PDA

View Full Version : Should Belgium Separate?



Coolboygcp
16-03-14, 13:24
For many years, many of the Vlaams (Flemish) and Walloons have felt that their rights are being infringed upon, that French-speaking Belgians are reducing the amount Dutch-speaking Belgians (and vice-versa), and other concerns. Thus, many Belgians want the nation to separate.

Belgium has had times where many people have wanted Belgium to separate. However, at present, there is argurably the most support for the separation of Belgium than ever before.

But how will this proceed? Will Belgium actually separate? Will be Wallonia and Flanders be independent states? And if so, what will become of Brussels? Will it become a city-state, or perhaps an EU Capital District? And what will happen to the German-speak Community of Belgium?

What do you think Eupedians? Post below, or vote in the poll above!

bicicleur
16-03-14, 16:56
it's the Walloon socialist party that wants to keep the status-quo for the whole of Belgium for as long as possible
their allies are the political establishment

let's see after the 25 may election whether they still get away with that

Maciamo
16-03-14, 23:55
I posted 7 years ago about the likelihood of Belgium splitting up (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/24702-Will-Belgium-split-into-2-countries) and whether Flanders should divorce Wallonia (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/24349-The-Belgian-identity-should-Flanders-divorce-Wallonia), and my views remain the same now since not much has changed.

Aberdeen
17-03-14, 00:33
I have some questions for you, Maciamo.

You suggest that many Flemish people (although not all) would like to separate from Wallonia, and want Brussels to remain the capital of the Flemish people. So, how is that viewpoint affected by all the jobs that the EU provides in Brussels? If the Flemish speaking part of Belgium separated from Wallonia and insisted on keeping Brussels, wouldn't France probably push to move EU functions out of Brussels, resulting in a loss of jobs? Since Germany probably doesn't care one way or another, they might go along with such changes just to keep the French happy. Does that possibility lessen the enthusiasm of some Flemish speaking people for separation?

Also, you suggested that the best approach might be some sort of confederation with the Flemish nothern area and Wallonia each being fairly autonomous, with Brussels perhaps being a third entity in the confederacy. That sounds good in theory, but would it really end the quarelling? As long as Wallonia is poorer, won't the Walloons continue to want and expect subsidies and be dissatisfied with the arrangement unless they get financial help from the rest of Belgium?

As you probably know, there is a separatist movement here in Canada, caused by the fact that one province (Quebec) is mostly French and they don't like being a minority language group, so they're always saying that they want a system they call "sovereignty association", which apparently means that they want to act like a separate nation while still receiving federal subsidies. Quebec is a poor province with a lot of unemployment and it receives a lot of federal money, and also benefits from laws and regulations designed to keep some jobs in Quebec artificially. French Quebecers want to keep that system while being able to act like a separate government. That's why a lot of English speaking people would be glad to see that back of Quebec if it was on one end of the country instead of in the middle. But because of where it's located, we have to try to keep the country together. However, the geography of Belgium is such that it could be split in two, with only Brussels being a point of contention. That makes the idea of a confederacy easy, but if the two halves continued to quarrel about money, would it not also be simple for the northern part of Belgian to get fed up and say "go away Wallonia - you're on your own"? But would the EU jobs in Brussels make that impossible?

bicicleur
17-03-14, 10:39
I have some questions for you, Maciamo.

You suggest that many Flemish people (although not all) would like to separate from Wallonia, and want Brussels to remain the capital of the Flemish people.

Also, you suggested that the best approach might be some sort of confederation with the Flemish nothern area and Wallonia each being fairly autonomous, with Brussels perhaps being a third entity in the confederacy. That sounds good in theory, but would it really end the quarelling? As long as Wallonia is poorer, won't the Walloons continue to want and expect subsidies and be dissatisfied with the arrangement unless they get financial help from the rest of Belgium?

As you probably know, there is a separatist movement here in Canada, caused by the fact that one province (Quebec) is mostly French and they don't like being a minority language group, so they're always saying that they want a system they call "sovereignty association", which apparently means that they want to act like a separate nation while still receiving federal subsidies. Quebec is a poor province with a lot of unemployment and it receives a lot of federal money, and also benefits from laws and regulations designed to keep some jobs in Quebec artificially.

In Belgium it is the other way around.
Wallonia used to be the heart of the industrial revolution on the continent in the 1st half of the 19th century, with coal mines and steel and prosperity.
Flanders was poor, many Flemish people went to work in Walloon coalmines.
Now it is the other way around.
Flanders has developped a new economy, the old Walloon coal and iron industry has gone, while Walloon socialists always tried to maintain status quo, suffocating economical reconversion. It is Flanders that has to pay the bill for this diseaster.
Flanders wants to stop this, but socialists are very strong in Wallonia. Flemmish voters are more liberal, but in order to form a government they always have to negotiate with the Walloon socialists.
If the Flemish want to seperate in a legal way - nobody is suggesting the use of violence or power - the Walloons will put a big price tag on it.

Brussels is another big problem. It is very bad governed, with complicated structures and lots of power for the local town mayors, who only care for their local voters and for local issues. The unemployment in Brussels is even higher than in Wallonia and they have big deficits which have to be financed again by the Flemish.

Coolboygcp
17-03-14, 13:28
it's the Walloon socialist party that wants to keep the status-quo for the whole of Belgium for as long as possible
their allies are the political establishment

let's see after the 25 may election whether they still get away with that
Hopefully the Walloon Socialist Party and their allies will not get reelected; and Belgium will separate.

Aberdeen
17-03-14, 19:58
In Belgium it is the other way around.
Wallonia used to be the heart of the industrial revolution on the continent in the 1st half of the 19th century, with coal mines and steel and prosperity.
Flanders was poor, many Flemish people went to work in Walloon coalmines.
Now it is the other way around.
Flanders has developped a new economy, the old Walloon coal and iron industry has gone, while Walloon socialists always tried to maintain status quo, suffocating economical reconversion. It is Flanders that has to pay the bill for this diseaster.
Flanders wants to stop this, but socialists are very strong in Wallonia. Flemmish voters are more liberal, but in order to form a government they always have to negotiate with the Walloon socialists.
If the Flemish want to seperate in a legal way - nobody is suggesting the use of violence or power - the Walloons will put a big price tag on it.

Brussels is another big problem. It is very bad governed, with complicated structures and lots of power for the local town mayors, who only care for their local voters and for local issues. The unemployment in Brussels is even higher than in Wallonia and they have big deficits which have to be financed again by the Flemish.

Yes, I was aware of all this, except for the high rate of unemployment in Brussels - I would have thought that the EU presence would have created a number of well paying jobs. But your comments don't actually address my questions. I don't think that more regional autonomy will prevent quarrels between the part of Belgium that wants subsidies and the more prosperous part that has to pay for such subsidies. So I would expect the end result of any push for more regional autonomy would be a complete breakup of the country into two or possibly three separate countries, except that such a solution might be rejected for fear that it could result in some EU functions being moved to another country. I was wondering whether someone who lives in Belgium could tell me whether either of those assumptions are valid.

bicicleur
17-03-14, 21:25
Hopefully the Walloon Socialist Party and their allies will not get reelected; and Belgium will separate.

The socialists are very strong in Wallonia, and there is something viscious about it : the more the Flemish pay to support the nation, the stronger the socialists get in Wallonia.

bicicleur
17-03-14, 21:36
Yes, I was aware of all this, except for the high rate of unemployment in Brussels - I would have thought that the EU presence would have created a number of well paying jobs. But your comments don't actually address my questions. I don't think that more regional autonomy will prevent quarrels between the part of Belgium that wants subsidies and the more prosperous part that has to pay for such subsidies. So I would expect the end result of any push for more regional autonomy would be a complete breakup of the country into two or possibly three separate countries, except that such a solution might be rejected for fear that it could result in some EU functions being moved to another country. I was wondering whether someone who lives in Belgium could tell me whether either of those assumptions are valid.

Unemployment in Brussels is high because of many immigrants without any education. They don't speak Flemish and they hardly speak French. They don't do any effort to become fit for a job, they live on welfare and the town mayors keep it like that, because the welfare is paid by the federal Belgian state.

Nobody realy knows what should happen to Brussels when Belgium would split. Both Flemish and Walloons want Brussels to stay capital of Europe, but they don't expect that EU functions will move away, it is not an issue for the moment.

Aberdeen
17-03-14, 22:00
Okay, so neither Flemish nor Walloons think that separation will affect whether Brussels remains the centre of the EU. As for partial autonomy, if we look at what happened with Scotland, partial "devolution" of government from England lead to plans for a vote on complete separation, because both Scots and English think that the present system is unfair for them. If that happens in Belgium, I think the Walloons will be unhappy with the results, once there are no more federal subsidies. Maybe they'd try to join France, but if that happens, they might find they don't like life as citizens of France, since it's very much a centralized government and regions can be neglected to some extent.

Aberdeen
17-03-14, 22:08
The socialists are very strong in Wallonia, and there is something viscious about it : the more the Flemish pay to support the nation, the stronger the socialists get in Wallonia.

It's the same in Canada. The separatist party isn't socialist but its success in Quebec depends on how many concessions it can get from the rest of Canada. If Quebec francophones decide that the rest of Canada is getting fed up with separatist demands, they quit voting for the separatist party. But if the federal government tries the appeasement approach, that always results in more votes for the separatist party.

Aberdeen
17-03-14, 22:18
Separation seems to be a popular theme in Europe these days. This article is from the Huffington Post.

"The area around Venice, in northern Italy, is holding an online referendum this week on whether or not to separate from the rest of the country. Polls suggest two-thirds of the four million voters in Venice and the surrounding area, which encompasses the cities of Treviso, Vincenza and Verona, support secession, the U.K.'s The Week reports. The Italian media hasn't been paying much attention to the referendum, which is not legally binding, but some voters say if a majority vote yes, they will start withholding taxes and pay them to the local authorities instead, a movement spokesman told the Daily Telegraph. Supporters of separation want to see the creation of a state called the Republic of Veneto. Their dissatisfaction stems from a broad sentiment that the wealthier northern region doesn't benefit enough from the tax revenue it provides and that a disproportionate amount of that money is wasted by Rome and the poorer south. While the desire for independence may come as a surprise to many non-Italians, Venice has been a separate state for far longer than it has been part of Italy. It was its own autonomous region for more than a thousand years until 1797, when Napoleon conquered the area and it subsequently became part of Austria. Venice joined Italy in 1866. But Venetians aren't the only ones in Europe interested in secession. Scotland will hold its own referendum in September on leaving the U.K., and the Spanish region of Catalonia is planning a vote for Nov. 9, although Spain's government has pledged to stop it from happening."

So perhaps there will eventually be hundreds or thousands of city states in a united EU. Then the various city states, rich and poor, can fight about state subsidies on an European level, without it being a national issue. Hmmm. Perhaps separation will solve nothing.

Coolboygcp
17-03-14, 23:05
I think that the following should happen.

A referendum should be put forward, concerning the future of the Belgian state.

If the people vote for separation, which is most likely, the the following should happen in my opinion:

Flanders should become an independent nation.
Wallonia should become an independent nation.
Brussels should become an EU Capital District.
The German-speaking Community should become an independent nation.

Coolboygcp
17-03-14, 23:19
The socialists are very strong in Wallonia, and there is something viscious about it : the more the Flemish pay to support the nation, the stronger the socialists get in Wallonia.

Hmm. I wonder why this is. Perhaps the more money the Flemish give them, the stronger socialism gets in Wallonia; because they want to rebel against the establishment and the Flemish people.

What do you think should happen to Belgium?

LeBrok
17-03-14, 23:53
Generally the trend in all Europe is for stronger regional and ethnic independence or strong autonomy, and as such belonging to big EU. I consider it a natural process, healthy and unstoppable. In hundred years map of Europe will show hundreds of autonomic regions (under EU) with all today's countries disintegrated/dissolved (in peaceful process). Just because there will be no need for an extra level of government, national governments.

Anyway, in the future the Robots will be working in factories around Europe but everybody will live around Mediterranean Sea. In this scenario all people of Europe will mix quickly, live in south, will speak english and belong to EU only.

Aberdeen
18-03-14, 00:16
Generally the trend in all Europe is for stronger regional and ethnic independence or strong autonomy, and as such belonging to big EU. I consider it a natural process, healthy and unstoppable. In hundred years map of Europe will show hundreds of autonomic regions (under EU) with all today's countries disintegrated/dissolved (in peaceful process). Just because there will be no need for an extra level of government, national governments.

Anyway, in the future the Robots will be working in factories around Europe but everybody will live around Mediterranean Sea. In this scenario all people of Europe will mix quickly, live in south, will speak english and belong to EU only.

And the president of the EU will be Jean Luc Picard.

Sorry, I don't think things will turn out that way. It's a nice dream, but the Germans are already unwilling to bail out Greece or Spain. Why do you think that Bavaria or Hesse would be willing to bail out Corfu or Catalona when those areas run into financial problems? And not everyone wants to live around the Mediterranean Sea. I wilt in the heat, and I suspect that a lot of European I1 types react in the same way to excess heat.

LeBrok
18-03-14, 06:33
And the president of the EU will be Jean Luc Picard.

Sorry, I don't think things will turn out that way. It's a nice dream, but the Germans are already unwilling to bail out Greece or Spain. Why do you think that Bavaria or Hesse would be willing to bail out Corfu or Catalona when those areas run into financial problems? And not everyone wants to live around the Mediterranean Sea. I wilt in the heat, and I suspect that a lot of European I1 types react in the same way to excess heat.
Remember WW2 mess? Who expected that 60 years later there will be one EU with Germany as a leader and being liked by most. Prosperity brings freedoms to people. People will be free to live and work wherever, speaking languages, and marry whoever. Nationalism will lose its meaning and importance. It will be steady and natural process.

bicicleur
18-03-14, 09:21
Hmm. I wonder why this is. Perhaps the more money the Flemish give them, the stronger socialism gets in Wallonia; because they want to rebel against the establishment and the Flemish people.

What do you think should happen to Belgium?

The Walloon socialists are no rebels, they are the establishment.

FBS
18-03-14, 11:57
Generally the trend in all Europe is for stronger regional and ethnic independence or strong autonomy, and as such belonging to big EU. I consider it a natural process, healthy and unstoppable. In hundred years map of Europe will show hundreds of autonomic regions (under EU) with all today's countries disintegrated/dissolved (in peaceful process). Just because there will be no need for an extra level of government, national governments.

I agree. We will see a lot of smaller independent entities in the future, it is just a part of the collective evolution in Europe.

Sile
18-03-14, 19:53
I said for many years, If you want an EU then destroy all nations in the EU and have regional areas............If you want nations , then destroy the EU

As for the topic, ...........nations come and go, but culture remain, do we really care if Europe get another, 10, 20 or 30 "nations"?.............they will be cheaper to bail out if they fail

Maciamo
18-03-14, 20:12
I think that the following should happen.

A referendum should be put forward, concerning the future of the Belgian state.

If the people vote for separation, which is most likely, the the following should happen in my opinion:

Flanders should become an independent nation.
Wallonia should become an independent nation.
Brussels should become an EU Capital District.
The German-speaking Community should become an independent nation.

It's not as simple as that.

1) Not all Flemings want independence. Even those in favour don't want it without Brussels.

2) Most Walloons want a unified Belgium. Should the country split, there is no consensus between Walloons as whether they should be an independent country or join France. Actually most Walloons cannot conceive an independent Wallonia without Brussels. I like to compare Belgium's case to Israel and Palestine, without the religious and ethnic divide. Both Israeli and Palestinians see Jerusalem as their capital and can't imagine their respective country without it. The Flemings and Walloons and the same feeling toward Brussels. Brussels is historically a Flemish city but is 80% French-speaking, and most French-speaking Brusselers either have roots in Wallonia or relatives in Wallonia.

3) The German-speaking Community is only 75,000 people. They don't even have a city. They would either stay with Wallonia or join Luxembourg, with whom they share a border too and feel close due to their bilingual German/French education.

4) Another possibility, rarely mentioned but which makes a lot of sense in my opinion, is that Brussels, Wallonia (incl. German-speakers) and Luxembourg form a new state. After all Luxembourg was always part of Belgium historically, even when Belgium became an independent country in 1830. In 1839, the Netherlands asked the Belgian state that the historical duchy of Luxembourg be split in two, with the eastern half form an independent country with the Dutch king as its Grand Duke, in exchange for the recognition of the independence of Belgium. Nowadays half of historical Luxembourg is in Wallonia. Since Wallonia also has a German-speaking community and that half of it was historically part of Germany (Principality of Liège/Lüttich (http://www.eupedia.com/belgium/liege-province.shtml)), it is only logical that Wallonia and Luxembourg should be part of the same country.

Furthermore, both Brussels and Luxembourg hold seats of European institutions, so the whole Brussels-Wallonia-Luxembourg region could be unified as a European district similar to Washington DC. The impoverishment of Wallonia is mainly caused by the economic exile of the brightest Walloons to Brussels and Luxembourg, which border each extremity of Wallonia. I grew up in Wallonia and I know that almost any Walloon who wants to have a proper job goes to Brussels or Luxembourg (or further away, Paris and London being quite popular).

Coolboygcp
18-03-14, 21:32
The Walloon socialists are no rebels, they are the establishment.

I was referring to the Flemish establishment, not the Walloon establishment. I do not think that they are rebels, but I think that socialism becomes more popular in Wallonia because the Flemish subsidise Wallonia, and as the subsidise Wallonia, the Walloons vote for the socialists, as they want to rebel against the Flemish establishment. Kind of like a teenager rebelling against their parents.

Angela
19-03-14, 02:22
And the president of the EU will be Jean Luc Picard.

Sorry, I don't think things will turn out that way. It's a nice dream, but the Germans are already unwilling to bail out Greece or Spain. Why do you think that Bavaria or Hesse would be willing to bail out Corfu or Catalona when those areas run into financial problems? And not everyone wants to live around the Mediterranean Sea. I wilt in the heat, and I suspect that a lot of European I1 types react in the same way to excess heat.

Ed. It didn't post. I'll try to retrieve it.

Except for your comment about not being willing to live around the Mediterranean :shocked:, I completely agree.

I don't understand why there is all this optimism about the effects of the devolution of certain nation states in Europe.

Perhaps I'm a cynic, or a pessimist who thinks history is doomed to repeat itself, but I don't think people change, and I don't think certain nation states change, nation states that I don't think will allow their nations to devolve, and I think these little "autonomous" regions will wind up the pawns of bureaucrats in Brussels or of the larger still intact nation states both within and outside the borders of the EU.

In my personal opinion, if a region wants to leave the national entity, then they should also leave all their national pensions, and subsidies, and national health care plans behind too. And that's just for starters. All national police forces, emergency services, you name it, get withdrawn too, in addition to the protection of the national armed services. Put all your trust in the proverbial good will of other regions and nation states around you. No half measures...Good luck with that.

Oh, and all the less well off regions will eventually be bailed out anyway, and by resources taken not only from Germany, but from many of these newly autonomous regions, if they are prosperous. Not only would it be dangerous if the poorer areas were not bailed out, but you need lots of buyers for the factory output that supports the whole system.

I found this Economist article about the situation in Scotland very interesting.
http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21589231-even-if-scotland-votes-stay-united-kingdom-union-fraying-centrifuge

Coolboygcp
19-03-14, 11:54
I agree. We will see a lot of smaller independent entities in the future, it is just a part of the collective evolution in Europe.

I also agree with both LeBrok and you. Within a few decades, Europe will probably be made up of a hundred or so nations, all united under the banner of The European Union.

Coolboygcp
19-03-14, 12:02
I said for many years, If you want an EU then destroy all nations in the EU and have regional areas............If you want nations , then destroy the EU

As for the topic, ...........nations come and go, but culture remain, do we really care if Europe get another, 10, 20 or 30 "nations"?.............they will be cheaper to bail out if they fail

Well, I lean towards the former. It is inevitable that the future of Europe is in new small nations, united under the EU. Yes, they will still be in the EU, and some say that not much will change when these smaller nations are formed as they will still be part of the EU. I do not agree with that, yes they will have the same currency, laws, etc. But they will have a state devoted to their own culture, which is good. We see in larger nations like Spain that the different regional cultures become marginalised when they are suppressed by a large country like that. However some countries, like the UK, do not need to be dissolved. I say this because the majority of Britons do not support that occurring, and devolution has occurred to such an extent that independence is not needed for those constituent countries.

Also in countries like Finland, Estonia, etc; there aren't many cultural differences between the regions; thus dissolution of those countries is not needed. But countries such as Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Germany, Poland, and much more, it is needed, and it will happen in the future.

And yes, I really care if Europe gets more nations, as it does matter, as I have noted above.

Aberdeen
19-03-14, 16:03
Ed. It didn't post. I'll try to retrieve it.

Except for your comment about not being willing to live around the Mediterranean :shocked:, I completely agree.

I don't understand why there is all this optimism about the effects of the devolution of certain nation states in Europe.

Perhaps I'm a cynic, or a pessimist who thinks history is doomed to repeat itself, but I don't think people change, and I don't think certain nation states change, nation states that I don't think will allow their nations to devolve, and I think these little "autonomous" regions will wind up the pawns of bureaucrats in Brussels or of the larger still intact nation states both within and outside the borders of the EU.

In my personal opinion, if a region wants to leave the national entity, then they should also leave all their national pensions, and subsidies, and national health care plans behind too. And that's just for starters. All national police forces, emergency services, you name it, get withdrawn too, in addition to the protection of the national armed services. Put all your trust in the proverbial good will of other regions and nation states around you. No half measures...Good luck with that.

Oh, and all the less well off regions will eventually be bailed out anyway, and by resources taken not only from Germany, but from many of these newly autonomous regions, if they are prosperous. Not only would it be dangerous if the poorer areas were not bailed out, but you need lots of buyers for the factory output that supports the whole system.

I found this Economist article about the situation in Scotland very interesting.
http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21589231-even-if-scotland-votes-stay-united-kingdom-union-fraying-centrifuge

That article about Scotland is a good find, in part because it mentions a typical feature of separatist movements - the desire for more and more autonomy while retaining the benefits of remaining part of the larger political unit, a desire that's unlikely to be met. The Slovaks, who were a minority in Czechoslovakia, kept saying to the Czech majority "give us more or we'll separate" so the Czechs held a referendum and decided to separate, which is not what the Slovaks wanted at all. Slovakia is now a totally independent, poor mostly rural country. The same could happen to Scotland, except for their North Sea oil. The separatist politicians in Scotland are telling people that separation will mean more prosperity because only Scotland will benefit from the oil revenues in future. I don't know enough about what happens to the oil revenue to know whether that's a valid argument, but I'm fairly sure that people in Scotland who support separatism haven't thought much about who pays for retirement pensions, health care, etc., and probably don't realize that they'll be expected to take a percentage of Britain's national debt with them. So, if Scotland does separate, they may not be happy with the result. I think you should go explain some realities to them before they vote.

Also, the Highlands may be unhappy with the idea of being ruled by politicians from places like Lothian and Fife, so could form a separatist movement of their own. I just wonder where that process ends. And, as you said, any larger political units will still be able to dominate smaller political units in some ways, and I would think that would be particularly true when it comes to EU budgets. The smaller countries will want a "one country, one vote" approach but larger countries won't embrace that, I think.

However, I disagree with your conclusion that the less well off regions would eventually be bailed out. While I agree that not doing so would be dangerous, I see no basis for concluding that people will, in the long run, decide to do what's sensible in the political realm. If that was true, Margaret Thatcher would never have become the Prime Minister of Britain or at least wouldn't have stayed in power for so long. She won elections by appealing to the greed and mean-spiritedness of those who thought they had a bit more than others, and I'm afraid that sentiment would be given full play in an EU made up of a few large countries and a lot of smaller, poorer countries.

And yes, the Mediterranean is beautiful but some of us northerners melt like a popsicle when confronted with really hot weather. We're happier up north here, riding our polar bears.

FBS
19-03-14, 17:13
Humans and societies change, it is a never ending quest since we adapt and evolve. Changes simply are, it does not mean that they will happen for better, it may be for worse but that's life; and what is better or worse is a matter of perception due to what do we consider as good or bad, it is a product of multitudes of memes. We constantly probe and see what works. I do not think that humanity/life (genes & memes) care much about what is good and what is bad, black or white, it does not have either/or mentality. It is a process of trial and error and learning and adapting. As Heraclitus said: "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man" or "There is nothing permanent except change".

Icebreaker
19-03-14, 20:39
Eventually yes, but I don't see Walloons give up so fast. Because they depend on Flemish money.

Angela
19-03-14, 20:47
[QUOTE=Aberdeen;428312]That article about Scotland is a good find, in part because it mentions a typical feature of separatist movements - the desire for more and more autonomy while retaining the benefits of remaining part of the larger political unit, a desire that's unlikely to be met. The Slovaks, who were a minority in Czechoslovakia, kept saying to the Czech majority "give us more or we'll separate" so the Czechs held a referendum and decided to separate, which is not what the Slovaks wanted at all. Slovakia is now a totally independent, poor mostly rural country. The same could happen to Scotland, except for their North Sea oil. The separatist politicians in Scotland are telling people that separation will mean more prosperity because only Scotland will benefit from the oil revenues in future. I don't know enough about what happens to the oil revenue to know whether that's a valid argument, but I'm fairly sure that people in Scotland who support separatism haven't thought much about who pays for retirement pensions, health care, etc., and probably don't realize that they'll be expected to take a percentage of Britain's national debt with them. So, if Scotland does separate, they may not be happy with the result. I think you should go explain some realities to them before they vote.

People don't want to hear the realities; they want to indulge themselves in emotional claptrap. That's why I shout at the television during news programs, or throw a pillow at it...most people, and I'm including so called "news commentators", of every political persuasion are either woefully ignorant of history, and basic economics, and human nature, I might add, or they are incapable of the kind of logical thinking that includes trying to foresee the consequences of certain actions, or they are blinded to the logic by emotional agendas, or they are outright liars who have a personal stake in the outcome. See what a cynic I am?

As to the oil fields, it depends on the contracts that were negotiated...the entities that paid for the construction, and continue to pay for the operation and maintenance of the rigs and the flow of the oil would have to be compensated, unless Scotland wants to go the banana republic route and nationalize them. Would England and any other entities involved really countenance that? Oil is still the lifeblood...I doubt they'll let it go.



Also, the Highlands may be unhappy with the idea of being ruled by politicians from places like Lothian and Fife, so could form a separatist movement of their own. I just wonder where that process ends. And, as you said, any larger political units will still be able to dominate smaller political units in some ways, and I would think that would be particularly true when it comes to EU budgets. The smaller countries will want a "one country, one vote" approach but larger countries won't embrace that, I think.

That's exactly right in my view. Where on earth does it end? I highly doubt that countries like Germany or France will allow a "Flanders" or a "Veneto" to have the same voting power that they do. These smaller units will become pawns, pawns who have absolutely no bargaining power when it comes to regulations, trade decisions, expenditures, and, ultimately, taxes. (And that's how poorer areas will be pacified ultimately.) And that's if worse doesn't happen.

Perhaps I'm jaundiced about this precisely because I'm Italian, and have been studying Italian history my entire life. Since the fall of the Empire, we have been laid waste time and again by every King from beyond the Alps with a Caesar complex and a few thousand organized troops. Why? Because of the eternal, infernal "campanilismo" of Italy: the petty squabbling and back stabbing by the Italian city states and/or regions. That's what happened during the Renaissance. The French, the risibly named "Holy Roman Empire", and the Aragonese fought over the peninsula like rabid dogs over a bone and brought it all crashing down. The result...the south under inept and corrupt foreign rulers who plundered it when they didn't ignore it, (from which we still feel the consequences) ,most of northern Italy also under foreign domination and sinking into poverty and insignificance, much of central Italy beneath the suffocating heel of the Papacy, and even the "Republic" of Venice (there's another misnomer for you) began its great decline. No One ultimately benefited, and the suffering and destruction of all types was incalculable. We are still experiencing the consequences.

That's one of the reasons why, in my opinion, Nicolo' Machiavelli wrote "The Prince", which in my view contradicts his previous writings on politics: out of desperation at Italy's plight, he jettisoned all his republican principles, and was willing to overlook any moral turpitude if it got the job done. Unfortunately, even had illness not felled him, Cesare Borgia was not the man for the job. He cared nothing for Italy, and nor did his father...parvenue immigrants out to feather their own nests, the whole lot of them.

Nowadays they do their colonizing with their freaking Euro...the worst thing Italy has done in a long time is to adopt the Euro...its products are now too expensive on the world markets, while what it has to purchase is more expensive...Just how is that supposed to be a benefit? It benefits Germany, not Italy. And when floods of desperately poor and uneducated North Africans land on our islands, just what is the EU doing about it? How is it helping to manage the problem and distribute the burden? I'll tell you how...it lets France close the border with Italy so as to prevent all those North Africans from joining their relatives already in France and effectively forcing Italy to deal with it all alone.

Weakness attracts domination...only if you are in a position of strength can you negotiate to your own benefit.

And I highly doubt that the use of force is beyond certain European groups. Sometimes I think that Europe has been so soaked in its own blood that it willingly practices a form of amnesia. Basic human nature doesn't change. If you're a realist, you see it, and you plan and act accordingly. I don't believe all Europeans are going to beat their swords into plowshares and live peacefully together among the tulips. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it. I think some of them are going to keep their swords, and the rest will be caught holding their..uh...plowshares in their hands.


Well, now that I've finished ranting...http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/grin.png Sorry about that...
.


And yes, the Mediterranean is beautiful but some of us northerners melt like a popsicle when confronted with really hot weather. We're happier up north here, riding our polar bears.


Well, I can't stand high heat and humidity either. It prostrates me... I used to blame it on my father's mountain genes, because he and his whole family are the same, and it was never too hot for my mother. From what I've been reading lately, it may be that part of the blame lies in some defective protein encoding on my decidedly very north Eurasian like mtDNA, although as I said, my mother would follow the sun and bake like one of our lizards...a sweet, lovely lizard,but you get the idea. http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/smile.gifThat's why in the summers I'm either in the mountains of the entroterra, or right on our coast. The Riviera, both the French one and the Italian one, are blessed in their climate, although the rains in winter have been devastating the last couple of years.

Anyway, it hardly sounds like traveling to Italy is in your bucket list, but should you ever do it, stay away from the cities in the Pianura Padana in the summer...stay away in the winter too...there are a few good weeks in the fall and spring but that's about it, in my opinion. Either blisteringly hot and humid or cold, cloudy and humid. Hellish climate.

Aberdeen
20-03-14, 01:21
I think separatist movements typically make unrealistic promises about what separatism will mean in order to make the idea seem good to voters. All too often, these separatist politicians come to believe their own lies and are surprised when they can't deliver what they promised. A Canadian comedian and political commentator named Rick Mercer had this to say about French language aspiring separatists in Canada.

"The Parti Québecois is like some guy in a bar telling his friends he's going to leave his wife except he's going to keep the house and the dog and plus they’re going to sleep with each other when he’s in the mood. And oh she's going to take over the car payments."

So I'm wondering how that phenomenon would play out in the Belgium context. Probably if Wallonia did decide to separate, what their political leaders would say to the Flemish politicians would be something like this.

"We think that a fair division of assets is important, so we'll take Brussels and you can have the national debt. Plus, now that we're a separate nation, we expect the subsidies for Wallonia to be increased."

And they'll probably be quite surprised when the Flemish say that's not fair.

bicicleur
20-03-14, 17:39
I grew up in Wallonia and I know that almost any Walloon who wants to have a proper job goes to Brussels or Luxembourg (or further away, Paris and London being quite popular).

Why is it that any young man with a bit of ambition can't stay in Wallonia?
What is the matter with Wallonia?

Sile
20-03-14, 19:40
Why is it that any young man with a bit of ambition can't stay in Wallonia?
What is the matter with Wallonia?

Because as some say, it is now branded as a welfare state ............they produce nothing ...........

Sile
20-03-14, 19:45
[QUOTE]

People don't want to hear the realities; they want to indulge themselves in emotional claptrap. That's why I shout at the television during news programs, or throw a pillow at it...most people, and I'm including so called "news commentators", of every political persuasion are either woefully ignorant of history, and basic economics, and human nature, I might add, or they are incapable of the kind of logical thinking that includes trying to foresee the consequences of certain actions, or they are blinded to the logic by emotional agendas, or they are outright liars who have a personal stake in the outcome. See what a cynic I am?

As to the oil fields, it depends on the contracts that were negotiated...the entities that paid for the construction, and continue to pay for the operation and maintenance of the rigs and the flow of the oil would have to be compensated, unless Scotland wants to go the banana republic route and nationalize them. Would England and any other entities involved really countenance that? Oil is still the lifeblood...I doubt they'll let it go.



That's exactly right in my view. Where on earth does it end? I highly doubt that countries like Germany or France will allow a "Flanders" or a "Veneto" to have the same voting power that they do. These smaller units will become pawns, pawns who have absolutely no bargaining power when it comes to regulations, trade decisions, expenditures, and, ultimately, taxes. (And that's how poorer areas will be pacified ultimately.) And that's if worse doesn't happen.

Perhaps I'm jaundiced about this precisely because I'm Italian, and have been studying Italian history my entire life. Since the fall of the Empire, we have been laid waste time and again by every King from beyond the Alps with a Caesar complex and a few thousand organized troops. Why? Because of the eternal, infernal "campanilismo" of Italy: the petty squabbling and back stabbing by the Italian city states and/or regions. That's what happened during the Renaissance. The French, the risibly named "Holy Roman Empire", and the Aragonese fought over the peninsula like rabid dogs over a bone and brought it all crashing down. The result...the south under inept and corrupt foreign rulers who plundered it when they didn't ignore it, (from which we still feel the consequences) ,most of northern Italy also under foreign domination and sinking into poverty and insignificance, much of central Italy beneath the suffocating heel of the Papacy, and even the "Republic" of Venice (there's another misnomer for you) began its great decline. No One ultimately benefited, and the suffering and destruction of all types was incalculable. We are still experiencing the consequences.

That's one of the reasons why, in my opinion, Nicolo' Machiavelli wrote "The Prince", which in my view contradicts his previous writings on politics: out of desperation at Italy's plight, he jettisoned all his republican principles, and was willing to overlook any moral turpitude if it got the job done. Unfortunately, even had illness not felled him, Cesare Borgia was not the man for the job. He cared nothing for Italy, and nor did his father...parvenue immigrants out to feather their own nests, the whole lot of them.

Nowadays they do their colonizing with their freaking Euro...the worst thing Italy has done in a long time is to adopt the Euro...its products are now too expensive on the world markets, while what it has to purchase is more expensive...Just how is that supposed to be a benefit? It benefits Germany, not Italy. And when floods of desperately poor and uneducated North Africans land on our islands, just what is the EU doing about it? How is it helping to manage the problem and distribute the burden? I'll tell you how...it lets France close the border with Italy so as to prevent all those North Africans from joining their relatives already in France and effectively forcing Italy to deal with it all alone.

Weakness attracts domination...only if you are in a position of strength can you negotiate to your own benefit.

And I highly doubt that the use of force is beyond certain European groups. Sometimes I think that Europe has been so soaked in its own blood that it willingly practices a form of amnesia. Basic human nature doesn't change. If you're a realist, you see it, and you plan and act accordingly. I don't believe all Europeans are going to beat their swords into plowshares and live peacefully together among the tulips. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it. I think some of them are going to keep their swords, and the rest will be caught holding their..uh...plowshares in their hands.


Well, now that I've finished ranting...http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/grin.png Sorry about that...
.



Well, I can't stand high heat and humidity either. It prostrates me... I used to blame it on my father's mountain genes, because he and his whole family are the same, and it was never too hot for my mother. From what I've been reading lately, it may be that part of the blame lies in some defective protein encoding on my decidedly very north Eurasian like mtDNA, although as I said, my mother would follow the sun and bake like one of our lizards...a sweet, lovely lizard,but you get the idea. http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/smile.gifThat's why in the summers I'm either in the mountains of the entroterra, or right on our coast. The Riviera, both the French one and the Italian one, are blessed in their climate, although the rains in winter have been devastating the last couple of years.

Anyway, it hardly sounds like traveling to Italy is in your bucket list, but should you ever do it, stay away from the cities in the Pianura Padana in the summer...stay away in the winter too...there are a few good weeks in the fall and spring but that's about it, in my opinion. Either blisteringly hot and humid or cold, cloudy and humid. Hellish climate.

Just remember, Europe with its long history is 100% different to new world migrational nations like, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc ........do not even try to make Europe follow these new world societies , it will never happen.
Europe is a tribal cultural system in which the forming of nations ( ~1780) ONCE aided the poor, now Globalization has reduced the effect of this term nation in Europe. Nations have failed now to deliver what they intended to do in the early 19th Century

Aberdeen
21-03-14, 15:33
Why is it that any young man with a bit of ambition can't stay in Wallonia?
What is the matter with Wallonia?

Perhaps young people with ambition can't find a "proper job" in Wallonia. Perhaps the culture of the place doesn't encourage entrepreneurship, and young people think of a good job in terms of getting a university degree and going to work for some large organization, whether government, a non-profit organization or a global corporation. There probably aren't many jobs like that available in Wallonia if it's a formerly prosperous industrial area that's now in decline. Perhaps the way to revive an area like that is to provide loans to small business people who are starting some innovative business in the area. Other than that, the only thing that usually helps such places is for government to spend a lot of money clearing away abandoned factories, cleaning up old mines or whatever needs doing and creating new universities or medical centres that will encourage educated people to stay in the area. But that's very expensive therapy for an economically declining region, and it's usually easier and more popular for governments to spend their money in the growing and more prosperous part of a country (and I assume in Belgium that would be Brussels). Once a formerly prosperous area starts to decline, it's difficult to reverse that trend. Proof can be seen all over the developed world, with some really stark examples in countries like the U.S., where government is thought of as something to serve the business community rather than individuals. If you visit a declining industrial area in the U.S., such as the city of Detroit, it's far worse than anything you could find in declining industrial areas in Europe.

Aberdeen
21-03-14, 15:44
[QUOTE=Angela;428329]

Just remember, Europe with its long history is 100% different to new world migrational nations like, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc ........do not even try to make Europe follow these new world societies , it will never happen.
Europe is a tribal cultural system in which the forming of nations ( ~1780) ONCE aided the poor, now Globalization has reduced the effect of this term nation in Europe. Nations have failed now to deliver what they intended to do in the early 19th Century

And what exactly is it that you think nations were intended to do? I'm curious.

I thought that the modern nation state was intended to be an efficient way of organizing society to allow for the better development of business, education, health care, the building of infrastructure and possibly the creation of some sort of system to reduce extreme poverty. And it seems to me that modern nation states have been quite successful at doing that. When they fail, it's usually either because some madman wanted to build an empire or because regional factionalism has prevented a nation from functioning as intended. So, unless everyone is very certain that the whole of western Europe is going to play nice and get along well in the EU, a proposition that I find doubtful, perhaps Europe still needs the modern nation state, which would suggest that regional separatist ideas might not be a very good idea. If countries break into smaller units but the EU experiment fails, what will the people of Europe be left with? Perhaps they'll be left with a system of city states constantly at war with one another, as was the case in the medieval period - it seems to me that the early modern period was one of slowly building modern nation states in order to escape the chaos created by smaller political units that were supposedly under the control of some sort of pan-European political entity. And, if the world reaches a point where there are no more large nation states in Europe, the EU may not be any more successful at containing the chaos than the Holy Roman Empire was. Just my opinion. I don't live in Europe, and my ideas are only based on a reading of history, so I could be wrong.

Maciamo
21-03-14, 15:52
Why is it that any young man with a bit of ambition can't stay in Wallonia?
What is the matter with Wallonia?

Big companies are usually headquartered in Brussels or Luxembourg, and salaries are higher there too. Most people who live in Walloon Brabant, for example, commute to work in Brussels everyday. But many commute from more far away in the rest of Wallonia. Brussels has a night-time population of 1 million, but a day-time population of 3 million with those commuters. There are also Flemish commuters to Brussels, but Flanders is far more decentralised, with jobs spread out more even across cities. I don't have the exact figures, but I'd say that three quarters of commuters to Brussels are French speakers. It's probably a cultural tendency of French speakers to centralise all the power and jobs in the capital. The same is true in France. Dutch speakers are more like the Germans, Italians and Spaniards and prefer a decentralised system.

Maciamo
21-03-14, 16:04
Perhaps young people with ambition can't find a "proper job" in Wallonia. Perhaps the culture of the place doesn't encourage entrepreneurship, and young people think of a good job in terms of getting a university degree and going to work for some large organization, whether government, a non-profit organization or a global corporation.

Walloon politicians are rotten and the Walloon government does pretty much everything it can to discourage entrepreneurship by making countless inefficient rules and annoying people with useless paperwork. Socialist politicians have direct interests in construction companies that repair roads. They intentionally repair motorways and roads badly so that the work can be restarted again within 2 years with the taxpayers's money and the profits going to the politicians. It really has become a Little Italy, politically at least. Many policemen are rotten too and prefer to harass law-abiding citizens than to fight real criminality (including the mafia, which has an important hold in cities like Liège and Charleroi). Many Walloons have become so annoyed, despaired and ashamed of the situation in Wallonia that they prefer to leave. It's not by accident that over 90% of the upper class French-speakers in Belgium live in or around Brussels. Many just can't stand staying in Wallonia anymore.

Angela
21-03-14, 20:05
[QUOTE=Sile;428361]

And what exactly is it that you think nations were intended to do? I'm curious.

I thought that the modern nation state was intended to be an efficient way of organizing society to allow for the better development of business, education, health care, the building of infrastructure and possibly the creation of some sort of system to reduce extreme poverty. And it seems to me that modern nation states have been quite successful at doing that. When they fail, it's usually either because some madman wanted to build an empire or because regional factionalism has prevented a nation from functioning as intended. So, unless everyone is very certain that the whole of western Europe is going to play nice and get along well in the EU, a proposition that I find doubtful, perhaps Europe still needs the modern nation state, which would suggest that regional separatist ideas might not be a very good idea. If countries break into smaller units but the EU experiment fails, what will the people of Europe be left with? Perhaps they'll be left with a system of city states constantly at war with one another, as was the case in the medieval period - it seems to me that the early modern period was one of slowly building modern nation states in order to escape the chaos created by smaller political units that were supposedly under the control of some sort of pan-European political entity. And, if the world reaches a point where there are no more large nation states in Europe, the EU may not be any more successful at containing the chaos than the Holy Roman Empire was. Just my opinion. I don't live in Europe, and my ideas are only based on a reading of history, so I could be wrong.

I largely agree...I would just say that the functions which you enumerate I would place in the category of the ministrant functions. There are also the constituent functions.

Under the Constituent I would place that usual category of governmental function, the protection of life, liberty, and
property, together with all other functions that are necessary to the civic
organization of society, - functions which are not optional with governments,

even in the eyes of strictest laissez faire, - which are indeed the very bonds
of society.
http://history-world.org/govfunc.htm

As to your prior example of Scotland, you might find the following article interesting. As far as I'm concerned the EU and the Euro couldn't be jettisoned fast enough, (and I was born in Europe, have lived in Europe, and intend to live there for at least half of the year in the future) but I don't understand why these regionalist groups think the EU would make it easy for them to become independent countries.

http://www.thecommentator.com/article/4784/european_diplomats_analysts_say_scotland_faces_rea l_danger_if_it_breaks_from_uk

Sile
21-03-14, 20:46
[QUOTE=Sile;428361]

And what exactly is it that you think nations were intended to do? I'm curious.

I thought that the modern nation state was intended to be an efficient way of organizing society to allow for the better development of business, education, health care, the building of infrastructure and possibly the creation of some sort of system to reduce extreme poverty. And it seems to me that modern nation states have been quite successful at doing that. When they fail, it's usually either because some madman wanted to build an empire or because regional factionalism has prevented a nation from functioning as intended. So, unless everyone is very certain that the whole of western Europe is going to play nice and get along well in the EU, a proposition that I find doubtful, perhaps Europe still needs the modern nation state, which would suggest that regional separatist ideas might not be a very good idea. If countries break into smaller units but the EU experiment fails, what will the people of Europe be left with? Perhaps they'll be left with a system of city states constantly at war with one another, as was the case in the medieval period - it seems to me that the early modern period was one of slowly building modern nation states in order to escape the chaos created by smaller political units that were supposedly under the control of some sort of pan-European political entity. And, if the world reaches a point where there are no more large nation states in Europe, the EU may not be any more successful at containing the chaos than the Holy Roman Empire was. Just my opinion. I don't live in Europe, and my ideas are only based on a reading of history, so I could be wrong.

well it's failed since the lower classes cannot even pay for their own utilities as they could 30 years ago.............how many die in Britain each year because they could not afford heating?. Utilities once belonged to the government and now privately owned has sent prices skyrocketing. Even in Australian I have seen my utilities costs in the past 5 years increase by 700%. all due to profit for these private companies. While these same utilities under government where run at a break even cost. The rubbish is that these private owners say they need the money for maintenance , but that's all lies because the contract is that Government still pay for maintenance.
The main differences between Australia and say Spain and Italy is that in the DeCentralised Federation of Australia, all taxes collect from each state are returned in full to that state for it's use...........its not like Italy where the Centralised state gathers different rates of taxes and sends back ONLY a small portion to the region that collected it.........Veneto loose 20Billion in taxes due to this each year
Then Italy also has some regions that pay zero tax to Italy( Rome) ...like Siciliy or only 30% tax like Aosta.........there are 5 such regions that have Different rules ( I linked this system to this forum before)

In the end , independence for these small "nations" might not solve any of these issues, but the fact that having their own nation gives them a way of finding their own destiny.

Big nations have too much say in the EU.........it cannot work, you have nations like Germany, France etc dictating laws to the EU how it will be done and why it will be done for the benefit of their own nation............tell me how it can work. They need to be separated/broken up

Aberdeen
21-03-14, 22:48
[QUOTE=Aberdeen;428388]

I largely agree...I would just say that the functions which you enumerate I would place in the category of the ministrant functions. There are also the constituent functions.

Under the Constituent I would place that usual category of governmental function, the protection of life, liberty, and
property, together with all other functions that are necessary to the civic
organization of society, - functions which are not optional with governments,

even in the eyes of strictest laissez faire, - which are indeed the very bonds
of society.
http://history-world.org/govfunc.htm

As to your prior example of Scotland, you might find the following article interesting. As far as I'm concerned the EU and the Euro couldn't be jettisoned fast enough, (and I was born in Europe, have lived in Europe, and intend to live there for at least half of the year in the future) but I don't understand why these regionalist groups think the EU would make it easy for them to become independent countries.

http://www.thecommentator.com/article/4784/european_diplomats_analysts_say_scotland_faces_rea l_danger_if_it_breaks_from_uk

Yes, I suppose that while discussing the role of national governments, I should have mentioned the responsibility of safeguarding civil liberties and the rule of law. However, nation states have not been infallible in that regard, and the EU has sometimes played an important role in advancing both individual liberties and the rule of law. In fact, meeting appropriate standards in these areas is generally one of the conditions of membership in the EU - one of the main reasons Turkey is not a member of the EU is its poor record on human rights, particularly for women. Perhaps breaking countries into smaller units could make it a bit more difficult for the EU to police these areas, but I'm not certain that's true.

As for the article you mentioned, it seems to be from a far right publication, and appears to deal only in half truths. For example, although the Scottish separatists are probably hallucinating when they talk about continuing to have a say in British currency matters after separation, there's nothing to prevent Scotland or any other country from adopting any currency it wishes to. The problem, and it is significant, is that there are serious disadvantages in using the currency of another country while having no say in the fiscal policy of the political entity that controls the currency. Even having limited input can be a problem - some people predicted that in the long run the Euro would fail because of the problems it would create for poorer countries in Europe, and that prediction seems to be coming true, as you mentioned in a previous post. So, it isn't so much that Scotland couldn't adopt the British pound or Euro, but doing so could have serious disadvantages. And, while it's true that most European countries are very concerned about allowing any other European country to fragment because of the bad example that would set, Scotland might get a pass and be allowed EU membership because in some ways it's already a separate country. The fact that the United States might disapprove of Scottish separation is a matter of no consequence, as long the Europeans weren't worried (e.g., if Spain could be convinced that such a move wouldn't encourage the Basques). Also, if Scotland did separate, most of the North Sea oil would be well within Scottish boundaries, so in the long run Scotland would benefit (and there are an estimated 15-24 billion barrels of oil reserves at stake). However, in the short run, it's probably true that existing contracts and agreements would probably limit Scotland's share of oil revenue.

I think the main argument against Scottish independence is economies of scale. However, it must be admitted that was one of the main arguments in favour of creating the EU, and you don't seem to be too impressed with how that turned out. But as we've already discussed, another argument against separation is that the fragmentation process could continue. If the Shetlands or Orkneys did separate from an independent Scotland, they'd have a much better claim to a share of that North Sea oil than England would.

Aberdeen
21-03-14, 23:01
[QUOTE=Aberdeen;428388]

well it's failed since the lower classes cannot even pay for their own utilities as they could 30 years ago.............how many die in Britain each year because they could not afford heating?. Utilities once belonged to the government and now privately owned has sent prices skyrocketing. Even in Australian I have seen my utilities costs in the past 5 years increase by 700%. all due to profit for these private companies. While these same utilities under government where run at a break even cost. The rubbish is that these private owners say they need the money for maintenance , but that's all lies because the contract is that Government still pay for maintenance.
The main differences between Australia and say Spain and Italy is that in the DeCentralised Federation of Australia, all taxes collect from each state are returned in full to that state for it's use...........its not like Italy where the Centralised state gathers different rates of taxes and sends back ONLY a small portion to the region that collected it.........Veneto loose 20Billion in taxes due to this each year
Then Italy also has some regions that pay zero tax to Italy( Rome) ...like Siciliy or only 30% tax like Aosta.........there are 5 such regions that have Different rules ( I linked this system to this forum before)

In the end , independence for these small "nations" might not solve any of these issues, but the fact that having their own nation gives them a way of finding their own destiny.

Big nations have too much say in the EU.........it cannot work, you have nations like Germany, France etc dictating laws to the EU how it will be done and why it will be done for the benefit of their own nation............tell me how it can work. They need to be separated/broken up

Nationalism isn't to blame for neo-conservative political policies. That problem was created by allowing corporations to buy politicians and I think the problem can be worse in smaller states that are easier for massive corporations to manipulate and threaten. And voters have only themselves to blame when they vote for politicians and parties that suggest stupid things such as putting public utilities and essential services in private hands. So it's partly a failure of public educational systems in that they haven't taught people how governments and economies work, and it's partly a failure of citizens in that they couldn't be bothered to learn what they need to learn in order to maintain a functioning democracy.

Regional inequities in taxations systems can be very frustrating - I live in a province that pays much more to the federal government than it receives. But such arrangements are sometimes necessary in order to limit the inequities in poorer regions, and are sometimes also necessary in order to dampen regional separatist sentiments. People from different regions are much more likely to get along if they have the same access to things such as education and health care.

I don't think you have a winning argument when you say that separatism is necessary because larger nations work better. Germany and France are not going to fragment precisely because their citizens see the benefits of being part of a larger political entity. Some people in Bavaria or Brittany may hate the centre but they agree to remain part of one nation because they know they're much better off that way.

Sile
22-03-14, 02:02
[QUOTE=Sile;428403]

Nationalism isn't to blame for neo-conservative political policies. That problem was created by allowing corporations to buy politicians and I think the problem can be worse in smaller states that are easier for massive corporations to manipulate and threaten. And voters have only themselves to blame when they vote for politicians and parties that suggest stupid things such as putting public utilities and essential services in private hands. So it's partly a failure of public educational systems in that they haven't taught people how governments and economies work, and it's partly a failure of citizens in that they couldn't be bothered to learn what they need to learn in order to maintain a functioning democracy.

Regional inequities in taxations systems can be very frustrating - I live in a province that pays much more to the federal government than it receives. But such arrangements are sometimes necessary in order to limit the inequities in poorer regions, and are sometimes also necessary in order to dampen regional separatist sentiments. People from different regions are much more likely to get along if they have the same access to things such as education and health care.

I don't think you have a winning argument when you say that separatism is necessary because larger nations work better. Germany and France are not going to fragment precisely because their citizens see the benefits of being part of a larger political entity. Some people in Bavaria or Brittany may hate the centre but they agree to remain part of one nation because they know they're much better off that way.

of course nationalism is to blame, they promised in the 19th century that the lower classes would be better off, granted they succeeded until 30 or so years ago. Now they cannot deliver on their promises, the people want a change. Its time to look after one self .............especially since globalization can bring more wealth to smaller nations far quicker than bigger ones.
A change to small ethnic nations that they will belong to and that they can set a future path for.

I fail to understand why these large nations are so so enraged that some of their people want to take their lands and leave, its not as if this nation has owned these lands since time in memorial.

Aberdeen
22-03-14, 02:22
of course nationalism is to blame, they promised in the 19th century that the lower classes would be better off, granted they succeeded until 30 or so years ago. Now they cannot deliver on their promises, the people want a change. Its time to look after one self .............especially since globalization can bring more wealth to smaller nations far quicker than bigger ones.
A change to small ethnic nations that they will belong to and that they can set a future path for.

I fail to understand why these large nations are so so enraged that some of their people want to take their lands and leave, its not as if this nation has owned these lands since time in memorial.

Globalization is about large international corporations weakening governments, so the corporations can enslave ordinary citizens. The concept of global corporations, freed from political controls, is a much more modern concept than the nation state, but global corporations are rapidly threatening the survival of the nation state, in some cases by funding separatist movements and in other cases by funding anti-government sentiment. One of the best known examples of billionaire funding of anti-government sentiment is the American Tea Party, which was created by professional organizers and paid for by an organization called Americans for Prosperity, which is largely funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers, but there are other examples of such corporate subversion around the world. The goal, as stated by some billionaires, is to get rid of such things as health and safety regulations for the work place, environmental regulations, public education and public healthcare. If the billionaires succeed, most of us will be serfs, owned by a few very rich people.

There are separatist movements that come about because of genuine disaffection between different parts of a country, and that seems to be the case in Belgium, but if the very rich think they can exploit such a conflict for money or power, they will.

LeBrok
22-03-14, 02:33
Globalization is about large international corporations weakening governments, so the corporations can enslave ordinary citizens. The concept of global corporations, freed from political controls, is a much more modern concept than the nation state, but global corporations are rapidly threatening the survival of the nation state, in some cases by funding separatist movements and in other cases by funding anti-government sentiment. One of the best known examples of billionaire funding of anti-government sentiment is the American Tea Party, which was created by professional organizers and paid for by an organization called Americans for Prosperity, which is largely funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers, but there are other examples of such corporate subversion around the world. The goal, as stated by some billionaires, is to get rid of such things as health and safety regulations for the work place, environmental regulations, public education and public healthcare. If the billionaires succeed, most of us will be serfs, owned by a few very rich people.
.
Tell us Aberdin, what will corporations do with us, ordinary people, when in few decades they will only employ robots and won't care for sucking dry employees or human slaves?

Aberdeen
22-03-14, 04:15
Tell us Aberdin, what will corporations do with us, ordinary people, when in few decades they will only employ robots and won't care for sucking dry employees or human slaves?

Go to the U.S. and ask someone who lives in the post-apocalyptical landscape called Detroit. They'll probably say "we'll all be let to starve, much like what's already happening in Detroit". But I suspect things will be taken care of by some airborne disease.

LeBrok
22-03-14, 04:33
Go to the U.S. and ask someone who lives in the post-apocalyptical landscape called Detroit. They'll probably say "we'll all be let to starve, much like what's already happening in Detroit". But I suspect things will be taken care of by some airborne disease.
Detroit failed to move with times. You can't start industry and think it will last to the end of the world. Industry and politicians got complacent and lazy. If industry was rich in Detroit but people were poor you would have a good case that business sucked people dry. However in this case the industry, the city and people are almost bankrupt. So who benefited?
Anyway people are needed to buy products, so how these bad companies could exist in apocalyptical landscape with poor people or dead people? Who is going to buy and consume their products to make them rich?
I would like to stress this again here: Poor people are not good for business. Well off people are great for business, they keep buying and buying and buying...

Aberdeen
22-03-14, 04:59
Detroit failed to move with times. You can't start industry and think it will last to the end of the world. Industry and politicians got complacent and lazy. If industry was rich in Detroit but people were poor you would have a good case that business sucked people dry. However in this case the industry, the city and people are almost bankrupt. So who benefited?
Anyway people are needed to buy products, so how these bad companies could exist in apocalyptical landscape with poor people or dead people? Who is going to buy and consume their products to make them rich?
I would like to stress this again here: Poor people are not good for business. Well off people are great for business, they keep buying and buying and buying...

You seem to assume that people think logically, or at least that rich people do, and that they think the same way most people do about life, the universe and everything. But I suspect that if you offered some power hungry businessmen a choice between running a successful business or turning the clock back to the Middle Ages so that they could own serfs, some of them would prefer the latter. That might not seem like a logical choice if one assumes that business people are all about running successful businesses. But I suspect the really rich ones, the billionaires, actually care more about power.

However, we're getting a bit off topic. Wallonia was apparently a once prosperous part of the world that entered an economic decline, but I doubt you're find the kind of poverty there that one can find in Detroit. The difference, I suspect, is that the government of Belgium assumed it had to do something about the situation in Wallonia, whereas America's more business inclined politicians seem to have left Detroit to collapse into entropy, which also seems to be what Greek politicians are now doing in Greece. The neo-con rot is spreading and it leaves massive problems in its wake. Not that Wallonia doesn't have problems, but things could be worse and probably would be if globalization had been embraced in Belgium as much as it has been in some other countries. The interesting issue to me is that Walloons aren't as completely beaten down as the serfs of Detroit but I don't know whether that hinders or helps the separatist movement in Wallonia. Do people rebel when they've lost everything or when they think they still have something to fight for? I suspect people fight when they feel they still have some hope, not once they're completely beaten.

LeBrok
23-03-14, 01:14
You seem to assume that people think logically, or at least that rich people do, and that they think the same way most people do about life, the universe and everything. Good point. Most people act on emotions of their basic nature, and traditions but not logic. What I'm assuming is that the good economic system takes it under consideration and rewards more the ones who act for the good of the people. Education increases skills and better choices; science invents new things; capitalism produces goods most efficiently; democracy increases tolerance, inclusiveness, and freedoms; general prosperity acts in anti-corruption mechanism. Good system makes up for human imperfection and encourages and rewards behaviour aimed at betterment of humankind.



But I suspect that if you offered some power hungry businessmen a choice between running a successful business or turning the clock back to the Middle Ages so that they could own serfs, some of them would prefer the latter.
Really? Stinky wealthy people can pay people around them so much that most of these people will do whatever rich want, or close to what full serf would do. If they trade it for slaves in Middle Ages, would they travel in their private jets to their yacht at the sea? Would they enjoy ice cream and ice in their scotch, served in their air conditioned mansion in Hawaii? Not mentioning that in Middle Ages they could have been poisoned by their power hungry younger brother. At least now they have a chance to overdose on heroin from all the stress and boredom of our modern world. ;)

I'm not convinced that most business people are power hungry and want to dominate the world. The biggest examples of dominating behaviour is among politicians (Venezuela, N Korea, Russia) than among richest people on planet like Gates or Buffett. I'm not saying that the rich don't have influence over politics, or there is no corruption. But there is so many power centers in business that it is impossible for even whole industry to call shots. For example weapon producers want to influence conflicts, but computer and automakers want peace, because they sell most products when people work, make money and don't fight. Also Obama-care is the example how political/social ideas trumps over established trillion dollar medical and insurance business. I think in most situation these powercenter cancel each other, therefore no one dominates.




That might not seem like a logical choice if one assumes that business people are all about running successful businesses. But I suspect the really rich ones, the billionaires, actually care more about power.
Even if this is true, every rich man has different ideas and opinions to make a united front of rich people, to rule the world.





However, we're getting a bit off topic. Wallonia was apparently a once prosperous part of the world that entered an economic decline, but I doubt you're find the kind of poverty there that one can find in Detroit. The difference, I suspect, is that the government of Belgium assumed it had to do something about the situation in Wallonia, whereas America's more business inclined politicians seem to have left Detroit to collapse into entropy, which also seems to be what Greek politicians are now doing in Greece. The neo-con rot is spreading and it leaves massive problems in its wake. Not that Wallonia doesn't have problems, but things could be worse and probably would be if globalization had been embraced in Belgium as much as it has been in some other countries. The interesting issue to me is that Walloons aren't as completely beaten down as the serfs of Detroit but I don't know whether that hinders or helps the separatist movement in Wallonia. Do people rebel when they've lost everything or when they think they still have something to fight for? I suspect people fight when they feel they still have some hope, not once they're completely beaten.
Wallonia is the prime example what happens to the country without business, corporations and capital investment. Yes, corporations are not perfect and full of stupid and greedy people. However in well run system they still give good results to the whole country and society.

Angela
24-03-14, 01:21
Good point. Most people act on emotions of their basic nature, and traditions but not logic. What I'm assuming is that the good economic system takes it under consideration and rewards more the ones who act for the good of the people. Education increases skills and better choices; science invents new things; capitalism produces goods most efficiently; democracy increases tolerance, inclusiveness, and freedoms; general prosperity acts in anti-corruption mechanism. Good system makes up for human imperfection and encourages and rewards behaviour aimed at betterment of humankind.



Really? Stinky wealthy people can pay people around them so much that most of these people will do whatever rich want, or close to what full serf would do. If they trade it for slaves in Middle Ages, would they travel in their private jets to their yacht at the sea? Would they enjoy ice cream and ice in their scotch, served in their air conditioned mansion in Hawaii? Not mentioning that in Middle Ages they could have been poisoned by their power hungry younger brother. At least now they have a chance to overdose on heroin from all the stress and boredom of our modern world. ;)

I'm not convinced that most business people are power hungry and want to dominate the world. The biggest examples of dominating behaviour is among politicians (Venezuela, N Korea, Russia) than among richest people on planet like Gates or Buffett. I'm not saying that the rich don't have influence over politics, or there is no corruption. But there is so many power centers in business that it is impossible for even whole industry to call shots. For example weapon producers want to influence conflicts, but computer and automakers want peace, because they sell most products when people work, make money and don't fight. Also Obama-care is the example how political/social ideas trumps over established trillion dollar medical and insurance business. I think in most situation these powercenter cancel each other, therefore no one dominates.



Even if this is true, every rich man has different ideas and opinions to make a united front of rich people, to rule the world.





Wallonia is the prime example what happens to the country without business, corporations and capital investment. Yes, corporations are not perfect and full of stupid and greedy people. However in well run system they still give good results to the whole country and society.

Amen and Amen.

Aberdeen
24-03-14, 01:36
www.upworthy.com/guess-what-percentage-of-american-children-are-living-in-poverty-seriously-guess (http://www.upworthy.com/guess-what-percentage-of-american-children-are-living-in-poverty-seriously-guess)

Having an emotional attachment to a particular political or economic system is all very well, but one has to consider what the data says.

Angela
24-03-14, 02:27
[QUOTE=Sile;428403]

Nationalism isn't to blame for neo-conservative political policies. That problem was created by allowing corporations to buy politicians and I think the problem can be worse in smaller states that are easier for massive corporations to manipulate and threaten. And voters have only themselves to blame when they vote for politicians and parties that suggest stupid things such as putting public utilities and essential services in private hands. So it's partly a failure of public educational systems in that they haven't taught people how governments and economies work, and it's partly a failure of citizens in that they couldn't be bothered to learn what they need to learn in order to maintain a functioning democracy.

Regional inequities in taxations systems can be very frustrating - I live in a province that pays much more to the federal government than it receives. But such arrangements are sometimes necessary in order to limit the inequities in poorer regions, and are sometimes also necessary in order to dampen regional separatist sentiments. People from different regions are much more likely to get along if they have the same access to things such as education and health care.

I don't think you have a winning argument when you say that separatism is necessary because larger nations work better. Germany and France are not going to fragment precisely because their citizens see the benefits of being part of a larger political entity. Some people in Bavaria or Brittany may hate the centre but they agree to remain part of one nation because they know they're much better off that way.


Well, I agree with paragraphs two and three, but couldn't disagree more with paragraph number one.

Given the increasing demand, driven mainly by the developing nations, the only way that energy costs can be kept down for the consumer is for the government to subsidize the cost. The energy has to be paid for, no matter what, wo in those countries which do not have private utility companies, it comes from the taxes paid by the citizenry. It's still being paid for, as everything must, and at the higher rate, it's just that the more taxed members of society are paying the energy costs of those paying fewer or no taxes.

I happen to think that's elementary economics and all school children should be taught it. :)

As to how this all relates to smaller regions declaring independence, unless the region is, say, like Scotland, and has its own energy resources, it's going to be at the mercy of those countries that can provide energy to it, and as a small entity it's in a terrible bargaining situation and will basically have to pay whatever is asked.

And if big corporations are buying politicians, so are unions and other special interest groups. It's a bazaar.

As for Detroit, industry leaders got lazy, didn't keep up with the times and on and on, but the city of Detroit's problems have other causes as well, among them the policies adopted by the hardly conservative city government. When you pay extremely high benefits to city workers of all stripes (not to mention all the corruption that went on), and then the tax base is lower because of the problems with the automotive industry (one of the perils of being a one industry town) and you meet that situation by imposing very high taxes on the middle class and upper class, those people flee, further reducing your tax base. The result is bankruptcy. The wages of drugs, single motherhood and gangs just adds to the disaster.

LeBrok
24-03-14, 02:30
www.upworthy.com/guess-what-percentage-of-american-children-are-living-in-poverty-seriously-guess (http://www.upworthy.com/guess-what-percentage-of-american-children-are-living-in-poverty-seriously-guess)

Having an emotional attachment to a particular political or economic system is all very well, but one has to consider what the data says.
sorry but there is not even a clue how this statistic measure, not even who made it. It could be self reporting, it could be by national standards, and another way is to make poverty statistics by international standards with threshold at 2 dollars a day per person. You can also set poverty statistics measuring how many don't pay income tax, because of inadequate income, and pulled amount of kids these people have. In this case you would get US poverty level at 50%. So which way you think they measured the poverty?
Here is two different ways from wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_percentage_of_population_livi ng_in_poverty

Tchek
24-03-14, 03:03
It's probably a cultural tendency of French speakers to centralise all the power and jobs in the capital. The same is true in France. Dutch speakers are more like the Germans, Italians and Spaniards and prefer a decentralised system.

Centralization is the bane of Wallonia. Under an illusion of an unified "Belgium", it has focused for decades its workforce and energy on a city that isn't even in Wallonia! So the real core of French speaking economy is left out of any statistics regarding Wallonia thus rendering Wallonia a complete backwater. Liège and Charleroi are left over.
A bit as if you let Paris or London out of statistics regarding the wealth of respectively France and England; both countries would appear quite poor.
Flanders as slowly shifted its socioeconomic epicenter toward Antwerp, within their border. I think Wallonia should decentralize toward itself, like Flanders did.

Aberdeen
24-03-14, 03:15
sorry but there is not even a clue how this statistic measure, not even who made it. It could be self reporting, it could be by national standards, and another way is to make poverty statistics by international standards with threshold at 2 dollars a day per person. You can also set poverty statistics measuring how many don't pay income tax, because of inadequate income, and pulled amount of kids these people have. In this case you would get US poverty level at 50%. So which way you think they measured the poverty?
Here is two different ways from wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_percentage_of_population_livi ng_in_poverty

The statistic I referred to has been confirmed by a number of organizations, including the U.N. The U.S. is a very wealthy country that performs very poorly, when compared to other developed nations, in a number of key measurements, such as child poverty, percentage of overall population living in poverty, people without access to health care, etc. The problem, IMO, is clearly not that the U.S. allows free enterprise but that it doesn't leaven capitalism with social democracy. And I don't see any validity in comparing the U.S. to "developing" nations such as Liberia - compare the U.S. to other developed countries and it performs poorly as measured by a number of important factors. Of course, that wasn't the case before the so-called Reagan revolution. Draw your own conclusions. But I'd rather live in Wallonia than Detroit, Newark or south central Los Angeles.

Aberdeen
24-03-14, 03:37
[QUOTE=Aberdeen;428418]


Well, I agree with paragraphs two and three, but couldn't disagree more with paragraph number one.

Given the increasing demand, driven mainly by the developing nations, the only way that energy costs can be kept down for the consumer is for the government to subsidize the cost. The energy has to be paid for, no matter what, wo in those countries which do not have private utility companies, it comes from the taxes paid by the citizenry. It's still being paid for, as everything must, and at the higher rate, it's just that the more taxed members of society are paying the energy costs of those paying fewer or no taxes.

I happen to think that's elementary economics and all school children should be taught it. :)

As to how this all relates to smaller regions declaring independence, unless the region is, say, like Scotland, and has its own energy resources, it's going to be at the mercy of those countries that can provide energy to it, and as a small entity it's in a terrible bargaining situation and will basically have to pay whatever is asked.

And if big corporations are buying politicians, so are unions and other special interest groups. It's a bazaar.

As for Detroit, industry leaders got lazy, didn't keep up with the times and on and on, but the city of Detroit's problems have other causes as well, among them the policies adopted by the hardly conservative city government. When you pay extremely high benefits to city workers of all stripes (not to mention all the corruption that went on), and then the tax base is lower because of the problems with the automotive industry (one of the perils of being a one industry town) and you meet that situation by imposing very high taxes on the middle class and upper class, those people flee, further reducing your tax base. The result is bankruptcy. The wages of drugs, single motherhood and gangs just adds to the disaster.

Emotion seems to be clouding your usually keen brain, Angela. Or perhaps you aren't aware of the data concerning energy costs once they're "privatized". I can tell you that energy here in Ontario was in no way subsidized when it was fully in the hands of government. Public utilities were actually profitable. And yet, once the system was partly sold off to corporations, costs soared dramatically, and in precisely those parts of the system that were "privatized". It's only since privately owned corporations became involved that some have been suggesting that subsidies may become necessary for low income people, although that hasn't been done yet. The same thing happened in many other jurisdictions. The reality is that when we let privately owned corporations take over essential services, they hurt the economy through price gouging. That's simple fact, and I think all school children and geneticists should be taught this information.

And, while I agree that smaller economic units generally don't function as well as larger units, that's not a universal rule. In fact, much of Britain'e electrical power comes from dams on waterfalls and lochs in northern Scotland. And yet the people of northern Scotland pay far more for their electricity than people in England do. That is in fact one of the drivers of the separatist movement.

As for Detroit, I suspect that much of the rhetoric about how it got that way is thinly veiled racism, although I would assume you aren't aware of that. And a lot of what's been said about Detroit is simply false. For example, wages for city employees, on average, were not in fact all that high. I've discussed the issue with an economics professor at a Canadian university who visited places like Flint and Detroit to find out how the urban blight was created and whether it could happen elsewhere. She concluded that Detroit's troubles started in the 1950s when the level of automation in auto assembly and auto parts factories increased, reducing the number of people needed in those factories. Further automation over the decades compounded the problem. The fact that no state or federal government intervened to encourage population relocation or managed the reduction in size of the city meant that as people left of their own volition, buildings were abandoned, services were decreased and urban decay and urban crime increased correspondingly. The problem is not that some urban areas shrank but that the American political system didn't manage the change as well as many European countries have. Wallonia may have its problems, but it wasn't as severely neglected as the post-industrial areas of the U.S. so life hasn't decayed as much in Wallonia as it has in some American cities. Some degree of urban decay, reduction in services and a resulting increase in corruption and crime seems to have incurred in Wallonia, as Maciamo has explained, and perhaps some blight is unavoidable when an area declines economically, but things haven't reached the same level as in post-industrial areas that are neglected by government. I think there's an important lesson there.

Tchek
24-03-14, 03:45
Not that Wallonia doesn't have problems, but things could be worse and probably would be if globalization had been embraced in Belgium as much as it has been in some other countries. The interesting issue to me is that Walloons aren't as completely beaten down as the serfs of Detroit but I don't know whether that hinders or helps the separatist movement in Wallonia. Do people rebel when they've lost everything or when they think they still have something to fight for? I suspect people fight when they feel they still have some hope, not once they're completely beaten.

Wallonians never had anything against the Flemish and the Flemish never had anything against Wallonians until De Wever (the NVA leader) told them to. I hate the PS party as much as anyone but let's admit they are the reason Wallonia didn't fall down to the level of some parts of northern England during the Thatcher years (and I guess Detroit and the likes under Reagan); because at Federal level, Belgium has always been very much a very neoliberal state, with neoliberal (and flemish) prime ministers (Leterme, Verhofstadt, Mertens, Dehaene) which was not the ideal politics for Wallonia and its falling industries. The PS was seen as a local rampart against this. Not to minimize the negative impact the PS had on Wallonia of course; I'm just exposing the logic behind the PS vote (it has nothing to do with a "plot against the Flemish" like I hear sometimes).

Traditionally, people rebel when they are hungry; and the quality of life in Wallonia is still relatively high, perhaps higher than the much richer adjacent German area of Nordrhein Westfalen, with its youth forced to work at McJobs for crap wages. (Quality of life is not necesseraly linked to wealth; for example the little town of Marche-en-Famenne is often listed in the Top 5 of the poorest Belgian towns, yet it is often listed in the Top 5 belgian towns with the highest quality of life).

bicicleur
24-03-14, 09:10
Wallonians never had anything against the Flemish and the Flemish never had anything against Wallonians until De Wever (the NVA leader) told them to. I hate the PS party as much as anyone but let's admit they are the reason Wallonia didn't fall down to the level of some parts of northern England during the Thatcher years (and I guess Detroit and the likes under Reagan); because at Federal level, Belgium has always been very much a very neoliberal state, with neoliberal (and flemish) prime ministers (Leterme, Verhofstadt, Mertens, Dehaene) which was not the ideal politics for Wallonia and its falling industries. The PS was seen as a local rampart against this. Not to minimize the negative impact the PS had on Wallonia of course; I'm just exposing the logic behind the PS vote (it has nothing to do with a "plot against the Flemish" like I hear sometimes).

Traditionally, people rebel when they are hungry; and the quality of life in Wallonia is still relatively high, perhaps higher than the much richer adjacent German area of Nordrhein Westfalen, with its youth forced to work at McJobs for crap wages. (Quality of life is not necesseraly linked to wealth; for example the little town of Marche-en-Famenne is often listed in the Top 5 of the poorest Belgian towns, yet it is often listed in the Top 5 belgian towns with the highest quality of life).

The Walloon PS have never prevented the collapse of the Walloon economy, on the contrary they consumed all possible resources to fight the symptoms. As long as they can find more taxpayers money and put the country in deeper debts to confort their voting public they will stay in power.
It is logical Flemish people are revolting against this, there is no De Wever needed for that.
Walloon socialists are trying to label as a fascist and a traitor to the Belgian state anyone who raises his voice to loud against them, but they are the cause of the separist movements.

Tchek
24-03-14, 11:54
The Walloon PS have never prevented the collapse of the Walloon economy, on the contrary they consumed all possible resources to fight the symptoms. As long as they can find more taxpayers money and put the country in deeper debts to confort their voting public they will stay in power.
It is logical Flemish people are revolting against this, there is no De Wever needed for that.
Walloon socialists are trying to label as a fascist and a traitor to the Belgian state anyone who raises his voice to loud against them, but they are the cause of the separist movements.

Do you think the Walloon people are happy about the fact the PS never prevented the collapse of the Walloon economy? It's a Walloon problem before being a Flemish problem.

Angela
24-03-14, 19:26
[QUOTE=Angela;428521]

Emotion seems to be clouding your usually keen brain, Angela. Or perhaps you aren't aware of the data concerning energy costs once they're "privatized". I can tell you that energy here in Ontario was in no way subsidized when it was fully in the hands of government. Public utilities were actually profitable. And yet, once the system was partly sold off to corporations, costs soared dramatically, and in precisely those parts of the system that were "privatized". It's only since privately owned corporations became involved that some have been suggesting that subsidies may become necessary for low income people, although that hasn't been done yet. The same thing happened in many other jurisdictions. The reality is that when we let privately owned corporations take over essential services, they hurt the economy through price gouging. That's simple fact, and I think all school children and geneticists should be taught this information.

And, while I agree that smaller economic units generally don't function as well as larger units, that's not a universal rule. In fact, much of Britain'e electrical power comes from dams on waterfalls and lochs in northern Scotland. And yet the people of northern Scotland pay far more for their electricity than people in England do. That is in fact one of the drivers of the separatist movement.

As for Detroit, I suspect that much of the rhetoric about how it got that way is thinly veiled racism, although I would assume you aren't aware of that. And a lot of what's been said about Detroit is simply false. For example, wages for city employees, on average, were not in fact all that high. I've discussed the issue with an economics professor at a Canadian university who visited places like Flint and Detroit to find out how the urban blight was created and whether it could happen elsewhere. She concluded that Detroit's troubles started in the 1950s when the level of automation in auto assembly and auto parts factories increased, reducing the number of people needed in those factories. Further automation over the decades compounded the problem. The fact that no state or federal government intervened to encourage population relocation or managed the reduction in size of the city meant that as people left of their own volition, buildings were abandoned, services were decreased and urban decay and urban crime increased correspondingly. The problem is not that some urban areas shrank but that the American political system didn't manage the change as well as many European countries have. Wallonia may have its problems, but it wasn't as severely neglected as the post-industrial areas of the U.S. so life hasn't decayed as much in Wallonia as it has in some American cities. Some degree of urban decay, reduction in services and a resulting increase in corruption and crime seems to have incurred in Wallonia, as Maciamo has explained, and perhaps some blight is unavoidable when an area declines economically, but things haven't reached the same level as in post-industrial areas that are neglected by government. I think there's an important lesson there.


Thanks, I guess?http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/smile.gif

Seriously, Aberdeen, there are issues about which I get emotional, but Belgian independence isn't one of them.

Obviously, we come from slightly different parts of the political spectrum. While I certainly see that there are things which can be criticized about capitalism, I still think it's far better than the alternatives. I hope that doesn't mean that we can't continue to have the kinds of rational discussions which I have much enjoyed. However, if you start bandying around words like racism, then all discussion is going to cease. I don't have a racist bone in my body, which should be obvious to anyone who has read my posts.

I also have more than a passing acquaintance with the problems of the inner cities, so forgive me if I'm not overwhelmed by the insight of a Canadian academic passing through...although the point she made about automation is quite valid. The situation is just much more complicated than that...

For one thing, you mentioned moving populations...that is something which obviously could not be done forcibly...we don't have that kind of government, thank goodness, nor would the people tolerate it. Even encouraging relocation, as well as the eminently sensible steps that could have been taken to make Detroit more attractive to other companies (and that were not taken by either the federal, state, or city governments) would not have solved the problems.

To where, for example, would you have encouraged emigration? And to what jobs? For that matter, what industries could have been encouraged to move to Detroit to take up the slack?

Automation is taking place in all industries. Plus, you don't need me to tell you that the most developed countries have an increasingly difficult time competing in the manufacturing sector with countries in the developing world which pay much less in terms of worker costs, both for labor and benefits. The fact is that there is just less need in the modern economy for the kinds of relatively unskilled factory work that once attracted thousands of people to certain countries and cities within countries.

The jobs which are being created, although they don't match in number the jobs that were created at the height of industrialization, require higher level skill sets. Once again, governments are at fault for not educating the younger people for these higher level jobs. The U.S. has a particular problem in this area, in my opinion, because the assumption has been that all young people are capable of attending and graduating from university programs, and so the kinds of trade schools and programs which exist in Europe do not exist to the same degree here. Even so, it's just a fact of life, in my opinion, that some people regardless of race and/or ethnicity will not be able to acquire these skill sets. That is a huge problem for the future.

In addition, however, one cannot ignore the other factors involved in the plight of the urban centers of the northeastern and mid-western "rust belt".

In Detroit, as in many of these cities, the problem with expenditures is not the salaries paid to city workers; it has to do with the pensions. Pensions that are much higher, by the way, than those paid by the private sector. They were supposed to be paid for with future revenues from taxation. Unfortunately, as the old industries downsized, they paid fewer taxes. Fewer jobs meant fewer taxes from workers and from people employed in all the ancillary businesses in the area. The solution chosen, that of hiking the taxes of the middle and upper class people in the cities merely caused these people to relocate to the suburbs or out of the area completely.

There are other drains on government resources as well. It goes without saying that the impaired, children, the elderly poor, and those unable to find work despite their best efforts should be helped by their governments. However, some government policies actually foster dependence rather than independence. Also, anyone who doesn't think that skyrocketing drug use had an impact on these cities and rural areas as well hasn't been paying attention. Ask any community leaders what crack did to their areas. In addition, the bearing of multiple children by young, uneducated, unemployed and unemployable girls is a sure recipe for poverty and dysfunction not only for the young women involved, and their children, but for their community.

Facts are uncomfortable things sometimes, but they must be dealt with honestly...knee jerk attribution of blame to one political ideology or another is not helpful.

And now, I think I've strayed far enough off topic.

Aberdeen
24-03-14, 21:13
I did say I assumed you weren't aware of the racism underlying some of the rhetoric about Detroit, since I was assuming that you've been discussing the issue with academics and social workers, rather than looking at Youtube clips that talk about how "those people" ruined Detroit. And yes, once a region decays beyond a certain level, there's a problem with addictions, family breakdown and people who no longer think in terms of working for a living. And it's difficult to change course once things deteriorate to that level - the city of Glasgow in Scotland struggled with the same issue for decades after high unemployment wrecked the lives of the descendants of Highland and Irish people who moved there in the 19th century to take the kind of industrial jobs that later disappeared. If Wallonia has avoided that level of urban decay as its cities de-industrialize, perhaps we should give the Walloons a bit more respect for avoiding a potential social breakdown.

Angela
25-03-14, 02:34
I did say I assumed you weren't aware of the racism underlying some of the rhetoric about Detroit, since I was assuming that you've been discussing the issue with academics and social workers, rather than looking at Youtube clips that talk about how "those people" ruined Detroit. And yes, once a region decays beyond a certain level, there's a problem with addictions, family breakdown and people who no longer think in terms of working for a living. And it's difficult to change course once things deteriorate to that level - the city of Glasgow in Scotland struggled with the same issue for decades after high unemployment wrecked the lives of the descendants of Highland and Irish people who moved there in the 19th century to take the kind of industrial jobs that later disappeared. If Wallonia has avoided that level of urban decay as its cities de-industrialize, perhaps we should give the Walloons a bit more respect for avoiding a potential social breakdown.


I base my opinions on facts...whether they come from government statistics or studies or some other reliable source or personal experience. Detroit isn't the only city in the U.S. that qualifies as a rust belt city; we immigrated to one when we came to the U.S. I am also a long time resident of the greater New York metropolitan area, which has a whole host of related problems. I have no need of youtube videos. I've lived it.

Ed. That sounds rather abrupt...I didn't mean it to be, Aberdeen.

Aberdeen
26-03-14, 01:15
No, that doesn't sound too abrupt, Angela. You have first hand experience with such neighbourhoods, which I didn't realize.

bicicleur
26-03-14, 08:54
Do you think the Walloon people are happy about the fact the PS never prevented the collapse of the Walloon economy? It's a Walloon problem before being a Flemish problem.

why does the PS stay in power then, who keeps on voting for them ?

Coolboygcp
12-06-14, 10:54
It's not as simple as that.

1) Not all Flemings want independence. Even those in favour don't want it without Brussels.

Not all Flemings, but many, if not the majority of them. There are many in favour of it would tolerate it without Brussels.


2) Most Walloons want a unified Belgium. Should the country split, there is no consensus between Walloons as whether they should be an independent country or join France. Actually most Walloons cannot conceive an independent Wallonia without Brussels. I like to compare Belgium's case to Israel and Palestine, without the religious and ethnic divide. Both Israeli and Palestinians see Jerusalem as their capital and can't imagine their respective country without it. The Flemings and Walloons and the same feeling toward Brussels. Brussels is historically a Flemish city but is 80% French-speaking, and most French-speaking Brusselers either have roots in Wallonia or relatives in Wallonia.

Yes, many Walloons do want a unified Belgium. Many fear that without Flanders, the economy in Wallonia will shrink even further, as they won't get the subsidies that the Flemish give them. If the Walloon government doesn't change their anti-business policies; then this will happen. If they changed their policies, then business would come to Wallonia, and Wallonia would prosper.


3) The German-speaking Community is only 75,000 people. They don't even have a city. They would either stay with Wallonia or join Luxembourg, with whom they share a border too and feel close due to their bilingual German/French education.

There are smaller countries, look at Monaco for example. The German-speaking community could survive on it's own as an independent country. I would be alright with them joining Luxembourg, and I do agree with you on that. They could stay with Wallonia, but I feel that they have more in common with Luxembourg. Another option is for the German-speaking Community to join Germany; though I doubt it would happen.


4) Another possibility, rarely mentioned but which makes a lot of sense in my opinion, is that Brussels, Wallonia (incl. German-speakers) and Luxembourg form a new state. After all Luxembourg was always part of Belgium historically, even when Belgium became an independent country in 1830. In 1839, the Netherlands asked the Belgian state that the historical duchy of Luxembourg be split in two, with the eastern half form an independent country with the Dutch king as its Grand Duke, in exchange for the recognition of the independence of Belgium. Nowadays half of historical Luxembourg is in Wallonia. Since Wallonia also has a German-speaking community and that half of it was historically part of Germany (Principality of Liège/Lüttich (http://www.eupedia.com/belgium/liege-province.shtml)), it is only logical that Wallonia and Luxembourg should be part of the same country.

Furthermore, both Brussels and Luxembourg hold seats of European institutions, so the whole Brussels-Wallonia-Luxembourg region could be unified as a European district similar to Washington DC. The impoverishment of Wallonia is mainly caused by the economic exile of the brightest Walloons to Brussels and Luxembourg, which border each extremity of Wallonia. I grew up in Wallonia and I know that almost any Walloon who wants to have a proper job goes to Brussels or Luxembourg (or further away, Paris and London being quite popular).

That is a very interesting idea, Maciamo. I would definitely be for it if Wallonia were richer. The income ago is the main impediment to your scenario. I could not find statistics on the per-capita income of Wallonia, but I could find them for the whole of Belgium.

The GDP (PPP) Per Capita for Belgium is: $38,826
The GDP (Nominal) Per Capita for Belgium is: $47,787

The GDP (PPP) Per Capita for Luxembourg is: $79,785
The GDP (Nominal) Per Capita for Luxembourg is: $107,206

The GDP Per Capita will be a bit lower for Wallonia, so there is a very large income gap between the two. Luxembourg is mostly wealth people. These people would not want to add around four million less wealthy people to their nation. If Wallonia became richer, and at around the same level of wealth as Luxembourg; I would support your proposal. But, at the time being, I don't see it happening.

Luxembourg and Brussels do have much in common, as you said; and they both have many EU institutions. Luxembourg and Brussels could unite to form some sort of EU capital district, but they would be two unconnected enclaves. Also, in your scenario; what would become of Luxembourg's Grand Duke? They are the world's last remaining grand duchy; so I would hope that they would retain that status.

Perhaps, the Walloon province of Luxembourg could join with Luxembourg. They both have the same name. They both speak French, and they both speak Luxembourgish. Luxembourg the region is larger in size than Luxembourg the nation. The reg of Luxembourg has a population of 273,638. The nation of Luxembourg has a population of 549,680. The nation of Luxembourg would still have more people than the province of Luxembourg, and the newly-created nation would have more land and room for economic and population growth and development.

Another option for Wallonia is to merge with France, they have similar cultures, the same language, close proximity to each other, etc. The German-speaking Community would be a problem in this scenario, as France does not have a good track record with linguistic and cultural minorities.

As I said before, I would support the scenario of Wallonia, Brussels, and Luxembourg joining together. The question is, how would the economy of Wallonia grow at such a rate to be comparable to Luxembourg?

Maciamo
12-06-14, 11:35
That is a very interesting idea, Maciamo. I would definitely be for it if Wallonia were richer. The income ago is the main impediment to your scenario. I could not find statistics on the per-capita income of Wallonia, but I could find them for the whole of Belgium.

The GDP (PPP) Per Capita for Belgium is: $38,826
The GDP (Nominal) Per Capita for Belgium is: $47,787

The GDP (PPP) Per Capita for Luxembourg is: $79,785
The GDP (Nominal) Per Capita for Luxembourg is: $107,206

The GDP Per Capita will be a bit lower for Wallonia, so there is a very large income gap between the two. Luxembourg is mostly wealth people. These people would not want to add around four million less wealthy people to their nation. If Wallonia became richer, and at around the same level of wealth as Luxembourg; I would support your proposal. But, at the time being, I don't see it happening.

Luxembourg and Brussels do have much in common, as you said; and they both have many EU institutions. Luxembourg and Brussels could unite to form some sort of EU capital district, but they would be two unconnected enclaves. Also, in your scenario; what would become of Luxembourg's Grand Duke? They are the world's last remaining grand duchy; so I would hope that they would retain that status.

Perhaps, the Walloon province of Luxembourg could join with Luxembourg. They both have the same name. They both speak French, and they both speak Luxembourgish. Luxembourg the region is larger in size than Luxembourg the nation. The reg of Luxembourg has a population of 273,638. The nation of Luxembourg has a population of 549,680. The nation of Luxembourg would still have more people than the province of Luxembourg, and the newly-created nation would have more land and room for economic and population growth and development.

Another option for Wallonia is to merge with France, they have similar cultures, the same language, close proximity to each other, etc. The German-speaking Community would be a problem in this scenario, as France does not have a good track record with linguistic and cultural minorities.

As I said before, I would support the scenario of Wallonia, Brussels, and Luxembourg joining together. The question is, how would the economy of Wallonia grow at such a rate to be comparable to Luxembourg?

GDP only looks at where the money is declared for tax purposes. But a lot of people working in Luxembourg are Walloons or people residing in Wallonia just across the border. Arlon is essentially a dormitory town for people working in Luxembourg, with income officially earned in Luxembourg. It is only 25 minutes away from the centre of Luxembourg City.

Likewise two third of people working have getting their salaries in Brussels live outside Brussels, and the majority comes from Wallonia. Brussels has an official night time population of one million, but a day time population of 3 millions with commuters. The main reason why the Walloon GDP appears so low is that so many Walloons commute to work to Brussels and to Luxembourg.

Wallonia has a population of 3.5 million, but only 1.3 million of them are in employment (http://www.iweps.be/population-active-wallonne-selon-le-statut). If Brussels already attracts 2 million commuters from Flanders and Wallonia, with a higher proportion of French speakers, then it almost seems like the majority of Walloons work in Brussels.

It would be interesting to contrast salaries by region of employment and by region of residence. In the former case, salaries for people employed in Brussels and Luxembourg would be much higher than in Wallonia. But since many of them live in Wallonia, it might even out when looking at salaries by place of residence.

Wilhelm
12-06-14, 14:05
What do you think about the elite of Belgium belonging to sects of paedohpiles, like the minister Di Rupo ? I saw that on youtube, Just asking out of curiosity, since you are from Belgium,

LeBrok
12-06-14, 17:12
It would be interesting to contrast salaries by region of employment and by region of residence. In the former case, salaries for people employed in Brussels and Luxembourg would be much higher than in Wallonia. But since many of them live in Wallonia, it might even out when looking at salaries by place of residence.
Try comparing Real Estate prices, they usually can tell you how much money people have in this community when compared to others.

Ike
14-06-14, 04:28
What do you think about the elite of Belgium belonging to sects of paedohpiles, like the minister Di Rupo ? I saw that on youtube, Just asking out of curiosity, since you are from Belgium,

As present in ancient Greece, it was surely not done just because it was socially acceptable, but because people liked it. Considering that, just like homosexualism, I don't think it can ever be eradicated, and it's part of life of all groups that can evade legal consequences. Not only Belgium elite but all across the world. If you have enough money to cover it up, you can have sex with kids. It's no brainer.

Coolboygcp
14-06-14, 05:29
As present in ancient Greece, it was surely not done just because it was socially acceptable, but because people liked it. Considering that, just like homosexualism, I don't think it can ever be eradicated, and it's part of life of all groups that can evade legal consequences. Not only Belgium elite but all across the world. If you have enough money to cover it up, you can have sex with kids. It's no brainer.Oh, it was done in other ancient societies too. Why do you have to single out Greece?And there you go again, how can you even compare homosexuality and paedophilia? You have put them into the same category, but they are two completely things. Paedophilia is a crime, it is morally wrong, it is a perversion of the worst kind. Homosexuality is not a crime, and is a fact of life. People who are homosexual are born homosexual, they do not "suddenly" chose to be that way. Paedophiles chose to be paedophiles, they are mentally ill.

Ike
14-06-14, 07:07
Oh, it was done in other ancient societies too. Why do you have to single out Greece?
It is not singled out. It is just named as one of the memorable examples. Surely there are dozens more.


And there you go again, how can you even compare homosexuality and pedophilia? You have put them into the same category, but they are two completely things.
I'm not comparing it anywhere, there was no need to make a comparison for this purpose. Where have you seen any comparison, anyway?


Paedophilia is a crime, it is morally wrong, it is a perversion of the worst kind.
It hadn't always been. It's just current consensus. It was also thought that homosexuality was morally wrong and was designated as a crime. And look at it now.
It's funny that you don't even allow the possibility that same thing can happen with pedophilia.


Homosexuality is not a crime, and is a fact of life.
So is pedophilia.



People who are homosexual are born homosexual, they do not "suddenly" chose to be that way. Paedophiles chose to be paedophiles, they are mentally ill.
:tripple facepalm:

They are born that way, exactly the same as homosexuals, heterosexuals or asexuals...

LeBrok
14-06-14, 17:43
It is not singled out. It is just named as one of the memorable examples. Surely there are dozens more.


I'm not comparing it anywhere, there was no need to make a comparison for this purpose. Where have you seen any comparison, anyway?


It hadn't always been. It's just current consensus. It was also thought that homosexuality was morally wrong and was designated as a crime. And look at it now.
It's funny that you don't even allow the possibility that same thing can happen with pedophilia.


So is pedophilia.



:tripple facepalm:

They are born that way, exactly the same as homosexuals, heterosexuals or asexuals...

Looks like you didn't memorise the difference yet. Gay relationship happens is between two consenting adults. There is no harm done to anyone.

Pedophilia is one sided sexual relationship with kids. Kids are used and harmed. We will always protect children, therefore pedofilia will never ever be legal.
Acually when you look at history, pedophila was legal or not against law in some ancient societies. Even today pedophilaia happens very often in poor societies in developing countries, together with arranged marriages at age 8. Pedophilia is illegal and considered immoral in all Western countries. So, if you are able to see this obvious pattern, why the heck you always bring it as a scary future for Western world. The Western world gards its children more than any other societies on earth present and gone, can't you see it, we have drinking age, we have laws against sexual relation with children and heavy penalties, we spend billions to send them to school to educate, and billions for their health, psychologists are available to take care of the vulnerable, they can't be left alone even in the house till age 12, etc, etc. Such devoted care is none existent in poor countries.
They are spoiled, yes, but their are protected and guarded and sacred.

Can you see now why pedophilia will never be legal in the West?

Maciamo
14-06-14, 18:38
Try comparing Real Estate prices, they usually can tell you how much money people have in this community when compared to others.

That doesn't really work. Real estate in Luxembourg is cheap compared to the GDP per capita because it's a small city and there is plenty of space. In contrast, even the poorest neighbourhood of Brussels will be more expensive than some well-off villages in the outskirts because overcrowding drives prices up.

LeBrok
14-06-14, 20:24
That doesn't really work. Real estate in Luxembourg is cheap compared to the GDP per capita because it's a small city and there is plenty of space. In contrast, even the poorest neighbourhood of Brussels will be more expensive than some well-off villages in the outskirts because overcrowding drives prices up.
Yes, sometimes there are big anomalies according to unusual local conditions. It is the case in Luxemburg. The prices should be the highest in Europe but are not.

Here are just the Belgioum prices:
During 2013:

[*=left]In Brussels-Capital region, regular house prices increased by 4.3% (3.1% inflation-adjusted) to €368,941
[*=left]In the Flemish region (Flanders), prices of regular houses rose by 2.1% (1% inflation-adjusted) to an average of €212,265
[*=left]In Walloon region (Wallonia), regular house prices increased 0.9% (-0.2% inflation-adjusted) to an average of €147,816


Roughly one can guess that people in Brussels make make more money than on average in Flemish region and lastly Walloon. Brussel's prices might be higher than it should be thanks to international capital liking big centers better to invest money in Real Estate.

Ike
16-06-14, 01:48
Looks like you didn't memorise the difference yet. Gay relationship happens is between two consenting adults. There is no harm done to anyone.
Pedophilia is one sided sexual relationship with kids. Kids are used and harmed. We will always protect children, therefore pedofilia will never ever be legal.

Unless they change the law and say that adults are people from 14 years of age. What we consider as pedophilia today, would then become legal. Only, it wouldn't be pedophilia anymore. So you're kinda right :)


Acually when you look at history, pedophila was legal or not against law in some ancient societies. Even today pedophilaia happens very often in poor societies in developing countries, together with arranged marriages at age 8. Pedophilia is illegal and considered immoral in all Western countries. So, if you are able to see this obvious pattern, why the heck you always bring it as a scary future for Western world. The Western world gards its children more than any other societies on earth present and gone, can't you see it, we have drinking age, we have laws against sexual relation with children and heavy penalties, we spend billions to send them to school to educate, and billions for their health, psychologists are available to take care of the vulnerable, they can't be left alone even in the house till age 12, etc, etc. Such devoted care is none existent in poor countries.
They are spoiled, yes, but their are protected and guarded and sacred.

Anyway, it's of no importance if pedophilia is legal or illegal, that was not the point of my post. The point was that it is present like every other sexual deviation and scattered randomly across the population.
On the top of that, I piled up with my premise that it is being exercised wherever possible.

LeBrok
16-06-14, 05:34
Unless they change the law and say that adults are people from 14 years of age. What we consider as pedophilia today, would then become legal. Only, it wouldn't be pedophilia anymore. So you're kinda right :) Till it changes you don't have a case. Just fear mongering, as per your specialty. You might as well prepare for invasion of aliens. Theoretically it is possible too.




Anyway, it's of no importance if pedophilia is legal or illegal, that was not the point of my post. The point was that it is present like every other sexual deviation and scattered randomly across the population.
On the top of that, I piled up with my premise that it is being exercised wherever possible. If all humans were perfect we wouldn't need law and ethics. It is not the case, therefore we have ethics and laws to keep destructive behavior and individuals in check. For that reason there is law against pedophila. I have no idea what point you're trying to make with "scattered randomly across the population"? Like stealing, murder or physical abuse? You don't suggest these things will be legalized in rotten western world too? So what is this fear mongering with your favorite pedophila exemple???!!! Do you have at least one example of one country in the west legalizing this to support your worst fears? So give it a rest finally.

Maciamo
16-06-14, 09:41
Yes, sometimes there are big anomalies according to unusual local conditions. It is the case in Luxemburg. The prices should be the highest in Europe but are not.

Here are just the Belgioum prices:
During 2013:

[*=left]In Brussels-Capital region, regular house prices increased by 4.3% (3.1% inflation-adjusted) to €368,941
[*=left]In the Flemish region (Flanders), prices of regular houses rose by 2.1% (1% inflation-adjusted) to an average of €212,265
[*=left]In Walloon region (Wallonia), regular house prices increased 0.9% (-0.2% inflation-adjusted) to an average of €147,816


Roughly one can guess that people in Brussels make make more money than on average in Flemish region and lastly Walloon. Brussel's prices might be higher than it should be thanks to international capital liking big centers better to invest money in Real Estate.

That's very misleading because Brussels has by far the highest unemployment rate of the three regions: In 2012 unemployment was at 21% in Brussels, 14% in Wallonia and 7% in Flanders.

Brussels also has the highest percentage of third world immigrants and of people living under the poverty line (as of 2008: 26% in Brussels, against 10.1% in Flanders and 19.5% in Wallonia).

It is true that the richest people also usually live in or around Brussels, but never together with poor people. There is a major split between rich and poor neighbourhoods in Brussels, as illustrated by the map I made based on official income per household:

http://www.eupedia.com/images/content/wealth-brussels.gif


Yet this is not really reflected in the house prices. Here is the map of the 50 cheapest and most expensive municipalities in Belgium based on average house prices. Brussels is divided in 19 municipalities. As you can see, even the poorest municipalities, those where about half of the population are poor and unemployed immigrants, have more expensive real estate than virtually anywhere in wealthy Flanders.

http://www.eupedia.com/images/content/price-belgian-communes2.png

As for Wallonia, it has the most expensive province in Belgium outside Brussels (Walloon Brabant just south of Brussels), but also the cheapest one (dirty poor Hainaut province in the west).

Some of the most expensive municipalities in Flanders are located between Brussels and Wallonia and are actually in majority French speaking (90% in Kraainem and Wezembeek-Oppem) or with strong French-speaking minorities (20-30% in Tervuren, Zaventem, Overijse). These municipalities are the strongest source of tensions between French and Dutch speakers as French-speakers want them to join bilingual Brussels, but Flemings refuse as they don't want to loose the high tax revenues.

What we can remember from these stats is that both the richest and poorest municipalities in Belgium are essentially French speaking. This shows a greater income inequality among French speakers than among Dutch speakers, which is not surprising as Germanic countries are more egalitarian than Romance/Celtic ones.

Tchek
16-06-14, 22:30
What we can remember from these stats is that both the richest and poorest municipalities in Belgium are essentially French speaking. This shows a greater income inequality among French speakers than among Dutch speakers, which is not surprising as Germanic countries are more egalitarian than Romance/Celtic ones.

I don't think it has anything to do with Germanic vs Romance/Celtic. The division is highly exagerated.

I think it's down to demographics. Flanders is now characterized by a young middle class population which has identified itself with a standardized Flemish culture. This is quite new. They are the strong middle class of Belgium. Francophone Belgium has both the waning upper-class, high bourgeoisie who are losing their prestige and probably their wealth, and the descendants of the working class of a collapsed industry. So, Francophone Belgium is a hourglass shaped society while Flanders has the bulk of the middle class, for now.

It's the hazard of demographics basically, it might be different 30 years from now. It's a belgian (and german/anglo-saxon) obsession to ethnicize everything.

Ike
16-06-14, 23:09
Till it changes you don't have a case. Just fear mongering, as per your specialty. You might as well prepare for invasion of aliens. Theoretically it is possible too.

If all humans were perfect we wouldn't need law and ethics. It is not the case, therefore we have ethics and laws to keep destructive behavior and individuals in check. For that reason there is law against pedophila. I have no idea what point you're trying to make with "scattered randomly across the population"? Like stealing, murder or physical abuse? You don't suggest these things will be legalized in rotten western world too? So what is this fear mongering with your favorite pedophila exemple???!!! Do you have at least one example of one country in the west legalizing this to support your worst fears? So give it a rest finally.

I don't know where you're going with this, because it has nothing to do with the thread, or with my support to thesis #66.

gstq98
19-12-16, 07:10
Belgium is not petty like that. They are beyond such things. They won't split.