(December 5, 2011)
[Please include your first and last names, and your city and state of residence. Thank you.]
Correction on Italy: Gilles d'Aymery's Blips #118
To the Editor:
Mr. d'Aymery made an error in his Blips #118 -- in the last part referring to the eurozone crisis. Italy has had a current account surplus until 2010, but this year it has a projected current account deficit of 3.5%. However, he also forgot to mention that Italy has the fourth largest reserve of gold in the world and has a positive primary balance that is even superior to Germany's. (A primary balance is the difference between the country's revenues and spending excluding new bond auctions and interest payments.) So, Italy can pay the interests on its public debt and is in no danger of defaulting. There, Berlusconi, with all his warts, was correct. This is a fabricated crisis.
The real problem of the eurozone, beside the fact that it has no political integration -- 17 countries, 17 governments, 17 parliaments, besieged by the 27 countries, 27 governments, and 27 parliaments -- is that it cannot put its collective house in order. In three words: Too much debt. Even Germany, the so-called economic European locomotive, is not immune. Look at the latest German bond auction. They wanted to raise 6 billion euros. They only garnered close to 4 billion, and the yield can only go up. For conservatives like me, debts are a killer, whether countries or households are affected. We need to live within our means.
To live within our means calls for an age of frugality in which revenues are raised through higher income and capital taxes on wealth and savings across the board. Belts must be tightened.
Tempe, Arizona, USA - November 23, 2011
Appreciation of our Efforts to Propagate a Cosmopolitan Message
Dear friends of Swans:
We'd like to thank you for the cosmopolitan message that Swans is trying to propagate.
We are citizens of this world; we are free to move from North to South, from East to West and always find people like us.
"The Human Race," as Einstein said, could be compared to a great organism in which every little part is indispensable to not change the feeble balance that all the people are trying hard to create.
"Imagine there's no countries / It isn't hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / [...] I hope someday you'll join us / And the world will be as one." (Imagine, John Lennon)
Thanks and best regards,
Dario Treppiedi, Elena Belvedere, and Salvatore Balsano
Palermo, Sicily, Italy - November 29, 2011
Same old Barriers in a Globalized Reality
Dear readers of Swans:
We would like to express our feelings about the tragic development that the Mediterranean migration's phenomenon has had during the last months: Mundani sumus ("we're world citizens") and yet people still die by crossing a sea strait. Even though the international background that changes day by day has led to a new globalized reality, we still keep on surrounding ourselves with the same old barriers. We can peer at the whole world through a mechanical box, but we don't mind switching the TV over when it shows the human dignity drowning between Tunis and Lampedusa. Nevertheless, we believe that the harmonious quietness of the world will always be able to unleash boundaries and to make us cives totius mundi ("citizens of all the world") in a real way.
Alberto Antinoro and Chiara Assante
Palermo, Sicily, Italy - December 1, 2011
We appreciate and welcome your comments. Please, enter in the subject line of your e-mail "letter to the editor," and specify the article or the subject you are commenting on at the beginning of your e-mail. Also, ***PLEASE,*** sign your e-mail with your name ***AND*** add your city, state, country, address, and phone number. If we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country. Send your comments to the Editor. (Letters may be shortened and edited.)