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I'm in a World Diplo game, and we are almost done. A 4 way draw in this very, very long game! I'm wondering if anyone knows the World's Record for longest convoy. We are trying one that will use 25 fleets! If that's the record, please let me know, ASAP, as I can ask us to change it to use 26 fleets.
Anyone worked for them? I was offered a job as a field manager, making about 400-500 a week for the summer. I've read plenty of bellyaching online. Some of it was legitimate, but has since largely been resolved by a class action lawsuit. The rest was basically complaining that it was a lot of work, at only a little bit above minimum, and repeated failure to meet your fundraising quota resulted in firing, no if's and's or but's about it.
I have an account on MLB.com but cannot watch the Jays game because it's blacked out in my area. Does anyone know a quick and safe way to get around the restrictions? Feel free to PM me so multis don't get any ideas.
The Thread for People Who Want to Gunboat Good and Do Other Stuff Good Too
Would the gunboaters who frequent the 1000 buy-in games please post here how they play gunboats so the rest of us may learn from you? Looking at a game isn't enough, we need to know what you're thinking when you see a board. What does the better player see that I miss?
Euro zone unemployment reaches near 15-year high Joblessness in the 17-nation currency zone rose to 10.8 percent - in line with a Reuters poll of economists - and 0.1 worse than in January, Eurostat said on Monday.
Europe=Broke and out of jobs. Wasn't socialism the "WAY?" Didn't Europe's financial regulations protect them from the speculation of the financial meltdown? Doesn't Europe's tax system attract job creating companies? Doesn't Europe's education system produce the highest trained and capable young entrepreneurs and innovators in the world? If you are an American who ancestors had the brilliance to get the hell out of Europe and come to the U.S. you just have to thank your lucky stars fro escaping the continent that brought the world two World Wars, the Holocaust, the Yugoslavian genocide, and the collapse of communism and socialism all in the last hundred years.
Tettleton, you seem to be slipping. This is the first thread you have posted in around a week. You gotta improve your game. Remember you good you used to be, you'd have three to five threads on the front page at any one time. Now, it's just pathetic.
"If you are an American who ancestors had the brilliance to get the hell out of Europe and come to the U.S. you just have to thank your lucky stars fro escaping the continent that brought the world two World Wars, the Holocaust, the Yugoslavian genocide, and the collapse of communism and socialism all in the last hundred years."
Oh yes. The country that: -has been the only country to deploy nuclear weapons aggressively, and on more than one occasion -has been the biggest initiator of international warfare since the Second World War -argues against torture in other countries but permits the use of Guantanoma Bay -uses the Patriot Act against its own citizens -has a secret intelligence service that actively encourages violence and coups in other countries to suit its own needs -managed to elect George Bush as President -has such prevalent gun ownership that kids go into their schools and universities and shoot each other -does not have universal healthcare and where its citizens have been brainwashed to think that a private insurance-based healthcare system is actually better for them than free coverage provided to all by the state
And it seems to me you lived your life Like a fart in the wind Never knowing who to cling to When the troll set in And I would have liked to have known you But I was just a Yank Your Europe burned out long before Your POOOF ever did
It's official. TC is an American answer to Sir Elton John, straight from parallel universe of Liberty and Freedom.
Euro-zone business activity contracted in March, a survey showed Wednesday, all but confirming that the currency bloc is now in recession and casting doubt on policy makers' hopes that the downturn will be short-lived.
Official data on retail sales were also gloomy, showing a drop in retail sales in February that suggests consumers are reining in their spending as government austerity programs and rising unemployment crimp their finances.
The data come just hours before the European Central Bank's monthly decision on monetary policy, with economists predicting no action as the bank assesses the impact of its previous stimulus measures.
Markit Economics, a data company, said its composite purchasing managers' index for the euro zone fell to 49.1 in March from 49.3 in February.
Although that is an upward revision from the preliminary reading of 48.7, the sub-50 reading still means activity shrank month-to-month in March.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said the figures "indicate that the region has slipped back into a technical recession."
"With the exception of a marginal expansion seen in January, the economy has been in continual decline since last September," he said.
The region's economy contracted 0.3% in the last quarter of 2011 and now appears to have shrank in the first three months of 2012, putting it in recession. Seven member states were already in recession at the end of last year.
The latest sub-50 PMI reading means activity was still shrinking at the end of the first quarter, adding to recent poor data that have cast doubt on euro-zone leaders' hopes that the recession will be brief and shallow. Official data this week showed unemployment in the euro zone hit a record high in February.
That's quite a funny observation, Dimwitus. So, Europeans are only the native Europeans whereas Americans are all citizens of the USA? Because the white population has similar negative demographic trend in both areas, you know. At worst, in few decades, both the USA and EU will have the same number of inhabitants. Big deal, the USA is twice as big.
But the American unemployment differs from Europe's only because of it's fast food market. Sure they're jobs but they don't support anyone with a family. Another stastic that the author of this thread failed to give us is the poverty rate. Why does a country that has the perfect economical system also have such a high poverty rate? Because a large percentage of this employment figure carries no weight. Don't try hiding behind numbers my American brother. I'm an American and I live in Europe and based on my real life experiences I can honestly say that, while not perfect by any means, That life in Europe is better overall than life in the States. Have you ever lived anywhere besides the U.S.? Not including the military because that's not the same thing. If not then you're really just talking from the wrong end.
At least the US avoided the double-dip recession that is hitting Europe right now. If we don't deal with our deficit Europe is a stark example of what lies ahead. Retirees blowing their brains out in the middle of the city because government's are bankrupt all over the continent. Ireland/Portugal/Greece/Spain/Italy. What a debt mess the Ancien Regime is suffering through. Who was the last competent non-German European statesman, Thathcer?
Are you speaking about the recession that started in America or a different one? Do you think that our recession isn't a directly because of you? Our recession isn't real. They are trying to make us more like you. The money is being withheld so that they have an excuse to take away our liberties. Just like you. Because those in charge realize that your system is better for them than ours. They want us to live in poverty too. They want us to be desperate too. As for statesman, when was your last true statesman? You haven't had a true statesman since the federal reserve was privatized and given control to Rockefeller. Your government does as it's told by those who control the money. This is why your international agendas never change. Sure the words change but the actions do not. Your concept of democracy is dead and has been replaced. Instead of arguing about Democrats and Republicans, Left vs. Right, Capitalism and Socialism you should be thinking about why the Bush and Obama administrations have continued the same large scale agendas. Don't get caught up in petty personal ideals and see the world in the big picture. There is an international plan taking place which is effecting us all.
Part of the United States resembles Europe. The President's home state of Illinois is in dire economic condition because of socialism for public sector unions that closely resembles the causes of Europe's horrible debt crisis.
"All told, state government is on pace to spend nearly $1 billion on retiree health care benefits in fiscal year 2013, more than double what it spent in 2003. Worse yet, these liabilities are growing more than twice as fast as tax revenues."
—Illinois Policy Institute, April 9, 2012
The ever increasing obligation of Illinois' socialist programs and the tax increases required to pay them deters businesses from locating in the state. Companies don't want to buy shares in a phenomenal tax burden that will unfold over decades.
The time bomb that business takes into consideration is the obligations for the cost of health insurance for all those public sector retirees, and the tax increases necessary to fund those obligations.
As baby boomers retire in Europe the massive financial burden of irresponsible socialist governments is becoming undeniable, and the reality is that the pool of investors who will purchase Euro debt is rapidly falling. This drives up interest rates which transfers tax money from paying for social programs to financing the existing debt.
The European socialist model is destroying the continent's economy and the economy of individual American states, like Illinois, who followed it.
Common sense and prudent fiscal judgement seem to be in woefully short supply in Europe and Illinois.
The best thing about Sweden is how they halved their sovereign debt in the last 15 years. Just like in Germany or the rest of Scandinavia, when the main economic agents (government, employers, unions) can find compromise on the basic course the country should take, it doesn't really matter whether the government is center-left or center-right.
How close is Spain to insolvency? Madrid had to pay an interest rate of almost 5.8 percent to attract any interest in its latest 10-year bond auction. That is the highest rate since December and dangerously close to the 7 percent level believed inconsistent with national solvency. 1.2 basis points away from a financial collapse in Spain. That is the fruit of socialism.
I've heard the Sweden Argument one to many times, so I decided to look up Sweden's actual economic policies. It turns out that Sweden, while a decent example of socialism has been headed the other way for quite some time, as in there policies are becoming more free market based, and less based on governmnet control. So in answer to Yellowjacket's post, I say if you want an example of how moving toward the free market can improve the economy then "Sweden, Sweden, Sweden" is your answer.
Interesting, pjkon, would you be able to tell me what led you to this conclusion?
I don't doubt that there are many cases where letting the free market do its job is a viable solution that can improve many things, but I'm skeptical that Sweden's could be considered anything less than a highly socialist type government. Keep in mind please that the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
America has a larger dept than any European nation. If it wasn't for the Chinese then America would've collapsed long ago. You don't produce anything. America is a nation of drug addicts, murderers and obese people. No one has to kill you, you're killing yourselves and all in the name of Capitalism. Freedom in America means freedom to pop a cap in someone's ass and celebrate with a super-sized menu meal. I'll take Europes problems over yours any day. I least I can go where i want without fear of being killed, I can go to the library and check out any book I want, I don't have to worry about a company exporting my job without justification, If my children get ill I don't have to sell my home to take care of them, If they want to go to University I don't need a second mortgage or send them to a 3rd world war to do so, there are no crackheads walking my street, the list could go on and on. You've never lived anywhere except in your little part of the world so you really don't know shit about anywhere else. All that propaganda they fed us when we were little were nothing but a bag of lies. Wipe the stars from your eyes and see America for what it really has become. I did and I left.
pjkon, as a Swede, I can tell you that Sweden is a mixed system, strongly influenced by socialism, while retaining a free market. For the majority of the last 50 years, the Social Democrats have shaped economic policy. The basic principles are redistribution of wealth via high taxes, strong labour unions, a large public sector and a focus on education. Our current government is further to the centre-right, lowering taxes and privatising parts of the public sector. But no party is questioning the welfare state. We had our own financial crisis in the early 90s, where lifting the restrictions on lending led to a real estate bubble, which took most big banks with it when it burst. The lessons we learned from that fiasco has helped us a lot in navigating this financial crisis, and while our unemployment is high, we have a steady national surplus and low inflation.
It's a bit beside the point though since Sweden is not even part of the Eurozone. It's extremely funny to hear TC, an American, going on and on about the socialism of Europe, when in reality, the Eurozone has been dominated by right-wing populists like Berlusconi and Sarkozy for the last ten years.
Wow, YJ and pjkon, you only both had to say "Sweden, Sweden, Sweden" three times each before the Swede showed up. Good job! Now we know how to summon Vaftrudner when he is not putting moves in as quickly as we might like. ;)
Well, it's a bit irritating to have my country thrown around as an example, especially with pjkon trying to turn it into a pro-free market argument, as if it's ever that simple. Also, I was just having fun reading TC's very narrow American right-wing rhetoric applied to Europe, but fuck it, might as well call him out on it. Not that it will do any good.
By the way, to summon me, you can also sacrifice your first-born or just kiss someone of the same sex passionately.
Maybe Europe is hitting a double dip, but the only reason the US isnt is because of the huge amounts of new money printed by your Central bank to use as stimulus money. Basically, Europe is trying to deal with its financial issues while the US is putting it on the long term. Maybe we have a little bit of crisis now (-0,5%) but in about 10 years, your dollars will be worthless.
Pjkon, Sweden has a huge debt is has to deal with. The Swedes saw that a confiscatory socialist state couldn't pay off the massive debt it owes so they've tried to lower taxes and embrace the free market, but frankly Swedes aren't familiar with free markets and entrepreneurship and are ill-suited to compete with the former communist eastern European countries like Poland. Sweden owes foreigners $109,318 per person or 262.3% of the nation's GDP. That isn't even counting what Swedes owe to one another in their internal debt arrangements. Sweden is in dismal financial shape.
CNBC put out the info a few weeks ago. http://www.cnbc.com/id/30308959/The_World_s_Biggest_Debtor_Nations
Here are the highlights from a recent Bloomberg piece on Sweden. Sweden’s central bank abandoned interest rate increases for the rest of the year as Europe’s debt crisis extends its reach further north and policy makers warn weak exports are destroying jobs. “Sluggish growth in the euro area has subdued demand for Swedish exports,” the Riksbank in Stockholm said today. “The weaker economic outlook has led households to begin saving more and postpone their consumption, while companies are postponing their investment. Unemployment will therefore increase somewhat during the year.” Investment in Swedish government bonds is drying up as well. Sweden, last year's best-performing long-term government bond market, has turned into a loser for creditors as the biggest Nordic economy shrinks. Swedish notes maturing in 10 years or more have lost 4.3 percent this year. So your losing 4.3 percent of your nest egg tucked away in Swedish 10-year notes. Not Good! The Eurozone is crippled because two generations of Europeans have little familiarity with Entrepreneurship or the free market, and with the Eurozone economy falling into a double-dip recession is just gets worst. Hopefully Americans will avoid a date with disaster and vote O-dumba out of office and give the Republicans control of the Senate as well the first Tuesday this November.
I'm not part of this conversation, but I'd like to point out that this is merely a dick-waving conversation. On the way to church today in Japan (a nation about to be swallowed up economically by South Korean companies), I had the briefest chats about medical systems with an American and a Zimbabwean.
I'm a naturalised Canadian, originally from Sweden. I lived a handful of years in the States and forgot everything about my former life; or, since I was ten when we moved to the USA, I had no stake anywhere.
I still don't. I'm not used to Japan, don't feel comfortable in the USA, and Canada, while comfortable, doesn't feel like 'home'. All of that to say that any argument anyone can have about politics depends heavily on where s/he is raised, and how or by whom s/he was raised.
When I lived as a ripe early teen in the USA, I was gung-ho about right everything. Private or die. We moved to Canada (a country neatly in the middle), and I got muddled. Suddenly, I realised that education was the main determinant of my political philosophy. Had I lived in a 'liberal' State in the USA, I might have had an easier transition, but it's funny that the umbrella of caring for citizens falls into the category of 'socialist' in the USA.
After I had lived a few years in Canada and decided on staying quiet in matters of politics, I heard many Americans pipe up instantly when the word 'Canada' was mentioned with patriotic ejaculations of 'communist', or 'socialist'. That was 17 years ago, maybe less. Still, I hear the same thing.
In America, any system that isn't the same as the USA is labelled communist. I remember thinking the same thing. The education system creates the bogey man and people lap it up until it's totally soaked up by popular culture. It's very like a colour-blind person describing the differences between green and red.
So, while I disagree with TC, I have to sympathise with him or her as it's the system of education and propaganda that is at fault - in every one of our countries. My political slant may be different, but then so, too, are my experiences, and to some extent, my education.
I don't think anywhere is a haven of right. But calling out Europe shows a narrow education and experience. I would have done the same at 15 or so.
That's pretty much what I tried to say, shigzeo, although you put it a lot better. Every country has its own system and economic conditions. The socialism in Sweden, for example, would not have been as successful without the vast natural resources we have, and a global demand for these. Also, the social democracy in Sweden, Spain and Greece are completely different. TC's attempt to generalise a vast system of independent nation states into his own nightmare image of the USA is pretty entertaining. I won't comment on internal US matters, since I'm not American, and not too familiar with that system. Additionally, attempting to impose a foreign system of government on a country is a recipe for disaster, as we have seen every time the US has attempted it. So while I'm a socialist, I don't advocate socialism in America. The underlying factors necessary for it to succeed are just not there. I do expect TC to do the same and have the common courtesy to not apply his American right-wing bullshit on European nations.
Yellowjacket, I do not dispute your point about Sweden continuing to be a socialist economy at all. It is an undisputable fact that Sweden’s economy is more socialist than most of the rest of the western industrial democracies. My point was that Sweden has been MOVING toward more free market policies lately, including their cuts in government spending, and their reduction of the country’s tax burden by around 2% of GDP (which may not seem like a lot, but GDP is not tax receipts, so they reduced their tax burden by quite a bit more than 2%). I may as well point out here that they seem to have reaped the benefits of this, as their employment rate increased, and most figures I have seen show an increase in GDP as well, since the tax and spending changes. Victorious, good point, you are absolutely right that we should not compare individual states in Europe to the U.S. as a whole, the potential for stacking the information we present is to great. We should either compare the whole U.S. with the whole of Europe, or individual states to individual countries in Europe. Shigzeo I don’t know where in the U.S. you lived, but I am currently living in the U.S. and people that I knew there did not use communist or socialism to mean “not American”, nor did any American media figures who I listened to. They did confuse communist and authoritarian quite a bit, but I am in Maryland right now, so our experiences may not be comparable. TC I bow to your superior knowledge of Sweden’s debt situation, I have not researched the situation there with regards to debt at all. Vaftrudner I do agree that different systems can be best applied to different countries, one needs only look to the effects of shock therapy in Poland and Russia for proof of that, but the U.S. and Europe seem close enough to draw some comparisons (of course not all of Europe and not all of the U.S. can be compared, as Victorious pointed out there are regional variations, but more importantly, if a comparison is to be invalidated because countries are different there has to be proof that there is a difference before we can just say “different countries, they can’t learn anything from each other” I know this probably isn’t what you meant, but I just wanted to clarify. I apologize for my lateness in responding to all of these comments, but I had things to do in RL which distracted me. I hope I have answered everything everyone wanted me to answer, I read the thread since I last posted, but there were a lot of posts and I might have missed some.
Another point of evidence betraying Sweden's floundering economy, the rising Antisemitism in the country. The Swedish socialist system does not handle immigration well because new arrivals can claim benefits they did not pay for in the eyes of ethnic Swedes. This attitude prevented Sweden from integrating the substantial immigration to the country from the Middle East and Africa, and resentment has grown in that immigrant block. In Malmo ethnic Swedes aren't even the majority anymore and the failure to integrate Muslim immigrants into the economy has led to a wave of Antisemitism in the city not seen since the Nazi's strong influence in Sweden.
Having an economy that can adapt to massive immigration is something that free market economies do much better than socialist economies. http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/96146/swedens-damn-jew-problem/ Here is a link to the article on Antisemitism.
T-C I try to avoid idiocy where possible but I can't sleep so here goes. Not too sure where you get your concept of Socialism from but you seem to confuse the concept with a variety of market economies in Europe, I can't see true Socialism anywhere in the world; I think you may be confusing this with free market social democracies that provide efficient health care systems and social benefits for the less well off. The problem in the Eurozone (not Europe per se) is that the strongest economic power Germany have always had a tight monetary policy in an attempt to control inflation, they also shun the credit card culture that has led so many people (and govts) into mountains of debt. As a result of this the Euro currency has remained relatively strong which has made the weaker economic nations in the Eurozone uncompetitive, this problem exacerbated by govt over-spending for the last decade based on future growth and revenue predictions that were unsustainable. Countries such as Greece where a lot of their revenue comes from discretionary spending (i.e. Tourism) cannot lower their currency to stay competitive/generate growth. The Euro experiment has failed but German and French banks are heavily indebted to European govts as they have lent them money they cannot afford to repay. The Germans et al are propping up the whole of the European (World) banking system. What needs to happen is that Germany need to leave the Euro so that it devalues to a level that all the other Euro countries can be competitive again, however if this happens the Euro debt held by banks will devalue to such an extent all European banks (and others) will be technically bankrupt (negative balance sheets). However they will only be technically bankrupt and can continue trading as long as they are given 20 to 30 years to pay off the bad debts from the loans to countries such as Greece, Spain, etc. This is not a Socialist problem, this is a Capitalist one. A rudimentary understanding of Keynesian economics would tell you that the way out of a slump/depression is to give the poor money and not tax breaks for the rich. In the medium to long-term Europe can sustain current standards of living if they base govt spending on zero growth forecasts and any surplus revenues are used to pay off govt debt. The elephant in the room here for many Western economies is rising energy costs for carbon based economies. The sooner we find a plentiful supply of cheap energy (e.g. cracking water to release hydrogen for powering cars; wind power, wave power, nuclear fusion if that ever happens) we can sustain a relatively high standard of living. What is not sustainable is the speed that we rape the Earth of its natural resources, only when we have to share these between nations will you see some form of Socialism develop because we will need to be more resource-effeicient where as currently we are completely inefficient but then Capitalism is a very wasteful economic system that encourages over-production. Capitalism will eventually evolve into Socialism but the danger is that resource hungry countries such as the USA choose war to try and sustain their 'American dream' and they will into direct conflict with China who are busy buying up the rest of the world where all of those vital resources are produced. China are already winning the 3rd World War before it has even started by forming strong economic ties with countries that produce much of our natural resources. The USA are still heavily reliant on cheap Saudi oil to power their economy, and they will probably manufacture a war with Iran to get their oil once Saudi oil has gone, then when that runs out they can rape Canada of their natural resources for a while, hopefully by then technological advances will mean we can make products from rubbish and power the economy with water. Until then do not confuse yourself by thinking this current crisis is anything but the failure of a mature Capitalist economy which in the next 50-100 years will move to economic systems based on Socialist philosophy. Gone will be greedy irresponsible companies like Goldman Sachs, they will be replaced by socially responsible companies who will adopt more sustainable strategies for their finances, their personnel and their use of naural resources. Socialism will evolve out of Capitalism, it is not something we have to fear. If this is hard to understand right now look at all of the economic systems we have had over many thousands of years, our current monetary-based system has only been around for about 300 years and that has dramatically evolved in that time. You shouting your mouth about complex things you don't really understand such as European economics and Socialism does nothing to enhance the debate but does make you sound like a complete plonker. All IMHO as always Nigee
"Widespread hopes...that the ECB would use the might of its theoretically unlimited balance sheet to fire a so-called 'silver bullet' into the heart of the broader euro-zone crisis by buying up or somehow guaranteeing large portions of the Italian and Spanish (debt) have all but evaporated," said Mr Jonathan Loynes at Capital Economics.
Bond yields of weaker eurozone states are moving higher as did the gap with those of German government bonds, the benchmark measure.