Pro's and cons of political alliances


This echo chamber dynamics are a reason why Ukraine got completely FUBARed by the way. For example, even very good economically founded arguments to not sign the association agreement with the EU were completely unheard in the west/centre, because only some “Sovok/Moskal Putin propagandist would make them”, while the South East regarded quite rational appeals for Europe as “Yeah, go on, the Banderites say that too. Are you a Banderite?”

Guns of Infinity
What about PoC?

Ukraine was FUBAR and SNAFU prior to the echo chamber dynamics you reference here.

Imperialism may be disguised but the cold hard realities of imperialistic policies and intervention still bear the same result. Catherine the Great would be quite happy with Putin’s manipulation and would recognize much in today’s “reality”.

Those “good” arguments made were nothing more than American “Yellow Journalism” was prior to the Spanish-American war.


Have you read the EU association agreement? You should reject it especially if you want Ukrainian EU membership, because this agreement is simply total bullshit from any rational Ukrainian perspective. The EU beurocracy gets everything it wants (f.e. Ukrainian adherence to the acquis and the CDSP without any Ukrainian input on either, Ukraine cutting trade ties with Russia, Ukraine being forbidden to adopt any non EU trading standards anywhere on its territory, Ukraine being forced to rapidly dismantle any non EU trading standards that already exist on its territory), Ukraine gets literally nothing, and thus has nothing left to offer in return for being allowed to become a full member.

Ukraine sold 3 million tons of grain to the EU in 2008, the EU association agreement limits Ukrainian grain exports to 1 million tons per year maximum. How do you want to integrate Ukraine closer with the EU by signing an agreement that reduces the most important Ukrainian exports to it? Meanwhile, several aspects of the association agreement simply kill Ukraines remaining industrial base, especially its military industrial complex, which it urgently needs to establish some kind of deterrence/defense against “big brother”.
Yanukovich could have been the Ukrainian version of Bismarck, Lincoln, Gandhi or whoever, and still refuse to sign this agreement, this does not change the fact that Yanukovich is a corrupt crook, but that he got overthrown for a completely rational defensible decision is one of the reasons why Donbass fights. Had he been overthrown for falsifying elections or something like that, there would likely not be a civil war (as first Maidan showed in 2004).

I can refer you to some papers covering the economic issues if you are interested (Mikhail Molchanov, ‘Choosing Europe over Russia: what has Ukraine gained?´ is a good start), but your response is basically boilerplate Maidan or Russian liberal echo chamber and thus exemplifies my point about the deleterious effects of echo chambers pretty well.

Russia meanwhile, because it is weak not strong, had to offer a pretty good deal. Heck, even Kazakhstan was strong enough (with some Chinese backing) to reduce Putins dreamproject of an “EU-like Eurasian Union with its own acquis communautaire” to a glorified free trade zone with pretty ribbons and quite explicitly guaranteed and likely permanent Russian financial incentives without breaking much of a sweat.

I hope that this isnt too much of a derail.


Yeah, it’s a bit far off topic… So now it’s got it’s own thread :tada:
It’s an interesting topic, IMO, so I’d say it needs a place where it can be discussed. (Though I have to admit I never read the 300+ pages of the EU association agreement with Ukraine.)

If you’d prefer this thread to have a different title, please tell me, and I’ll change it.


The number of pages, counting in the really nasty fine prints in the various annexes is 2135, here is the link to the pdf

This is a very different agreement from other association agreements with the EU, and is basically unreadable/incomprehensible by design. If it does not load, try to download it from your pdf reader.

Ukraine has to adopt the “relevant EU acquis” on a number of key sectors, which is not something that is demanded in other association agreements (even in those of current full members like f.e. Bulgaria) I have knowledge of.
Ukraine, as a state which has a neutrality clause in its founding document (declaration of state sovereignity), also has to follow the EU CDSP (common defense and security policy), again without having any input into it (btw. EU full members like Danemark can influence the CDSP while formally refusing to follow it. Ukraine has to obey it without being able to influence it, it thus got the worst possible deal). This is also unique to Ukraine, although it may be similiar in the case of Georgia.

The only economic possiblity for Ukraine in the EU is being an outsourcing destination for IT tech, since they still do have a decent education system. Agricultural exports are pretty restricted, although there seems to be some movement in the EU to “screw Ukraine a bit less” by increasing the yearly numbers of allowed imports (iirc, Ukraine fully utilized its import quota for chickens in 2016 in February). For many products Ukraine could theoretically export, well, they would have to adopt quite expensive EU standards while not having access to the capital needed for an appropriate modernization. Even if they manage this, finding niches in the EU economic space will be incredibly difficult because the EU has a very diverse assortment of economic firms, and most niches are already taken. Trade outside of the EU is made far more difficult with the agreement as well. Partly because other nations will be very cautious of allowing the EU a possible backdoor into their own economies, partly because Ukraine is seen as a massive contract breaker and partly because Ukrainian trade policy is now decided in Brussels, meaning that other nations have no reason to offer Ukraine beneficial trade terms as a concession since Ukraine itself is incapable of returning favors now.

I am sorry for writing such walls of text, but in a way I am trying to summarize the important aspects of the 1160ish pages of the association agreement that I have read so far.

This is made more difficult because the whole agreement has a really low signal to noise ratio. You get a bunch of feel good paragraphs, then there is a paragraph that totally screws Ukraine, then there are more meaningless feel good paragraphs. Like, there are dozens of paragraphs which restrict Ukrainian exports to the EU, but to make sense of these, you have to know how much of these products Ukraine actually used to export in the EU, and such data can be hard to come by.


I’d rather not, I’m going into Wall Street. I don’t want to get lynched and my family would get massacred by his tax increases. My mother is a neurosurgeon and my father works on Wall Street… It won’t be too good if the Bern gets elected.

But, @idonotlikeusernames, I really shouldn’t complain too much, because of my internship I have a job with KPMG right after my fifth year in college. So I can start working right out of college and work on putting money towards my future mortgage and college debt, but the thing is. It’s still a lot of money that I’ll need. My parents worked their asses off their whole lives to get the lifestyle I was fortunate enough to be born into.


Yeah, you have a great point, but even in SoI Lefebvre still felt that it was the limit of morality, and that he regretted having to do so, and he realized that he had to do it, but he would feel bad about it later. He has the feel of an alcoholic.

While Cazarosta doesn’t even bother trying to rationalize his viewpoint, simply seeing as his viewpoint has it as if he were in the right, and any divergence is pure, and pointless sentimentalism.


Not really, that is a pure characterization, do you know how a progressive tax system works, it’s not the amount of money that gets taxed at the percent that they happen to make, it’s how the brackets, adn anything they make within a bracket gets taxed like that, anything over that gets taxed at the next bracket,and so forth. Also, he only wished to take the FDR route, and to prevent the CEO’s and the owners and managers from doing what they did in 2008, which was to sell junk derivatives as “AAA”, and then betting on them to fail, which is textbook FRAUD, which could probably be prosecuted under anti-racketeering RICO laws from the sheer shadiness of the transactions.


Yeah, my cousin always works in that kind of thing, and my dad too, so I have no problems with banking in and of itself, it’s just fraudulent practices like what I mentioned that I hate. Plus, seeing the failure of the Puerto RIcan government and the slow decay of the private market here makes me actually fall in favor of the private market here, but with clear, and cut regulation.


True, and let me say as the son of single lower middle class mom I’m a bit jealous as I do have about $15000 in student debt too. Though in my case that loan was not necessary for tuition and books per-se, but rather to fit in better after my frankly disastrous first year of university. Most of it went to fitness, better food and a wardrobe that didn’t render me a constant butt of jokes among my so-called “peers”.

On top of that I’m much more likely to hit some sort of glass ceiling too when partnership might come up in 5-15 years.

In terms of money the cost is about half that here, at least to live in the kind of neighbourhood where I can be myself, then again the average pay for attorneys specializing in criminal law is also about half, on average, compared to the pay of our American counterparts.


They already pay a lot in taxes, both Federally and State. Connecticut is going bankrupt and my town since it’s one of the wealthiest in America and is being forced to try to stem some of the deficit. Our home got reassessed and magically we need to pay 33% more than last year. The Governor decided he also wants to cut funding for our school system which means that taxes are going to have to go up to fund everything and most of that tax burden is going to fall on the wealthy. We lost General Electric, which certainly isn’t helping things.

Don’t get me started on the Banking Crisis and the Real-Estate collapse. My dad was there. He was in Credit Suisse when everything blew up. He was a bond salesman… He didn’t deal with that junk, but, at the same time he knew people that did., here you go, enjoy. This is what caused the crisis, this measure being slowly repealed and this is all the Bern had to say when asked about his plan.

@Jjcb, maybe I will. It would be funny eh?

@idonotlikeusernames, I don’t want to give any specifics on the debt I got, but let’s just say, that it’s significantly higher.


Of course, I was mostly wondering how the naming mechanics worked and that helped me figure it out. Thanks!

@idonotlikeusernames, do remember that the North-East US is generally an exception to the norm of America. Only a few other places across the US can compete with the cost. Combine that with the fact that the job market up here is shrinking and the North-East is becoming very expensive and it is becoming immensely difficult to stay afloat unless you already have a strong source of income.

@Rafael_Trigo, I said Glass-Steagall doomed us because of how the banks weren’t being as regulated and don’t get me started on the CFMA of 2000… But the thing is with capitalism and the market in general is, it’s run by humans. Some humans have good intentions, some humans have bad intentions, others just want to survive in a highly competitive environment so they can provide for their families. What really needs to change is the culture in general. The culture is that in order to not get fired, you do need to act without morals at times, lest you get fired and possibly be without a job for a few years time if you’re lucky.


Not really, it was the repeal of Glass-Steagall, and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 which doomed the economy. I get it, regulation cannot become too excessive(I may personally like Guevara and Fidel(mostly because of the Latin American independence), but to argue for self regulation is not the way either, remember, the FDA doesn’t regulate most supplements, (remember EPHEDRA?), and it turns out most supplements, including Vitamin Shoppe and GNC are just rice and soy powder, because self-regulating capitalism seeks for the greatest short term profits, for the least amount of costs, so investors, and shareholders can get as much money as possible(the reasoning that my dad in part used to explain the partial cutting of his department at Citi and the loss of his job). In the end, I get it, regulation kills business to a certain point, but also increases trust in that business since it can screw over people as bad(just have to find the right balance), but one must also avoid the establishment of monopolies(if government regulation is the CHarles Manson of business and wealth, then monopolies are the Adolf Hitler of such), remember the banks that were “Too Big to Fail” in 2008 are bigger now than they were before the crash.


Yeah I know, but the article stated that Glass-Steagall was BAD for business because it killed it and because post “ENRON” banking was “more transparent” because they had more incentive to be honest. Yeah, the American market has gone to shit, especially Puerto Rico(we’re poorer than MIssissippi, which is the state with the highest poverty in the nation, and we have more than 16% unemployment), so I just have to wait to finish high school at UGHS (public high school which is the flagship for the public education system here, seeing as how it has some of the highest SAT scores, including some perfect math scores, seeing as how it’s specialized in science and math, and after that, I’m probably either going to try to apply for Harvard ,a and sell my soul to pay for it if I get accepted, or moving to California.


Nor are Amsterdam and the Hague typical for the Netherlands, but that’s where the bulk of work in my specialisation happens to be.

If it’s any consolation it’s not much better here, in the EU. Though in the US system you’re not actually a state which means you don’t get two Senators to bring your specific issues some national/federal attention and bring in the pork.


Other than Spain, Italy, Greece, and the Slavic countries, the EU is portrayed as excellent, especially the Nordic area? How is that not true? What is the reality from your perspective? Which country are you from? Puerto Rico has a more than 50% NiNi(which is a child’s version of saying piss) which means the neither work nor study, the police are so broke they use expired bulletproof vests, and my classes may end before scheduled due to the fiscal year not ending yet, and there not being enough money to pay teachers. There is also not enough money to pay doctors, nurses, or the suppliers for hospitals. Basically, we’re at the level of most Latin American countries who are considered “much worse” and “hell on Earth”, but since we’re “part of America”, everyone thinks it’s fine. Especially with the “Junta de Control Fiscal” which is a FIscal Control Board which would personally handle each and every dollar the government owns, basically making our government be an even bigger puppet, and bringing even more shame upon us(if that was possible).


Imho you can add the Netherlands, France, Belgium and parts of Germany to that list too (and remove northern Italy from it).

Let me try and answer that one when I’ve got a bit more time.

The Netherlands and let me just say that the seemingly fastest growing banking sector here is still that of the so-called “food banks”. (in actuality it’s the offshore one though most of us will never see so much as a dime come “trickling down” from that, but our conservatives and liberals did manage to turn us into a tax haven faciliator).
My perspective, in short, is that we have suffered from nearly 2 decades of lackluster governance and “new left” dominance.

The problems are, fortunately, less severe here, still our medical system is currently held hostage by out of control privatisation and austerity.
More generally a miniature version of what happened in the US happened here too. The recession and “crisis” transferred a lot of wealth upwards and even though the economic crisis is now deemed to be mostly over most of the population hasn’t quite recovered to the way things were before.

Yes, the Nordics generally do much better, in almost all respects, than the rest of us. Still I’m hardly an expert on them.
Better to ask someone like @Studwick about the Nordic countries.


Yeah, however, Puerto Rico’s economic shrinkage started in 2006, in part because Congress repealed the “936 Laws” which meant that companies don’t have to pay taxes, which is why we had Boeing, we still have Pfizer and such, with the law dying out in 10 years time(2006), meaning that they left, and since the extra economic stimulus left, and the government wasn’t’ able to adapt, debt rose exponentially, but even then, we’ve had a debt problem, since the 80’s in the case of retirement and stuff like that. but the real problem is that we are an out and out colony, only being even more colonized for 63 years since the ELA, “Estado Libre Asociado” basically a Free Associated State, or “Commonwealth”(sadly not as cool or fun as Fallout 4). Plus, even in the end, even the Stimulus Package did not reach us, watch the John Oliver U.S. Territories video, were treated like children that the United States was forced to take, and the Us is acting like a very irresponsible mother right now, and even though they don’t want us, they wont let us be independent, because even though they give Puerto Rico 29 billion dollars a year, they force us to use their merchant fleet, making stuff like a 70,000$ car cost 100,000$ here, and us, even though were a tropical island MADE for agriculture, we import like over 90% of pour food is imported. SO, basically, no matter what, Europe is superior to us in every way, and at least you get to make your own decision as independent nations, we must bend to the need of the Congress, who most of them don’t know about us, sine an interview with the Comisionado Residente, Resident Commissioner, which is like one Congressman with no vote,who has someone with him to explain to new Congressmen what Puerto Rico IS.

Basically, it SUCKS living here. It sucks so much, that there are more Puerto Ricans living outside of Puerto Rico than in Puerto Rico, combine that with an aging population, and lowering birth rates, and we have a recipe for major suckage and retirement system problems.

We’re the Caribbean version of Guatemalan and Syrian refugees, except no cares, since Puerto Rico is so small, that most maps make it look like a dot.


Well, to be fair, at least you’re not Haitian. God, is Haiti at a bad place right now.


Our right wing populists and some of our conservatives would take issue with that, in their worldview we’re living under the jackboot of the EU.
That said while the populists may actually be daft enough drink their own kool-aid on that one, the conservatives and even some anti EU socialists generally just like to use the big, bad EU as the bogeyman. Ask any of them about why many of their more damaging policies are absolutely necessary and the refrain always goes “because Europe demands it !”. In truth the EU mostly does what the heads of State and Government (the Council) and the special interests in the Commission tell it to, and at present the European Parliament, which can’t even propose policies of its own is not an effective counterweight to that. Which is why we have the infamous “democratic deficit” in Europe in the first place and also explains why no one with any power is interested in addressing said deficit any time soon.
Still the next time our PM defends one of his bad proposals designed to please his conservative backbenchers with “because Europe” I’d like to see someone of the supposedly pro-EU opposition break the code of silence on this one and reply something “because that’s what you (and the rest of the mostly conservative HoG’s) told Europe to do last month, ya dolt”.

So while we do have to conform to European policy in many areas we don’t actually do enough to make sure the EU is better equipped to actually meet the needs of its citizens instead of its special interests at the moment. You could even say the EU is beginning the reflect the US Congress there.
For now, the EU serves mostly as an awfully convenient target, one might even call it a lighting rod, for the public ire in many of its member-states, including mine, mostly because far too many of our politicians actually like having big, bad bogeyman EU around to blame for their screw-ups.

Did you mean this one ?
Again, if it’s any consolation, we have a fair number of bone-headed, or just die-hard neo-liberal, judges on our own European Court of Justice.

Seems to me the main problem with representation is, again, the fact that you have no US Senators as these are the guys who usually seem to bring the pork to their states.

Brexit and The UK EU Referendum Results Discussion