Tag Archives: Europe

Europe, the Global Economic Outlook and the U.S.

By Raymond J. Keating

In its latest economic outlook published on May 25, the OECD is projecting further economic under-performance in the U.S. and among other developing nations in general.

The OECD says that the global economy is “gaining momentum,” but that “the recovery is fragile, extremely uneven across different regions.”

It’s forecasted that the Euro area will barely grow at 0.1% in 2012 and 0.9% in 2013. As for Japan, real GDP is expected to grow by 2% in 2012 and 1.5% in 2013.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the OECD forecasts that real GDP will grow at 2.4% in 2012 and 2.6% in 2013.

It is crucial to remind ourselves that real GDP growth during economic recoveries in U.S. should be growing at better than 4%, and that even counting periods of recession, real annual GDP growth has averaged 3.3 percent post-World War II. So, if the OECD is right, this under-performing recovery is expected to labor on for the foreseeable future.

Where is the uncertainty in the OECD outlook? It is stated in the report, “Risks around the projection are extensive and predominantly on the downside…”

And what is the key downside risk? According to OECD Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan, “The crisis in the euro zone remains the single biggest downside risk facing the global outlook.”

In the report’s accompanying statement, it was explained: “In Europe, business and household confidence is weak, financial markets are tight and the adverse impacts of fiscal consolidation on near-term growth may be significant, particularly in countries hardest hit by the euro crisis… Recovery in the healthier economies, while welcome, is not strong enough to offset flat or negative growth elsewhere in Europe… The OECD warns that failure to act today could lead to a worsening of the European crisis and spillovers beyond the euro area, with serious consequences for the global economy.”

There is no doubt that Europe is a mess; is having negative effects on other economies; and threatens to do further damage to global growth.

But it’s also critical to acknowledge that European leaders don’t seem all that interested in dealing with the key issue restraining growth and generating debt woes, i.e., the size of government. Among the 27 EU nations, government spending sucked up 49.1 percent of GDP in 2011. That’s a growth strangling level of government. Until the size of government is reined in, Europe will remain, at best, a slow growth economy.

As for the U.S., the same basic issue is restraining growth. Total (federal, state and local) government spending as a share of GDP hit 36.5 percent in 2009 and 35 percent in 2010. Such levels were never reached in the post-World War II era. And compare those levels to the 28.8 percent level in 2000, and 30.9 percent as recently as 2007.

Throw into the U.S. mix, increased taxes, more regulation, a lack of leadership on trade and misguided monetary policy, and a deep recession and grossly under-performing recovery are not surprising.

No reason exists why the U.S. should not be leading the global economy, and taking others along with us to higher levels of growth, that is, other than the fact that all the wrong policy moves have been made for the past four-and-a-half years.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. His new book is “Chuck” vs. the Business World: Business Tips on TV.

Political Incorrect Global Freezing, At Least In Europe

By Daniel Downs

Thus far, America has experience one of the milded winters in history. The cause must be global warming–right?

Well, maybe not. Europe is being hammered with the realities of global freezing. Robert W. Felix reports the Sea of Azov froze trapping 100 vessels. The Dunabe has frozen cutting off access to 6 countries and halting sea-based trade. In Turkey, 2000 roads are blocked by heavy snow, 300 feet in some places. Survivors of the recent earthquake are now fighting to survive this disaster. The blast of snow is devestating Italy’s rural areas. Many villagers are trapped in 9 feet of snow. Hunfreds of barns have collapsed, animals killed, and crops destroyed. Ukraine, Serbia, Romania, Czechs, and other nations are suffering the same kinds of losses. Serbians officials have cut power in hopes of preventing a total collapse of the national grid, according to the report. Temperatures of -30C to -40C is driving up the demand for power that the cannot be sustained.

The number of deaths is estimated at 550 and the number trapped by snow at 140,000.

The video below is a news report about the winter storm in Romania by Romanian Internet PorTv.

By all indications, America’s mild winter is not the result of global warming but rather the result either of the beginning of a new ice age or a swap of winter weather patterns.

Homosexual Lobby Group Funded Mostly by Governments

By Austin Ruse

(WASHINGTON, DC – C-FAM) European human rights lawyer J.C. von Krempach has taken a close look at the funding stream of the International Gay and Lesbian Association – Europe (ILGA) and concluded that most of their money comes from governments. Writing in the foreign policy blog Turtle Bay and Beyond, von Krempach found a vast majority of ILGA’s funds come from just two governmental entities, the European Commission and the Dutch government.

ILGA is an advocacy group promoting homosexual rights. They were notoriously denied UN accreditation for years because of their connection to groups that promote pedophilia. The NGO Committee of the UN Economic and Social Council consistently rejected ILGA until the Economic and Social Council, led by European countries, overruled their decision.

Among the requirements for UN NGO accreditation is “the major portion of the organization’s funds should be derived from contributions from national affiliates, individual members, or other non-governmental components.”

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) accredited to the United Nations must show actual people or non-profits, such as foundations, fund them. The UN holds that if their money comes mostly from governments that would make them governmental entities.

The UN included “civil society” to represent people independent from governmental intrusion, not to be an arm of government or a deceptive front for political officials. “Civil society” is comprised of voluntary social relationships and civic organizations and institutions, distinct from the state and market.

Von Krempach discovered that in the year just ended, the European Commission, an intergovernmental entity, provided fully 68% of ILGA’s budget. The Dutch government provided an additional €50,000 bringing ILGA’s governmental funding up to 71%. The rest of ILGA’s funding comes from left-wing donors George Soros, Sigrid Rausing, and one anonymous donor.

Von Krempach also looked at the organization’s budget forecast for 2012 and found a total income of €1,950,000 of which €1 million come from the European Commission and €334,000 come from the Dutch government. Von Krempach writes, “This raises questions with regard to ILGA-Europe’s accreditation to the UN Economic and Social Council.”

Von Krempach also points out the anomaly of the European Commission being the largest sole funding source for a group set up to lobby the European Commission and the European Parliament. He says this is basically the European Institutions lobbying itself.

In light of this new information, it is expected the UN NGO Committee will take up ILGA’s accreditation once more. There is a great deal of bad blood at the UN on the question of the homosexual agenda. European nations are forcing extremist homosexual groups upon the UN NGO Committee. Other governments have taken up the cause of making homosexual activity a human right enforced by international law.

A document called the Yogyakarta Principles, written in part by UN bureaucrats, claims that “sexual orientation and gender identity” are already part of international law. A solid bloc of 80+ nations consistently stops this phantom re-interpretation of UN treaties from actually happening.

In recent weeks the US government announced that advancing the homosexual agenda would be one of its top foreign policy priorities, directing all US government entities that do business overseas to make this agenda a priority.

Austin Ruse is President of C-FAM whose article first appeared in the Friday Fax, an internet report published weekly by C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute (http://www.c-fam.org/). This article appears with permission.

Threat of Another Recession, Look to Europe

The potential for another recession is high, according to financial adviser John Mauldin. The primary reason is not too much overspending by the federal government, quantum easings, or too many bad loans to people who couldn’t possibly repay. No, it is Greece and lesser debt-ridden European nations with their insolvent banks this time.

Mauldin’s concern is based on two weeks spent in Europe speaking with investors, bankers, economists, and other people. Many Europeans see continued decline in the value of both the Euro and the dollar. The same believe more quantum levels of money printing are inevitable in order to save their economies from default. One of Europe’s more astute financiers even see the Euro ceasing to exist in the near future.

Even Bernanke warned the possible negative impact on America’s economy if Greece defaults and European banks fail.

In Greece, the economy is so bad that drug companies are refusing to send hospitals needed medicine because hospitals cannot pay their bills.

Pharmaceutical companies are starting to refuse to deliver to Greek hospitals, as they are up to two years behind on their payments. It turns out that Greece owes some €6 billion to private businesses like hospitals and simply cannot pay. Those costs are rising, and much of it is to hospitals for medical care supported by the government. They are issuing bonds (shades of California) for the debt in some cases, which sell for a discount of 50%, if they can be sold. And we thought finding €12 billion was a hard thing.

That is one reason Americans should not allow socialist Democrats to socialize health care.

To read John Mauldin article, titled “The Contagion Risk of Europe,” go to his website http://www.johnmauldin.com/frontlinethoughts/the-contagion-risk-of-europe

Islamophobic Yodeling

by Adam Turner

Austrian “hate speech” prosecutors are very busy these days. In addition to going after Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff for “prejudicial incitement,” i.e., criticizing Islam and Sharia laws at a seminar, the Austrians found the time to crack down on yet another “Islamophobic” miscreant, a 63 year old Austrian retiree.

“Helmut G. was busy on Friday afternoon, mowing his grass. ‘And because I was just in such a good mood, I yodeled along with it and sang a few songs,’ says the retiree, speaking to the Styrian Crown. That was not all right with his neighbors — believing Muslims. They had gathered in their house at prayer hour, which was also broadcast into their yard by loudspeaker… Consequently, several of them felt disturbed in their religious exercises by the grass-mowing 63-year old — and promptly reported him to the police. ‘In the statement it said that my yodeling sounded like the call of the muezzin,’ Helmut G. shook his head, bewildered. ‘It was definitely not my intention to imitate him,’ the Graz native assures us. The court did not believe him and sentenced him to a fat fine.”

In a way, I am glad that the Austrians have helped to flesh out further the debate regarding Islam and Islamism. As you know, LP works to protect the right to comment on radical Islam, terrorism and related issues without fear of legal retaliation. It is often hard to discuss such politically charged topics without knowing exactly what the rules of the debate are. At the very least, we need to determine how far we can go before violating them and/or if we are going to be violating them. So, it is probably a good thing that in the past two decades, in a piecemeal, case-by-case fashion, the elites of the European nations – and to a lesser extent, the US – have been steadily compiling and revealing the rules of discussion regarding Islam, radical Islam, and Islamist terrorism to educate ordinary folks like you and me. These rules apparently include the following:

* Thou shalt not accurately describe Sharia law. See Geert Wilders. See Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.
* Thou shalt not criticize any Islamic doctrines. See Geert Wilders. See Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.
* Thou shalt not report on and/or criticize the funding of terror by Islamists. See Rachel Ehrenfield.
* Thou shalt not disparage – or even depict – the Islamic Prophet Muhammed. See the Jyllands-Posten Danish Cartoons. See South Park.
* Thou shalt not criticize the appropriateness of building any mosque, anywhere. See the Ground Zero Mosque debate.
* Thou shalt not admit to any politically incorrect thought(s) about Muslims, even if you immediately disavow it (them) as “irrational” and denounce it (them) on air. See Juan Williams.

Violating any of these rules – in the US and in Europe – is, according to the elites, a clear sign of “Islamophobia.” Violating any of these rules – in Europe alone – is also a sign of criminality.

So, thanks to the Austrians, we now know that we should add “thou shalt not yodel along with the call of the muezzin” as another rule to be followed. And I, for one, am thankful for this addition. Who knew that “Islamophobic Yodeling” was a problem?

This article was originally published by The Legal Project on December 2, 2010.