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United States of America Amsel_
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Re: 2020 US Elections

Post by Amsel_ »

@Dolan I see there are local elections in Romania. Any thoughts on it? Are you rooting for a party?
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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Re: 2020 US Elections

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@Amsel_ Not rooting for a party, but picking what I think it's currently best for the country or the least awful choice.
Typically, in the post-commie period, in Romania, the choice has always been between ex-commies and reformists.

People who vote for ex-commies (PSD, aka social-democratic party) are nostalgics and boomers who lived most of their lives under a system in which their income depended on the state. Their political and economic culture revolves around waiting for the state to solve things for them, to increase their living standards. This kind of voters doesn't care much about reforms, about stifling corruption and they don't care how politicians manage to get the money to increase their pensions or welfare. Even if they increase the country's debt to hike pensions, they're fine with that. They're welfare NIMBY-ies. They don't care what effect increasing the country's debt has, as long as they get a bigger check every month and it doesn't directly affect them, it's all fine. Arguments like "but that will increase inflation and you won't see much value from those pensions hikes" are too abstract for them, what they see is those extra cash, nothing else. It's a party for welfare clients.

People who vote for reformists (PNL, aka national liberal party) are younger and tend to work in the private sector, so they value financial independence more, entrepreneurship, investment, development. They keep criticising the state for wasting taxpayers' money, for taxing companies too much, for keeping a too large workforce employed as a means of providing social security via employment despite that workforce not being very productive, etc. Liberalism here means completely the opposite of what it means in the USA, it's not about progressive politics, it's about laissez faire economics, it's classical liberalism that supports individual freedoms and economic autonomy. They're mostly indifferent to any progressive agenda, since it's a subject mostly irrelevant in Romania.

I usually voted for PNL, because I want them to put the house in order in terms of public finances. I want them to keep a low level of debt or decrease it, to stop borrowing money to increase pensions and work towards making the social security budget balanced again (so that it doesn't need public debt and transfers to break even), and to keep improving infrastructure, public services, cut bureaucracy, and boost jobs creation. I don't want the PSD in power again, the last time they had a government they made the country look like a South-American oligarchic republic, in which all the calls were made by a small-time local crook who managed to get at the helm of the party by bribing everyone and this somehow had become a virtue that everyone admired. Mind-boggingly, there are lots of people here who see nothing wrong with that and think having such authoritarian leaders is a good thing, because they watched too many telenovelas in which the hero, Don Fernando, is such a badass who controls all the affairs of his family with a strong hand, so having this kind of leadership can only be good. But they choose to ignore how much this kind of leader embezzles public funds, enriches his own family by funneling public funds or through power abuse and grifting, etc. As long as Don Fernando keeps being such a badass at the helm of the country, it's all that matters, the country is in good hands. Complete retards.
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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Dolan wrote:@Amsel_ Not rooting for a party, but picking what I think it's currently best for the country or the least awful choice.
Typically, in the post-commie period, in Romania, the choice has always been between ex-commies and reformists.

People who vote for ex-commies (PSD, aka social-democratic party) are nostalgics and boomers who lived most of their lives under a system in which their income depended on the state. Their political and economic culture revolves around waiting for the state to solve things for them, to increase their living standards. This kind of voters doesn't care much about reforms, about stifling corruption and they don't care how politicians manage to get the money to increase their pensions or welfare. Even if they increase the country's debt to hike pensions, they're fine with that. They're welfare NIMBY-ies. They don't care what effect increasing the country's debt has, as long as they get a bigger check every month and it doesn't directly affect them, it's all fine. Arguments like "but that will increase inflation and you won't see much value from those pensions hikes" are too abstract for them, what they see is those extra cash, nothing else. It's a party for welfare clients.

People who vote for reformists (PNL, aka national liberal party) are younger and tend to work in the private sector, so they value financial independence more, entrepreneurship, investment, development. They keep criticising the state for wasting taxpayers' money, for taxing companies too much, for keeping a too large workforce employed as a means of providing social security via employment despite that workforce not being very productive, etc. Liberalism here means completely the opposite of what it means in the USA, it's not about progressive politics, it's about laissez faire economics, it's classical liberalism that supports individual freedoms and economic autonomy. They're mostly indifferent to any progressive agenda, since it's a subject mostly irrelevant in Romania.

I usually voted for PNL, because I want them to put the house in order in terms of public finances. I want them to keep a low level of debt or decrease it, to stop borrowing money to increase pensions and work towards making the social security budget balanced again (so that it doesn't need public debt and transfers to break even), and to keep improving infrastructure, public services, cut bureaucracy, and boost jobs creation. I don't want the PSD in power again, the last time they had a government they made the country look like a South-American oligarchic republic, in which all the calls were made by a small-time local crook who managed to get at the helm of the party by bribing everyone and this somehow had become a virtue that everyone admired. Mind-boggingly, there are lots of people here who see nothing wrong with that and think having such authoritarian leaders is a good thing, because they watched too many telenovelas in which the hero, Don Fernando, is such a badass who controls all the affairs of his family with a strong hand, so having this kind of leadership can only be good. But they choose to ignore how much this kind of leader embezzles public funds, enriches his own family by funneling public funds or through power abuse and grifting, etc. As long as Don Fernando keeps being such a badass at the helm of the country, it's all that matters, the country is in good hands. Complete retards.
Interesting. Would you say that the PSD types are just self-serving, or is there an attitude in Romania where people think that nothing they do will actually make a difference, so why not be selfish?
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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@Dolan , how is the economy in romania? I heard its very bad from ppl who came from romania to work in germany.
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Re: 2020 US Elections

Post by voigt1240 »

Now that we are asking Dolan Questions. Do you think we will see the Unification of Romania and Moldova in our life time if at all?
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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Amsel_ wrote:Interesting. Would you say that the PSD types are just self-serving, or is there an attitude in Romania where people think that nothing they do will actually make a difference, so why not be selfish?
That's a good question. I think most voters here perceive politicians to be self-serving, but to different degrees. I used to believe that voting didn't make much of a difference, because I thought all parties were birds of a feather, only the feather colours differed. But I changed my mind after PSD's last stint in power, when they turned the country almost into an authoritarian oligarchic state, by trying to roll back previous reforms in the judiciary and trying to control courts again. Then I realised that things could degrade a lot more if I keep abstaining from voting, so I went back to at least voting for a party that has always been on the side of reformism, despite all its shortcomings. I'm probably not the only one who thinks like that, I think the last experience we had with a PSD government made many people realise there can be a high cost to not casting your vote.

This attitude of resignation and pessimism is still widespread in Romania, especially among older people who think they've seen it all and they don't believe in anything or anyone until they see money in their hand, so to speak. PSD knows very well that what keeps them alive and well is keeping this huge class of welfare clients and pensioners hooked on public money. As long as they periodically increase pensions and welfare payments, these people will continue to vote for them, no matter what other shenanigans they do. These people don't value having an impartial justice system, they don't value personal freedom, they don't value freedom of speech, they don't value having healthy public finances. The PSD can and did take steps to subordinate the judiciary to their own political interests, they cracked down on political protesters, they increased public debt by borrowing money to pay for increased welfare payments. As long as they get a bump in their pensions and welfare, PSD voters don't care what else the PSD does with political power, it's almost like a tit for tat: you can do anything you want, commit any power abuse, as long as you give us a slightly increased pension or allowance. Completely braindead people.

You could interpret this as a sort of NIMBY kind of selfishness. They don't care that overall the country gets worse, justice becomes a joke, debt increases, as long as they get their welfare checks. Or they just subscribe to this sort of alienated realism, which makes them think the country will never be better than now, it shouldn't even try to modernise, because change is bad and we don't want to be like the West, where *insert all the negative narratives about the West here*. This is a kind of mentality which is somewhat similar to that of Russians, who are also resigned to the fact that life is bad, it will always be bad and it's better to just have a strong government to keep the country "in good hands". As long as the system throws them a bone from time to time, it's all good, it's a good system and those guys in power who get mad rich abusing power and creating oligarchic clans really deserve their position, if they were so smart to do that, it means they deserve to be there. It's that kind of self-defeating mentality.
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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Dolan wrote:
Amsel_ wrote:Interesting. Would you say that the PSD types are just self-serving, or is there an attitude in Romania where people think that nothing they do will actually make a difference, so why not be selfish?
That's a good question. I think most voters here perceive politicians to be self-serving, but to different degrees. I used to believe that voting didn't make much of a difference, because I thought all parties were birds of a feather, only the feather colours differed. But I changed my mind after PSD'd last stint in power, when they turned the country almost into an authoritarian oligarchic state, by trying to roll back previous reforms in the judiciary and trying to control courts again. Then I realised that things could degrade a lot more if I keep abstaining from voting, so I went back to at least voting for a party that has always been on the side of reformism, despite all its shortcomings. I'm probably not the only one who thinks like that, I think the last experience we had with a PSD government made many people realise there can be a high cost to not casting your vote.

This attitude of resignation and pessimism is still widespread in Romania, especially among older people who think they've seen it all and they don't believe in anything or anyone until they see money in their hand, so to speak. PSD knows very well that what keeps them alive and well is keeping this huge class of welfare clients and pensioners hooked on public money. As long as they periodically increase pensions and welfare payments, these people will continue to vote for them, no matter what other shenanigans they do. These people don't value having an impartial justice system, they don't value personal freedom, they don't value freedom of speech, they don't value having healthy public finances. The PSD can and did take steps to subordinate the judiciary to their own political interests, they cracked down on political protesters, they increased public debt by borrowing money to pay for increased welfare payments. As long as they get a bump in their pensions and welfare, PSD voters don't care what else the PSD does with political power, it's almost like a tit for tat: you can do anything you want, commit any power abuse, as long as you give us a slightly increased pension or allowance. Completely braindead people.

You could interpret this as a sort of NIMBY kind of selfishness. They don't care that overall the country gets worse, justice becomes a joke, debt increases, as long as they get their welfare checks. Or they just subscribe to this sort of alienated realism, which makes them think the country will never be better than now, it shouldn't even try to modernise, because change is bad and we don't want to be like the West, where *insert all the negative narratives about the West here*. This is a kind of mentality which is somewhat similar to that of Russians, who are also resigned to the fact that life is bad, it will always be bad and it's better to just have a strong government to keep the country "in good hands". As long as the system throws them a bone from time to time, it's all good, it's a good system and those guys in power who get mad rich abusing power and creating oligarchic clans really deserve their position, if they were so smart to do that, it means they deserve to be there. It's that kind of self-defeating mentality.
I've always liked you Eastern Europeans, and thought that you could do great things if you sorted yourselves out. Do you see potential in the region, or is the economic backwardness and lack of social vitality simply too great to overcome?
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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Rohbrot wrote:@Dolan , how is the economy in romania? I heard its very bad from ppl who came from romania to work in germany.
The economy was ok before the corona crisis hit. We've had constant high GDP growth for quite a few years already, one of the highest rates in the EU. Last time I checked we were less impacted by the corona crisis, compared to a country like France, probably because our economy relies less on tourism and services. Factories have been allowed to resume operations, as long as workers use masks, so that might also explain why the economy has been less impacted compared to other Western countries. Dacia-Renault is the biggest exporter in the country and they restarted work quite early, so that might have contributed to reducing economic damage. However, our biggest export is cars and these don't sell very well during such a crisis.

Wages are low compared to the richer EU countries, that's why people here flee the country in search of jobs. It's possible to find well-paid jobs here too, though overall the level of wages is much lower, but the cost of living is also somewhat lower.
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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Dolan wrote:
Rohbrot wrote:@Dolan , how is the economy in romania? I heard its very bad from ppl who came from romania to work in germany.
The economy was ok before the corona crisis hit. We've had constant high GDP growth for quite a few years already, one of the highest rates in the EU. Last time I checked we were less impacted by the corona crisis, compared to a country like France, probably because our economy relies less on tourism and services. Factories have been allowed to resume operations, as long as workers use masks, so that might also explain why the economy has been less impacted compared to other Western countries. Dacia-Renault is the biggest exporter in the country and they restarted work quite early, so that might have contributed to reducing economic damage. However, our biggest export is cars and these don't sell very well during such a crisis.

Wages are low compared to the richer EU countries, that's why people here flee the country in search of jobs. It's possible to find well-paid jobs here too, though overall the level of wages is much lower, but the cost of living is also somewhat lower.
Like how much € would you need to earn per month to life in romania a good life?
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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voigt1240 wrote:Now that we are asking Dolan Questions. Do you think we will see the Unification of Romania and Moldova in our life time if at all?
It depends on whether there will be a geostrategic agreement between Russia and the EU or the USA. Russia likes to keep frozen conflicts alive in the region, because this keeps all these countries around them in a state of weakness. It also makes them unable to join NATO or the EU, since they would need to solve their conflicts first.

Moldova has two such problematic territories: Transnistria and Gagauzia. In the first one, Russia has stationed an army of two battalions that they claim was sent there for peace-keeping purposes. Officially, they're there to guarantee that the cease-fire agreement between Moldova and Transnistria is respected, but it's just part of Russia's policy of making sure all those buffer states between them and NATO are either controlled by them or as divided as possible. Since Moldova was annexed by the USSR, Stalin came up with a plan to make sure these new Soviet republics would never rebel against Moscow, so he moved populations of different ethnic origins from one state to another, sending lots of Russophones in Moldova in order to dissolve its ethnic identity. And it worked quite well, after decades of brainwashing and mixing with the Russophone population sent there by Stalin, most Moldovans today don't identify as Romanian anymore, despite speaking a version of Romanian with a slightly archaic pronounciation and vocabulary. Stalin's ethnic engineering experiment worked and it created enough divisions in the country to make it unable to break away from Russia's orbit.

Personally, I think Romania stands to lose more by reuniting with Moldova. It's a situation that is somewhat comparable to that between West Germany and East Germany at the end of the cold war. Except Romania is not as rich as West Germany to support the costs of integrating Moldova for decades to come. And we have some extra complications, since there's a sizeabe Russophone population there that would probably turn into a very recalcitrant ethnic minority, maybe even more so than the Hungarian one we already have.

Lots of Romanians are obsessed with this subject, though, and hope reunification will come as soon as possible. They don't think much about consequences, these people have this primitive mentality that as long as our territory grows bigger, that can only be a good thing, we're getting stronger :!: They don't think that by integrating Moldova we would be importing trouble and high costs for decades to come.
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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Rohbrot wrote:
Dolan wrote:Like how much € would you need to earn per month to life in romania a good life?
You could live OK even on 500€, if you own your own flat, so if you don't pay rent. Beyond 1000€ for one person you'd live pretty comfy, if you don't pay rent.
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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Amsel_ wrote:I've always liked you Eastern Europeans, and thought that you could do great things if you sorted yourselves out. Do you see potential in the region, or is the economic backwardness and lack of social vitality simply too great to overcome?
It's a mixed situation. There is a part of society that is forward-looking and eager to learn and accomplish better things, but there are also lots of resigned boomers who only want to see their pensions increase. The politics of these countries have always been shaped by a clash between a reformist outlook and a backward and retrograde outlook.

I'm moderately optimistic about Eastern Europe, especially about Czechia, Poland and Romania. I think at some point all those Romanians who fled the country to get a high-paying job in the EU will eventually return to the country to retire here and they will invest their savings here. And since they lived in countries in which infrastructure and services were a lot more polished than here, they will want to see a similar level of development here, which will determine what kind of parties they vote and what kind of mayors and local councillors they elect.
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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Dolan wrote: I'm moderately optimistic about Eastern Europe, especially about Czechia, Poland and Romania. I think at some point all those Romanians who fled the country to get a high-paying job in the EU will eventually return to the country to retire here and they will invest their savings here. And since they lived in countries in which infrastructure and services were a lot more polished than here, they will want to see a similar level of development here, which will determine what kind of parties they vote and what kind of mayors and local councillors they elect.
idk about that. ppl i know that make a decent living in austria coming from poland and romania (quite a few) settle down here. they ain't coming back ;)
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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knusch wrote:
Dolan wrote: I'm moderately optimistic about Eastern Europe, especially about Czechia, Poland and Romania. I think at some point all those Romanians who fled the country to get a high-paying job in the EU will eventually return to the country to retire here and they will invest their savings here. And since they lived in countries in which infrastructure and services were a lot more polished than here, they will want to see a similar level of development here, which will determine what kind of parties they vote and what kind of mayors and local councillors they elect.
idk about that. ppl i know that make a decent living in austria coming from poland and romania (quite a few) settle down here. they ain't coming back ;)
Some settle there, some return to Romania. It depends on each case. I have a cousin who married a German and she worked her way up in a store from a simple shelf filler to store manager. She already knew German, she learned it in high school. She has become a fully naturalised German citizen. It might have helped her also the fact that half of our family is of Austrian origins, so her name was already Germanic, which probably helped her get integrated faster. But I think there are also lots of people, like peasants, who are not very smart, they just get a simple seasonal job there (like in agriculture or in an industrial plant), make some money then go back home, because they don't speak the language very well and don't integrate in the local culture there. I think it depends on the person, the smarter ones have a better chance at settling there, yeah.
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Re: European politics

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Post by XeeleeFlower »

@Dolan Could you start a blog detailing your thoughts on different topics? I would love to read it.
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XeeleeFlower wrote:@Dolan Could you start a blog detailing your thoughts on different topics? I would love to read it.
just give him his own section of this forum
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Re: 2020 US Elections

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Dolan wrote:
knusch wrote:
Dolan wrote: I'm moderately optimistic about Eastern Europe, especially about Czechia, Poland and Romania. I think at some point all those Romanians who fled the country to get a high-paying job in the EU will eventually return to the country to retire here and they will invest their savings here. And since they lived in countries in which infrastructure and services were a lot more polished than here, they will want to see a similar level of development here, which will determine what kind of parties they vote and what kind of mayors and local councillors they elect.
idk about that. ppl i know that make a decent living in austria coming from poland and romania (quite a few) settle down here. they ain't coming back ;)
Some settle there, some return to Romania. It depends on each case. I have a cousin who married a German and she worked her way up in a store from a simple shelf filler to store manager. She already knew German, she learned it in high school. She has become a fully naturalised German citizen. It might have helped her also the fact that half of our family is of Austrian origins, so her name was already Germanic, which probably helped her get integrated faster. But I think there are also lots of people, like peasants, who are not very smart, they just get a simple seasonal job there (like in agriculture or in an industrial plant), make some money then go back home, because they don't speak the language very well and don't integrate in the local culture there. I think it depends on the person, the smarter ones have a better chance at settling there, yeah.
totally right, but that is the problem tho - from romanian's perspective. the people coming back are not the one's you'd hope to.
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Re: European politics

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Horsemen wrote:
XeeleeFlower wrote:@Dolan Could you start a blog detailing your thoughts on different topics? I would love to read it.
just give him his own section of this forum
I don't have that authority, sadly. @Gendarme started a separate forum a couple of years back where it was going to be just him and I discussing topics and others could just read it, but he sadly deleted it. :cry:
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Re: European politics

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XeeleeFlower wrote:@Dolan Could you start a blog detailing your thoughts on different topics? I would love to read it.
Dolan should get his own Little Corner thread. And it should be stickied
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Assuming this is a polandball thread now
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Re: European politics

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The support for one is higher than i thought.
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voigt1240 wrote:The support for one is higher than i thought.
Surely there is a 0% chance that a standing EU army would work with how the EU is currently structured.
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wardyb1 wrote:
voigt1240 wrote:The support for one is higher than i thought.
Surely there is a 0% chance that a standing EU army would work with how the EU is currently structured.
True that

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