The Economist ran a couple of articles promoting migration as good for the global economy. Professor Bryan Caplan argued that labour is the world’s most valuable commodity and its value depends on location. If borders were open, a world of free movement would be $78 trillion richer. Mexican labourers can expect to earn 150% more in the West. Unskilled Nigerians make even 1,000% more in Germany than in Africa. The value of an unskilled worker is so much higher in Europe that a Nigerian can make 1000 times as much in Germany, adding 1000 times more to global GDP. Because Western societies are more structured and organised than the Mexican or Nigerian, the unskilled worker can be more productive in a factory in Germany or a farm in the USA than in Africa. A taxi ride in Berlin is much more expensive and thus valued much higher than a taxi ride in Lagos, while the amount of work, driving a car for a while, is the same.
Aristotle was the first to point out how a thriving middle class is a condition sine qua non for a functioning democracy: “A constitution based on the middle class is the mean between the extremes of the rule by the rich and the rule by the poor.” That the middle [constitution] is best is evident, for it is the freest from faction: where the middle class is numerous, there least occur factions and divisions among citizens” (Politics IV.11.1296a7–9)” – For those who possess the goods of fortune in moderation find it “easiest to obey the rule of reason”. ( IV.11.1295b4–6). When we speak of the middle class we therefore mean the median group of society, the one representing the largest group of people by income. To clarify with a simple example, in a population of 2000 people, if 500 earn 1000€ a month, 1400 people earn 2000€ a month and 100 earn 10000€ a month, then the 1400 people are the ”middle class”.
The decline of the social, economic and political situation in the United States will accelerate under Donald Trump’s term. The mainstream media are portraying his administration as a disaster and accusing him of destroying America’s standing in the world by moves such as withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. The truth is that Trump’s presidency and the attendant political turmoil are the symptoms of a decaying nation rather than the cause, it merely proves that the American people have had enough of the Washington government and it shows their deep distrust of the American mainstream media. Donald Trump too, is a part of the establishment, so it came as no surprise that Steve Bannon and his “populist” platform (that won him the presidency) was removed from the White House and the President embraced the military complex (that nobody voted for) represented by the likes of John Kelly, H.R. McMaster and John Mattis. His base starts to crack as they burn the “Let’s Make America Great Again“ cap as a symbol of protest on Twitter and high profile supporters such as Ann Coulter turn against his policy. With the removal of Steve Bannon the US will continue its usual policy, which means that its public debt will increase indefinitely. The fight between the media and the White House is a distraction from the real problems: Trump’s budget can only work if tax revenue is twice as much as it is now, a doubling of social security spending while military spending increases, to wit 50%. The US will try to continue its so called “preponderance” military strategy as we will explain. Even if the Trump administration is able to build a wall between Mexico and the US, mass-migration has to continue to create 5% economic growth.
Gefira #16 is available for only 25 Euros Gefira research expect that the downfall of the West will start in 2020. The financial and political planners should only worry about the demographics. In 2015 the European populations began to shrink, and for that, the economy will never fully recover, the financial markets will crumble, and the maintenance of large armies are impossible. Gerfira #16: The US Endgame.
This affair is a huge scandal. It involves the current president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and his son Michał. Donald Tusk presents himself as a politician who cares very much about the rule of law in Poland. When he was Poland’s prime minister, however, he ignored information given to him by the Chief of the Internal Security Agency and the President of the National Bank of Poland. They both warned him that his son was involved in a Ponzi scheme called Amber Gold.
The case is being investigated by the Polish government, which set up a special Inquiry Committee. Of course, Donald Tusk is denying all the accusations, but at the same time he is criticizing Warsaw for failing to enforce democracy and the rule of law. The question is whether Donald Tusk is not acting in self-defence and aiming at toppling the government, which set up the Inquiry Committee on the Amber Gold.
Poland’s former prime minister and currently the president of the European Council is still the spiritual leader of the political opposition in his own country and is doing his best to earn much respect in Brussels. People in Poland think he is Angela Merkel’s man, which is why he was promoted so high in the EU structures. The average Western European probably believes that Donald Tusk has been given this high-ranking post as a reward for his contribution to establishing the rule of law in Poland. The average Western European probably does not know that Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform party experienced a resounding defeat in the parliamentary election just a few months after his transfer to Brussels. The Polish people say that the promotion of the Polish prime minister may have been a helping hand extended to him by Angela Merkel, who thus paid him for his obedience and saved him from the verdict of the voters and, (who knows?) the verdict of the court of law (see below).
Currently, Donald Tusk seems to be taking steps against his own country in retaliation for the fact that the new government has set up a committee to investigate his and his son’s participation in the largest fraud of the recent years. Contrarily to his pledge of impartiality and neutrality towards all 28 member states,” Donald Tusk seizes every opportunity to attack and rebuke Poland. In 2016/2017, when for almost two months the Polish parliament was occupied by the opposition, Tusk threatened Poland with legal consequences for the 2017 budget that had been passed allegedly in violation of the regulations. Poland’s former prime minister put a pressure on the Polish authorities exactly at the time when the government’s opponents held protests in Warsaw, which means that Donald Tusk for all practical purposes was supporting an attempted coup d’etat and did his best to create bad press in the West for his own country.
Russia is the favourite scapegoat for the Western establishment when it comes to its own failures. Ever since Brexit and Trump’s victory, the Western elite has regularly tried to link citizen discontent to “Russian disinformation“, “hackers” or “trolls“, instead of looking at its own policies. While in the US this took the form of a witch hunt against the Trump administration, in the EU it has taken the form of a “proscription list” of the media that are not enthusiastic enough with the idea of a conflict with the Eastern neighbour. Under the official purpose of countering “disinformation coming from Russia”, the EU External Action has created a “disinformation review“with weekly updates on “fake news” and the websites that post them.
The EUAS officially branded researchers and journalists as fraudulent, unpatriotic and dishonest without any notification. There is a small disclaimer on the list that states that ”disinformation review cannot be considered an official EU position”. Yet it was created by the European Council, is part of the ”diplomatic service” of the EU, hence funded by it, uses its symbols and institutional addresses. So, it is part of the EU and yet does not represent its official position? The statement seems to have been made for the express purpose of dishonestly dismissing concerns raised by citizens.
There’s some sort of collective cognitive dissonance in Italy about the migrant crisis. Both politicians and mainstream media, right or left, “globalist” or “populist” put the blame on the other European countries and their alleged lack of solidarity for not wanting to redistribute the 180’000 migrants Italy took last year. It isn’t just the fault of the Visegrad Group. Since the European meeting in Tallin, the Italian government received the “Non” of French President, motivating his answer with the argument that 80% of the arrivals are economic migrants,the politically correct term for illegals that should be repatriated, the “No” of Spain, the “Nein” of Austria and so on.
The opinion of the European Commission is unchanged, Italy should speed up returns, with the supplemental aid from the EU itself.
So while solidarity isn’t really lacking, the media and politicians, regardless of their persuasion, began screaming “Europe has forsaken us”, “They left us alone”. As if Italy were facing a natural calamity and were not responsible for what is going on. Reality could not be more different.
The “populist” party Movimento 5 Stelle almost got it. They founda video where Emma Bonino, former Minister for Foreign Affaris, admitted that Italian governments had agreed that everyone rescued by Frontex should be brought to Italy. So the beans are spilt: all the migrants were being shipped to Italy because… the Italian government decided so. It may be that the then Prime Minister Matteo Renzi traded flexibility on the Italian budged with the European Commission in exchange for taking in all the migrants rescued in Italian and international waters by Frontex.
We could say that, just looking at the plight of Southern European countries after years of EU-imposed austerity, where trust in the European project is fading, while the euro currency is increasingly under question.
This time however, we look eastwards, at big, bad Visegrad. The group composed of Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary has shared and separate interests.
Among the former is their unwillingness to take part in the refugee relocation program. Why? Because Angela Merkel invited them without first consulting the rest of Europe.
This is unbearable for the EU leadership, who loves diversity and wants to pass it off as a way forward, unless it’s diversity of opinion, a core tenet of the liberal democracy they claim to represent. Liberalism that once was about “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it’’, a quote maybe erroneously attributed to Voltaire, has now become “I disapprove of what you say, so just don’t say it’’.
The problem is even deeper. The Visegrad bloc has gained independence from a forced solidarity, another international project, the Soviet Union, less than 3 decades ago. Their experience makes them wary of unelected, centralized utopias. And yet once again they found that they have been entrapped in another one. Just when they thought they left one dystopia to join the free world, the free world itself has turned into one. Solidarity is voluntary, it can’t be forced. Angela Merkel’s approach resembles that of the Soviets rather than free people.
The law on whether NGO ships that ferry thousands of illegal migrants from Libya to Europe via Italy each week are smugglers or rescuers is very murky but the name of their game is without doubt very fishy. So I asked an independent Dutch research institute, Gefira, which has done lots of work on Europe’s migrant crisis, to take a closer look at the activities of the NGO fleet. In 2016, its 20 or so vessels – together with European Union and Italian naval and coastguard ships – “rescued” a record 181,000 migrants from open boats near the coast of Libya and brought them to Italy which at its southernmost point, Sicily, is 275 nautical miles (318 miles) from Tripoli.
So far this year, they have “rescued” another 85,000 – 21% up on the same time last year. The 2017 total is expected to be well over 200,000.
[a reader’s contribution]
Western left-leaning European media (from a central or eastern European viewpoint even the so-called right-wing media in the West appear to be left-leaning) sometimes comment on the events in Poland, Czechia, Slovakia or Hungary, always with a patronising, condescending attitude, almost reprimanding their East European brothers if the latter “do not behave”. Such are also the reports on President Donald Trump’s visit to Warsaw, Poland, and his speech delivered at a historical place, against the backdrop of a huge monument to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising (not to be confused with the much smaller 1943 Ghetto Uprising in the same city).
The left-leaning media seem to relish the reports that allegedly Poles were induced or forced to participate in the Donald Trump welcoming partyto which I have the following to say:
- It may have been so, although I know my compatriots and I know they would go to greet an American president without being told to do so.
- Exactly the same methods were applied when Poland was being pushed into the embrace of the European Union, but then, the journalists somehow did not care because the pervasive narrative was that all reasonable people wanted to become a part of the European structure.
I remember the time prior to our accession to the EU: you could not take a breath without inhaling this sticky overbearing propaganda trying to convince us that the EU was oh such a salvation. One of the renowned professors even said that Poland’s accession to the EU was comparable with Poland’s Christening (966, a date commonly regarded as the birth of Poland as an internationally recognised political entity) from a thousand years before. Can you imagine?
Ten years have passed since the first concession to search for shale gas was issued. There were several problems of technological, economic and legal nature, which prevented Poland from becoming potentate in extracting this resource. It may seem that Poland missed its chance. However, monitoring and using new methods of shale gas production together with legal framework implementation, which would encourage the investors, can mark a new chapter in history of the Polish gas industry.
Shale gas in Poland: from euphoria to disappointment
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Environment the first concession to search for shale gas was issued in 2007, and the first drilling took place three years later. In the peak moment in 2012 111 exploration concessions were in force.This year was also marked by the publication of the Polish Geological Institute, in which the deposits were estimated at 346-768bn cubic metres.In 2011 the Polish Prime Minister anticipated that the commercial production of shale gas will have begun after three years.According to the observers, for instance former Minister of Economy Janusz Steinhoff, thanks to shale gas extraction Poland would have an opportunity to become independent of its imports while causing the lowering of prices on the domestic market.
Yet, in 2015 foreign investors started to withdraw and Polish state companies PGNiG and PKN Orlen abandoned their projects last year.
The Gefira team has taken a year to analyze the current state of affairs in the world. The promising role of the BRICS countries has disappeared whilst the US still has the characteristics of a waning power and the European Union failed to become the world’s leader. The global economy cannot operate without a a decisive intervention from central banks.
The Western powers did not succeed in bringing democracy to the Middle East and the conflicts with Islamists are intensifying. Nationalism in Europe is on the rise while the global elites keep on foisting a multicultural programme on their respective societies. The increasing uncertainty, the lack of convincing economic recovery and of global leadership is the result of the far-reaching changes in demographics with no comparable historical precedent. The Gefira team is one of the few research groups that understand that the dramatic changes in the world population will have a profound effect on financial markets, emerging countries, distribution of religions, migration and geopolitics. Since populations in Africa and South Asia are exploding whereas those of the developed world are shrinking, Western establishments are opting for a full population replacement in Europe and the USA; conversely, Japan and China will keep their borders shut, and we will see a 60% population decrease there. The reversal of a population decline can take 50 to 100 years. The Gefira will focus on the unprecedented demographic shifts we are experiencing right now; in this issue we take a look at the changes in China whose (especially working) population is about to shrink and whose urbanization will come to a halt within the coming 10 years; we also discuss the strategic role of the Russian and European space programmes. Buy a single issue or become contributor and recieve the next 10 issues.
If you ever want an example of the crisis of credibility of liberalism today, just look at the banking sector. Ever since 2007, the liberal world has been bailing out banks with taxpayers money, leaving profits to shareholders. Adam Smith would say, let the markets handle it, let the markets get rid of inefficient banks. The modern liberal world says, keep the inefficiency going on, let it parasitically drain wealth from society.
What’s even more absurd is that bailouts are often managed by left leaning governments. Yes, the ones who claim they want to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor have been doing the exact opposite, transferring wealth from the poor to the rich. With the fall of the Soviet Union, central economic planning was discredited, so socialists were forced to look elsewhere for an economic model: they shifted to the center, the so called “third way” of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton No more class struggle, but globalization and financialization became the mantra of the day. Bailouts complete the treason against the working class. Now that financialization is failing, they are desperately trying to keep the casino going. The hypocrisy is never ending: when the working class asks for government intervention against globalization, the “new Left” responds with mockery levelled at the ignorant common man, but when the financial world is calling for help, then government intervention is “necessary”.