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Eurobrat and Winston's interview

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Postby gsjackson » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:51 pm

publicduende wrote:This 1% or 10% thing is one of your most stupid arguments yet. How does financial stability and investments correlate with the ability to be happy (of happier) abroad, whether for a week or 6 months?


I initially brought up the one percent business in the context of the social myopia that is often found among inhabitants therein. Here in the U.S. they are all convinced that the great unwashed masses need only get off their duffs and exert a bit of effort to catch the waves of economic mobility and rise to the top. You seemed to suggest that EB is passing on some lucrative career tracks to make 1.5-2K euro in Germany, and I'm just wondering what those career tracks might be. They may be evident in the City, but they aren't in what's left of the "real economy" in the U.S.
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Postby eurobrat » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:16 pm

gsjackson wrote:the question raised by EB of whether economically vibrant countries have a better social vibe than those in decline.


I saw this in the US and Italy.

The people in these countries know the writing is on the wall and it's their turn to be the poor country, it's like letting a little kid play a video game and he knows he's loosing and the game is over with and he he has to pass the controller to another kid he hates.

For the most part I don't find Germany as bad off as the US or Italy in terms of economic stability, political stability and the overall positive vibe of the Germans. I think Germany has a successful model of socialism in compared to the failed socialism in Italy and the welfare state USA.
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Postby gsjackson » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:31 pm

gsjackson wrote:
publicduende wrote:Thanks for wanting to clarify on this, but I obviously didn't mean "post-Soviet" in an historical sense. I meant living conditions and a general vibe typical of socialist countries (such as Russia during Soviet times and immediately after the Soviet state collapse).

I remember visiting some towns in Croatia and even a town in Slovenia that had just hosted an important winter sports competition, so definitely "on the map", when I was a kid, long before the Bosnian war. I will never forget the run down shops and building, the old and rusty cars of a single brand (Yugo), majestic churches and some places of cultural heritage locked down or operating on a very occasional basis. More than ever I remember the large supermarkets with little or no merchandise on display.

Things didn't get better until after the war, when Croatia and Slovenia managed to escape the embrace of the Serbian-controlled central state and receive substantial investments from neighbouring countries (Germany and Austria, but Switzerland and Italy to some extent) and of course prop up their tourist industry, unleash their cultural heritage, reopen churches and museums.

The states that didn't reach escape velocity were Bosnia and the southern ones, were minorities were defenceless and still oppressed by the Serbian army. More than Belgrade, I would be interested to know how you found Sarajevo and Mostar, two cities that were devastated by the war.


I agree it's a distinction mostly without a difference. Indeed, being post-war and post-western-divide-and-plunder-tactics can be seen as far more economically traumatizing than having tried to implement the failed Soviet system for decades. But the fact that Balkans countries and Germany are apples and oranges still begs the question raised by EB of whether economically vibrant countries have a better social vibe than those in decline. Actually, I would have thought the opposite before venturing out to Europe -- the supposition was that hard economic times brought people together, as was true of the U.S. in the 1930s. But it seems like the hyper-individualism of today's zeitgeist means that hard times translate into hard people.

Sarajevo and Mostar are beautiful cities, but very down in the mouth economically -- and I think socially -- just like Serbia. And they lack what the Serbs have -- a unifying narrative of "everybody is against us," and a strong, unapologetic "yugonostalgia." That yugonostalgia is very much present in the other Balkan countries I've been to, including Croatia, but it can't be embraced so unambiguously because they still sort of think western neoliberalism is supposed to do something for them. Croatia may have reached escape velocity, but you wouldn't know it from talking to the people. All the worker bees seem to think of themselves as an oppressed class of slave labor, and the apathetic victims of an incorrigibly kleptocratic state. As always, take my limited data sample for whatever it's worth.


Just wanted to add to this: I've been in Croatia for the last nine days -- the third time in five years I've been here -- and the demoralization seems greater than ever. I'm hearing horror stories about employers not paying employees for months at a time, and governmental corruption so profound no one even considers the possibility of doing anything about it. Everybody seems to want out of the country, even though it is stunningly beautiful.

I come to a health clinic on the northern coast of Croatia. The first time I came five years ago I felt very welcomed, and that the country, despite the sense of economic oppression and widespread corruption, and an obvious yugonostalgia, had a certain spirit about it. Now, that spirit feels gone, and I feel less welcome, even though my money is still as good as ever. Maybe this is a personal problem, or maybe it's that I represent promises of what western neoliberalism would bring that clearly aren't going to be kept. But the people just seem to be withdrawing into a shell of cynicism and disengagement.

These impressions are supported by a story I just read on yahoo today, but couldn't re-find for the link. It ranked the ten countries with the most positive outlook on life, and the ten with the most negative view, based on five categories of personal well being. Panama was number one, with 61 percent of the population having a positive outlook, and other Latin American countries also in the top ten. Croatia, though being mostly Catholic like Latin American countries, was in the bottom ten with seven percent of the population seeing life favorably, joined at the bottom by mostly African shitholes.
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Postby Paloaltoguy » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:02 am

gsjackson wrote:
gsjackson wrote:
publicduende wrote:Thanks for wanting to clarify on this, but I obviously didn't mean "post-Soviet" in an historical sense. I meant living conditions and a general vibe typical of socialist countries (such as Russia during Soviet times and immediately after the Soviet state collapse).

I remember visiting some towns in Croatia and even a town in Slovenia that had just hosted an important winter sports competition, so definitely "on the map", when I was a kid, long before the Bosnian war. I will never forget the run down shops and building, the old and rusty cars of a single brand (Yugo), majestic churches and some places of cultural heritage locked down or operating on a very occasional basis. More than ever I remember the large supermarkets with little or no merchandise on display.

Things didn't get better until after the war, when Croatia and Slovenia managed to escape the embrace of the Serbian-controlled central state and receive substantial investments from neighbouring countries (Germany and Austria, but Switzerland and Italy to some extent) and of course prop up their tourist industry, unleash their cultural heritage, reopen churches and museums.

The states that didn't reach escape velocity were Bosnia and the southern ones, were minorities were defenceless and still oppressed by the Serbian army. More than Belgrade, I would be interested to know how you found Sarajevo and Mostar, two cities that were devastated by the war.


I agree it's a distinction mostly without a difference. Indeed, being post-war and post-western-divide-and-plunder-tactics can be seen as far more economically traumatizing than having tried to implement the failed Soviet system for decades. But the fact that Balkans countries and Germany are apples and oranges still begs the question raised by EB of whether economically vibrant countries have a better social vibe than those in decline. Actually, I would have thought the opposite before venturing out to Europe -- the supposition was that hard economic times brought people together, as was true of the U.S. in the 1930s. But it seems like the hyper-individualism of today's zeitgeist means that hard times translate into hard people.

Sarajevo and Mostar are beautiful cities, but very down in the mouth economically -- and I think socially -- just like Serbia. And they lack what the Serbs have -- a unifying narrative of "everybody is against us," and a strong, unapologetic "yugonostalgia." That yugonostalgia is very much present in the other Balkan countries I've been to, including Croatia, but it can't be embraced so unambiguously because they still sort of think western neoliberalism is supposed to do something for them. Croatia may have reached escape velocity, but you wouldn't know it from talking to the people. All the worker bees seem to think of themselves as an oppressed class of slave labor, and the apathetic victims of an incorrigibly kleptocratic state. As always, take my limited data sample for whatever it's worth.


Just wanted to add to this: I've been in Croatia for the last nine days -- the third time in five years I've been here -- and the demoralization seems greater than ever. I'm hearing horror stories about employers not paying employees for months at a time, and governmental corruption so profound no one even considers the possibility of doing anything about it. Everybody seems to want out of the country, even though it is stunningly beautiful.

I come to a health clinic on the northern coast of Croatia. The first time I came five years ago I felt very welcomed, and that the country, despite the sense of economic oppression and widespread corruption, and an obvious yugonostalgia, had a certain spirit about it. Now, that spirit feels gone, and I feel less welcome, even though my money is still as good as ever. Maybe this is a personal problem, or maybe it's that I represent promises of what western neoliberalism would bring that clearly aren't going to be kept. But the people just seem to be withdrawing into a shell of cynicism and disengagement.

These impressions are supported by a story I just read on yahoo today, but couldn't re-find for the link. It ranked the ten countries with the most positive outlook on life, and the ten with the most negative view, based on five categories of personal well being. Panama was number one, with 61 percent of the population having a positive outlook, and other Latin American countries also in the top ten. Croatia, though being mostly Catholic like Latin American countries, was in the bottom ten with seven percent of the population seeing life favorably, joined at the bottom by mostly African shitholes.


I stopped reading after you mentioned yahoo as a possible source = lol
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Postby Jester » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:36 am

publicduende wrote:
eurobrat wrote:Better than sitting in the corporate bathroom typing on your mobile.


Yeah, and that's when I have a problem establishing what's more full of s*it, your posts or what I am sitting on :)


:lol:

u guys are too funny
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Best Writing On The Web Is On HappierAbroad

Postby Jester » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:43 am

gsjackson wrote:
....But the fact that Balkans countries and Germany are apples and oranges still begs the question raised by EB of

whether economically vibrant countries have a better social vibe than those in decline. Actually, I would have thought the opposite before venturing out to Europe -- the supposition was that hard economic times brought people together, as was true of the U.S. in the 1930s. But it seems like the hyper-individualism of today's zeitgeist means that hard times translate into hard people.

....the people just seem to be withdrawing into a shell of cynicism and disengagement....

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