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View Poll Results: Should Belgium Separate?

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  • Yes, Belgium should separate.

    4 36.36%
  • No, Belgium should stay intact.

    3 27.27%
  • I couldn't care less.

    4 36.36%
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Thread: Should Belgium Separate?

  1. #51
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    [QUOTE=Aberdeen;428418]
    Quote Originally Posted by Sile View Post

    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.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    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...ing_in_poverty
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    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...ing_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.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    [QUOTE=Angela;428521]
    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post


    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    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).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tchek View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    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.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    [QUOTE=Aberdeen;428526]
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post

    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?

    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.

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Angela; 25-03-14 at 04:36.

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    No, that doesn't sound too abrupt, Angela. You have first hand experience with such neighbourhoods, which I didn't realize.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tchek View Post
    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 ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    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), 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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolboygcp View Post
    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. 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.
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    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,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolboygcp View Post
    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...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike View Post
    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    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:
    • In Brussels-Capital region, regular house prices increased by 4.3% (3.1% inflation-adjusted) to €368,941
    • In the Flemish region (Flanders), prices of regular houses rose by 2.1% (1% inflation-adjusted) to an average of €212,265
    • 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.
    Last edited by LeBrok; 16-06-14 at 06:36.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike View Post
    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.

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