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Re: Euro go-ahead

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  • Martin Votruba
    ... Thanks for the reminder, Paul. ... Rightly so, I d say, Ron, when they were talking about their purchasing power. Statistics have shown it s been dropping
    Message 1 of 18 , May 3, 2008
      > the same kind of perception-driven predictions of doom
      > when Britain changed to decimal currency in the late 60s

      Thanks for the reminder, Paul.

      > Without exception they all have the same perception that Sven
      > expresses in the posting you referenced.

      Rightly so, I'd say, Ron, when they were talking about their
      purchasing power. Statistics have shown it's been dropping in Germany
      for several years now. The problem is the perception that it is a
      result of the switch to the euro. It is a result of a variety of
      factors, including, e.g., the changes in the value added tax, and, of
      course, government policies. By comparison, Ireland is at the other
      end of the scale of the developments in the eurozone after its
      introduction -- rapid riches. Both the German decline and Irish rise
      happened regardless of the euro.

      In other words, if "B" follows "A," people often assume that "B" is a
      result of "A." Yet, with the same government policies, the changes in
      VAT, and economic developments, people's purchasing power would have
      probably followed the same trajectory in Germany had it kept the D-Mark.

      I don't assume that the euro must be automatically beneficial
      (especially in the situation when the monetary policy is adjusted
      according to the needs of the biggies like France and Germany rather
      than the post-com "specks"), but to be able to blame the real drop in
      the standard of living in Germany on the euro, or praise the euro for
      the rise in Ireland, we'd have to show that the euro resulted in a
      similar trajectory in all or most of the eurozone, and that it was not
      caused by other factors. I'm not aware of evidence that the euro was
      a key factor in either Germany or Ireland.


      Martin

      votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
    • Nick Holcz
      Yes, perceptions are perception and the perception when Australia changed to decimal currency A$ ( way back in 1966, my God I am getting old) that prices went
      Message 2 of 18 , May 3, 2008
        Yes, perceptions are perception and the perception when Australia
        changed to decimal currency A$ ( way back in 1966, my God I am
        getting old) that prices went up and also when we changed our weights
        and measures system to decimal that the same thing happened.

        Nick
      • Martin Votruba
        ... Thanks for the examples, Nick. People are capable of projecting such perceptions on other creatures, too. After Switzerland first adopted daylight saving
        Message 3 of 18 , May 3, 2008
          > that prices went up and also when we changed our weights
          > and measures system to decimal that the same thing happened.

          Thanks for the examples, Nick. People are capable of projecting such
          perceptions on other creatures, too. After Switzerland first adopted
          daylight saving time in 1981, farmers swore that milk yield was
          dropping. The cows must have all rushed to the village square to
          check the church clock, and the Alpine grass never tasted the same.


          Martin

          votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
        • Ron Matviyak
          Ahh, shaded of change. I remember a bit of hte same complaining when the US changed booze sales from fifths (English units) to metric (750ml). I was on Skype
          Message 4 of 18 , May 3, 2008
            Ahh, shaded of change. I remember a bit of hte same complaining when
            the US changed booze sales from fifths (English units) to metric (750ml).

            I was on Skype with Germany last night and the senior salesman friend
            replied "Kaufkraft ist nicht bei Gehalt angekommen , immer mehr Leute
            haben Schulden und wenig Geld" Purchasing power hasn't kept up with
            inflation, and more people are in debt and have less money.

            To back up the argument for statistics and perception, the NY Times
            recently published

            http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/01/business/worldbusiness/01middle.html

            Ron

            --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Martin Votruba" <votrubam@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > > that prices went up and also when we changed our weights
            > > and measures system to decimal that the same thing happened.
            >
            > Thanks for the examples, Nick. People are capable of projecting such
            > perceptions on other creatures, too. After Switzerland first adopted
            > daylight saving time in 1981, farmers swore that milk yield was
            > dropping. The cows must have all rushed to the village square to
            > check the church clock, and the Alpine grass never tasted the same.
            >
            >
            > Martin
            >
            > votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
            >
          • skeeter
            For what it s worth, though somewhat unrelated, there was a push on here in the USA 30-some years ago to switch from the English measurement system to the
            Message 5 of 18 , May 3, 2008
              For what it's worth, though somewhat unrelated, there was a push on here in the USA 30-some years ago to switch from the English measurement system to the Metric system. That never quite caught on. What did I get out of it? I had to buy two sets of tools. One metric for my Japanese motorcycles and German car, and one English for most everything else. I ws already savvy with the metric system (almost everything in the sciences was already measured in milliliters, centimeters, and the like). Now, if you don't know one from the other, you're out of luck.

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Nick Holcz
              To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2008 10:15 AM
              Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] Re: Euro go-ahead


              Yes, perceptions are perception and the perception when Australia
              changed to decimal currency A$ ( way back in 1966, my God I am
              getting old) that prices went up and also when we changed our weights
              and measures system to decimal that the same thing happened.

              Nick




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Martin Votruba
              ... Thanks, Ron. It was refreshing to see no blame on the euro for that. Since the collapse of communism, not only that part of the continent, but also
              Message 6 of 18 , May 3, 2008
                > To back up the argument for statistics and perception

                Thanks, Ron. It was refreshing to see no blame on the euro for that.
                Since the collapse of communism, not only that part of the continent,
                but also Western Europe has been slowly moving towards the large gap
                between the top incomes and the middle- and lower-middle-class incomes
                that has been typical of the US. The American laborers' average
                purchasing power has been mostly oscillating rather than rising for
                about three decades now.

                The gap is already quite large in Slovakia -- fewer than 30% of the
                population, a large segment of them in Bratislava, have salaries above
                the country's average, 70% earn less than average salaries. A
                specific post-com situation that fosters social discontent is that,
                broken down by age groups, the highest average salaries are earned by
                the 30-34-year-old Slovaks. By comparison, the people in their 50s,
                whose incomes are the highest in most societies, which gives many of
                them a sense of accomplishment and deserved status, are making about
                10% less in Slovakia.

                At the same time, while the gap between the middle-class and the top
                earners has been opening faster in the post-com countries than in the
                older European democracies, the purchasing power of all the employed
                has been growing in Slovakia, and substantially so. A recent article
                has worked out that the Slovaks were able to buy about 6.2% more with
                their salaries by the end of 2007 than when the year began, an
                exceptional year, but part of a trend. Of course, that's not what the
                doom-and-gloom Slovaks say in opinion polls.


                Martin

                votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
              • Martin Votruba
                ... As to Slovakia, here are a few price-to-salary comparisons -- how much a given item cost a Slovak with the average income in 2007 by comparison to the same
                Message 7 of 18 , May 3, 2008
                  > To back up the argument for statistics and perception

                  As to Slovakia, here are a few price-to-salary comparisons -- how much
                  a given item cost a Slovak with the average income in 2007 by
                  comparison to the same in 2002 (a minus means a drop):

                  bread, butter: the same percentage of income as in 2002
                  pork (a popular cut): -42%
                  chicken: -31%
                  beer: -23%
                  TV: -65%
                  small Skoda car: -33%
                  bank account charges: +39%

                  The Slovaks' rising incomes have substantially outpaced the rising
                  prices of the listed items. On the other hand, an opinion poll among
                  the gainsaying Slovaks might suggest that everything is 2-3 times more
                  expensive now and that they are reduced to borrowing money to take the
                  bus to work.


                  Martin

                  votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
                • skeeter
                  The American laborers average purchasing power has been mostly oscillating rather than rising for about three decades now. I was watching the news last
                  Message 8 of 18 , May 4, 2008
                    "The American laborers' average
                    purchasing power has been mostly oscillating rather than rising for
                    about three decades now."

                    I was watching the news last night (I don't remember which network) and they said the average American CEO's salary has gone from 40-times the laborer's salary in 1980 to 433-times the laborer's salary today. The rich get richer, and the little guy gets screwed. That might explain some of it.



                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Martin Votruba
                    To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2008 4:46 PM
                    Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: Euro go-ahead


                    > To back up the argument for statistics and perception

                    Thanks, Ron. It was refreshing to see no blame on the euro for that.
                    Since the collapse of communism, not only that part of the continent,
                    but also Western Europe has been slowly moving towards the large gap
                    between the top incomes and the middle- and lower-middle-class incomes
                    that has been typical of the US. The American laborers' average
                    purchasing power has been mostly oscillating rather than rising for
                    about three decades now.

                    The gap is already quite large in Slovakia -- fewer than 30% of the
                    population, a large segment of them in Bratislava, have salaries above
                    the country's average, 70% earn less than average salaries. A
                    specific post-com situation that fosters social discontent is that,
                    broken down by age groups, the highest average salaries are earned by
                    the 30-34-year-old Slovaks. By comparison, the people in their 50s,
                    whose incomes are the highest in most societies, which gives many of
                    them a sense of accomplishment and deserved status, are making about
                    10% less in Slovakia.

                    At the same time, while the gap between the middle-class and the top
                    earners has been opening faster in the post-com countries than in the
                    older European democracies, the purchasing power of all the employed
                    has been growing in Slovakia, and substantially so. A recent article
                    has worked out that the Slovaks were able to buy about 6.2% more with
                    their salaries by the end of 2007 than when the year began, an
                    exceptional year, but part of a trend. Of course, that's not what the
                    doom-and-gloom Slovaks say in opinion polls.

                    Martin

                    votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Martin Votruba
                    ... Yes, Skeeter, that s part of the difference between the European and American societies that I mentioned. That ratio has traditionally been 1:10 to 1:20
                    Message 9 of 18 , May 4, 2008
                      > the average American CEO's salary has gone from 40-times
                      > the laborer's salary in 1980 to 433-times the laborer's
                      > salary today.

                      Yes, Skeeter, that's part of the difference between the European and
                      American societies that I mentioned. That ratio has traditionally
                      been 1:10 to 1:20 in the European democracies, but it has started
                      moving faster in the direction of the US since the collapse of communism.


                      Martin

                      votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
                    • Martin Votruba
                      As expected the European Commission has recommended today that Slovakia adopt the euro on Jan. 1, 2009. A report is below. Martin votruba at pitt dot edu
                      Message 10 of 18 , May 7, 2008
                        As expected the European Commission has recommended today that
                        Slovakia adopt the euro on Jan. 1, 2009. A report is below.


                        Martin

                        votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu

                        x x x



                        EU: No Country But Slovakia Meets Euro Adoption Criteria

                        DOW JONES NEWSWIRES, 5/7/2008 -- No other country but Slovakia meets
                        the criteria for euro adoption, the European Commission said Wednesday
                        in its latest convergence report, giving a green light to Slovakia's
                        bid to join the euro zone.

                        The commission, the E.U.'s executive arm, along with the European
                        Central Bank, reports at least once every two years on the progress
                        made by E.U. member states in fulfilling obligations to achieve
                        economic and monetary union.

                        Slovakia received recommendation from the European Union Wednesday to
                        join the fifteen member state-strong euro-zone, and is lined-up to
                        become the fourth country in two years to join the club after Slovenia
                        did so on the first day of 2007. Cyprus and Malta entered at the
                        beginning of this year.

                        Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic states of
                        Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined the E.U. along with Slovakia in
                        May 2004, while Romania and Bulgaria were the latest to join the
                        twenty-seven member free-trade block in January 2007.
                      • J Michutka
                        So how is the word euro declined in Slovak--like mesto? e.g. jedno euro, dva eura , sedem .... eur??? Or is it not declined, and just remains euro
                        Message 11 of 18 , May 7, 2008
                          So how is the word "euro" declined in Slovak--like mesto? e.g.
                          jedno euro, dva eura' , sedem .... eur??? Or is it not declined, and
                          just remains "euro" regardless of number? And what do they call the
                          "cents" in Slovak?

                          I really miss having different and interesting monies from country to
                          country, but on the other hand, it will be so much easier....no
                          looking for a place to get the local currency every time I cross a
                          border, or having to plan ahead and carry multiple currencies.

                          Julie Michutka
                          jmm@...


                          On May 7, 2008, at 9:20 AM, Martin Votruba wrote:

                          > As expected the European Commission has recommended today that
                          > Slovakia adopt the euro on Jan. 1, 2009. A report is below.
                          >
                          >
                          > Martin
                          >
                        • skeeter
                          It s not just in Europe. I ve traveled to Canada (Canadian dollars) and Mexico (Pesos), and had a hassle converting them back into US dollars when I got home.
                          Message 12 of 18 , May 7, 2008
                            It's not just in Europe. I've traveled to Canada (Canadian dollars) and Mexico (Pesos), and had a hassle converting them back into US dollars when I got home. I should have just kept them -- their currencies are much more attractive than ours.

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: J Michutka
                            To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 10:07 AM
                            Subject: [Slovak-World] declining the euro


                            So how is the word "euro" declined in Slovak--like mesto? e.g.
                            jedno euro, dva eura' , sedem .... eur??? Or is it not declined, and
                            just remains "euro" regardless of number? And what do they call the
                            "cents" in Slovak?

                            I really miss having different and interesting monies from country to
                            country, but on the other hand, it will be so much easier....no
                            looking for a place to get the local currency every time I cross a
                            border, or having to plan ahead and carry multiple currencies.

                            Julie Michutka
                            jmm@...

                            On May 7, 2008, at 9:20 AM, Martin Votruba wrote:

                            > As expected the European Commission has recommended today that
                            > Slovakia adopt the euro on Jan. 1, 2009. A report is below.
                            >
                            >
                            > Martin
                            >




                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Martin Votruba
                            ... Yes, Julie (_dve_). ... _Cent_ [tsent] (masc., hard pattern: 2 centy, 5 centov). ... Since Slovakia is surrounded by countries that aren t meeting the
                            Message 13 of 18 , May 7, 2008
                              > how is the word "euro" declined in Slovak--like mesto? e.g.
                              > jedno euro, dva eura' , sedem .... eur???

                              Yes, Julie (_dve_).

                              > And what do they call the "cents" in Slovak?

                              _Cent_ [tsent] (masc., hard pattern: 2 centy, 5 centov).


                              > no looking for a place to get the local currency every time
                              > I cross a border, or having to plan ahead and carry multiple

                              Since Slovakia is surrounded by countries that aren't meeting the
                              criteria, this will not be different any time soon for the Slovaks who
                              mostly travel to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech R. When they joined
                              the European Union in 2004, all three were saying they would adopt the
                              euro by 2009-2010, but have failed. The current very tentative
                              estimates are that they might meet the criteria to adopt the euro by:

                              Poland - 2012
                              Czech R. - 2012
                              Hungary - 2014

                              Only the Slovaks' second major summer destination, Greece, has the
                              euro, and Austria and the countries west of it (except Switzerland).


                              Martin

                              votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
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