and at the same time the Kremlin would have to seem to respond for the destruction of $1 billion system (but with few options - economic sanctions on Israel? Closing down the Israeli cultural center in Moscow?).
    , @inertial
    More likely, Rusal sanctions had to be softened because they blew up global metal markets.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-18/metals-gripped-by-turmoil-as-rusal-s-sanctions-fallout-spreads
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  162. @Anatoly Karlin
    I wonder if the recent softening of sanctions (Rusal sanctions to be lifted if Deripaska sells it) has anything to do with it.

    There was also some European pressure - Rusal sanctions will have major impacts on jobs in some European countries - but not sure this would play much of a role in US calculations.

    Russia should tell the Americans privately that they will sell S-400 to Iran in response to any new sanctions. I know the Russians don’t trust or like Iran (and the feelings are mutual…), but I think it’d be an even more effective deterrent.

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  163. OT

    The incorruptibility of the British governing class is legendary.

    https://www.ft.com/content/b558418a-43ee-11e8-803a-295c97e6fd0b

    David Cameron is now working for the Chinese, and took the job just weeks after he was talking about China to the UK chancellor. He’s the British Schröder. Or the British Blair. Oops…

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    the British Blair
     
    As they say, Beethoven was the Mozart of music!
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  164. @reiner Tor
    OT

    The incorruptibility of the British governing class is legendary.

    https://www.ft.com/content/b558418a-43ee-11e8-803a-295c97e6fd0b

    David Cameron is now working for the Chinese, and took the job just weeks after he was talking about China to the UK chancellor. He's the British Schröder. Or the British Blair. Oops...

    the British Blair

    As they say, Beethoven was the Mozart of music!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Did you reply to your own post just to say that?

    Also please to link to FT unless you know of a way of bypassing their paywall and are willing to share.
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  165. @anon
    http://beta.nydailynews.com/news/world/ten-people-dead-15-wounded-van-plows-crowd-toronto-article-1.3950187

    In related news, another 10 people are killed with truck in Toronto, and the alleged perpetrator is Armenian. At the same time color revolution is going on in Armenia, is it mere coincidence?
    What does the local Conspiracy Command thinks?

    He supposedly was an incel who worshipped “supreme gentleman” Elliott Rodger and wanted to kill “normies”. So probably just coincidence.

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  166. @reiner Tor

    the British Blair
     
    As they say, Beethoven was the Mozart of music!

    Did you reply to your own post just to say that?

    Also please to link to FT unless you know of a way of bypassing their paywall and are willing to share.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Polish Perspective

    unless you know of a way of bypassing their paywall and are willing to share.
     
    www.archive.is
    , @reiner Tor
    I don't have a subscription any longer, I just clicked on a link shared by someone, and copied the URL from the browser. But this was the exact link I clicked on:

    https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcontent%2Fb558418a-43ee-11e8-803a-295c97e6fd0b&h=ATNqFaTvojN5xgzEvSTs-mB3p0TdAyPc8KYBMzSuuS4rtSMmhi22c88oiiTfMsQTa6BHLPuBvJrcpmdMepiiTkgxk6ho7TYNnjHxiUEBj5iqLXBJog

    Edit: it doesn't work from here.

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  167. More polls.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Hajnal Line is moving east.
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  168. @Thorfinnsson
    Did you reply to your own post just to say that?

    Also please to link to FT unless you know of a way of bypassing their paywall and are willing to share.

    unless you know of a way of bypassing their paywall and are willing to share.

    http://www.archive.is

    Read More
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  169. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I wonder if the recent softening of sanctions (Rusal sanctions to be lifted if Deripaska sells it) has anything to do with it.

    There was also some European pressure - Rusal sanctions will have major impacts on jobs in some European countries - but not sure this would play much of a role in US calculations.

    Reading between the lines of today’s news, I get the impression the actual reason for the years of delay has been that Syria cannot pay the $1 billion pricetag.

    Because the news Kommersant is claiming today, is that they now plan to give it to Syria “for free”.

    But what will happen if the $1 billion free present will be bombed by Israel, with some airstrike at night, in about two years. I can predict this will happen – and at the same time the Kremlin would have to seem to respond for the destruction of $1 billion system (but with few options – economic sanctions on Israel? Closing down the Israeli cultural center in Moscow?).

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    the $1 billion free present will be bombed by Israel, with some airstrike at night, in about two years
     
    They can bomb it before it's installed. It's highly mobile, so difficult to destroy.
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  170. @Thorfinnsson
    Did you reply to your own post just to say that?

    Also please to link to FT unless you know of a way of bypassing their paywall and are willing to share.

    I don’t have a subscription any longer, I just clicked on a link shared by someone, and copied the URL from the browser. But this was the exact link I clicked on:

    https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcontent%2Fb558418a-43ee-11e8-803a-295c97e6fd0b&h=ATNqFaTvojN5xgzEvSTs-mB3p0TdAyPc8KYBMzSuuS4rtSMmhi22c88oiiTfMsQTa6BHLPuBvJrcpmdMepiiTkgxk6ho7TYNnjHxiUEBj5iqLXBJog

    Edit: it doesn’t work from here.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    FT links usually open if you just search their title on Google and enter them from the search results.

    Also doing it from Chrome Incognito would probably help.

    Works for me 95% of the time.
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  171. @Dmitry
    Reading between the lines of today's news, I get the impression the actual reason for the years of delay has been that Syria cannot pay the $1 billion pricetag.

    Because the news Kommersant is claiming today, is that they now plan to give it to Syria "for free".

    But what will happen if the $1 billion free present will be bombed by Israel, with some airstrike at night, in about two years. I can predict this will happen - and at the same time the Kremlin would have to seem to respond for the destruction of $1 billion system (but with few options - economic sanctions on Israel? Closing down the Israeli cultural center in Moscow?).

    the $1 billion free present will be bombed by Israel, with some airstrike at night, in about two years

    They can bomb it before it’s installed. It’s highly mobile, so difficult to destroy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I'd guess Israel would bomb it after it's installed, in about two years, at night, at a time when the tensions are low.

    Israel has surveillance over Syria. On Mount Hermon, you can see a large complexes, with radar dishes pointed to Damascus. They put so much investment and bases up on the mountain, just to read Syrian electronic mail and listen to their telephone calls (well it makes sense after a surprise attack in 1973).

    I doubt Syria has the OPSEC to hide the positions where they move the missiles between for long.

    The thing is, Kremlin cannot allow this to happen without retaliation, if it is a $1 billion (or $900 million) free gift.

    There would have to be shown some kind of retaliation against Israel.

    I would predict the kind of option would be something bizarre seeming, like to close the Israeli cultural centers in Russia. (If you know the history, these centers were closed down for a while, and only allowed to re-open after years of negotiation, something like 2011.) Also it would kind of match the idea of money wasted on both sides. Although the damage would be on some innocent teenagers who are the only people who use the centers.

    Alternatively, there could be some economic sanctions on Israel. This said, the idea of restricting tourism to Israel would anger pilgrims. Russia supplies oil to Israel, but this is substitutable, unlike gas which requires pipelines.

    It will be similar to the situation after Turkey shoots down the Su-24 in 2015.

    The irony is that if Syria would pay for the S-300, then it wouldn't matter if it was destroyed (probably this is another incentive to Syria, not to pay for the complex, since it means that there will be much more feeling of protection for them if it is a free gift).
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  172. Dante says:
    @Polish Perspective
    I have previously detailed the 2017 asylum statistics for the EU, however those were only applications. Some countries, on the basis of unfortunate geography, may get a lot of applications and may turn down a lot. Hungary in 2015-6 certainly belongs in that category.

    To get a clear view, you really need to look at decisions. Until recently we only had up until 2016 for that, but Eurostat recently changed that fact and released the 2017 numbers here.

    Overall highlights:

    * Total positive decisions down by 25% from 2016. Still high but declining (but for how long?). This is not because of stricter standards but because of fewer applications (see my previous post).

    * Sweden is no longer the most extreme on a per million basis. In 2016 they had 7000 positive asylum decisions per million, now it is "only" half that. Instead, it is Germany which is now in the lead with almost 4000 per million.

    * Just to re-iterate that it isn't just geography. France accepts around 605 per million. This is around their historical norm. In 2016 they accepted around 550 per million. In fact, supposedly "right-wing" Switzerland accepts 1700 per million. Denmark, which is often painted as very right-wing is about as liberal as France.

    * Onto the V4. Slovakia now holds the crown with the harshest acceptance rate. 10 per million. Poland has 15 per million. Czechia is also at 15 per million. Hungary is at a very surprising 130(!) per million.

    * Quality-wise, Poland has the "best" refugees. Over half of ours are from Ukraine. 2nd place is Russia(though most of our "refugees" from Russia are in fact Chechens, literally all of them get rejected. We do in fact take in some people with Polish or even in some cases Ukrainian/Belorussian ancestry from Russia under the pretext they are oppressed). Only on third place do we get to Tajikistan. Which is around 35 people on a population of 38 500 000. Still too high, of course. By contrast, even Slovakia or Czechia has Syria/Afghanistan as #1 and #2.

    * Portugal is at 50 per million, so more than 2X as strict as Hungary though still behind the harshest (SK+PL+CZ). Of the major Western European countries with a large population, Spain has the harshest standards (100 per million). This is not new, to those who have paid attention. Ireland is also stingy (150). Austria is at 3865, higher than even Sweden and close to Germany. Hopefully the new government will end the utter disarray there.

    P.S.

    If you look at my profile, it seems someone has been using my name and posting comments on Israel Shamir articles. I don't know what's more insulting, that someone would impersonate me or that someone would even think I would post on such articles in the first place.

    To be clear, I almost only post on AK blogs. I have posted a few odd comments on iSteve. To the extent I post anything outside those two blogs it is never on Russia. All Russia-related stuff(including Russian actions in Syria, which doesn't interest me greatly to begin with) will be posted on AK. So if anyone sees my name on Shamir/Saker/whatever articles, know it is fake. I hope the imposter gets rooted out. I certainly don't want to get my comment history wiped because of some douchebag using my name.

    AK: This has been sorted out. The commend in question was made by somebody who shared your IP, so a case of mistaken identity.

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your comments on here, always a good read.

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  173. neutral says:
    @Ali Choudhury
    The young quite like the prospect of being able to work, travel, study and live without restriction in a polity of half a billion people. How they live their lives and spend their time predisposes them to favour the EU.

    “The young” means the endless hordes of Sub Saharan Africans, as they are the true youth demographic of the world. The few remaining young whites left in Europe will not like that very much.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    No country for young white men

    http://abload.de/img/dbpc3nnwaaebh7hq7s2g.jpg
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  174. Dante says:
    @reiner Tor

    Speaking of color revolutions, is one being fomented in Hungary?
     
    They (Soros, the NGOs, the opposition parties, and the demonstrators themselves) would of course love it, but I very much doubt it’d come to this. Jobbik is marching with them (but some of their hardcore nationalist supporters have gone over to Fidesz), but it’s mostly yuppies and intellectuals and the like. They are mostly not soldiers of some revolution.

    I agree that this is not going to amount to much as stated it is likely a parting blow from Soros etc. The majority of Hungarians support Orban and the 2nd biggest party Jobbik is also Nationalist.

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  175. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    the $1 billion free present will be bombed by Israel, with some airstrike at night, in about two years
     
    They can bomb it before it's installed. It's highly mobile, so difficult to destroy.

    I’d guess Israel would bomb it after it’s installed, in about two years, at night, at a time when the tensions are low.

    Israel has surveillance over Syria. On Mount Hermon, you can see a large complexes, with radar dishes pointed to Damascus. They put so much investment and bases up on the mountain, just to read Syrian electronic mail and listen to their telephone calls (well it makes sense after a surprise attack in 1973).

    I doubt Syria has the OPSEC to hide the positions where they move the missiles between for long.

    The thing is, Kremlin cannot allow this to happen without retaliation, if it is a $1 billion (or $900 million) free gift.

    There would have to be shown some kind of retaliation against Israel.

    I would predict the kind of option would be something bizarre seeming, like to close the Israeli cultural centers in Russia. (If you know the history, these centers were closed down for a while, and only allowed to re-open after years of negotiation, something like 2011.) Also it would kind of match the idea of money wasted on both sides. Although the damage would be on some innocent teenagers who are the only people who use the centers.

    Alternatively, there could be some economic sanctions on Israel. This said, the idea of restricting tourism to Israel would anger pilgrims. Russia supplies oil to Israel, but this is substitutable, unlike gas which requires pipelines.

    It will be similar to the situation after Turkey shoots down the Su-24 in 2015.

    The irony is that if Syria would pay for the S-300, then it wouldn’t matter if it was destroyed (probably this is another incentive to Syria, not to pay for the complex, since it means that there will be much more feeling of protection for them if it is a free gift).

    Read More
    • Replies: @JL
    I doubt it will come to that. The Israelis, unlike the Americans, seem to have a good sense of how to deal with the Russians. They'll strike some backroom agreement that the S-300 won't be used against their aircraft so that they can continue to bomb Syria wantonly. Officially, the S-300 is being discussed as a response to the FUKUS attack, and so it can be explicitly targeted at repelling namely such attacks in the future. Israel made a lot of noise about the S-300 sale to Iran, but it went ahead anyway and they haven't attempted to destroy it as far as I know.
    , @reiner Tor
    It depends on what you believe about the performance of the Syrian air defense recently. I also don’t think air defense assets are that easy to destroy. They didn’t manage in Yugoslavia. I doubt a few Israeli raids would manage to do so in Syria.
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  176. @Felix Keverich
    One thing I'm worried about is if Armenia implodes, we'll get all the refugees.

    One thing I’m worried about is if Armenia implodes, we’ll get all the refugees.

    I assume then that you don’t think much of Armenians, but what is the general feeling towards them in Russia?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Look at America to Mexican immigrants. Probably the mainstream American society is very tolerant of Mexican immigrants and has warm feelings for Mexico.

    But there are some racists who are not. Or (a larger group) people who are not racist - and who like Mexicans in Mexico - but are not fans of seeing too many immigrating to America.
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  177. JL says:
    @Dmitry
    I'd guess Israel would bomb it after it's installed, in about two years, at night, at a time when the tensions are low.

    Israel has surveillance over Syria. On Mount Hermon, you can see a large complexes, with radar dishes pointed to Damascus. They put so much investment and bases up on the mountain, just to read Syrian electronic mail and listen to their telephone calls (well it makes sense after a surprise attack in 1973).

    I doubt Syria has the OPSEC to hide the positions where they move the missiles between for long.

    The thing is, Kremlin cannot allow this to happen without retaliation, if it is a $1 billion (or $900 million) free gift.

    There would have to be shown some kind of retaliation against Israel.

    I would predict the kind of option would be something bizarre seeming, like to close the Israeli cultural centers in Russia. (If you know the history, these centers were closed down for a while, and only allowed to re-open after years of negotiation, something like 2011.) Also it would kind of match the idea of money wasted on both sides. Although the damage would be on some innocent teenagers who are the only people who use the centers.

    Alternatively, there could be some economic sanctions on Israel. This said, the idea of restricting tourism to Israel would anger pilgrims. Russia supplies oil to Israel, but this is substitutable, unlike gas which requires pipelines.

    It will be similar to the situation after Turkey shoots down the Su-24 in 2015.

    The irony is that if Syria would pay for the S-300, then it wouldn't matter if it was destroyed (probably this is another incentive to Syria, not to pay for the complex, since it means that there will be much more feeling of protection for them if it is a free gift).

    I doubt it will come to that. The Israelis, unlike the Americans, seem to have a good sense of how to deal with the Russians. They’ll strike some backroom agreement that the S-300 won’t be used against their aircraft so that they can continue to bomb Syria wantonly. Officially, the S-300 is being discussed as a response to the FUKUS attack, and so it can be explicitly targeted at repelling namely such attacks in the future. Israel made a lot of noise about the S-300 sale to Iran, but it went ahead anyway and they haven’t attempted to destroy it as far as I know.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Israel tries to act quite friendly to Russia. And there is some measure of genuineness, because of their periphery diplomacy and because they can't escape their cultural part-ancestors (I'm amused by things like how all the country names in Hebrew are just direct translations of Russian with a difference suffix); or the fact half the tourists in Israel are Russian.

    But if Israel thinks it can be allowed to blow up something, they will do it. It's not like they really care about what Russia thinks (about ten times less than they care about what America thinks), unless there is some obvious red-line established between the countries, or boundaries made clear. I'm not sure there is (in post-Soviet era) any precedent of them not blowing up something because of they were told not to by Russia.

    So if S-300 transfers for free (as Kommersant is saying it might), I imagine Israel destroying the equipment in a couple of years, and then an international diplomatic incident between Israel and Russia.
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  178. Dmitry says:
    @silviosilver

    One thing I’m worried about is if Armenia implodes, we’ll get all the refugees.
     
    I assume then that you don't think much of Armenians, but what is the general feeling towards them in Russia?

    Look at America to Mexican immigrants. Probably the mainstream American society is very tolerant of Mexican immigrants and has warm feelings for Mexico.

    But there are some racists who are not. Or (a larger group) people who are not racist – and who like Mexicans in Mexico – but are not fans of seeing too many immigrating to America.

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  179. Art Deco says:
    @Dmitry
    No, that's not the ambition of the census. As you can see the officials, estimate over 3 million Armenians in Russia.

    What ‘officials’? Is ‘officials’ your new name?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    People like aide to the President of Russian Federation.
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  180. Art Deco says:
    @Dmitry
    It's more that Americans are incredibly stupid on average - so that any foreigner who arrives there will seem like a genius.

    It’s more that Americans are incredibly stupid on average – so that any foreigner who arrives there will seem like a genius.

    And, yet, we incredibly stupid people outproduce our Eurotrash detractors, year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    And, yet, we incredibly stupid people outproduce our Eurotrash detractors, year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation.

     

    It's one of the great social/economic mysteries.

    America is the world's most successful country. The leader in all kinds of areas - even of human knowledge.

    Yet if you look at American things like the GRE - you would be shocked at the stupidity of the population.

    The GRE maths component is something any non-lead poisoned or fetal alcohol syndrome suffering, 16 year old should score 90-100% on, with a few weeks of classes or exam specific training, And the 'verbal' portion, is easy even for non-English natives (how on earth are these even questions for native speakers of English?).

    And yet, - they use the GRE to examine 21 year old Americans, for post-graduate education.

    , @Polish Perspective

    we
     
    We? Americans are people of European heritage. You're a Semite. Do not speak for them, jew.
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  181. Dmitry says:
    @JL
    I doubt it will come to that. The Israelis, unlike the Americans, seem to have a good sense of how to deal with the Russians. They'll strike some backroom agreement that the S-300 won't be used against their aircraft so that they can continue to bomb Syria wantonly. Officially, the S-300 is being discussed as a response to the FUKUS attack, and so it can be explicitly targeted at repelling namely such attacks in the future. Israel made a lot of noise about the S-300 sale to Iran, but it went ahead anyway and they haven't attempted to destroy it as far as I know.

    Israel tries to act quite friendly to Russia. And there is some measure of genuineness, because of their periphery diplomacy and because they can’t escape their cultural part-ancestors (I’m amused by things like how all the country names in Hebrew are just direct translations of Russian with a difference suffix); or the fact half the tourists in Israel are Russian.

    But if Israel thinks it can be allowed to blow up something, they will do it. It’s not like they really care about what Russia thinks (about ten times less than they care about what America thinks), unless there is some obvious red-line established between the countries, or boundaries made clear. I’m not sure there is (in post-Soviet era) any precedent of them not blowing up something because of they were told not to by Russia.

    So if S-300 transfers for free (as Kommersant is saying it might), I imagine Israel destroying the equipment in a couple of years, and then an international diplomatic incident between Israel and Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JL

    I’m not sure there is (in post-Soviet era) any precedent of them not blowing up something because of they were told not to by Russia.
     
    The Israelis didn't retaliate more strongly for their downed F-16 because Putin called Netanyahu and told him to knock it off. There seem to be very well established red lines between Israel and Russia, which allow them to both operate in theater, against each others' proxies, without creating public diplomatic incidents. Russia and Israel both tend to disregard what others think in favor of results on the ground.
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  182. Dmitry says:
    @Art Deco
    What 'officials'? Is 'officials' your new name?

    People like aide to the President of Russian Federation.

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  183. Mitleser says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    https://i.imgur.com/YNiPO03.png

    People only look at public fund flows, because it gives Western Europeans a moral edge (“see, it’s only thanks to us because of us generous we are!”). In reality, you should count both public and private flows. Once you do that, EE countries are being drained of capital on a net basis.

     

    You are correct, but the chart doesn't show that. It's quite misleading.

    In only compares the net inflow of EU transfers to the net outflow of capital income.

    Other inflows include:

    • FDI (FDI into Poland for 2016 was around 3% of GDP it appears--more than EU transfers)
    • Exports
    • Foreign portfolio investment (i.e. investment into a business short of direct control, as well as bond purchases)
    • Bank lending
    • Repatriated foreign earnings and debt repayments

    Other outflows include:

    • Outbound FDI
    • Imports
    • Outbound foreign portfolio investment
    • Outbound bank lending
    • Foreign aid

    In theory the capital (FDI, portfolio investment, lending) and current accounts (trade, debt service, repatriated earnings) must always balance, though in reality this isn't always true (see the Eurodollar market for instance).

    Depending on what EU funds are actually used for they could represent a very good deal in that EU funds do not represent FDI, portfolio investment, or lending and thus involve no obligation to service foreign debt or send capital income to foreign investors. Knowing the EU I doubt the funds are used for anything useful but you would know better.

    In general outside of East Asia fast-growing and/or converging economies run current account deficits in order to grow faster. Norway for instance ran a current account deficit of 13% of GDP while it was getting its North Sea oil industry off the ground.

    If you want to avoid that you have to suppress consumption and increase domestic saving, hence the famously high household savings rate in China (and Japan until recently). Or you accept slower growth. Inbound FDI also makes it easier to acquire foreign technology and know-how.

    A good way to split the difference is through joint ventures and forced technology transfers.

    You can see this in sector after sector. Take retail. A German goes to shop in Aldi, Lidl or Kaufmann. All domestic firms. Poles and Czechs shop at the same stores, with Carrefour thrown into the mix. As you can see from the chart, the most drained country of us all is Czechia. No wonder euroskepticism is high there.
     

    Sure, but ALDI, Lidl, Kaufmann, and Carrefour doubtless have higher productivity and better merchandising skills than anything that existed in the Visegrad 4 or could've come to the fore in the post-communist period.

    As a result Visegrad people exchange lost profits for lower prices, better quality, and improved product selection.

    Of course you can argue that efficient retailers would've developed anyway, but this surely would've taken more time.

    The real question is whether the Visegrad 4 can create successful multinational corporations or if they will forever be comprador economies controlled by the German 1%. There are worse fates than that incidentally. Australia and Canada have been a comprador economies from day one for instance.

    There are worse fates than that incidentally. Australia and Canada have been a comprador economies from day one for instance.

    These economies were economic colonies of other English-speaking countries from day one.

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  184. Dmitry says:
    @Art Deco
    It’s more that Americans are incredibly stupid on average – so that any foreigner who arrives there will seem like a genius.

    And, yet, we incredibly stupid people outproduce our Eurotrash detractors, year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation.

    And, yet, we incredibly stupid people outproduce our Eurotrash detractors, year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation.

    It’s one of the great social/economic mysteries.

    America is the world’s most successful country. The leader in all kinds of areas – even of human knowledge.

    Yet if you look at American things like the GRE – you would be shocked at the stupidity of the population.

    The GRE maths component is something any non-lead poisoned or fetal alcohol syndrome suffering, 16 year old should score 90-100% on, with a few weeks of classes or exam specific training, And the ‘verbal’ portion, is easy even for non-English natives (how on earth are these even questions for native speakers of English?).

    And yet, – they use the GRE to examine 21 year old Americans, for post-graduate education.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Yet if you look at American things like the GRE – you would be shocked at the stupidity of the population.


    See, we're so stupid here, we haven't even gotten the idea that you establish a serious point with trash talk. You have to be a brilliant continental European to have such an insight.
    , @Art Deco
    https://iq-research.info/en/average-iq-by-country


    The Richard Lynn votaries say American psychometric scores are the same as those fetal alcohol syndrome cases in the Czech Republic and France. And, whaddaya know, a point higher than those registered in the land of Stoly-it-isn't-just-for-breakfast-anymore.
    , @AP

    Yet if you look at American things like the GRE – you would be shocked at the stupidity of the population.
     
    GRE scores are based on norms. Most people get most answers right.

    Sailer provided PISA scores for Americans by race vs. other nations:

    https://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/12/overall-pisa-rankings-include-america.html

    Euro-Americans beat most European countries. And that includes people from places like Alabama or West Virginia. Only Finland, Estonia, Poland, Netherlands and Switzerland beat Euro-Americans.
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  185. Mitleser says:
    @neutral
    "The young" means the endless hordes of Sub Saharan Africans, as they are the true youth demographic of the world. The few remaining young whites left in Europe will not like that very much.

    No country for young white men

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Depressing picture, sadly symbolic of Germany today.
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  186. JL says:
    @Dmitry
    Israel tries to act quite friendly to Russia. And there is some measure of genuineness, because of their periphery diplomacy and because they can't escape their cultural part-ancestors (I'm amused by things like how all the country names in Hebrew are just direct translations of Russian with a difference suffix); or the fact half the tourists in Israel are Russian.

    But if Israel thinks it can be allowed to blow up something, they will do it. It's not like they really care about what Russia thinks (about ten times less than they care about what America thinks), unless there is some obvious red-line established between the countries, or boundaries made clear. I'm not sure there is (in post-Soviet era) any precedent of them not blowing up something because of they were told not to by Russia.

    So if S-300 transfers for free (as Kommersant is saying it might), I imagine Israel destroying the equipment in a couple of years, and then an international diplomatic incident between Israel and Russia.

    I’m not sure there is (in post-Soviet era) any precedent of them not blowing up something because of they were told not to by Russia.

    The Israelis didn’t retaliate more strongly for their downed F-16 because Putin called Netanyahu and told him to knock it off. There seem to be very well established red lines between Israel and Russia, which allow them to both operate in theater, against each others’ proxies, without creating public diplomatic incidents. Russia and Israel both tend to disregard what others think in favor of results on the ground.

    Read More
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  187. @Mitleser

    Bastiat is the same genius who proposed that France should unilaterally disarm, and that this good example would inspire Prussia to disarm.
     
    I wish more Frenchmen were like him...
    Europe would be a better place.

    Well, it would be a more GERMAN place ;)

    Read More
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  188. @Mitleser
    No country for young white men

    http://abload.de/img/dbpc3nnwaaebh7hq7s2g.jpg

    Depressing picture, sadly symbolic of Germany today.

    Read More
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  189. @Art Deco
    The Census Bureau has it that there are 63,000 Armenian-born people in the 4 counties around LA. Not bad for a circumscribed area, but not a horde either.

    Surely it’s more, and I’m counting Armenian-Americans. Easily four to five times that number.

    There are probably more than 100,000 Armenians and Armenian-Americans in the city of Glendale alone (more than 40% of its population, I think).

    Also thousands of Armenians in montrose and again la crescenta.

    Or do I spend too much time in Glendale? ;)

    Read More
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  190. Seven Dutch arrested in Prague for assaulting waiter

    Seven Dutch men were arrested in Prague for assaulting a waiter in the center of the city. They attacked the waiter on Saturday after the waiter told them they couldn’t drink alcohol they brought themselves on a terrace.

    Czech newspapers report that the assaulted waiter is in intensive care in hospital. The Dutch men are between the ages of 24 and 32 years old and were arrested at the airport.

    What the story doesn’t mention is the ethnicity of the “Dutch”. You can take a wild guess who they really are. A lot of Dutch redditors pointed this out on the /r/Europe thread and got banned as a result.

    This on the heels of a gangrape in Prague a few weeks ago of an Irish tourist. They were also EU nationals, but not ethnically European. “French” I believe. Similar ethnicity as these gutter trash.

    I talked earlier in this thread about closing down Schengen for economic reasons but we might as well add cultural/social reasons into that mix.

    Many Western European countries’ populations under the age of 25 is not very European anymore. The best outcome would be to have a partial Schengen. Ethnic Europeans can visit and non-Europeans need a permit/visa, but that would never be acceptable in Western Europe for obvious political/social reasons.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    ou can take a wild guess who they really are
     
    Moroccans?
    , @Mitleser

    A lot of Dutch redditors pointed this out on the /r/Europe thread and got banned as a result.
     
    It is that easy to get banned from /r/europe, huh.

    I talked earlier in this thread about closing down Schengen for economic reasons but we might as well add cultural/social reasons into that mix.

    Many Western European countries’ populations under the age of 25 is not very European anymore.
     
    Sounds like Polandball will share Finlandball's fate.

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/dd/8f/3f/dd8f3f9f4b55ab0d1d0e0195fa9ec7ab.jpg
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  191. @Polish Perspective
    Seven Dutch arrested in Prague for assaulting waiter

    Seven Dutch men were arrested in Prague for assaulting a waiter in the center of the city. They attacked the waiter on Saturday after the waiter told them they couldn't drink alcohol they brought themselves on a terrace.

    Czech newspapers report that the assaulted waiter is in intensive care in hospital. The Dutch men are between the ages of 24 and 32 years old and were arrested at the airport.
     
    What the story doesn't mention is the ethnicity of the "Dutch". You can take a wild guess who they really are. A lot of Dutch redditors pointed this out on the /r/Europe thread and got banned as a result.

    This on the heels of a gangrape in Prague a few weeks ago of an Irish tourist. They were also EU nationals, but not ethnically European. "French" I believe. Similar ethnicity as these gutter trash.

    I talked earlier in this thread about closing down Schengen for economic reasons but we might as well add cultural/social reasons into that mix.

    Many Western European countries' populations under the age of 25 is not very European anymore. The best outcome would be to have a partial Schengen. Ethnic Europeans can visit and non-Europeans need a permit/visa, but that would never be acceptable in Western Europe for obvious political/social reasons.

    ou can take a wild guess who they really are

    Moroccans?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Polish Perspective
    What the Dutch redditors were saying were North Africans and Arabs, so nothing as specific as you were, but given the size of the moroccan diaspora in the NL, the odds are strongly in favor of your guess being true.
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  192. Though I am not a Christian, this caught my eye:

    German state orders crosses mounted at government buildings

    Bavaria’s conservative government is ordering Christian crosses to be placed at the entrance of all state administrative buildings.

    The regional government says the crosses shouldn’t be seen as religious symbols, but are meant to reflect the southern German state’s “cultural identity and Christian-western influence.”
    German news agency dpa reported that Tuesday’s decree won’t affect municipal and federal government buildings in Bavaria.

    Crosses are already compulsory in public schools and courtrooms in predominantly Catholic Bavaria.

    The governing Christian Social Union — the Bavaria-only wing of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party — is hoping to avoid losing its state majority to Alternative for Germany, a party on the right whose anti-Muslim campaigns have struck a chord with some German voters.

    Bavaria has a state election in October of this year.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bavarian_state_election,_2018#Opinion_polling

    CSU has a steady lead of 25-30 percentage points. So I don’t see why the alarmism. Are they afraid of losing an outright majority? Isn’t voting in Germany strictly proportional?

    At any rate, SPD and Grüne both trade blows with AfD at 12-13%. I would certainly love to see AfD storm to power in such a powerhouse state like Bavaria, but I wouldn’t mind CSU be reduced to such a level that they had to resort to teaming up with AfD to stay in power. Ultimately, AfD cannot seize power on its own, it has to work through coalitions. Maybe change can start at the state level and only then up to the national level.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Are they afraid of losing an outright majority?
     
    Yes, pretty much that. The CSU's special status is built on their domination of Bavaria and regularly getting absolute majorities there...if they lose that on a permanent basis, it will be very bad for them and might start their descent into oblivion.
    Personally I don't see any chance of them entering into a coalition with AfD...it's more likely there'll be a CSU-SPD or a CSU-Greens coalition.
    The bit about crosses in public buildings...that's just useless symbolic politics which the CSU is very fond of. They make some noise about how "Islam doesn't belong to Germany", but are completely unwilling or unable to take the necessary measures to prevent further Islamization (one has to remember: the CSU leadership is completely ok with 200 000 new "refugees" a year coming to Germany...that's merely national suicide at a somewhat slower pace, not a real alternative). It's meaningless theatre.
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  193. @German_reader

    ou can take a wild guess who they really are
     
    Moroccans?

    What the Dutch redditors were saying were North Africans and Arabs, so nothing as specific as you were, but given the size of the moroccan diaspora in the NL, the odds are strongly in favor of your guess being true.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Moroccans should be kept away from alcohol; I approve of firm measures to make sure they don't slip up. They are already assaulting waiters, letting them get drunk will not help the problem.

    Enforcing Shariah on Muslims in the EU should be advocated. Those that came to escape strictures in their societies will have more of an incentive to go back if they know they can't simply treat the EU as an escape valve. You do NOT want Muslims in the EU that do not live by normative Shariah standards, they'll mess with your women and go axe-chop happy on them; we are not sending you our best, send them back.

    Peace.
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  194. @Polish Perspective
    Though I am not a Christian, this caught my eye:

    German state orders crosses mounted at government buildings

    Bavaria's conservative government is ordering Christian crosses to be placed at the entrance of all state administrative buildings.

    The regional government says the crosses shouldn't be seen as religious symbols, but are meant to reflect the southern German state's "cultural identity and Christian-western influence."
    German news agency dpa reported that Tuesday's decree won't affect municipal and federal government buildings in Bavaria.

    Crosses are already compulsory in public schools and courtrooms in predominantly Catholic Bavaria.

    The governing Christian Social Union — the Bavaria-only wing of Chancellor Angela Merkel's party — is hoping to avoid losing its state majority to Alternative for Germany, a party on the right whose anti-Muslim campaigns have struck a chord with some German voters.
     

    Bavaria has a state election in October of this year.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bavarian_state_election,_2018#Opinion_polling

    CSU has a steady lead of 25-30 percentage points. So I don't see why the alarmism. Are they afraid of losing an outright majority? Isn't voting in Germany strictly proportional?

    At any rate, SPD and Grüne both trade blows with AfD at 12-13%. I would certainly love to see AfD storm to power in such a powerhouse state like Bavaria, but I wouldn't mind CSU be reduced to such a level that they had to resort to teaming up with AfD to stay in power. Ultimately, AfD cannot seize power on its own, it has to work through coalitions. Maybe change can start at the state level and only then up to the national level.

    Are they afraid of losing an outright majority?

    Yes, pretty much that. The CSU’s special status is built on their domination of Bavaria and regularly getting absolute majorities there…if they lose that on a permanent basis, it will be very bad for them and might start their descent into oblivion.
    Personally I don’t see any chance of them entering into a coalition with AfD…it’s more likely there’ll be a CSU-SPD or a CSU-Greens coalition.
    The bit about crosses in public buildings…that’s just useless symbolic politics which the CSU is very fond of. They make some noise about how “Islam doesn’t belong to Germany”, but are completely unwilling or unable to take the necessary measures to prevent further Islamization (one has to remember: the CSU leadership is completely ok with 200 000 new “refugees” a year coming to Germany…that’s merely national suicide at a somewhat slower pace, not a real alternative). It’s meaningless theatre.

    Read More
    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    The bit about crosses in public buildings…that’s just useless symbolic politics which the CSU is very fond of. They make some noise about how “Islam doesn’t belong to Germany”, but are completely unwilling or unable to take the necessary measures to prevent further Islamization (one has to remember: the CSU leadership is completely ok with 200 000 new “refugees” a year coming to Germany…that’s merely national suicide at a somewhat slower pace, not a real alternative). It’s meaningless theatre.
     
    It is just a distraction.

    In 2012, the finance minister of Bavaria Markus Söder proclaimed in a speech that Islam is a part of Bavaria ("der Islam ist ein Bestandteil Bayerns"): https://www.merkur.de/politik/soeder-islam-bestandteil-bayerns-2338369.html
    Last month, he was elected leader of Bavaria.

    , @Polish Perspective
    I agree with all of your analysis. Your point about theatrics is especially important. I remember reading a lot of Seehofer's statements during the immediate fallout to the 2015 wave, especially in Spring of 2016. This was before I was a bit more knowledgeable about German politics so I took him, perhaps naïvely, at face-value. However I quickly realised that he made a bunch of passive-aggressive comments directed at Merkel but never had the balls to pull the plug on their government.

    I also remember reading that in the CDU-SPD coalition talks, it was actually CDU which was pushing for an even lower refugee intake than CSU, which surprised CSU and forced them to make noises to the media in order not to lose faith.

    The "crosses mounted outside of buildings" is typical symbolic politics, yes, but it shows that they are worried. That is a good sign. Ultimately even AfD is not what Germany needs to save itself, but it is a hell of a lot better than what's on offer now.

    I don't think it is realistic to expect a nation-wide revolt. It's human nature to start slow and piecemeal. That means that state elections will be important. Of course, immigration policy is set at the federal (and increasingly supra-national, via the EU) level. Nevertheless, if SHTF, then Germany could very well dissolve and return to its HRE days with a loose coalition of alliances and networks between various states. That would free up more right-leaning states to ally themselves with Austria+V4 and perhaps even (Northern) Italy. They could then rebuild Germany after a lot of turmoil and trauma.

    I've written before and I'll write it again that Germany has one huge advantage over either France or the UK. It has a much better ideological and philosophical legacy. France is by far the worst country in Europe from an ideological perspective. The French revolution was essentially the first globalist one, they even explicitly mentioned exporting the revolution worldwide in somekind of ideological crusade. The UK is better, but its dominant mores are thoroughly liberal. Only Germany has a deep conservative intellectual legacy without parallell. Burke is more of a cautious liberal, and nothing compared to Schmidt or Hegel, not to mention Nietzsche.

    When things are harsh, people go back to the roots and Germany's roots are of a far higher intellectual caliber than any other major European country. And as Thorfinnson likes to point out, once white people actually decide to fight, even being outnumbered 10 to 1 won't matter much because the qualitative difference is that high. In fact, I think the biggest enemy to nationalists will be white leftists when it comes down to it, as well as the eternal normie whose sole existence in life is based around the exertion of minimal effort in everything he does.
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  195. Mitleser says:
    @Polish Perspective
    Seven Dutch arrested in Prague for assaulting waiter

    Seven Dutch men were arrested in Prague for assaulting a waiter in the center of the city. They attacked the waiter on Saturday after the waiter told them they couldn't drink alcohol they brought themselves on a terrace.

    Czech newspapers report that the assaulted waiter is in intensive care in hospital. The Dutch men are between the ages of 24 and 32 years old and were arrested at the airport.
     
    What the story doesn't mention is the ethnicity of the "Dutch". You can take a wild guess who they really are. A lot of Dutch redditors pointed this out on the /r/Europe thread and got banned as a result.

    This on the heels of a gangrape in Prague a few weeks ago of an Irish tourist. They were also EU nationals, but not ethnically European. "French" I believe. Similar ethnicity as these gutter trash.

    I talked earlier in this thread about closing down Schengen for economic reasons but we might as well add cultural/social reasons into that mix.

    Many Western European countries' populations under the age of 25 is not very European anymore. The best outcome would be to have a partial Schengen. Ethnic Europeans can visit and non-Europeans need a permit/visa, but that would never be acceptable in Western Europe for obvious political/social reasons.

    A lot of Dutch redditors pointed this out on the /r/Europe thread and got banned as a result.

    It is that easy to get banned from /r/europe, huh.

    I talked earlier in this thread about closing down Schengen for economic reasons but we might as well add cultural/social reasons into that mix.

    Many Western European countries’ populations under the age of 25 is not very European anymore.

    Sounds like Polandball will share Finlandball’s fate.

    Read More
    • LOL: Talha
    • Replies: @Talha
    LOL! I just noticed that the sign actually has some Arabic on it when you zoom in, which was obviously not written up by an Arabic speaker.

    It translates to (literally):
    "Lack of the presence/existence of a translation"

    They probably tried to translate their sentence into Arabic through some online translation tool and it spit back the default answer for when it can't translate the phrase. And they just went with it assuming it was the proper Arabic version.

    Cute graphic though.

    Peace.
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  196. Talha says:
    @Polish Perspective
    What the Dutch redditors were saying were North Africans and Arabs, so nothing as specific as you were, but given the size of the moroccan diaspora in the NL, the odds are strongly in favor of your guess being true.

    Moroccans should be kept away from alcohol; I approve of firm measures to make sure they don’t slip up. They are already assaulting waiters, letting them get drunk will not help the problem.

    Enforcing Shariah on Muslims in the EU should be advocated. Those that came to escape strictures in their societies will have more of an incentive to go back if they know they can’t simply treat the EU as an escape valve. You do NOT want Muslims in the EU that do not live by normative Shariah standards, they’ll mess with your women and go axe-chop happy on them; we are not sending you our best, send them back.

    Peace.

    Read More
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  197. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader

    Are they afraid of losing an outright majority?
     
    Yes, pretty much that. The CSU's special status is built on their domination of Bavaria and regularly getting absolute majorities there...if they lose that on a permanent basis, it will be very bad for them and might start their descent into oblivion.
    Personally I don't see any chance of them entering into a coalition with AfD...it's more likely there'll be a CSU-SPD or a CSU-Greens coalition.
    The bit about crosses in public buildings...that's just useless symbolic politics which the CSU is very fond of. They make some noise about how "Islam doesn't belong to Germany", but are completely unwilling or unable to take the necessary measures to prevent further Islamization (one has to remember: the CSU leadership is completely ok with 200 000 new "refugees" a year coming to Germany...that's merely national suicide at a somewhat slower pace, not a real alternative). It's meaningless theatre.

    The bit about crosses in public buildings…that’s just useless symbolic politics which the CSU is very fond of. They make some noise about how “Islam doesn’t belong to Germany”, but are completely unwilling or unable to take the necessary measures to prevent further Islamization (one has to remember: the CSU leadership is completely ok with 200 000 new “refugees” a year coming to Germany…that’s merely national suicide at a somewhat slower pace, not a real alternative). It’s meaningless theatre.

    It is just a distraction.

    In 2012, the finance minister of Bavaria Markus Söder proclaimed in a speech that Islam is a part of Bavaria (“der Islam ist ein Bestandteil Bayerns”): https://www.merkur.de/politik/soeder-islam-bestandteil-bayerns-2338369.html
    Last month, he was elected leader of Bavaria.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    I know, Söder is absolutely not to be trusted imo.
    It's somewhat sad because the CSU has done a decent job of running Bavaria, and my very first vote (in the elections of 2002) went to them...but after the past few years one can't really claim anymore that they're more authentic or conservative than the CDU. They're just as rotten as the rest of them.
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  198. @Mitleser

    The bit about crosses in public buildings…that’s just useless symbolic politics which the CSU is very fond of. They make some noise about how “Islam doesn’t belong to Germany”, but are completely unwilling or unable to take the necessary measures to prevent further Islamization (one has to remember: the CSU leadership is completely ok with 200 000 new “refugees” a year coming to Germany…that’s merely national suicide at a somewhat slower pace, not a real alternative). It’s meaningless theatre.
     
    It is just a distraction.

    In 2012, the finance minister of Bavaria Markus Söder proclaimed in a speech that Islam is a part of Bavaria ("der Islam ist ein Bestandteil Bayerns"): https://www.merkur.de/politik/soeder-islam-bestandteil-bayerns-2338369.html
    Last month, he was elected leader of Bavaria.

    I know, Söder is absolutely not to be trusted imo.
    It’s somewhat sad because the CSU has done a decent job of running Bavaria, and my very first vote (in the elections of 2002) went to them…but after the past few years one can’t really claim anymore that they’re more authentic or conservative than the CDU. They’re just as rotten as the rest of them.

    Read More
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  199. @Dmitry
    I'd guess Israel would bomb it after it's installed, in about two years, at night, at a time when the tensions are low.

    Israel has surveillance over Syria. On Mount Hermon, you can see a large complexes, with radar dishes pointed to Damascus. They put so much investment and bases up on the mountain, just to read Syrian electronic mail and listen to their telephone calls (well it makes sense after a surprise attack in 1973).

    I doubt Syria has the OPSEC to hide the positions where they move the missiles between for long.

    The thing is, Kremlin cannot allow this to happen without retaliation, if it is a $1 billion (or $900 million) free gift.

    There would have to be shown some kind of retaliation against Israel.

    I would predict the kind of option would be something bizarre seeming, like to close the Israeli cultural centers in Russia. (If you know the history, these centers were closed down for a while, and only allowed to re-open after years of negotiation, something like 2011.) Also it would kind of match the idea of money wasted on both sides. Although the damage would be on some innocent teenagers who are the only people who use the centers.

    Alternatively, there could be some economic sanctions on Israel. This said, the idea of restricting tourism to Israel would anger pilgrims. Russia supplies oil to Israel, but this is substitutable, unlike gas which requires pipelines.

    It will be similar to the situation after Turkey shoots down the Su-24 in 2015.

    The irony is that if Syria would pay for the S-300, then it wouldn't matter if it was destroyed (probably this is another incentive to Syria, not to pay for the complex, since it means that there will be much more feeling of protection for them if it is a free gift).

    It depends on what you believe about the performance of the Syrian air defense recently. I also don’t think air defense assets are that easy to destroy. They didn’t manage in Yugoslavia. I doubt a few Israeli raids would manage to do so in Syria.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    The assets would be turned off most of the time (so they can't be located). So it would all depend on intelligence about where they are stored, but Syria is the country which is most highly surveilled, with all kinds of different suveillance.
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  200. @German_reader

    Are they afraid of losing an outright majority?
     
    Yes, pretty much that. The CSU's special status is built on their domination of Bavaria and regularly getting absolute majorities there...if they lose that on a permanent basis, it will be very bad for them and might start their descent into oblivion.
    Personally I don't see any chance of them entering into a coalition with AfD...it's more likely there'll be a CSU-SPD or a CSU-Greens coalition.
    The bit about crosses in public buildings...that's just useless symbolic politics which the CSU is very fond of. They make some noise about how "Islam doesn't belong to Germany", but are completely unwilling or unable to take the necessary measures to prevent further Islamization (one has to remember: the CSU leadership is completely ok with 200 000 new "refugees" a year coming to Germany...that's merely national suicide at a somewhat slower pace, not a real alternative). It's meaningless theatre.

    I agree with all of your analysis. Your point about theatrics is especially important. I remember reading a lot of Seehofer’s statements during the immediate fallout to the 2015 wave, especially in Spring of 2016. This was before I was a bit more knowledgeable about German politics so I took him, perhaps naïvely, at face-value. However I quickly realised that he made a bunch of passive-aggressive comments directed at Merkel but never had the balls to pull the plug on their government.

    I also remember reading that in the CDU-SPD coalition talks, it was actually CDU which was pushing for an even lower refugee intake than CSU, which surprised CSU and forced them to make noises to the media in order not to lose faith.

    The “crosses mounted outside of buildings” is typical symbolic politics, yes, but it shows that they are worried. That is a good sign. Ultimately even AfD is not what Germany needs to save itself, but it is a hell of a lot better than what’s on offer now.

    I don’t think it is realistic to expect a nation-wide revolt. It’s human nature to start slow and piecemeal. That means that state elections will be important. Of course, immigration policy is set at the federal (and increasingly supra-national, via the EU) level. Nevertheless, if SHTF, then Germany could very well dissolve and return to its HRE days with a loose coalition of alliances and networks between various states. That would free up more right-leaning states to ally themselves with Austria+V4 and perhaps even (Northern) Italy. They could then rebuild Germany after a lot of turmoil and trauma.

    I’ve written before and I’ll write it again that Germany has one huge advantage over either France or the UK. It has a much better ideological and philosophical legacy. France is by far the worst country in Europe from an ideological perspective. The French revolution was essentially the first globalist one, they even explicitly mentioned exporting the revolution worldwide in somekind of ideological crusade. The UK is better, but its dominant mores are thoroughly liberal. Only Germany has a deep conservative intellectual legacy without parallell. Burke is more of a cautious liberal, and nothing compared to Schmidt or Hegel, not to mention Nietzsche.

    When things are harsh, people go back to the roots and Germany’s roots are of a far higher intellectual caliber than any other major European country. And as Thorfinnson likes to point out, once white people actually decide to fight, even being outnumbered 10 to 1 won’t matter much because the qualitative difference is that high. In fact, I think the biggest enemy to nationalists will be white leftists when it comes down to it, as well as the eternal normie whose sole existence in life is based around the exertion of minimal effort in everything he does.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Let’s hope it pans out as you surmise it could, with at least part of Germany waking up, fighting back, and refusing to submit to Islamic oppression or African/Arab violence, fraud, stupidity, sloth, and filth.

    But I fear you’re too optimistic, by far, about the facts on the ground.

    Germans could certainly reclaim their country and eliminate the invaders, but the numbers for those many House-to-house and block-to-block fights get worse every year.

    How does a crowd of 10,000 Germans with average age forty-seven fare against even a roughly equal number of Islamic and/or African invaders with average age FIFTEEN TO TWENTY YEARS YOUNGER? With hardly any firearms in the hands of the private german populace. Not well.

    That doesn’t even account for the fact that the large recent invader waves have been heavily younger men. So German women, as well as German men in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, will often face off directly against men aged teen through forty. Disastrous slaughter for our people.

    , @German_reader

    I don’t think it is realistic to expect a nation-wide revolt. It’s human nature to start slow and piecemeal. That means that state elections will be important.
     
    The problem is West Germany, where de-Germanization through immigration has been underway for decades and where many people really believe in postnational constitutional patriotism and similar concepts, have in fact made it the central element of their identity. Given the demographic trends and the stupidity of most voters there I'm quite pessimistic.
    East Germany is different, because people there haven't been quite as brainwashed into cosmopolitanism and the narrative of mass immigration and multiculturalism as atonement for Nazism; the established parties also don't have as deep roots there as in the west, and people are less attached to them. If there's any hope for change at all, it's probably in states like Thuringia and Saxony.
    A break-up of Germany might indeed be the best outcome...if the East and Bavaria seceded, I'd go there immidiately. But for now, that's unfortunately just a dream.

    When things are harsh, people go back to the roots and Germany’s roots are of a far higher intellectual caliber than any other major European country
     
    I'm afraid you're vastly overestimating Germany with that...whatever it may once have been, the country today is quite pedestrian, intellectually sterile and notably unheroic in its self-conception.
    Good points about France and the UK. I'd add that in Britain any expression of English nationalism is also greatly impeded by the electoral system. Englishness as an ethnic identity is probaly significantly stronger than one would suspect from the dominant narrative.
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  201. While Dutch news outlets avoid the topic like the plague, our based Czech brothers have no such compunctions at all!

    http://www.extra.cz/cisnika-v-praze-napadli-turci-z-nizozemska-povedlo-se-je-zadrzet-diky-vsimave-svedkyni/galerie/3

    You can already see in the URL what they mean. They have put photos on all of the suspects. Spot the Dutch if you can ;)

    Read More
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  202. @Polish Perspective
    I agree with all of your analysis. Your point about theatrics is especially important. I remember reading a lot of Seehofer's statements during the immediate fallout to the 2015 wave, especially in Spring of 2016. This was before I was a bit more knowledgeable about German politics so I took him, perhaps naïvely, at face-value. However I quickly realised that he made a bunch of passive-aggressive comments directed at Merkel but never had the balls to pull the plug on their government.

    I also remember reading that in the CDU-SPD coalition talks, it was actually CDU which was pushing for an even lower refugee intake than CSU, which surprised CSU and forced them to make noises to the media in order not to lose faith.

    The "crosses mounted outside of buildings" is typical symbolic politics, yes, but it shows that they are worried. That is a good sign. Ultimately even AfD is not what Germany needs to save itself, but it is a hell of a lot better than what's on offer now.

    I don't think it is realistic to expect a nation-wide revolt. It's human nature to start slow and piecemeal. That means that state elections will be important. Of course, immigration policy is set at the federal (and increasingly supra-national, via the EU) level. Nevertheless, if SHTF, then Germany could very well dissolve and return to its HRE days with a loose coalition of alliances and networks between various states. That would free up more right-leaning states to ally themselves with Austria+V4 and perhaps even (Northern) Italy. They could then rebuild Germany after a lot of turmoil and trauma.

    I've written before and I'll write it again that Germany has one huge advantage over either France or the UK. It has a much better ideological and philosophical legacy. France is by far the worst country in Europe from an ideological perspective. The French revolution was essentially the first globalist one, they even explicitly mentioned exporting the revolution worldwide in somekind of ideological crusade. The UK is better, but its dominant mores are thoroughly liberal. Only Germany has a deep conservative intellectual legacy without parallell. Burke is more of a cautious liberal, and nothing compared to Schmidt or Hegel, not to mention Nietzsche.

    When things are harsh, people go back to the roots and Germany's roots are of a far higher intellectual caliber than any other major European country. And as Thorfinnson likes to point out, once white people actually decide to fight, even being outnumbered 10 to 1 won't matter much because the qualitative difference is that high. In fact, I think the biggest enemy to nationalists will be white leftists when it comes down to it, as well as the eternal normie whose sole existence in life is based around the exertion of minimal effort in everything he does.

    Let’s hope it pans out as you surmise it could, with at least part of Germany waking up, fighting back, and refusing to submit to Islamic oppression or African/Arab violence, fraud, stupidity, sloth, and filth.

    But I fear you’re too optimistic, by far, about the facts on the ground.

    Germans could certainly reclaim their country and eliminate the invaders, but the numbers for those many House-to-house and block-to-block fights get worse every year.

    How does a crowd of 10,000 Germans with average age forty-seven fare against even a roughly equal number of Islamic and/or African invaders with average age FIFTEEN TO TWENTY YEARS YOUNGER? With hardly any firearms in the hands of the private german populace. Not well.

    That doesn’t even account for the fact that the large recent invader waves have been heavily younger men. So German women, as well as German men in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, will often face off directly against men aged teen through forty. Disastrous slaughter for our people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    hardly any firearms in the hands of the private german populace
     
    I somewhere read that a surprisingly large number of German households have firearms. Maybe a quarter or even a third.
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  203. @Polish Perspective
    I agree with all of your analysis. Your point about theatrics is especially important. I remember reading a lot of Seehofer's statements during the immediate fallout to the 2015 wave, especially in Spring of 2016. This was before I was a bit more knowledgeable about German politics so I took him, perhaps naïvely, at face-value. However I quickly realised that he made a bunch of passive-aggressive comments directed at Merkel but never had the balls to pull the plug on their government.

    I also remember reading that in the CDU-SPD coalition talks, it was actually CDU which was pushing for an even lower refugee intake than CSU, which surprised CSU and forced them to make noises to the media in order not to lose faith.

    The "crosses mounted outside of buildings" is typical symbolic politics, yes, but it shows that they are worried. That is a good sign. Ultimately even AfD is not what Germany needs to save itself, but it is a hell of a lot better than what's on offer now.

    I don't think it is realistic to expect a nation-wide revolt. It's human nature to start slow and piecemeal. That means that state elections will be important. Of course, immigration policy is set at the federal (and increasingly supra-national, via the EU) level. Nevertheless, if SHTF, then Germany could very well dissolve and return to its HRE days with a loose coalition of alliances and networks between various states. That would free up more right-leaning states to ally themselves with Austria+V4 and perhaps even (Northern) Italy. They could then rebuild Germany after a lot of turmoil and trauma.

    I've written before and I'll write it again that Germany has one huge advantage over either France or the UK. It has a much better ideological and philosophical legacy. France is by far the worst country in Europe from an ideological perspective. The French revolution was essentially the first globalist one, they even explicitly mentioned exporting the revolution worldwide in somekind of ideological crusade. The UK is better, but its dominant mores are thoroughly liberal. Only Germany has a deep conservative intellectual legacy without parallell. Burke is more of a cautious liberal, and nothing compared to Schmidt or Hegel, not to mention Nietzsche.

    When things are harsh, people go back to the roots and Germany's roots are of a far higher intellectual caliber than any other major European country. And as Thorfinnson likes to point out, once white people actually decide to fight, even being outnumbered 10 to 1 won't matter much because the qualitative difference is that high. In fact, I think the biggest enemy to nationalists will be white leftists when it comes down to it, as well as the eternal normie whose sole existence in life is based around the exertion of minimal effort in everything he does.

    I don’t think it is realistic to expect a nation-wide revolt. It’s human nature to start slow and piecemeal. That means that state elections will be important.

    The problem is West Germany, where de-Germanization through immigration has been underway for decades and where many people really believe in postnational constitutional patriotism and similar concepts, have in fact made it the central element of their identity. Given the demographic trends and the stupidity of most voters there I’m quite pessimistic.
    East Germany is different, because people there haven’t been quite as brainwashed into cosmopolitanism and the narrative of mass immigration and multiculturalism as atonement for Nazism; the established parties also don’t have as deep roots there as in the west, and people are less attached to them. If there’s any hope for change at all, it’s probably in states like Thuringia and Saxony.
    A break-up of Germany might indeed be the best outcome…if the East and Bavaria seceded, I’d go there immidiately. But for now, that’s unfortunately just a dream.

    When things are harsh, people go back to the roots and Germany’s roots are of a far higher intellectual caliber than any other major European country

    I’m afraid you’re vastly overestimating Germany with that…whatever it may once have been, the country today is quite pedestrian, intellectually sterile and notably unheroic in its self-conception.
    Good points about France and the UK. I’d add that in Britain any expression of English nationalism is also greatly impeded by the electoral system. Englishness as an ethnic identity is probaly significantly stronger than one would suspect from the dominant narrative.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Do you listen to Kollegah?

    I almost persuaded myself to listen to the “controversial” song out of sheer curiosity. Also to find out if it really is that bad, or just innocent meme type humor. Of course one should never make jokes about the holy tenets of our religion. Which would be Holocaustianity.
    , @Dmitry
    The German economy seems to be unbeatable though - even with the constant spending to subsidize EU and endless destructive immigration, it continues a steady growth rate.
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  204. @RadicalCenter
    Let’s hope it pans out as you surmise it could, with at least part of Germany waking up, fighting back, and refusing to submit to Islamic oppression or African/Arab violence, fraud, stupidity, sloth, and filth.

    But I fear you’re too optimistic, by far, about the facts on the ground.

    Germans could certainly reclaim their country and eliminate the invaders, but the numbers for those many House-to-house and block-to-block fights get worse every year.

    How does a crowd of 10,000 Germans with average age forty-seven fare against even a roughly equal number of Islamic and/or African invaders with average age FIFTEEN TO TWENTY YEARS YOUNGER? With hardly any firearms in the hands of the private german populace. Not well.

    That doesn’t even account for the fact that the large recent invader waves have been heavily younger men. So German women, as well as German men in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, will often face off directly against men aged teen through forty. Disastrous slaughter for our people.

    hardly any firearms in the hands of the private german populace

    I somewhere read that a surprisingly large number of German households have firearms. Maybe a quarter or even a third.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Here’s the number:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estimated_number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country?wprov=sfti1

    Though the 30 per 100 inhabitants number is probably a vast exaggeration:

    The number of legal guns in Germany is about 7 per 100 residents.[11] There are no reliable figures on the number of illegal guns in Germany.[12] The figure of 20 million illicit guns (~24 per 100 residents) that is often cited on the web is an estimate attributed to the GdP, Germany's largest police union.[13] This number is wildly out of range with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime's estimate on illicit guns (10% of the number of legal guns, corresponding to 0.5 million illicit guns or ~0.7 per 100 residents).[14]
     
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  205. @reiner Tor

    hardly any firearms in the hands of the private german populace
     
    I somewhere read that a surprisingly large number of German households have firearms. Maybe a quarter or even a third.

    Here’s the number:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estimated_number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country?wprov=sfti1

    Though the 30 per 100 inhabitants number is probably a vast exaggeration:

    The number of legal guns in Germany is about 7 per 100 residents.[11] There are no reliable figures on the number of illegal guns in Germany.[12] The figure of 20 million illicit guns (~24 per 100 residents) that is often cited on the web is an estimate attributed to the GdP, Germany’s largest police union.[13] This number is wildly out of range with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s estimate on illicit guns (10% of the number of legal guns, corresponding to 0.5 million illicit guns or ~0.7 per 100 residents).[14]

    Read More
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  206. @German_reader

    I don’t think it is realistic to expect a nation-wide revolt. It’s human nature to start slow and piecemeal. That means that state elections will be important.
     
    The problem is West Germany, where de-Germanization through immigration has been underway for decades and where many people really believe in postnational constitutional patriotism and similar concepts, have in fact made it the central element of their identity. Given the demographic trends and the stupidity of most voters there I'm quite pessimistic.
    East Germany is different, because people there haven't been quite as brainwashed into cosmopolitanism and the narrative of mass immigration and multiculturalism as atonement for Nazism; the established parties also don't have as deep roots there as in the west, and people are less attached to them. If there's any hope for change at all, it's probably in states like Thuringia and Saxony.
    A break-up of Germany might indeed be the best outcome...if the East and Bavaria seceded, I'd go there immidiately. But for now, that's unfortunately just a dream.

    When things are harsh, people go back to the roots and Germany’s roots are of a far higher intellectual caliber than any other major European country
     
    I'm afraid you're vastly overestimating Germany with that...whatever it may once have been, the country today is quite pedestrian, intellectually sterile and notably unheroic in its self-conception.
    Good points about France and the UK. I'd add that in Britain any expression of English nationalism is also greatly impeded by the electoral system. Englishness as an ethnic identity is probaly significantly stronger than one would suspect from the dominant narrative.

    Do you listen to Kollegah?

    I almost persuaded myself to listen to the “controversial” song out of sheer curiosity. Also to find out if it really is that bad, or just innocent meme type humor. Of course one should never make jokes about the holy tenets of our religion. Which would be Holocaustianity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Do you listen to Kollegah?
     
    Certainly not.
    Haven't followed the affair in detail (don't read much German msm anymore)...basically my attitude is "a pox on both their houses".
    Kollegah is certainly underclass trash (also an Islamic convert...which I find quite creepy).
    On the other hand, I resent the hysteria about antisemitism cooked up by the msm. If a German (or some foreign legal resident like Chinese students or tourists) is raped, stabbed or murdered by "refugees", it's just collateral damage on the road to multicultural utopia. But if harsh words are said about Jews, it's cause for the gravest concern... (and we're all responsible for it, the guilt is on all of us!). It just shows what a pathetic country Germany is, forever a prisoner of its past.
    And I have to admit, when Kollegah dissed and mocked politically correct "punk" singer Campino (big fan of Angela Merkel), it brought a smile on my face :-)
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  207. Art Deco says:
    @Dmitry

    And, yet, we incredibly stupid people outproduce our Eurotrash detractors, year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation.

     

    It's one of the great social/economic mysteries.

    America is the world's most successful country. The leader in all kinds of areas - even of human knowledge.

    Yet if you look at American things like the GRE - you would be shocked at the stupidity of the population.

    The GRE maths component is something any non-lead poisoned or fetal alcohol syndrome suffering, 16 year old should score 90-100% on, with a few weeks of classes or exam specific training, And the 'verbal' portion, is easy even for non-English natives (how on earth are these even questions for native speakers of English?).

    And yet, - they use the GRE to examine 21 year old Americans, for post-graduate education.

    Yet if you look at American things like the GRE – you would be shocked at the stupidity of the population.

    See, we’re so stupid here, we haven’t even gotten the idea that you establish a serious point with trash talk. You have to be a brilliant continental European to have such an insight.

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  208. @reiner Tor
    Do you listen to Kollegah?

    I almost persuaded myself to listen to the “controversial” song out of sheer curiosity. Also to find out if it really is that bad, or just innocent meme type humor. Of course one should never make jokes about the holy tenets of our religion. Which would be Holocaustianity.

    Do you listen to Kollegah?

    Certainly not.
    Haven’t followed the affair in detail (don’t read much German msm anymore)…basically my attitude is “a pox on both their houses”.
    Kollegah is certainly underclass trash (also an Islamic convert…which I find quite creepy).
    On the other hand, I resent the hysteria about antisemitism cooked up by the msm. If a German (or some foreign legal resident like Chinese students or tourists) is raped, stabbed or murdered by “refugees”, it’s just collateral damage on the road to multicultural utopia. But if harsh words are said about Jews, it’s cause for the gravest concern… (and we’re all responsible for it, the guilt is on all of us!). It just shows what a pathetic country Germany is, forever a prisoner of its past.
    And I have to admit, when Kollegah dissed and mocked politically correct “punk” singer Campino (big fan of Angela Merkel), it brought a smile on my face :-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I looked it up, this Campino is the lead singer of Die Toten Hosen, that band is not unknown in Hungary. Politically correct punk bands are just pathetic, punk was supposed to be about being rebellious or something.
    , @reiner Tor
    Kollegah was born to a single mother, and he converted under the influence of his Algerian stepfather at the age of 15. I think you have all information on what kind of upbringing he had. Who can blame him for converting?
    , @Anon
    Just think of Islam like one of the weirder semi-Christian sects, like Unitarianism.

    Okay, that didn't make it less creepy. Think of it like Marxism then?
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  209. inertial says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I wonder if the recent softening of sanctions (Rusal sanctions to be lifted if Deripaska sells it) has anything to do with it.

    There was also some European pressure - Rusal sanctions will have major impacts on jobs in some European countries - but not sure this would play much of a role in US calculations.

    More likely, Rusal sanctions had to be softened because they blew up global metal markets.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-18/metals-gripped-by-turmoil-as-rusal-s-sanctions-fallout-spreads

    Read More
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  210. Art Deco says:
    @Dmitry

    And, yet, we incredibly stupid people outproduce our Eurotrash detractors, year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation.

     

    It's one of the great social/economic mysteries.

    America is the world's most successful country. The leader in all kinds of areas - even of human knowledge.

    Yet if you look at American things like the GRE - you would be shocked at the stupidity of the population.

    The GRE maths component is something any non-lead poisoned or fetal alcohol syndrome suffering, 16 year old should score 90-100% on, with a few weeks of classes or exam specific training, And the 'verbal' portion, is easy even for non-English natives (how on earth are these even questions for native speakers of English?).

    And yet, - they use the GRE to examine 21 year old Americans, for post-graduate education.

    https://iq-research.info/en/average-iq-by-country

    The Richard Lynn votaries say American psychometric scores are the same as those fetal alcohol syndrome cases in the Czech Republic and France. And, whaddaya know, a point higher than those registered in the land of Stoly-it-isn’t-just-for-breakfast-anymore.

    Read More
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  211. Talha says:
    @Mitleser

    A lot of Dutch redditors pointed this out on the /r/Europe thread and got banned as a result.
     
    It is that easy to get banned from /r/europe, huh.

    I talked earlier in this thread about closing down Schengen for economic reasons but we might as well add cultural/social reasons into that mix.

    Many Western European countries’ populations under the age of 25 is not very European anymore.
     
    Sounds like Polandball will share Finlandball's fate.

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/dd/8f/3f/dd8f3f9f4b55ab0d1d0e0195fa9ec7ab.jpg

    LOL! I just noticed that the sign actually has some Arabic on it when you zoom in, which was obviously not written up by an Arabic speaker.

    It translates to (literally):
    “Lack of the presence/existence of a translation”

    They probably tried to translate their sentence into Arabic through some online translation tool and it spit back the default answer for when it can’t translate the phrase. And they just went with it assuming it was the proper Arabic version.

    Cute graphic though.

    Peace.

    Read More
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  212. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor
    It depends on what you believe about the performance of the Syrian air defense recently. I also don’t think air defense assets are that easy to destroy. They didn’t manage in Yugoslavia. I doubt a few Israeli raids would manage to do so in Syria.

    The assets would be turned off most of the time (so they can’t be located). So it would all depend on intelligence about where they are stored, but Syria is the country which is most highly surveilled, with all kinds of different suveillance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    So it would all depend on intelligence about where they are stored
     
    We're talking about a bunch of trucks and similar, which are somewhere. They are not huge, and could move easily. The fact they aren't turned on also means it's difficult to measure their exact location, and without exact coordinates it's not very easy to hit them.

    I'd guess they could perhaps be damaged, but completely destroyed would be near impossible.

    Arab incompetence is the only hope there is to destroy it, but for at least a year it will be manned by Russians, and maybe later, too.
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  213. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    I don’t think it is realistic to expect a nation-wide revolt. It’s human nature to start slow and piecemeal. That means that state elections will be important.
     
    The problem is West Germany, where de-Germanization through immigration has been underway for decades and where many people really believe in postnational constitutional patriotism and similar concepts, have in fact made it the central element of their identity. Given the demographic trends and the stupidity of most voters there I'm quite pessimistic.
    East Germany is different, because people there haven't been quite as brainwashed into cosmopolitanism and the narrative of mass immigration and multiculturalism as atonement for Nazism; the established parties also don't have as deep roots there as in the west, and people are less attached to them. If there's any hope for change at all, it's probably in states like Thuringia and Saxony.
    A break-up of Germany might indeed be the best outcome...if the East and Bavaria seceded, I'd go there immidiately. But for now, that's unfortunately just a dream.

    When things are harsh, people go back to the roots and Germany’s roots are of a far higher intellectual caliber than any other major European country
     
    I'm afraid you're vastly overestimating Germany with that...whatever it may once have been, the country today is quite pedestrian, intellectually sterile and notably unheroic in its self-conception.
    Good points about France and the UK. I'd add that in Britain any expression of English nationalism is also greatly impeded by the electoral system. Englishness as an ethnic identity is probaly significantly stronger than one would suspect from the dominant narrative.

    The German economy seems to be unbeatable though – even with the constant spending to subsidize EU and endless destructive immigration, it continues a steady growth rate.

    Read More
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  214. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    And, yet, we incredibly stupid people outproduce our Eurotrash detractors, year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation.

     

    It's one of the great social/economic mysteries.

    America is the world's most successful country. The leader in all kinds of areas - even of human knowledge.

    Yet if you look at American things like the GRE - you would be shocked at the stupidity of the population.

    The GRE maths component is something any non-lead poisoned or fetal alcohol syndrome suffering, 16 year old should score 90-100% on, with a few weeks of classes or exam specific training, And the 'verbal' portion, is easy even for non-English natives (how on earth are these even questions for native speakers of English?).

    And yet, - they use the GRE to examine 21 year old Americans, for post-graduate education.

    Yet if you look at American things like the GRE – you would be shocked at the stupidity of the population.

    GRE scores are based on norms. Most people get most answers right.

    Sailer provided PISA scores for Americans by race vs. other nations:

    https://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/12/overall-pisa-rankings-include-america.html

    Euro-Americans beat most European countries. And that includes people from places like Alabama or West Virginia. Only Finland, Estonia, Poland, Netherlands and Switzerland beat Euro-Americans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    The meme that Americans are dumb is generally based on one of two factors:

    1) Willful ignorance of America's non-white population (also practiced within America by yankees who hate the South)

    2) Confusing the lower worldliness of Americans relative to Europeans for stupidity instead of realizing it's just a fact of geography

    I realize I troll you on the Ukraine (I do genuinely hate Ukraine's existence but I play it up on this blog for effect), but I have to thank you for being an objective and patient man.
    , @Dmitry
    Sure it sounds as plausible, until you mention 'PISA'.

    PISA is ten times worse than GRE. It makes GRE look like a work of genius in comparison. (I want to apologize now to GRE, that the comparison to PISA is made).

    Posts about PISA tables and 'scores' seem impressive, until you investigate yourself and look at the tests.


    (An old sample test PISA)

    https://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/Take%20the%20test%20e%20book.pdf

    The ‘maths’ paper has no maths.

    http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/pisa2012-2006-rel-items-maths-ENG.pdf

    It has some kind of counting questions, which are written in a way designed to confuse people.

    What is this supposed to show this test? That the children can sit still long enough and somehow not be confused by the strange questions.
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  215. @AP

    Yet if you look at American things like the GRE – you would be shocked at the stupidity of the population.
     
    GRE scores are based on norms. Most people get most answers right.

    Sailer provided PISA scores for Americans by race vs. other nations:

    https://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/12/overall-pisa-rankings-include-america.html

    Euro-Americans beat most European countries. And that includes people from places like Alabama or West Virginia. Only Finland, Estonia, Poland, Netherlands and Switzerland beat Euro-Americans.

    The meme that Americans are dumb is generally based on one of two factors:

    1) Willful ignorance of America’s non-white population (also practiced within America by yankees who hate the South)

    2) Confusing the lower worldliness of Americans relative to Europeans for stupidity instead of realizing it’s just a fact of geography

    I realize I troll you on the Ukraine (I do genuinely hate Ukraine’s existence but I play it up on this blog for effect), but I have to thank you for being an objective and patient man.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    The meme that Americans are dumb is generally based on one of two factors:

     

    I caught it on several bases. One - probably silly way - was just finding so many stupid people on the internet who seem to be from America.

    For example, here on Karlin it is better, because it seems to have less of them.

    This might not be fair, and just comes from being on websites like this one, instead of one which have more educated professionals from America.


    -
    As for GRE.
    This month my friend is preparing GRE, so over skype and Teamviewer we were preparing the exam, I'm not taking it, but was shocked by how easy it was.

    The maths part is completely shocking - it is maths for 16 year olds. It was impossible not to laugh at those questions.

    But even the English verbal part is easy, and just requires the vocabulary you need to read any academic books in English. So how on earth do Americans, who have English as the native language, make mistakes in the verbal part? How is this possible?

    And they use this exam for graduate university entry, for native born Americans who speak English as the first language?

    I feel like I must have made some kind of mistake and misunderstood the purpose of the exam.
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  216. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Yet if you look at American things like the GRE – you would be shocked at the stupidity of the population.
     
    GRE scores are based on norms. Most people get most answers right.

    Sailer provided PISA scores for Americans by race vs. other nations:

    https://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/12/overall-pisa-rankings-include-america.html

    Euro-Americans beat most European countries. And that includes people from places like Alabama or West Virginia. Only Finland, Estonia, Poland, Netherlands and Switzerland beat Euro-Americans.

    Sure it sounds as plausible, until you mention ‘PISA’.

    PISA is ten times worse than GRE. It makes GRE look like a work of genius in comparison. (I want to apologize now to GRE, that the comparison to PISA is made).

    Posts about PISA tables and ‘scores’ seem impressive, until you investigate yourself and look at the tests.

    (An old sample test PISA)

    https://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/Take%20the%20test%20e%20book.pdf

    The ‘maths’ paper has no maths.

    http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/pisa2012-2006-rel-items-maths-ENG.pdf

    It has some kind of counting questions, which are written in a way designed to confuse people.

    What is this supposed to show this test? That the children can sit still long enough and somehow not be confused by the strange questions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    That's actually a good thing - math having no relation to "math" as it is formulaically taught in schools actually makes PISA more of a genuine IQ test.

    I agree with Thorfinnsson. American whites are pretty smart. Some of their whites - e.g. those in New England - are some of the smartest population groups on the planet. And the roots of that are deep - for instance, the literacy rate of the early-to-mid 17th century Puritan settlers was around 60%-70% [Albion's Seed], which is amazing for that time, as was them founding Harvard University at a time when their population was a mere 40,000 people.
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  217. PISA is effectively a proxy IQ test.

    If you want to measure the quality of education TIMSS is a lot better. And sure enough Russia does better than America on that, though America does better than much of Western Europe (probably owing to more local political control of education).

    You are also exaggerating.

    The ‘maths’ paper has no maths.

    I clicked on your link.

    The very first question is a math problem.

    Question 1: APARTMENT PURCHASE PM00FQ01 – 0 1 9
    To estimate the total floor area of the apartment (including the terrace and the walls),
    you can measure the size of each room, calculate the area of each one and add all
    the areas together.
    However, there is a more efficient method to estimate the total floor area where you
    only need to measure 4 lengths. Mark on the plan above the four lengths that are
    needed to estimate the total floor area of the apartment.

    That’s a geometry problem, no?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    That’s a geometry problem, no?

     

    To the extent multiplying two lengths, and then multiplying another two lengths, and then subtracting one total from the other.

    I would say more counting,

    The thing tested with this particular question really is whether you can decode confusingly written questions, with strange pictures including irrelevant details. It's like a question of whether they can distract you with strange pictures and gnomic phrasing.
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  218. Dmitry says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    The meme that Americans are dumb is generally based on one of two factors:

    1) Willful ignorance of America's non-white population (also practiced within America by yankees who hate the South)

    2) Confusing the lower worldliness of Americans relative to Europeans for stupidity instead of realizing it's just a fact of geography

    I realize I troll you on the Ukraine (I do genuinely hate Ukraine's existence but I play it up on this blog for effect), but I have to thank you for being an objective and patient man.

    The meme that Americans are dumb is generally based on one of two factors:

    I caught it on several bases. One – probably silly way – was just finding so many stupid people on the internet who seem to be from America.

    For example, here on Karlin it is better, because it seems to have less of them.

    This might not be fair, and just comes from being on websites like this one, instead of one which have more educated professionals from America.

    -
    As for GRE.
    This month my friend is preparing GRE, so over skype and Teamviewer we were preparing the exam, I’m not taking it, but was shocked by how easy it was.

    The maths part is completely shocking – it is maths for 16 year olds. It was impossible not to laugh at those questions.

    But even the English verbal part is easy, and just requires the vocabulary you need to read any academic books in English. So how on earth do Americans, who have English as the native language, make mistakes in the verbal part? How is this possible?

    And they use this exam for graduate university entry, for native born Americans who speak English as the first language?

    I feel like I must have made some kind of mistake and misunderstood the purpose of the exam.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson


    I caught it on several bases. One – probably silly way – was just finding so many stupid people on the internet who seem to be from America.
     
    The language of the internet is English, which is America's native language. And America has 320 million people--more than Germany, France, and Britain combined.

    You can find smart Americans on the internet as well. Such as myself or many other commenters here.

    If we're so stupid then why are we so rich? An obnoxious argument but not a bad one.

    Regarding your GRE critique I have not taken the exam and will never do so as I only have a high school education. Being rich there is no reason for me to ever pursue higher education.

    That said psychometric exams show that Americans are not dumb, and that white Americans are in fact smarter than most European countries (not all).
    , @AP

    This month my friend is preparing GRE, so over skype and Teamviewer we were preparing the exam, I’m not taking it, but was shocked by how easy it was.

    The maths part is completely shocking – it is maths for 16 year olds. It was impossible not to laugh at those questions.
     
    I suspect he won't get 100%.

    But even the English verbal part is easy, and just requires the vocabulary you need to read any academic books in English. So how on earth do Americans, who have English as the native language, make mistakes in the verbal part? How is this possible?
     
    It's not only possible but almost certain. GRE is correlated with IQ. Someone with an IQ of 135 (top 1%) would expect to get a GRE score of 1300 on Verbal plus Quantitative - would get a few answers wrong.
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  219. @Dmitry

    The meme that Americans are dumb is generally based on one of two factors:

     

    I caught it on several bases. One - probably silly way - was just finding so many stupid people on the internet who seem to be from America.

    For example, here on Karlin it is better, because it seems to have less of them.

    This might not be fair, and just comes from being on websites like this one, instead of one which have more educated professionals from America.


    -
    As for GRE.
    This month my friend is preparing GRE, so over skype and Teamviewer we were preparing the exam, I'm not taking it, but was shocked by how easy it was.

    The maths part is completely shocking - it is maths for 16 year olds. It was impossible not to laugh at those questions.

    But even the English verbal part is easy, and just requires the vocabulary you need to read any academic books in English. So how on earth do Americans, who have English as the native language, make mistakes in the verbal part? How is this possible?

    And they use this exam for graduate university entry, for native born Americans who speak English as the first language?

    I feel like I must have made some kind of mistake and misunderstood the purpose of the exam.

    I caught it on several bases. One – probably silly way – was just finding so many stupid people on the internet who seem to be from America.

    The language of the internet is English, which is America’s native language. And America has 320 million people–more than Germany, France, and Britain combined.

    You can find smart Americans on the internet as well. Such as myself or many other commenters here.

    If we’re so stupid then why are we so rich? An obnoxious argument but not a bad one.

    Regarding your GRE critique I have not taken the exam and will never do so as I only have a high school education. Being rich there is no reason for me to ever pursue higher education.

    That said psychometric exams show that Americans are not dumb, and that white Americans are in fact smarter than most European countries (not all).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    If we’re so stupid then why are we so rich? An obnoxious argument but not a bad one.

     

    America is the world's most successful and powerful country. And even when China catches it on GDP maybe within the next 10 years, it will only be because China have almost five times more people.

    So sure, it is a good mystery and we could talk about it for hours.

    Obviously I'm being a bit hyperbolic about Americans, but you know I'm not being totally hyperbolic.

    I think success, and economic success, - and particularly of countries - is related a lot less to individuals being good at academics, than some people claim on websites like this one.
    , @JL

    I only have a high school education. Being rich there is no reason for me to ever pursue higher education.
     
    I just want to take a quick second and thank you for posting here so prolifically. While your worldview is mostly anathema to mine, your heavy handed commenting style, immodesty, and eschewing of social norms are quite endearing. AK's blog is a great place to converse with interesting characters you'd probably never get to meet irl (and even if you did, would unlikely be as honest in conversation as they are here).
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  220. Dmitry says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    PISA is effectively a proxy IQ test.

    If you want to measure the quality of education TIMSS is a lot better. And sure enough Russia does better than America on that, though America does better than much of Western Europe (probably owing to more local political control of education).

    You are also exaggerating.

    The ‘maths’ paper has no maths.
     

    I clicked on your link.

    The very first question is a math problem.

    Question 1: APARTMENT PURCHASE PM00FQ01 – 0 1 9
    To estimate the total floor area of the apartment (including the terrace and the walls),
    you can measure the size of each room, calculate the area of each one and add all
    the areas together.
    However, there is a more efficient method to estimate the total floor area where you
    only need to measure 4 lengths. Mark on the plan above the four lengths that are
    needed to estimate the total floor area of the apartment.
     

    That's a geometry problem, no?

    That’s a geometry problem, no?

    To the extent multiplying two lengths, and then multiplying another two lengths, and then subtracting one total from the other.

    I would say more counting,

    The thing tested with this particular question really is whether you can decode confusingly written questions, with strange pictures including irrelevant details. It’s like a question of whether they can distract you with strange pictures and gnomic phrasing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson

    To the extent multiplying two lengths, and then multiplying another two lengths, and then subtracting one total from the other.

    I would say more counting,
     

    Calculating area is a geometry question by definition.

    It's not sophisticated geometry, but it's geometry.

    And this is even a good real world question. I am in my 30s and no longer remember sophisticated math as it's not relevant to my career. But I do remember every formula for area calculation and use said formulae.

    The thing tested with this particular question really is whether you can decode confusingly written questions, with strange pictures including irrelevant details. It’s like a question of whether they can distract you with strange pictures and gnomic phrasing.
     

    This could be a cultural barrier.

    Story problems are a standard way of teaching math in America. I experienced it throughout my childhood.

    I do not know how math education is done in Russia.

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  221. @Dmitry

    That’s a geometry problem, no?

     

    To the extent multiplying two lengths, and then multiplying another two lengths, and then subtracting one total from the other.

    I would say more counting,

    The thing tested with this particular question really is whether you can decode confusingly written questions, with strange pictures including irrelevant details. It's like a question of whether they can distract you with strange pictures and gnomic phrasing.

    To the extent multiplying two lengths, and then multiplying another two lengths, and then subtracting one total from the other.

    I would say more counting,

    Calculating area is a geometry question by definition.

    It’s not sophisticated geometry, but it’s geometry.

    And this is even a good real world question. I am in my 30s and no longer remember sophisticated math as it’s not relevant to my career. But I do remember every formula for area calculation and use said formulae.

    The thing tested with this particular question really is whether you can decode confusingly written questions, with strange pictures including irrelevant details. It’s like a question of whether they can distract you with strange pictures and gnomic phrasing.

    This could be a cultural barrier.

    Story problems are a standard way of teaching math in America. I experienced it throughout my childhood.

    I do not know how math education is done in Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I can understand using story and pictures if they are testing someone's reading skills (or question decoding skill - perhaps this is an art itself).

    But here they are asking simple counting and multiplying (and a bit of dividing) questions, but then 'raising the difficulty' by writing its questions as confusing stories.

    Most skill here tested is in decoding the questions. And then maybe 10% or 20% of your effort will be actually doing 'calculations'.
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  222. Dmitry says:
    @Thorfinnsson


    I caught it on several bases. One – probably silly way – was just finding so many stupid people on the internet who seem to be from America.
     
    The language of the internet is English, which is America's native language. And America has 320 million people--more than Germany, France, and Britain combined.

    You can find smart Americans on the internet as well. Such as myself or many other commenters here.

    If we're so stupid then why are we so rich? An obnoxious argument but not a bad one.

    Regarding your GRE critique I have not taken the exam and will never do so as I only have a high school education. Being rich there is no reason for me to ever pursue higher education.

    That said psychometric exams show that Americans are not dumb, and that white Americans are in fact smarter than most European countries (not all).

    If we’re so stupid then why are we so rich? An obnoxious argument but not a bad one.

    America is the world’s most successful and powerful country. And even when China catches it on GDP maybe within the next 10 years, it will only be because China have almost five times more people.

    So sure, it is a good mystery and we could talk about it for hours.

    Obviously I’m being a bit hyperbolic about Americans, but you know I’m not being totally hyperbolic.

    I think success, and economic success, – and particularly of countries – is related a lot less to individuals being good at academics, than some people claim on websites like this one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    One could ask why we became the world's richest and most powerful country, no?

    And yes, I realize it is simply because we were and are the largest white country and avoided unfortunate communist experiments. And we had the good luck of winning both world wars and mostly used that to our advantage.

    Point being we are not dumber than Germans, Russians, Frenchmen, etc...these are ridiculous ideas.
    , @Anonymous
    China could catch up and start exceeding in just 4 years. Also 325 million v. 1.4 billion so about 4-times population wise.
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  223. Dmitry says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    To the extent multiplying two lengths, and then multiplying another two lengths, and then subtracting one total from the other.

    I would say more counting,
     

    Calculating area is a geometry question by definition.

    It's not sophisticated geometry, but it's geometry.

    And this is even a good real world question. I am in my 30s and no longer remember sophisticated math as it's not relevant to my career. But I do remember every formula for area calculation and use said formulae.

    The thing tested with this particular question really is whether you can decode confusingly written questions, with strange pictures including irrelevant details. It’s like a question of whether they can distract you with strange pictures and gnomic phrasing.
     

    This could be a cultural barrier.

    Story problems are a standard way of teaching math in America. I experienced it throughout my childhood.

    I do not know how math education is done in Russia.

    I can understand using story and pictures if they are testing someone’s reading skills (or question decoding skill – perhaps this is an art itself).

    But here they are asking simple counting and multiplying (and a bit of dividing) questions, but then ‘raising the difficulty’ by writing its questions as confusing stories.

    Most skill here tested is in decoding the questions. And then maybe 10% or 20% of your effort will be actually doing ‘calculations’.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    I think this is just down to cultural differences then.

    This really is how math is taught in America.

    I can't speak for other countries.

    If you want to tell me how math is taught in Russia I am all ears.

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  224. @Dmitry

    If we’re so stupid then why are we so rich? An obnoxious argument but not a bad one.

     

    America is the world's most successful and powerful country. And even when China catches it on GDP maybe within the next 10 years, it will only be because China have almost five times more people.

    So sure, it is a good mystery and we could talk about it for hours.

    Obviously I'm being a bit hyperbolic about Americans, but you know I'm not being totally hyperbolic.

    I think success, and economic success, - and particularly of countries - is related a lot less to individuals being good at academics, than some people claim on websites like this one.

    One could ask why we became the world’s richest and most powerful country, no?

    And yes, I realize it is simply because we were and are the largest white country and avoided unfortunate communist experiments. And we had the good luck of winning both world wars and mostly used that to our advantage.

    Point being we are not dumber than Germans, Russians, Frenchmen, etc…these are ridiculous ideas.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I don't know - American success is some kind of a topic for which there could be dozens of books, each with a different narrative trying to explain it (geographical, ideological, ethnic, religious, etc).

    Some things I'd guess, with a few seconds superficial brainstorming: the protected property rights; the English law system; theProtestant culture in which energetic practical life-style is idolized (without taking many holidays); the long-term commitment to free market capitalist ideology from highest political echelons, etc.
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  225. @Dmitry
    I can understand using story and pictures if they are testing someone's reading skills (or question decoding skill - perhaps this is an art itself).

    But here they are asking simple counting and multiplying (and a bit of dividing) questions, but then 'raising the difficulty' by writing its questions as confusing stories.

    Most skill here tested is in decoding the questions. And then maybe 10% or 20% of your effort will be actually doing 'calculations'.

    I think this is just down to cultural differences then.

    This really is how math is taught in America.

    I can’t speak for other countries.

    If you want to tell me how math is taught in Russia I am all ears.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    If you want to tell me how math is taught in Russia I am all ears.
     
    http://primat.org/_ph/22/2/46753176.jpg
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  226. Dmitry says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    One could ask why we became the world's richest and most powerful country, no?

    And yes, I realize it is simply because we were and are the largest white country and avoided unfortunate communist experiments. And we had the good luck of winning both world wars and mostly used that to our advantage.

    Point being we are not dumber than Germans, Russians, Frenchmen, etc...these are ridiculous ideas.

    I don’t know – American success is some kind of a topic for which there could be dozens of books, each with a different narrative trying to explain it (geographical, ideological, ethnic, religious, etc).

    Some things I’d guess, with a few seconds superficial brainstorming: the protected property rights; the English law system; theProtestant culture in which energetic practical life-style is idolized (without taking many holidays); the long-term commitment to free market capitalist ideology from highest political echelons, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Greasy William
    talk more about what PISA isn't a good proxy for IQ.

    I'm having a hard time figuring out why Armenia and Georgia have such low PISA scores and yet have so many great scientists. Something isn't adding up.
    , @reiner Tor

    Some things I’d guess, with a few seconds superficial brainstorming: the protected property rights; the English law system; theProtestant culture in which energetic practical life-style is idolized (without taking many holidays); the long-term commitment to free market capitalist ideology from highest political echelons, etc.
     
    These were probably at least somewhat important, but a very important factor is inheriting the biggest arable land with a nice weather and lots of natural resources like oil and coal and metals etc. (The area depopulated sometime after Columbus due to the diseases brought by Europeans, before even the first Europeans showed up in the area... bugs traveled faster than people. So its conquest was not harder than the Russian conquest of Siberia. Except that it's worth much more than Siberia because it's better suited to agriculture and so a higher population density could be achieved, which makes it easier to exploit it.)

    Being separated from the rest of the world by two oceans helped a great deal, too: they could always stay out of foreign entanglements if they chose to (even Pearl Harbor was just a result of the embargo and ultimatum sent to the Japanese Empire, they could've easily avoided it. And anyway, by that time all other major powers had already been bleeding (not only literally, but also in terms of economic resources etc.) for two years on average. It wasn't really "luck" that they won both world wars, but a simple fact of geography: they could not be harmed by other powers, while they could enter wars at the time of their choosing, and they were big, meaning they had a lot of weight to throw around, their entry to both world wars was decisive.

    Tl;dr

    A high IQ population stumbling upon a relatively isolated, but gigantic and extremely valuable area, leading to a huge economy and a large (still high IQ) population rich even on per capita terms, as a result of which military-political-cultural success came easily.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Our Hungarian superstar, reiner Tor, nailed it.

    I'm Swedish--a country which has very secure property rights and has basically always had them. Sweden has never undergone invasion or suffered a revolution. We Swedes are also very high quality people.

    Yet America is in fact much richer than Sweden and mostly always has been (Sweden was very close in the 70s).

    I do agree the factors you mentioned matter, but mainly as reiner Tor said it was a quality population having the good luck to stumble into an empty and rich continent.

    And today America's wealth is reinforced I think by our power and the deference the American government gives to business management. As an example I can legally fire my employees at any time for any reason. That's not the case in most other Western countries, including Anglo ones.

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  227. @Dmitry
    I don't know - American success is some kind of a topic for which there could be dozens of books, each with a different narrative trying to explain it (geographical, ideological, ethnic, religious, etc).

    Some things I'd guess, with a few seconds superficial brainstorming: the protected property rights; the English law system; theProtestant culture in which energetic practical life-style is idolized (without taking many holidays); the long-term commitment to free market capitalist ideology from highest political echelons, etc.

    talk more about what PISA isn’t a good proxy for IQ.

    I’m having a hard time figuring out why Armenia and Georgia have such low PISA scores and yet have so many great scientists. Something isn’t adding up.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Teachers probably cannot get all the children sit down long enough to bother to finish this boring test, or to explain how to make sense of these gnomic questions.

    Possibly the bright kids in the class, are the first ones to reject the test.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    All the smart Georgians and Armenians have been emigrating for the past couple of centuries.

    (Though you could say the same about Ireland).

    Anyhow, I don't view it as too much of a puzzle. The general Caucasus IQ level seems to be a Balkan-like 90.
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  228. @Talha
    They do have some fabulous old Christian heritage stuff - really, really old churches and what not.

    Maybe they can appeal to religious tourists; they must have some places where old saints are buried and stuff.

    I know Turkey makes a killing off of people visiting cities Konya to check out the mausoleum and museum of Maulana Rumi (ra):
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_hpEYudIBmNs/TF7eg1T744I/AAAAAAAACKg/ucptzaUSxhM/s1600/jalaluddin-rumi-02-500.jpg

    Peace.

    They do have some fabulous old Christian heritage stuff – really, really old churches and what not.

    Maybe they can appeal to religious tourists; they must have some places where old saints are buried and stuff.

    The problem is their Church has been dogmatically different from most others since the Halcedon Council of 451. It’s not regarded as heresy (the sacraments of Armenians are recognized by Orthodox and vice versa), but still as something alien. Armenian and Greek Churches especially aren’t fond of each other:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    This is right. Like many of the Churches of that region, they weren’t on board with the Byzantine version of Christianity in toto. I’ve even read that Armenians sometimes mounted joint raids with Seljuk Turks into Byzantine territory prior to the Battle of Manzikert.

    So I can see your point. For instance, Sunnis and Shias don’t much visit each others’ respective important sites (barring certain shared ones). That’s too bad because they really have some of the oldest churches in that area.

    Those fisticuffs you showed are one of the reasons a Muslim family has been entrusted with the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for centuries:
    https://www-m.cnn.com/2016/03/26/middleeast/easter-muslim-keyholder/index.html

    Peace.
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  229. Talha says:
    @Toronto Russian

    They do have some fabulous old Christian heritage stuff – really, really old churches and what not.

    Maybe they can appeal to religious tourists; they must have some places where old saints are buried and stuff.
     
    The problem is their Church has been dogmatically different from most others since the Halcedon Council of 451. It's not regarded as heresy (the sacraments of Armenians are recognized by Orthodox and vice versa), but still as something alien. Armenian and Greek Churches especially aren't fond of each other:
    https://youtu.be/Jn90BNz729k

    This is right. Like many of the Churches of that region, they weren’t on board with the Byzantine version of Christianity in toto. I’ve even read that Armenians sometimes mounted joint raids with Seljuk Turks into Byzantine territory prior to the Battle of Manzikert.

    So I can see your point. For instance, Sunnis and Shias don’t much visit each others’ respective important sites (barring certain shared ones). That’s too bad because they really have some of the oldest churches in that area.

    Those fisticuffs you showed are one of the reasons a Muslim family has been entrusted with the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for centuries:

    https://www-m.cnn.com/2016/03/26/middleeast/easter-muslim-keyholder/index.html

    Peace.

    Read More
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  230. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    The meme that Americans are dumb is generally based on one of two factors:

     

    I caught it on several bases. One - probably silly way - was just finding so many stupid people on the internet who seem to be from America.

    For example, here on Karlin it is better, because it seems to have less of them.

    This might not be fair, and just comes from being on websites like this one, instead of one which have more educated professionals from America.


    -
    As for GRE.
    This month my friend is preparing GRE, so over skype and Teamviewer we were preparing the exam, I'm not taking it, but was shocked by how easy it was.

    The maths part is completely shocking - it is maths for 16 year olds. It was impossible not to laugh at those questions.

    But even the English verbal part is easy, and just requires the vocabulary you need to read any academic books in English. So how on earth do Americans, who have English as the native language, make mistakes in the verbal part? How is this possible?

    And they use this exam for graduate university entry, for native born Americans who speak English as the first language?

    I feel like I must have made some kind of mistake and misunderstood the purpose of the exam.

    This month my friend is preparing GRE, so over skype and Teamviewer we were preparing the exam, I’m not taking it, but was shocked by how easy it was.

    The maths part is completely shocking – it is maths for 16 year olds. It was impossible not to laugh at those questions.

    I suspect he won’t get 100%.

    But even the English verbal part is easy, and just requires the vocabulary you need to read any academic books in English. So how on earth do Americans, who have English as the native language, make mistakes in the verbal part? How is this possible?

    It’s not only possible but almost certain. GRE is correlated with IQ. Someone with an IQ of 135 (top 1%) would expect to get a GRE score of 1300 on Verbal plus Quantitative – would get a few answers wrong.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    It’s not only possible but almost certain. GRE is correlated with IQ. Someone with an IQ of 135 (top 1%) would expect to get a GRE score of 1300 on Verbal plus Quantitative – would get a few answers wrong.

     

    It correlates with basic knowledge or preparation in these areas tested. A clever person in Africa, that didn't go to school, and doesn't have access to English books, would find the exam impossible. While a stupid person from an English speaking country, who has some preparation and takes classes to discuss the questions, will find it easy.

    I suspect he won’t get 100%.

     

    My friend is planning to apply later in the year, for postgraduate in Computer Science. Particulary - Stanford University.

    However, the entrance and scholarship requirements are just - the GRE test, three letters of recommendation and an English language test.

    There's no additional 'difficult exam', to distinguish a person through.

    This seems to make the admission process very unfair.

    So how can you guarantee entry to the university? How do you show that's you're a good student, when they give you this kind of exam.

    The GRE score should be near to 100% in the maths - as the questions are simple and there's nothing difficult at all contained in the exam. But probably the score will be less in the English, as a some of the questions are sometimes badly designed and confusing (with more than one correct answer).
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  231. @Dmitry
    I don't know - American success is some kind of a topic for which there could be dozens of books, each with a different narrative trying to explain it (geographical, ideological, ethnic, religious, etc).

    Some things I'd guess, with a few seconds superficial brainstorming: the protected property rights; the English law system; theProtestant culture in which energetic practical life-style is idolized (without taking many holidays); the long-term commitment to free market capitalist ideology from highest political echelons, etc.

    Some things I’d guess, with a few seconds superficial brainstorming: the protected property rights; the English law system; theProtestant culture in which energetic practical life-style is idolized (without taking many holidays); the long-term commitment to free market capitalist ideology from highest political echelons, etc.

    These were probably at least somewhat important, but a very important factor is inheriting the biggest arable land with a nice weather and lots of natural resources like oil and coal and metals etc. (The area depopulated sometime after Columbus due to the diseases brought by Europeans, before even the first Europeans showed up in the area… bugs traveled faster than people. So its conquest was not harder than the Russian conquest of Siberia. Except that it’s worth much more than Siberia because it’s better suited to agriculture and so a higher population density could be achieved, which makes it easier to exploit it.)

    Being separated from the rest of the world by two oceans helped a great deal, too: they could always stay out of foreign entanglements if they chose to (even Pearl Harbor was just a result of the embargo and ultimatum sent to the Japanese Empire, they could’ve easily avoided it. And anyway, by that time all other major powers had already been bleeding (not only literally, but also in terms of economic resources etc.) for two years on average. It wasn’t really “luck” that they won both world wars, but a simple fact of geography: they could not be harmed by other powers, while they could enter wars at the time of their choosing, and they were big, meaning they had a lot of weight to throw around, their entry to both world wars was decisive.

    Tl;dr

    A high IQ population stumbling upon a relatively isolated, but gigantic and extremely valuable area, leading to a huge economy and a large (still high IQ) population rich even on per capita terms, as a result of which military-political-cultural success came easily.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    These were probably at least somewhat important, but a very important factor is inheriting the biggest arable land with a nice weather and lots of natural resources like oil and coal and metals etc.

    Agriculture and extractive industries currently account for about 5% of value-added in this country. Try another excuse.

    Nebraska has its virtues. Nice weather is not among them. You're not from around here, are you?
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    I speculated about some of the reasons for America's overperformance on GDPcc relative to IQ levels here: https://www.unz.com/akarlin/national-wealth-and-iq/

    Additional reason I encountered since: Americans have much greater labor mobility than Europeans. Going to work from California to Texas happens all the time in the US - you don't see that either in the EU, nor even within European countries.
    https://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2012/07/labour-mobility
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  232. @Dmitry
    The assets would be turned off most of the time (so they can't be located). So it would all depend on intelligence about where they are stored, but Syria is the country which is most highly surveilled, with all kinds of different suveillance.

    So it would all depend on intelligence about where they are stored

    We’re talking about a bunch of trucks and similar, which are somewhere. They are not huge, and could move easily. The fact they aren’t turned on also means it’s difficult to measure their exact location, and without exact coordinates it’s not very easy to hit them.

    I’d guess they could perhaps be damaged, but completely destroyed would be near impossible.

    Arab incompetence is the only hope there is to destroy it, but for at least a year it will be manned by Russians, and maybe later, too.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Here's another take on the missile strikes two weeks ago:

    http://www.unz.com/plang/are-the-russians-correct/

    I think it's obvious that the Syrian air defense systems under a unified (Russian) command perform relatively well. (Maybe the Russians were told of the targets in advance? So maybe it was more similar to a military exercise for both sides than a real military engagement? On the other hand the most modern equipment was not even engaged. Both the Americans and their satellites and the Russian/Syrian air defense got some target practice.)

    If it was so easy to destroy them, why would Israel be so angry or worried about their deployment?
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  233. JL says:
    @Thorfinnsson


    I caught it on several bases. One – probably silly way – was just finding so many stupid people on the internet who seem to be from America.
     
    The language of the internet is English, which is America's native language. And America has 320 million people--more than Germany, France, and Britain combined.

    You can find smart Americans on the internet as well. Such as myself or many other commenters here.

    If we're so stupid then why are we so rich? An obnoxious argument but not a bad one.

    Regarding your GRE critique I have not taken the exam and will never do so as I only have a high school education. Being rich there is no reason for me to ever pursue higher education.

    That said psychometric exams show that Americans are not dumb, and that white Americans are in fact smarter than most European countries (not all).

    I only have a high school education. Being rich there is no reason for me to ever pursue higher education.

    I just want to take a quick second and thank you for posting here so prolifically. While your worldview is mostly anathema to mine, your heavy handed commenting style, immodesty, and eschewing of social norms are quite endearing. AK’s blog is a great place to converse with interesting characters you’d probably never get to meet irl (and even if you did, would unlikely be as honest in conversation as they are here).

    Read More
    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Thank you for your kind remark JL. You should absorb my worldview completely.

    I am open with my views IRL, though I try (and mostly fail) to avoid discussing politics etc. irl as it's not conducive to making money.

    And yes AK's blog is a hothouse of interesting people. As an American I especially enjoy the European and Russian commenters.
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  234. @reiner Tor

    So it would all depend on intelligence about where they are stored
     
    We're talking about a bunch of trucks and similar, which are somewhere. They are not huge, and could move easily. The fact they aren't turned on also means it's difficult to measure their exact location, and without exact coordinates it's not very easy to hit them.

    I'd guess they could perhaps be damaged, but completely destroyed would be near impossible.

    Arab incompetence is the only hope there is to destroy it, but for at least a year it will be manned by Russians, and maybe later, too.

    Here’s another take on the missile strikes two weeks ago:

    http://www.unz.com/plang/are-the-russians-correct/

    I think it’s obvious that the Syrian air defense systems under a unified (Russian) command perform relatively well. (Maybe the Russians were told of the targets in advance? So maybe it was more similar to a military exercise for both sides than a real military engagement? On the other hand the most modern equipment was not even engaged. Both the Americans and their satellites and the Russian/Syrian air defense got some target practice.)

    If it was so easy to destroy them, why would Israel be so angry or worried about their deployment?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    The radar and some of the missiles can cover their whole country, and even light up on civilian aviation across the whole country.

    So I understand why they would complain.

    As for destroying it - it would be a question of knowing where it is being stored at that time (this might be the easier part - it depends on their surveillance), and of international relations, in particular with Russia (this is a difficult part - there has to be a response against Israel if they blow up the $1 billion free gift)
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  235. Anonymous[405] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dmitry

    If we’re so stupid then why are we so rich? An obnoxious argument but not a bad one.

     

    America is the world's most successful and powerful country. And even when China catches it on GDP maybe within the next 10 years, it will only be because China have almost five times more people.

    So sure, it is a good mystery and we could talk about it for hours.

    Obviously I'm being a bit hyperbolic about Americans, but you know I'm not being totally hyperbolic.

    I think success, and economic success, - and particularly of countries - is related a lot less to individuals being good at academics, than some people claim on websites like this one.

    China could catch up and start exceeding in just 4 years. Also 325 million v. 1.4 billion so about 4-times population wise.

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  236. @Dmitry
    I don't know - American success is some kind of a topic for which there could be dozens of books, each with a different narrative trying to explain it (geographical, ideological, ethnic, religious, etc).

    Some things I'd guess, with a few seconds superficial brainstorming: the protected property rights; the English law system; theProtestant culture in which energetic practical life-style is idolized (without taking many holidays); the long-term commitment to free market capitalist ideology from highest political echelons, etc.

    Our Hungarian superstar, reiner Tor, nailed it.

    I’m Swedish–a country which has very secure property rights and has basically always had them. Sweden has never undergone invasion or suffered a revolution. We Swedes are also very high quality people.

    Yet America is in fact much richer than Sweden and mostly always has been (Sweden was very close in the 70s).

    I do agree the factors you mentioned matter, but mainly as reiner Tor said it was a quality population having the good luck to stumble into an empty and rich continent.

    And today America’s wealth is reinforced I think by our power and the deference the American government gives to business management. As an example I can legally fire my employees at any time for any reason. That’s not the case in most other Western countries, including Anglo ones.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Polish Perspective

    Sweden has never undergone invasion or suffered a revolution.
     
    That is nonsense. Russians invaded Sweden and in fact ransacked your whole coast in the 1720s.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Pillage_of_1719–21

    In fact, there's even a pub in Gamla Stan today which is named after the Treaty of Nystad, which followed Sweden's decisive defeat. ("Den Gyllene Freden" or 'Golden Peace' in English). This is because Russia got away with comparatively little compared to how thoroughly Sweden was beaten. Why? Because of diplomatic interventions by the UK which sought to maintain a balance of power in the Baltic Sea and not because of some heroic Swedish efforts, plus the fact that Peter the Great frankly saw Sweden as a dimished power by then and wanted to focus on internal reforms.

    We Swedes are also very high quality people.
     
    Nords in general are probably the best people on the Earth. Though among Nords I'd rank Danes ahead of Swedes currently even if historically the best-achieveing Nords were Swedes. But you can't rest on your laurels.

    Yet America is in fact much richer than Sweden and mostly always has been (Sweden was very close in the 70s).
     
    In what universe do you exist?

    https://i.imgur.com/jrbIHyO.png

    Granted, it is lower if you look at PPP-adjustments, but even then, consider that GDP per capita is also influenced by the hours worked. Swedes work fewer hours than Americans. If you normalise per hours, the two countries are very close. And Sweden has better life expentancy, better institutions, lower corruption, much lower debt and it is running a strong budget surplus. Sweden is maybe less exciting, but it is certainly a better country by most measures.
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  237. @JL

    I only have a high school education. Being rich there is no reason for me to ever pursue higher education.
     
    I just want to take a quick second and thank you for posting here so prolifically. While your worldview is mostly anathema to mine, your heavy handed commenting style, immodesty, and eschewing of social norms are quite endearing. AK's blog is a great place to converse with interesting characters you'd probably never get to meet irl (and even if you did, would unlikely be as honest in conversation as they are here).

    Thank you for your kind remark JL. You should absorb my worldview completely.

    I am open with my views IRL, though I try (and mostly fail) to avoid discussing politics etc. irl as it’s not conducive to making money.

    And yes AK’s blog is a hothouse of interesting people. As an American I especially enjoy the European and Russian commenters.

    Read More
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  238. I am going to start calling reiner Tor the “Magyar Miracle”.

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    • LOL: reiner Tor
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  239. @German_reader

    Do you listen to Kollegah?
     
    Certainly not.
    Haven't followed the affair in detail (don't read much German msm anymore)...basically my attitude is "a pox on both their houses".
    Kollegah is certainly underclass trash (also an Islamic convert...which I find quite creepy).
    On the other hand, I resent the hysteria about antisemitism cooked up by the msm. If a German (or some foreign legal resident like Chinese students or tourists) is raped, stabbed or murdered by "refugees", it's just collateral damage on the road to multicultural utopia. But if harsh words are said about Jews, it's cause for the gravest concern... (and we're all responsible for it, the guilt is on all of us!). It just shows what a pathetic country Germany is, forever a prisoner of its past.
    And I have to admit, when Kollegah dissed and mocked politically correct "punk" singer Campino (big fan of Angela Merkel), it brought a smile on my face :-)

    I looked it up, this Campino is the lead singer of Die Toten Hosen, that band is not unknown in Hungary. Politically correct punk bands are just pathetic, punk was supposed to be about being rebellious or something.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Politically correct punk bands are just pathetic, punk was supposed to be about being rebellious or something.
     
    Exactly...hard to take "punks" seriously who admire Angela Merkel...
    Campino's just a stupid, rich idiot. Like most pop stars.
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  240. @German_reader

    Do you listen to Kollegah?
     
    Certainly not.
    Haven't followed the affair in detail (don't read much German msm anymore)...basically my attitude is "a pox on both their houses".
    Kollegah is certainly underclass trash (also an Islamic convert...which I find quite creepy).
    On the other hand, I resent the hysteria about antisemitism cooked up by the msm. If a German (or some foreign legal resident like Chinese students or tourists) is raped, stabbed or murdered by "refugees", it's just collateral damage on the road to multicultural utopia. But if harsh words are said about Jews, it's cause for the gravest concern... (and we're all responsible for it, the guilt is on all of us!). It just shows what a pathetic country Germany is, forever a prisoner of its past.
    And I have to admit, when Kollegah dissed and mocked politically correct "punk" singer Campino (big fan of Angela Merkel), it brought a smile on my face :-)

    Kollegah was born to a single mother, and he converted under the influence of his Algerian stepfather at the age of 15. I think you have all information on what kind of upbringing he had. Who can blame him for converting?

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Who can blame him for converting?
     
    Still feels wrong to me, evokes the kind of feelings the John Wayne character has in "The searchers". But I see your point.
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  241. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    This month my friend is preparing GRE, so over skype and Teamviewer we were preparing the exam, I’m not taking it, but was shocked by how easy it was.

    The maths part is completely shocking – it is maths for 16 year olds. It was impossible not to laugh at those questions.
     
    I suspect he won't get 100%.

    But even the English verbal part is easy, and just requires the vocabulary you need to read any academic books in English. So how on earth do Americans, who have English as the native language, make mistakes in the verbal part? How is this possible?
     
    It's not only possible but almost certain. GRE is correlated with IQ. Someone with an IQ of 135 (top 1%) would expect to get a GRE score of 1300 on Verbal plus Quantitative - would get a few answers wrong.

    It’s not only possible but almost certain. GRE is correlated with IQ. Someone with an IQ of 135 (top 1%) would expect to get a GRE score of 1300 on Verbal plus Quantitative – would get a few answers wrong.

    It correlates with basic knowledge or preparation in these areas tested. A clever person in Africa, that didn’t go to school, and doesn’t have access to English books, would find the exam impossible. While a stupid person from an English speaking country, who has some preparation and takes classes to discuss the questions, will find it easy.

    I suspect he won’t get 100%.

    My friend is planning to apply later in the year, for postgraduate in Computer Science. Particulary – Stanford University.

    However, the entrance and scholarship requirements are just – the GRE test, three letters of recommendation and an English language test.

    There’s no additional ‘difficult exam’, to distinguish a person through.

    This seems to make the admission process very unfair.

    So how can you guarantee entry to the university? How do you show that’s you’re a good student, when they give you this kind of exam.

    The GRE score should be near to 100% in the maths – as the questions are simple and there’s nothing difficult at all contained in the exam. But probably the score will be less in the English, as a some of the questions are sometimes badly designed and confusing (with more than one correct answer).

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    My friend is planning to apply later in the year, for postgraduate in Computer Science. Particulary – Stanford University.
     
    On that elite level he may be close to 100% on math, but even that is not absolutely certain.

    But probably the score will be less in the English, as a some of the questions are sometimes badly designed and confusing (with more than one correct answer).
     
    Some logic is involved, and that requires not just rote learning but intelligence.
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  242. @Polish Perspective
    More polls.

    https://jodi.graphics/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Generally-speaking-most-people-in-your-country-can-be-trusted-of-_Agree_-answers-Eurobarometer-471-April-2018.png

    Hajnal Line is moving east.

    Read More
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  243. Dmitry says:
    @Greasy William
    talk more about what PISA isn't a good proxy for IQ.

    I'm having a hard time figuring out why Armenia and Georgia have such low PISA scores and yet have so many great scientists. Something isn't adding up.

    Teachers probably cannot get all the children sit down long enough to bother to finish this boring test, or to explain how to make sense of these gnomic questions.

    Possibly the bright kids in the class, are the first ones to reject the test.

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  244. @reiner Tor
    I don't have a subscription any longer, I just clicked on a link shared by someone, and copied the URL from the browser. But this was the exact link I clicked on:

    https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcontent%2Fb558418a-43ee-11e8-803a-295c97e6fd0b&h=ATNqFaTvojN5xgzEvSTs-mB3p0TdAyPc8KYBMzSuuS4rtSMmhi22c88oiiTfMsQTa6BHLPuBvJrcpmdMepiiTkgxk6ho7TYNnjHxiUEBj5iqLXBJog

    Edit: it doesn't work from here.

    FT links usually open if you just search their title on Google and enter them from the search results.

    Also doing it from Chrome Incognito would probably help.

    Works for me 95% of the time.

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  245. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor
    Here's another take on the missile strikes two weeks ago:

    http://www.unz.com/plang/are-the-russians-correct/

    I think it's obvious that the Syrian air defense systems under a unified (Russian) command perform relatively well. (Maybe the Russians were told of the targets in advance? So maybe it was more similar to a military exercise for both sides than a real military engagement? On the other hand the most modern equipment was not even engaged. Both the Americans and their satellites and the Russian/Syrian air defense got some target practice.)

    If it was so easy to destroy them, why would Israel be so angry or worried about their deployment?

    The radar and some of the missiles can cover their whole country, and even light up on civilian aviation across the whole country.

    So I understand why they would complain.

    As for destroying it – it would be a question of knowing where it is being stored at that time (this might be the easier part – it depends on their surveillance), and of international relations, in particular with Russia (this is a difficult part – there has to be a response against Israel if they blow up the $1 billion free gift)

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    As for destroying it – it would be a question of knowing where it is being stored at that time (this might be the easier part – it depends on their surveillance)
     
    We'll see. Provided the Russians will indeed deliver it.
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  246. @reiner Tor
    I looked it up, this Campino is the lead singer of Die Toten Hosen, that band is not unknown in Hungary. Politically correct punk bands are just pathetic, punk was supposed to be about being rebellious or something.

    Politically correct punk bands are just pathetic, punk was supposed to be about being rebellious or something.

    Exactly…hard to take “punks” seriously who admire Angela Merkel…
    Campino’s just a stupid, rich idiot. Like most pop stars.

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  247. @reiner Tor
    Kollegah was born to a single mother, and he converted under the influence of his Algerian stepfather at the age of 15. I think you have all information on what kind of upbringing he had. Who can blame him for converting?

    Who can blame him for converting?

    Still feels wrong to me, evokes the kind of feelings the John Wayne character has in “The searchers”. But I see your point.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Yeah, it does feel wrong. But understandable.
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  248. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says:
    @German_reader

    Do you listen to Kollegah?
     
    Certainly not.
    Haven't followed the affair in detail (don't read much German msm anymore)...basically my attitude is "a pox on both their houses".
    Kollegah is certainly underclass trash (also an Islamic convert...which I find quite creepy).
    On the other hand, I resent the hysteria about antisemitism cooked up by the msm. If a German (or some foreign legal resident like Chinese students or tourists) is raped, stabbed or murdered by "refugees", it's just collateral damage on the road to multicultural utopia. But if harsh words are said about Jews, it's cause for the gravest concern... (and we're all responsible for it, the guilt is on all of us!). It just shows what a pathetic country Germany is, forever a prisoner of its past.
    And I have to admit, when Kollegah dissed and mocked politically correct "punk" singer Campino (big fan of Angela Merkel), it brought a smile on my face :-)

    Just think of Islam like one of the weirder semi-Christian sects, like Unitarianism.

    Okay, that didn’t make it less creepy. Think of it like Marxism then?

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    • LOL: Talha
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Think of it like Marxism then?
     
    Interesting idea, might be a new approach for combating Islamophobia...just think of Muslims as today's commies, what could go wrong...Oh wait :-)
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  249. @Art Deco
    It’s more that Americans are incredibly stupid on average – so that any foreigner who arrives there will seem like a genius.

    And, yet, we incredibly stupid people outproduce our Eurotrash detractors, year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation.

    we

    We? Americans are people of European heritage. You’re a Semite. Do not speak for them, jew.

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    • LOL: Thorfinnsson
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Art Deco isn't Jewish, he's just a conventional middle-aged American nationalist who's easily triggered by what he perceives as slights to US national honour.
    And please, with all due respect, but it would be better if you didn't resort to racially based ad hominems, it doesn't improve the atmosphere of discussion around here.
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  250. @Dmitry
    The radar and some of the missiles can cover their whole country, and even light up on civilian aviation across the whole country.

    So I understand why they would complain.

    As for destroying it - it would be a question of knowing where it is being stored at that time (this might be the easier part - it depends on their surveillance), and of international relations, in particular with Russia (this is a difficult part - there has to be a response against Israel if they blow up the $1 billion free gift)

    As for destroying it – it would be a question of knowing where it is being stored at that time (this might be the easier part – it depends on their surveillance)

    We’ll see. Provided the Russians will indeed deliver it.

    Read More
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  251. @Thorfinnsson
    Our Hungarian superstar, reiner Tor, nailed it.

    I'm Swedish--a country which has very secure property rights and has basically always had them. Sweden has never undergone invasion or suffered a revolution. We Swedes are also very high quality people.

    Yet America is in fact much richer than Sweden and mostly always has been (Sweden was very close in the 70s).

    I do agree the factors you mentioned matter, but mainly as reiner Tor said it was a quality population having the good luck to stumble into an empty and rich continent.

    And today America's wealth is reinforced I think by our power and the deference the American government gives to business management. As an example I can legally fire my employees at any time for any reason. That's not the case in most other Western countries, including Anglo ones.

    Sweden has never undergone invasion or suffered a revolution.

    That is nonsense. Russians invaded Sweden and in fact ransacked your whole coast in the 1720s.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Pillage_of_1719–21

    In fact, there’s even a pub in Gamla Stan today which is named after the Treaty of Nystad, which followed Sweden’s decisive defeat. (“Den Gyllene Freden” or ‘Golden Peace’ in English). This is because Russia got away with comparatively little compared to how thoroughly Sweden was beaten. Why? Because of diplomatic interventions by the UK which sought to maintain a balance of power in the Baltic Sea and not because of some heroic Swedish efforts, plus the fact that Peter the Great frankly saw Sweden as a dimished power by then and wanted to focus on internal reforms.

    We Swedes are also very high quality people.

    Nords in general are probably the best people on the Earth. Though among Nords I’d rank Danes ahead of Swedes currently even if historically the best-achieveing Nords were Swedes. But you can’t rest on your laurels.

    Yet America is in fact much richer than Sweden and mostly always has been (Sweden was very close in the 70s).

    In what universe do you exist?

    Granted, it is lower if you look at PPP-adjustments, but even then, consider that GDP per capita is also influenced by the hours worked. Swedes work fewer hours than Americans. If you normalise per hours, the two countries are very close. And Sweden has better life expentancy, better institutions, lower corruption, much lower debt and it is running a strong budget surplus. Sweden is maybe less exciting, but it is certainly a better country by most measures.

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    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson


    That is nonsense. Russians invaded Sweden and in fact ransacked your whole coast in the 1720s.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Pillage_of_1719–21

    In fact, there’s even a pub in Gamla Stan today which is named after the Treaty of Nystad, which followed Sweden’s decisive defeat. (“Den Gyllene Freden” or ‘Golden Peace’ in English). This is because Russia got away with comparatively little compared to how thoroughly Sweden was beaten. Why? Because of diplomatic interventions by the UK which sought to maintain a balance of power in the Baltic Sea and not because of some heroic Swedish efforts, plus the fact that Peter the Great frankly saw Sweden as a dimished power by then and wanted to focus on internal reforms.
     
    Compare this single Russian raid to, for instance, your own history. Coastal ransacking is not good but it isn't an invasion.


    Nords in general are probably the best people on the Earth. Though among Nords I’d rank Danes ahead of Swedes currently even if historically the best-achieveing Nords were Swedes. But you can’t rest on your laurels.
     
    Danes beat Swedes today simply because of politics. Fortunately the Sweden Democrats continue rising but the mainstream tendency in Sweden continues to be self-abolition.


    In what universe do you exist?
     
    The universe of purchasing power parity, as you already hinted at.


    Granted, it is lower if you look at PPP-adjustments, but even then, consider that GDP per capita is also influenced by the hours worked. Swedes work fewer hours than Americans. If you normalise per hours, the two countries are very close. And Sweden has better life expentancy, better institutions, lower corruption, much lower debt and it is running a strong budget surplus. Sweden is maybe less exciting, but it is certainly a better country by most measures.
     
    I see the lower number of hours worked in Western Europe compared to America as a failure rather than a success. These countries could be as rich as us but instead waste time with their stupid vacations. You can hardly get anyone on the phone at all in Sweden during the summer. People even have automatic e-mail responses announcing they won't get back to you until vacation is over.