Thursday, July 16, 2015

More liberal "thinking" around the Greek financial crisis

It's hardly unsurprising that the twittersphere is full of satire over the Greek financial crisis and bailout - your politics tend to be pretty leftist when your you're young and an idealist, and they naturally tend to shift towards conservatism when you mature enough to get a grip on reality and you've actually worked enough to have something to protect.  And to realise that maybe just giving it away to someone else in the name of socialism isn't such a great idea after all, when you're the one doing the work.

“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 20, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 30, you have no brain.” - Fran├žois Guizot.

The bottom line is that while granting some relief is perhaps an acceptable idea in the name of benevolence and support, the world can't afford to just write off the $477 billion AUD Greece owes as a bad debt.  That would result in the banks and governments who own that debt taking a loss themselves, and they'd never lend Greece money again - and the reality is that they need it, because they're fucked without it.

Greek prime minister Tsipras know it too, which is why that despite all the pompous and overblown rhetoric and chest beating, he's agreed to a deal - he's got nothing to really bargain with.  Defaulting completely on the debt isn't an option when the arse is out of your pants; choices are something you get to make when you've got more than one viable option.  Something the Greek population doesn't seem to realise.

Personally I think the whole thing is going to collapse in a dirty heap before too long, because Greece isn't going to be capable of making the required changes, even if they were willing.  Apparently other people think so too, although there's some pretty confused thinking going on in the article - apparently Germany is to blame for being too economically successful?  I'm really not sure what solution the author of that little gem proposes, but it's probably some leftist idea of permanently subsidising Greece at least semi-permanently, which is another way of saying paying them to be inefficient and spend more than they earn.  Good solution, eh?.

I also heard a thoroughly naive and uniformed comment on the radio yesterday (from someone I thought better of beforehand) which was that how could we ensure that Greece actually followed through on their promises once we'd handed over the cash?  Not sure what planet this person lives on, but the IMF isn't cutting Greece a cheque for $82 billion in one go - it's a subsidy package over time, and if the

The funniest thing in the news today was this little gem from some Greek would-be commentator, who is basically providing evidence for the prosecution with her submission to the discussion.  Apparently her understanding of basic maths is right up there with Alex Tsipras's grasp of macroeconomics, because what it actually shows is that a big chunk of the country isn't doing any work at all - that's why the number of hours worked per person in work is so high!  Sorry, my dear - if your assertion is that Greeks work more hours across the board than most of the rest of the world, then your economy wouldn't be down the crapper, would it?

Yeah, I agree your former (and current) governments were crap, but only because they failed to reign in rampant government spending and handouts - and when they tried, you voted them out and put in Syriza, who "promises" to wave a wand and bring the rest of the world to heel so you could go on having arguably the world's highest per-person expenditure on a public sector workforce, along with some of the lowest efficiency too.

How's that socialism working out for you, hun?  Still got plenty of other people's money to spend?

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