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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 24-Sep-2015
24-Sep-15 World View -- China's Xi Jinping congratulates himself on stopping stock market crash

Web Log - September, 2015

24-Sep-15 World View -- China's Xi Jinping congratulates himself on stopping stock market crash

Tempers flare as Europe looks for ways to reduce the volume of migrants

This morning's key headlines from

Tempers flare as EU leaders debate the migrant crisis

Migrants walk towards the Austrian border from Hungary on Wednesday.  At least 7,000 people crossed from Hungary into Austria on Wednesday alone.  (Reuters)
Migrants walk towards the Austrian border from Hungary on Wednesday. At least 7,000 people crossed from Hungary into Austria on Wednesday alone. (Reuters)

I heard one analyst say that the language being used by the EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Wednesday was the harshest that's ever been heard in public since the beginning of the EU. I'm pretty sure that isn't true. In 2005, I wrote about an acrimonious European Union summit ending in crisis, as Jean-Claude Juncker, Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac got into a furious shouting war over agricultural subsidies.

Still, there was harsh disagreement over the plan to relocate 120,000 migrants to EU countries by means of mandatory quotes. As we reported yesterday, that plan was passed by a vote of interior ministers on Tuesday. In the past, such a controversial plan would be passed by unanimous vote, but in this case, four Central European countries voted against the plan -- Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

It's pretty widely recognized that the plan is pretty useless anyway, for several reasons:

With regard to the last point, a web site reader posted the following comment:

"I absolutely agree with any country that opposes an imposed EU quota. It is analogous to the Americans on this website wanting to secure our OWN border.

Every country deserves to retain its culture. There are thousands of different cultures on the globe, each with their own carved out territory. They have their own traditions, foods, religions, family structure, etc. This is a great thing. If the people of a country want to retain their culture, and feel strongly enough about it, then I APPLAUD them for standing up and saying "NO" to this massive push for multiculturalism. And notice, multiculturalism is only pushed on mostly white nations (America and Europe). It's a hard truth to digest, but it can no longer be ignored."

This seems like a perfectly reasonable, logical position to take, but it really isn't true, and probably has never been true at any place and time in history. Huge waves of migration have always occurred, at all times and places, and there's no way to stop them.

The population of the European Union is 503 million, so even a million migrants would add only 0.2% to the population, so I'm not sure that the word "migration" even applies. But whatever it is, there's no way to stop it.

When the World War II survivors signed the 1957 Treaty of Rome, which led to the formation of the European Union, they knew from the horrors of two World Wars that migration would always occur, and they decided that trying to stop it was one way to increase pressures that lead to war. But the painful lessons of history are never remembered, and each generation has to relearn them. That's the core principle behind Generational Dynamics. Irish Times and International Business Times and Bloomberg

Europe looks for ways to reduce the volume of migrants

At Wednesday's meeting of EU leaders in Brussels, European Council president Donald Tusk said that with "millions of potential refugees from Syria" that may arrive in Europe, "The most urgent question we should ask ourselves tonight is how to regain control of our external borders."

Rather than continuing to argue about mandatory quotas and internal borders, the meeting turned its attention to the question of how to reduce the number of migrants trying to enter Europe in the first place, and that would mean convincing them to remain in the Mideast.

The way to do that, it was thought, would be to spend a lot of money in support of the migrants, including these proposals:

With regard to this, there has been one story after another in the last year that the World Food Program has not been receiving money committed by many countries, with the result that they've had to cut back sharply on food for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. The WFP has had to drop one-third of Syrian refugees from its food voucher program in Middle Eastern host countries this year, including 229,000 in Jordan who stopped receiving food aid in September. According to a spokesman, the agency needed $236 million to keep the program -- even in its scaled-back version -- funded through November. No major donors have come forward.

The vote by the EU to provide $1.1 billion to the WPF will certainly be welcomed, and may prevent a lot of starvation.

But the fact is that the millions of potential migrants headed for Europe are not just going because they want a bigger plate of food for dinner. They're going because they have a dream -- steady work, going to college, sending their children to school, having a happy life -- and none of the proposals that were discussed at Wednesday's meeting will have any effect on those motivations at all. BBC and Guardian (London)

China's Xi Jinping congratulates himself on stopping stock market crash

China's president Xi Jinping is visiting Seattle Washington, while the Pope is visiting the other Washington. On Tuesday evening, he gave a speech in which he highlighted the government's support for a transparent and open stock market.

"The duty of government is to ensure a fair, open market and adjust the market order and avoid panic from happening. This time, Chinese government took steps to stabilize the market and contained panic in the stock market. And that avoided a systematic crisis. Mature markets in various countries have tried similar steps. The Chinese stock market has reached the phase of self-recovery and self-adjustment."

This has produced a fair amount of laughter among analysts. Xi thinks that by jailing reporters and bloggers who use words like "selloff" or "panic," or punishing investors who "meddle" in the stock market by selling stocks, China's government has managed to take its "fair, open market" and make it reach the phase of "self-adjustment."

This is probably one of the best examples we've seen of a world leader who is publicly and clearly in a hopeless state of denial. I often say that Barack Obama doesn't have a clue what's going on in the world, or that Vladimir Putin is following a path that will bring destruction to everyone, including himself. It's tempting to think that any national leader, with access to as many experts as he wants, could not possibly be this stupid, but here we see Xi Jinping exhibiting such stupidity openly and publicly and shamelessly.

People often tell me that China would never start a war because it's bad for business or because China would lose or because some other reason. But someone who could believe that jailing reporters can end a stock market crash can also believe that China will win a war within 24 hours, because the US is too weak to fight or unwilling to fight. I hope that such people can now see the flaw in their reasoning. China Radio International (Beijing)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 24-Sep-15 World View -- China's Xi Jinping congratulates himself on stopping stock market crash thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (24-Sep-2015) Permanent Link
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