When Had We Left The Jungle?

I wasn’t aware that we had.

Jungle

WTO Faces Existential Threat in Times of Trump -U.S. President Donald Trump has set his sights squarely on the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Even its critics are worried that without the organization, the world of trade would revert to the law of the jungle.

The U.S. and other industrialized nations made several concessions to developing economies when the WTO was founded in 1995 and significantly reduced their tariffs. In return, they were able to push through stronger protections for intellectual property. They hoped that the strategy would help slow China’s rise.

But from the U.S. perspective, the system has not been beneficial. And once China joined the WTO in 2001, that dissatisfaction only grew, partly because the Chinese proved adept at taking advantage of the rules. Even today, there is significant dissent within the WTO because the economic superpower China is still classified as a “developing nation” by the organization, which gives it certain privileges. On the other hand, China is fighting for recognition as a market economy, to which both the U.S. and the European Union are opposed because it would mean they could no longer defend themselves against state-subsidized Chinese exports with anti-dumping duties.

On top of all that, the WTO is facing a more fundamental problem: its size and its sluggishness. Negotiating rounds focused on removing tariffs have become increasingly complex. And because everything is up for negotiation at the same time, every member state can paralyze the process by simply exercising its veto. The Doha Round, launched in 2001, is a perfect example: It never achieved any results and has become symbolic of the WTO’s failure.

“The problems are coming from the behavior of a single country that would like to return to the jungle.”

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Somebody Call The Tradition Commission!

Oh, they’ve contacted you already? Good. Whew.

Lead

Tradition can be a dangerous thing, folks. Just look at the old German New Year’s Eve custom of Bleigießen – telling fortunes by the shapes made when molten lead is dropped into cold water. Awful. As you can well imagine, countless millions have been maimed or died in the process. And did you know that they actually do this without proper supervision in the privacy of their own homes?

Thank goodness the EU is here to help. A new European Union directive has finally been enacted that prohibits this dangerous practice once and for all. Tonight will be the last time Germans will be allowed to recklessly place their lives and the lives of their children in danger.

This kind of stuff gets me right here. I really get emotional. Today the lead, tomorrow Santa Claus. The EU marches on.

Happy New Year!

Bye, bye, Blei: Im Zuge der neuen Chemikalienverordnung der EU müssen die Deutschen ab 2018 auf das Bleigießen an Silvester verzichten.

PS: Remember to be extra careful with those Polish firecrackers tonight, people.

Rotten Administrative Watchdog Worried About Lack Of Lousy Public Service Officials

Germany’s Bundesverwaltungsamt (Federal Office of Administration), responsible for overseeing the lousy service traditionally inflicted upon defenseless German citizens by the crappy public service officials they administer so poorly, has expressed concern that the number of said officials is much too low to guarantee the continued level of awful service these citizens have become accustomed to and therefore insists that tons more of these losers be hired in the near future or sooner. Or else.

Offcials

“That’s right,” said the only incompetent high-level and ridiculously overpaid official anybody could locate who wasn’t home playing sick or out getting a Kur (a well-loved “treatment” scam here). “Hire a whole bunch more of folks like us or the service gets even worse. Any questions?”

In der Verwaltung droht der Personalnotstand: Das befürchtet der Präsident des Bundesverwaltungsamtes Christoph Verenkotte und fordert ein “riesiges Einstellungsprogramm.”