(March 26, 2012)
[Please include your first and last names, and your city and state of residence. Thank you.]
The Fatal Flaws of the Eurozone: Gilles d'Aymery's Blips #124
To the Editor:
The eurozone has bought some time with the restructuring of Greek debt but it is far from being out of the woods. The Greek economy, in deep recession, cannot overcome the problem of its debt. The situation is bound to worsen again, sooner rather than later. Gilles d'Aymery consistently fails to realize the four deadly sins of the euro construct, which were clearly enounced in the late 1990s by Martin Feldstein, the Harvard economist and former economic advisor to Ronald Reagan, namely: The absence of homogeneity (cultural and economic), the lack of flexibility, a nonexistent mobility, and a dearth in solidarity. To these four fatal flaws I'll add a fifth one, no federal government.
With no common language workers cannot move easily from one state to the other. The economic disparities between industrial nations (Germany) and agrarian or tourist ones (Greece) cannot be reconciled. Transfer policies cannot take place without a strong federal authority, something that the people within the members of the eurozone have always resisted and refused. Solidarity exists only within each state, not inter-state. Hence the inevitable failure of the euro project. Just give it another couple of years or three to see its implosion.
Martin Feldstein wrote a cogent analysis in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, "The Failure of the Euro." Gilles d'Aymery would be well inspired to read it.
Tempe, Arizona, USA - March 16, 2012
[ed. Early January, Mr. Johnson affirmed that the eurozone would "not survive 2012." Now it has two more years, or three, to go. Let's call this an incremental progress in one's thought process... The article on the Foreign Affairs Web site requires registration to be read in full. However, the article in its entirety can be read on another Web site.]
The Polish "Mozart of Poetry" passed away at age 88 -- Wislawa Szymborska
I'd like to express my sorrow for the death of a poetess, Wislawa (who died very recently), writing some words about her.
Wislawa Szymborska was the poetess of sensibility always expressed in an everyday life context. She used apparently simple words to describe a reality of deep suffering.
"I apologize, to those who cry from the depths, if I'm listening to the music of the minuet" is one of the verses taken from her poetry "Under a little star" in which while the poetess is listening to some music there are a lot of people who are suffering. And for her sensibility this is a great paradox, because she realizes that the awareness of pain is the sorrow for those who cry. So she is very sorry to feel such a pleasant sensation and she apologizes for that.
Palermo, Sicily, Italy - March 13, 2012
Fukushima: Contamination and ongoing Life
I write to let you know that there's still someone who's fighting for his own land and cries in front of the eyes of a beast. Naoto Matsumara refuses to leave the contaminated area near Fukushima. Matsumara remembers, in tears, a cow -- a bag of bones -- and her little calf that tried, in vain, to stick to her mother's breasts, but she rejected it. The little calf finally began to suck some straw, as if it was her mother's breasts. Naoto Matsumara is now "completely contaminated," but he dreams that his town, Tomioka, the inhabitants, and the animals will come back to live together, with no suffering.
Palermo, Sicily, Italy - March 12, 2012
Remembering with Compassion the Fukushima Disaster
One year has passed from the strong earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the resulting nuclear disaster (March 11, 2011). The number of victims both of the earthquake and of the tsunami is terrible, and even statistics on damage due to nuclear contamination are worrying. But only a few people in the world know about the psychological impact of this disaster on the Japanese people. After one year "Japan is back," as the Japanese ambassador said. However, this was a tough year for Japan. People have lost their loved ones, their homes, and their hopes; a lot of young people no longer believe in the future. And, unfortunately, the sharp increase in cases of suicides gives clear evidence of this frightening reality. I wrote this letter to express my solidarity with the Japanese people and to raise awareness of the terrible aspects of the tragedy.
Palermo, Sicily, Italy - March 15, 2012
Self-Serving Ad from a Would-be Gabby Cabby: Peter Byrne's Stereotyping In Naples
To the Editor,
Peter Byrne writes: "All of a sudden I realized that the cab driver was speaking to me. It wasn't going to be easy keeping received ideas at bay in Naples. His was double-barreled. He displayed the locals' crafty illegality by proposing to turn the meter off and take 15 euros for a 10-euro ride. He then did the too familiar gabby-cabby act, and dragged me into a conversation. Where was I from?"
Thank you for the mention of me....the gabby cabby....
But with me, it is not an act. See:
I have written The Gabby Cabby: Life on the Street from New York's Radio-Active Cabdriver.
I have also just finished my second book which is about how funny it is to get old.
New York, New York, USA - March 13, 2012
To get in contact with Swans gives me the opportunity to feel really like a world citizen! So this feeling leads me to rationalize the concept of "cosmopolitan." It's very interesting to read your articles. I think that to consider all men of the world as citizens of only one country is a vision and an ideal that does not allow distinction between ethnic groups and nationalities, and I feel that your effort is along this way. Is it utopian thinking? Maybe, but let me hope the same. To have now the opportunity to write these words is for me like a "cosmopolitan bridge," with all the world...
(p.s. sorry for my bad English!)
Palermo, Sicily, Italy - March 14, 2012
Gilles d'Aymery responds: I wish my Italian was as good as your English! We are indeed all citizens of one unique world, one only planet. Let your generation do what ours didn't...
The Future of Young People
To the Editor:
How is it better nowadays to face up to the changements of adolescence, the choices we boys have to make, the conflict between what we want to be and what we can be? We've the terrible sensation that our society doesn't give the same guarantees to each of us, and this one is not good for our determination and our trust. We may either reach a compromise with the opportunities we will find, or pursue our dreams even though facing an uncertain and difficult future. Anyway, for the well being of our own and of all the society, we should at least begin to wonder ourselves about that, and to contemplate a very different kind of society.
All the best,
Gabriele Maron and Carla Demma
Palermo, Sicily, Italy - March 14, 2012
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