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Xeni Jardin at 6:40 am Fri, Oct 26, 2012
I wish people would realize that these “entitlements” are not handouts, they are infrastructure. At least in open economies, but I guess the whole austerity movement is about closing societies anyways. : /
Crippling countries and snapping up assets on the cheap.
An unfortunate example of what happens when your tax base can’t support your social programs, and then a profound economic shift occurs. Of course, this is an extreme example, but it’s a good lesson to learn if we don’t want to lose the social programs that we already have.
Is it surprising much of the BS about Greece originates with the right wing news media in the US, like FOX. Retirement age in Greece has always been comparable or better than Germany. Government spending was comparable or less than Germany and France. There may well be a good deal of tax evasion and corruption, as there is in most countries, but the fact remains that Greece was doing fine before the banks collapsed in a heap of fraud. What we have learned is how important it is to control your own currency. And we’ve learned you can’t have a monetary unity without a fundamental political unity.
Beyond that, the IMF has recently recanted about Austerity and agrees it is stupid and counterproductive. As widely predicted, it drives up the deficit and creates instant economic stagnation. It increases unemployment and pressure on government services, and decreases income from taxes. Greece is being fucked by the EU financially, and similarly fucked by the EU on immigration, which is driving the neo-Nazi movement in Greece. (Greece is one of the few points refugees may enter the EU. If caught anywhere in the EU, they get sent back to Greece. Greece is in no position to deal with the brunt of the EU’s immigration problems.)
This is a tragedy because it’s completely unnecessary. Iceland prosecuted it’s bankers and told investors they weren’t bailing them out. (They couldn’t if they wanted to.) Iceland is recovering faster than all the countries that bailed out the banks and give them the reins of government. After all, they know so much about finance (fraud). And so the asset stripping of nations begins. Look, here’s MItt Romney making $115m off bailing out the auto industry: http://current.com/shows/the-young-turks/videos/how-mitt-and-ann-romney-made-up-to-115-million-on-the-auto-bailout Financial fraud and political corruption is rampant everywhere. You don’t need to be Greek – you just need institutional corruption. Got any?
Richard Parker on Lessons from the Greek Financial Crisis (3:34)
Harvard Kennedy School lecturer Richard Parker discusses Greece and the financial crisis in Europe as part of the American Conversation Essentials series.
“government run” not so much. Didn’t they come up with the word “plutocracy” in Greece?