March 5, 2013

President Pam Ehly opened the meeting and we sang Happy Birthday to those who were present and have March Birthdays.

Paul Harris point swap…Bryan Clemons explained the point swap to get 100% for the club.  A sheet was placed on each table to ask Rotarians if they wanted to donate points @ 100 per donation.

Community Awards dinner.  Mark Patton was thanked for pulling together the details.  Almost $13,000 was presented in a check by Can Shed.

March is Literacy Month.

Toby Hyde was welcomed as a new, transfer member.

Next week is the official vote for change of by-laws.

We need help to design a display for the April District Conference.

Can Do Trailer at First Ave. Hy-Vee was held this past week and Interact students were a great help.

IC Noon Rotary Club are offering $2500 scholarships who are a graduate of a Johnson County high schools and wants to study abroad.

Roger introduced Vernette Knapp.

Brad Langguth brought back a banner  from Rotary Clubs in South Africa (Limpopo) and a T-shirt from a Rotary Club which was serving beer at a rugby game as a fundraiser.

Tom Novak announced $10 tickets for an Iowa Most evening (put on by high school students) this coming Friday.

Casey Cook attended the President-in-Training last week in Des Moines.

Lots of happy bucks including Bryan Clemons mention of the Myrene/H.D. Hoover map display at the Figge Museum in Davenport (maps there until June).  Liz Nichols shared a story about going in the ditch (I guess she is happy to be alive!) off an S-Curve on Utah Ave. 

Guest speaker was introduced by Frank Jovens.  Patrick Barron is a consultant in the banking industry and teaches at the UI.  He previously taught at the University of Wisconsin.  He wrote regular columns for a Philadelphia newspaper.  He spoke about the European Debt Crisis.  He predicted that the Euro will fail due to structural problems.  History: goal in creating the Euro was to unite Europe and its economy.     There is the European Union (27 countries right now, and still growing).  Some of those nations are not in the European Monetary Union (only 17 countries in it; Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece).  Historically, it was only united under the Roman Empire and it has been attempted to be united under the gun in the past 200 years. 

Latest push came after World War II in an effort to prevent another major war.  France and Germany had fought three major wars in the last 150 years.  The thought was that if they could unite the countries via the economy and currency, then it would help create a peace in the future.  The effort has broken down trade and labor barriers within Europe.

The great debate is how to create one great political entity and is pushed by the European Federalists: today it is called the European Union.  Charles DeGaulle fought the notion of a political union until he died.  He was in favor of economic unity.   Two things changed: the Soviet Union collapsed and DeGaulle passed away.  Germany was then reunited.  To allow Germany to be reunited, the Allies had to sign off and France required that they get rid of the Deutsch Mark.  This paved the way for the Euro in 2000.    England is not on the Euro; Switzerland and Norway are not in the European Union.   He recommended a short book: “The European Union: A Very Short Introduction” by Pinder and Underwood; and “The Tragedy of the Euro” by Bagus.

He spoke about the Tragedy of the Commons: when no one person/group would take care of the common areas so it would ultimately be divided into private ownership so that it is better cared for.  The board of the European Central Bank was set up to not allow buying sovereign debt.  But it is made up of 17 countries, and they have been lending to Greece and Spain (violating the agreement) which has resulted in inflation. 

His answer to the problem: Germany leave the European economy  and reinstate the Deutsche Mark and tie it to gold (third largest gold reserves in the world).

Adjourned at 8:03.

Mark Patton, Recording Secretary temporary