Curb your subsidies

According to Andrew Sullivan, this is what passes for an intellectually stimulating evening at the American Enterprise Institute:

More significantly, the economic stresses on Germany, Niall argues, will make it unlikely that German subsidies can keep the EU afloat indefinitely. And that’s always been the central reality of the EU: German largess toward other member states in return for political legitimacy and economic union.

We read that passage many times, trying to make sense of it. Frankly, it just defies any attempt to even achieve the appearance of accuracy. Do German subsidies keep the rest of the EU afloat? Sadly, No! Indeed, this argument isn’t just wrong, it’s Amber Pawlik wrong.

The EU’s entire budget for 2003 was approximately $100 billion. Germany contributed 26% of the total, so let’s say $27 billion. Even if we assumed that the other member states contribute zero (they do not,) and that EU funds are entirely distributed to the other member states (they are not,) this would represent a net contribution of $74 (yes, seventy four dollars) per resident of all EU members besides Germany. If the EU is staying afloat on $74 per resident per year, that’s news to us. [Besides, economic union has done more than benefit Germany.]

We can’t help but add, on an unrelated note, that a man who constantly expresses outrage at any and all Bush/Hitler comparisons has a lot of nerve throwing in the following remark on Germany’s declining population:

Perhaps the most striking statistic he [Niall] provided (and there were many) is that, on current demographic trends, there will only be 67 million Germans in 2050 – down from over 80 today and slightly more in Hitler’s day.

Slightly more in Hitler’s day? What the fuck kind of yardstick is that?

Added bonus: Andy’s numbers are, in any case, wrong. Besides, pre-war Germany only managed to boast of a large population because it invaded and annexed its neighbors:

In the 1930s, during the regime of Adolf Hitler, a period of expansion added both territory and population to the Third Reich. Following the annexation of Austria in 1938 and the Sudetenland (part of Czechoslovakia) in 1939, German territory and population encompassed 586,126 square kilometers and 79.7 million people, according to the 1939 census.

Germany’s population was roughly 64 million before WW1, 10 million fewer after the war, and back at 64 immediately after WW2. [A number that was to increase quickly following the expulsion of ethnic Germans.]

Added: Having endured much too much of the webcast of this event, we’re stunned to report that Ferguson’s “big number” (“one of the most striking facts that I can offer you” he said) is that Germany has, since the beginnings of the EU, paid 132 billion DM in net contributions. That would be US$ ?67 billion. Total. That works out to $442 per non-German EU citizen over the course of the EU’s history. This is what keeps the EU going. And after 30 minutes he claims “I didn’t come here to make a purely economic argument.”

Good thing too because your argument, economics wise, is worth shit.


Comments: 25


Daily discharge

Andy “The FMA Took My Baby Away” Sullivan on the AEI:

I’ve been to many events, dinners and lunches there and never fail to be stimulated. 

That rustling you hear is me


From the Political SAT’s

Andrew Sullivan is to Mathematics as
Gary Bauer is to Gay Sex
Bill Bennett is to Gambling
George Bush is to Honesty

First correct answer gets something.


Stuff about Europe: BORRRRING!


Stuff about Europe: BORRRRING!

Sorry we can’t provide you with Cock and Herpes Talk 24/7.


I keep thinking, damn, I need to learn more about Europe when I read posts like these.

Now, if Discovery Times would do a special on the EU, I’d so be there. I learn everything from Discovery Times these days. It’s frightening.

Social Scientist

Wow, Andrew is wildly yet inanely wrong about other countries, too. It certainly shows zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Sorry we can’t provide you with Cock and Herpes Talk 24/7.

Why the hell not?


Frederick, you could start your own Cock and Herpes Talk 24/7 blog! Then, you could compete with me for best single issue blog (yes, the damn exchange rate still sucks. How am I supposed to take advantage of yarn that costs less than a pound if I’m going to pay double for it? Huh? HUH?).

I used to have a lot of cock discussion on my blog, but the new guy doesn’t seem to enjoy me posting long entries about our sex life. Damn him. What’s the use of a digital camera anyways, then?


Good point about measuring Germany’s population in WWII. Is Sullivan complaining that there aren’t enough Germans? That only the Deutschvolk can save Europe? I think Hitler had the same complaint–Lebensraum, anyone? Eeesh.


Frederick, you could start your own Cock and Herpes Talk 24/7 blog!

That’s a thought; my current blog is primarily about Bush, but I occasionally write about Dick as well.

I used to have a lot of cock discussion on my blog, but the new guy doesn’t seem to enjoy me posting long entries about our sex life.

What a stick in the mud!


Well, whoever said that wingnuts have let mundane old things like facts and numbers get in the way of some of their wonderfully creative ‘voodoo economics’ theories?

“Bush/Cheney 2004: Because the truth just isn’t as much fun.”


Indeed, glenstonecottage. Josh Marshall at pointed today to an unintentionally hilarious remark by Cheney, who said that if during the last three years we’d had the kind of tax increases Kerry and Edwards are talking about, we wouldn’t have enjoyed the job growth we have. Huh?? — uh, Dick, you and Dubya have lost 2.3 million or so jobs. We would really rather avoid massive negative job “growth” in the future, thank you very much.


We should also remember the difficulty– no, impossibility– of making meaningful predictions about tom.’s population based on today’s demographic trends.
Fifty years is a long time, and any number of things– changes in society, economic incentives, or, most likely, increased immigration– could invalidate the population projections that Sullivan finds so striking.

Virtually no population projections hold up over more than a couple of decades, evenunder the most placid social conditions.

Someone scarfing down the wine at an AEI shindig should know this; it was always something that environmental skeptics, especially libertarian AEI-ish ones, used to use to argue against some of the more hysterical Malthusian doomsday scenarios.


Congrats! You?ve again been cited by the mighty Atrios. He only cites me for the proposition that Neil Bush has a diseased dick.


What if it was European Cock and Herpes?


What if it was European Cock and Herpes?

Hmm, that is indeed a conundrum.


Congrats! You’ve again been cited by the mighty Atrios.

My baby blog’s all grown up!

In other news, looks like we picked the right time to leave Stuttgart for a while.


Sully may claim Ferguson as a friend, but he was a tutor at my Oxford college, before taking the money and running to the US. Sadly, he should stick to economic history, because when he turns his attention to contemporary political economics, it all goes a bit sad and crap.


This reminds me of the NRO article cited by DeLong the other day in which the NRO financial team informs us that borrowers of money are actually “funding” the lenders.


Hey Damon, do you have a link to that NRO article? I’d like to read it.


When I lived at Robinson Barracks in Stuttgart in the late ’70’s there was a great gasthous that we called Bergie’s across from the PX. I wonder if it’s still there?



Having spent a good part of my military time in Europe.. I’ve been to Stuttgart a few times, I’m fairly certain Bergies was still there in 95..

Also spent some time at the warrior prep center in Einsiedlerhof.. there was also a great place just outside of those gates 😉 & the best mexican food in Germany..


A couple of years ago, I figured that the population density of the entire country of Germany is about on the order of that of the state of Massachusetts. And given the land use policies in Germany, the housing density even in suburban areas is very high. In our little town just west of Munich, when someone who owns a single-family house on a 1/4 acre or so dies, the property is sold to a developer who puts up a six-family. Given that situation, it isn’t really surprising that there might be a bit of a population decline.


It’s George Bush: Honesty, Jo.


but most of the americans don?t even know where is mexico, do you think they will know something about europe?


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