Politics Should Belgium Separate?

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.
 
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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.
 
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 ?
 
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.

Maciamo said:
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.

Maciamo said:
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.

Maciamo said:
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?
 
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.
 
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,
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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...
 
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?
 
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.
 
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.
 
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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.
 
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.
 
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:

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.

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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Belgium is not petty like that. They are beyond such things. They won't split.
 

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