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Re: Retirement in Slovakia and EU

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  • votrubam
    ... Slovakia has borrowed less than some, but more than some others. It also went over the limit set by the euro currency agreement, it is more than twice
    Message 1 of 56 , Feb 2, 2012
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      > Slovakia as a country has lived within its means.
      > I should actually say the citizens of Slovakia.

      Slovakia has borrowed less than some, but more than some others. It also went over the limit set by the euro currency agreement, it is more than twice over the limit.

      > The same cannot be said of the citizens of Spain, Portugal,
      > Ireland & Greece.

      And the U.S., and... and... The Slovaks are aware that unlike those countries, they didn't borrow more than is remotely reasonable. And that also is what currently blinds the Slovaks to their lot.

      The problem for Slovakia is what happens if Greece and perhaps even other euro countries default. Economists expect turmoil in all of the euro countries, and elsewhere too, including in the U.S.

      What's missing is an estimate where Slovakia might land as a result of that turmoil. Say, if each Slovak pensioner needs to pay 2 euros per month to save Greece and everyone else 4 euros (ca. 0.5 percent of their incomes), that's terrible and totally unjust. But if Greece defaults, and the Slovak economy slides down, say, by only 3 percent, which would make the pensioners and the wage earners ca. 12 and 24 euros poorer each month as a result, the Slovaks will certainly not be celebrating the victory of justice.

      It's the lack of a practical consideration of the consequences of "what if we pay" and "what if we don't pay" that makes so many Slovaks' outraged posts like the table Ron mentioned, and some of their politicians' decisions, worthless.

      Imagine a house in your neighborhood that catches fire. The neighbor is 20 percent richer than you, has lived off borrowed money, started the fire, and hadn't paid the taxes that pay the firefighters.

      You, the poorer, thrifty neighbor, need to make an estimate whether you yourself now want to pay the firemen to come and put the fire out regardless. If it's certain that only that spendthrift's house burns down, good riddance. If it's certain that the fire consumes the neighborhood, you'll wisely pay the firefighters, no matter how mad you are at the spendthrift.

      The reality, of course, is that there is no certainty. So, it is wise to make estimates. But the Slovaks' comments only see how "morally right" they are. They don't ponder what to do, given that in the world as it is, you may be morally right... and see your house go down in flames.


      Martin
    • LongJohn Wayne
      Thank you, so much.  Fascinating. ________________________________ From: votrubam To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday,
      Message 56 of 56 , Feb 16, 2012
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        Thank you, so much.  Fascinating.



        ________________________________
        From: votrubam <votrubam@...>
        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:13 PM
        Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: Reviving our Slovak Heratage


         
        > Speaking of these Saints [Cyril & Methodius], Martin...
        > do you recommend a book of the historical account,
        > as opposed to a religious account, of their travels & adventures?

        There's little in English that's not naive or propagandist (Bulgarian, Greek, Slovak, Czech...). And what (formerly) meaningful there is, is rather dated by now, e.g., passages in:

        <http://tinyurl.com/7e88x9e> -- click on p. 205

        Plus the intro to the chapter on Clement of Ohrid in _Six Byzantine Portraits_ by the same author. And passages in:

        <http://books.google.com/books?id=aKEaAAAAIAAJ>

        We're waiting for Ben, with degrees in Byzantine studies in hand, to write "C&M: The True Story" in English.

        As an aside, there's going to be an "illustrated lecture" about Cyril and Methodius in Central Europe in Pittsburgh (Mount Lebanon) on Monday, March 5. I'll post the details later.

        Martin




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