Covered at Reason 24/7: Greek Unemployment Hits New Record High of 26.4 Percent


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Sometimes the grass is even browner on the other side. Greece, the latest (but not only) "sick man of Europe" has posted a record high unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2013.

From Business Insider:

Greek unemployment hit 26.4 percent last quarter, a new record according to AP.

It was 2.6 points higher than Q3 2012 and 5.7 percent higher than Q4 2011.

The figure ticked an astonishing 57.8 percent among Greek youth. 

It might be even higher counting people who aren't remotely interested in working.

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  1. “It might be even higher counting people who aren’t remotely interested in working.”

    I thought that was 100% of the Greek population

  2. Well, you know, according to the Progs this is all because the Greeks didn’t give enough money away.

    Because, you see, when you structure your economy in such a way that your government needs to borrow massive sums at historically atypical low rates every year, and the whole thing blows up when rates rise to the quite historically reasonable and typical mid single digits, it’s not your fault when unemployment goes up. No. It’s the fault of those damn libertarians, who are “obsessed with austerity”.

    “Look at Greece! Austerity’s not working!”

    They completely don’t realize that austerity is not a “success” strategy. It’s an “avoid total collapse” strategy. The Greeks embarked on austerity because they were unable to borrow any more money.

    1. It is also the fault of the evil banks and financiers (soon to be known as Jooos!! in leftist circles) who refuse to provide endless streams of money at historically low rates. This movie has run any number of times before. Start buying political support by giving things away, run out of money, run out of people to take money from, find scapegoats for your new found poverty, start killing.

      1. You haven’t met the Greek Orthodox Church yet, I gather?

        1. Have they started with the Jew blaming?

          1. Did they ever stop?

      2. Banks being blame for Detroit.


    2. They completely don’t realize that austerity is not a “success” strategy. It’s an “avoid total collapse” strategy.

      Sometimes I wonder if the system wouldn’t be better served by total collapse, in the same way you might put a dying animal out of its misery. Then I realize that as stupid as the people of today are, they would likely establish a new government that would be far worse.

      1. It is coming. The Fascists are big in Greece and Blinco the Clown or whatever his name is who just won the Italian election is nothing but a fascist.

        The dark night of fascism is forever falling in America and landing on Europe.

        1. Now John, we don’t call it Fascism anymore. That’s an ugly, hurtful word that is only applied to Republicans.

          Now, we simply call it “being Progressive.”

          1. That’s the problem with the Europeans. They’re always in such a big hurry to catch up and beat the Americans at whatever America’s latest folly is. They can’t stand that all the big social trends originate in California, so they’re always observing US pop culture and going “Quick! Do whatever those hippie fucks are doing and do it FIRST and MORE, before the rest of the world notices!”

      2. Everyone dreams the big crash will force people to realize the cause of their downfall and implement libertopia.

        Never underestimate the ability of the masses to delude themselves. They will twist it to blame the evil business types and people will believe it simply because that’s what they want to believe. It could take centuries, if ever, till people come around to a real solution. If it crashes, you and I will most likely live in misery for the rest of our lives.

        We had the greatest system the world has ever known, and pissed it away for free shit.

    3. Progtards don’t realize the alternative to austerity is Zimbabwe.

      1. it’s cool. unemployment there is 95%, according to the CIA’s factbook. so greece is looking okay.

  3. my dad would be very sad were he alive to see this. Meanwhile, much of the country refuses to see the correlation between decades of govt policy and today’s situation. The place that invented democracy decided that inventing the welfare state was a good follow-up.

    1. Seems only fitting, since democracy is a vile thing, a tyranny of the majority, and a welfare state is a logical conclusion of democracy.

      1. You’re a vile thing.

        1. You know, I totally thought about posting the exact same comment, but I was like, “Kinda goes without saying, doesn’t it?” But good job.

  4. In other news: a record number of Greek people are now employed in the underground economy.

  5. OT: “Can’t we have one meeting that doesn’t end with us digging up a corpse?”

    Diggin’ up Neruda.

  6. “We cant be out of money, we still have spanakopita left.”

  7. I find it somewhat implausible that such high levels of unemployment could ever exist without some government policy that promotes and sustains unemployment.

    I can’t see how this is possible unless either the welfare or regulatory system has disincentivized all forms of self-employment.

    How do you have 1/4 of the population literally sitting on their asses all day doing nothing? Minus the welfare benefits, I find it had to believe the vast majority of those people wouldn’t instantly find *something* they could do: carpentry, babysitting, growing vegetables in their back yard. Anything. Unless there is some sort of law in place that forbids people from doing carpentry/babysitting/gardening without being a member of the builder/child care/farmers union, or something to that effect.

    1. It is a combination of welfare and government control of the economy.

    2. Absolutely. There will always be unmet demand. Large-scale unemployment just isn’t possible without government.

      1. Yup. People will, when they are forced to, do what they need to survive.

    3. “I find it had to believe the vast majority of those people wouldn’t instantly find *something* they could do: carpentry, babysitting, growing vegetables in their back yard.”

      It’s an odds-on bet that they are doing something to put food on the table. They’re just not about to admit it and get taxed at whatever the current rate is there.
      The incentives are in place to build a complete unreported economy, and I have a hard time believing the authorities don’t know that.

      1. True. I’m guessing most of those officially unemployed people are actually employed in grey/black markets in some way.

        One wishes the government would just repeal all the laws that define such activity as unlawful and thus turn grey markets into white ones.

      2. That’s the thing about a collapse. You don’t just get to stop doing all the wrong things, start doing all the right things and move on. You end up having to pay back for all past indiscretions.

        I heard it said somewhere that there is no free lunch.

  8. What percent are working off the official lists?

    1. robc| 3.14.13 @ 11:59AM |#
      “What percent are working off the official lists?”

      Only the ones who understand logic.

      1. So you are telling me fewer people are working than I thought?

  9. What is the minimum wage in Greece?
    I wonder how much of that percentage are people illegally working for less than the minimum wage.

    1. It is my understanding that in Greece taxes are outrageous and no one pays them. I would imagine that more than the minimum wage is driving people off the books.

      1. Yeah, I checked out the statistics and Greece actually has a pretty low minimum wage. They also cut it last year. So that can’t be it.

        But I suspect that the problem is more than just taxes. What are the labor regulations? What barriers to entry are there for small producers?

        1. “But I suspect that the problem is more than just taxes. What are the labor regulations? What barriers to entry are there for small producers?

          Labor law, as written, doesn’t seem too bad, but “The Greek government claims the right to organize the economy in the interest of the Greek people, and economic decisions of whatever kind cannot harm the basic government economic plan.”
          Sounds like what’s written is superseded by any random bureaucrat.

          Read more: Greek Labor Laws | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_66945…..z2NX40jRZH
          And the rules of entry also don’t look bad, but “In societies with poorly functioning institutions, high levels of corruption, and low levels of social trust, it makes sense to try to stick with smaller-scale entities.”
          And, yep, Greece is corrupt:

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