Greece

5 Things You Need to Know About the Shitshow in Greece

Greeks want big government but they want someone else to pay for it.

|

euronews

The Greeks Have a Loan Payment Due Tomorrow They Are Not Going to Make

Last week, the Greek government walked away from the negotiating table with its creditors and enablers—the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, called the "Troika." The group wanted Greece to commit to more spending cuts and not just more tax hikes as a condition of receiving more bailout money with which they could keep paying off their debts. The Greek prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, who was elected in a snap election in January promising less austerity but also that Greece would remain in the euro, said he would leave the decision to accept the bailout terms to Greek voters, scheduling a referendum for July 5. But Greece's next payment, $1.8 billion to the IMF, is due tomorrow—the country says it will not be making that payment, which have pushed global markets into a downward slide today. Greek citizens have been queuing up at ATMs for weeks, and this weekend the government finally announced banks would be closed all week. But public transportation in the city will be free.

Tsipras, as well as proponents of a "NO" vote on the bailout insist it's possible for Greece to remain in the European Union—they're betting that Greece's creditors will come back with a better deal if this one is rejected at the ballot box. Europe's political leaders have insisted that's not the case—that the deal on the table, requiring pension and labor market reforms, was the best Greece was going to get. Those reforms are likely necessary for any kind of substantive economic recovery that could bring Greece back to a level where it's a healthy member of the European Union. That's important because…

The EU is a Political and Monetary Union, Not a Fiscal One

For nearly the first decade of the 21st century, the European Union tried without success to get its member states to accept a Constitutional treaty that would further integrate the EU's political system and settle important issues like the supranational organization's official anthem and flag. The euro currency, the apex achievement of the European project, created a monetary union, eventually bringing 19 out of the 28 EU countries under a single currency and a single central bank. But each country retained its own fiscal policymaking power—crucially without the ability to print money that can help government spend a lot of money without necessarily having to raise taxes at that very moment. In Greece, where tax evasion is a social norm, this tool was particularly important. Greek tax evaders were not tax resisters seeking a more limited government—they supported, and even demanded, more government spending and a larger welfare state even while refusing to pay all their taxes. Now they want other countries in the EU to plug the hole they won't. One study suggested 31 percent of Greece's budget deficit could be covered by taxes on the estimated 28 billion euros in annual unreported income. The same kind of schizophrenic Greek attitude contributed to the current problem in the short term…

Greece Had a Prime Minister Who May Have Been Fixing Things, and Voted Him Out of Office

Last we heard from Greece was in 2011 or 2012, when they were, like now, on the brink of possibly exiting the eurozone. Greece secured a series of loans, agreed to so-called austerity measures, and crisis, for a while, had been avoided. Greece had a prime minister, Antonis Samaras, who came closer than any other in the last 40 years to achieving a balanced budget. Briefly, Greece had the fastest growing economy in Europe. The tax delinquency rate didn't go down, but Greek citizens grew tired of austerity, blaming the European Union for the consequences of their own reckless fiscal policy and politics. Tsipras won a snap election in January in part on a promise to undo the EU-imposed reforms. This would be simple enough if Greece unilaterally decided to exit the eurozone—but Tsipras also promised Greece could stay in the EU. These two promises are virtually mutually exclusive. The EU's reforms are necessary not just to get Greece out of the current crisis but to bring its economy to a caliber that fits with many of the other economies of the Eurozone. What are those reforms?

Europe's Reforms for Greece Ought to Be Pretty Uncontroversial

The Greeks say they want more money from their creditors now without having to make any changes. But they are not being honest and saying outright that they want a handout. They insist on the fiction that the loans will be repaid. Without the reforms Europe is asking for, that is impossible. Greece, for example, has 133 separate government pension funds. The troika wants Greece to simplify its pension system, to stop running deficits in its pension fund, to stop permitting early retirement, and to cut government contributions to pensions. They also want Greece to reverse a minimum wage hike the Tsipras government instituted—a higher minimum wage, of course, keeps more people out of the job market and, and this is especially relevant to Greece, provides more incentive for off-the-books work, from which the Greek government can't extract taxes creditors need it to so that their loans don't become total handouts.

Europeans May Be Losing Patience

While Greece is the economic crisis getting the most international headlines, the entire Eurozone has remained in a bleak economic condition for the last several years. It still has a double digit unemployment rate. Eurosceptic parties have seen their luck turn for the better at the ballot box. The majority of citizens in only two countries—Germany, with the richest economy, and Poland, with the most emigrants sending remittances from the rest of Europe—believe European integration has strengthened the economies of their countries.  Arguments about democracy meaning the Greeks are entitled to money from Europeans elsewhere on the continent notwithstanding, European public opinion may be getting weary of the Greek crisis and the Greeks' insistence Europe needs to pay for its bloated welfare state. But Europeans interested in saving Greece can do something about it, without forcing their less interested fellow Europeans to commit their money. An Indiegogo campaign to raise 1.6 billion euros for Greece to make its next loan payment was launched earlier today. It's raised almost 9,000 euros in less than one day, far from the mark but more than most crowdsourcing campaigns raise on the first day.

Advertisement

NEXT: Matt Welch to Talk Gay Marriage & the GOP at 8 p.m. on MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Krayewski might have said something there

    but all I heard was “bar bar”

    1. Are you humblebragging your knowledge of the origin on “barbarian” or just driven to drink?

      1. Well it _is_ 8:00

        1. One day I’ll put something up at 7:01

          1. You’re a regular chip off the old block.

    2. Barbarians are crossing the limes!

      1. Did you know limes can be crossed with kumquats to create a plant that can tolerate colder weather?

        1. I’m on the case.

        2. Does that cross produce a Limequat or a Kumlime? One of them sounds more appetizing.

          1. I think that depends on whether you are into women or into men.

    3. You’re every bit as clever as the average leftard. I’m sure that little barb of yours went over big with your colleagues at Starbucks.

      -jcr

    4. Hey Mary.

  2. “An Indiegogo campaign to raise 1.6 billion euros for Greece to make its next loan payment was launched earlier today.”

    Perhaps all governments should be funded exclusively by crowdsourcing.

    1. At least crowdsourcing is voluntary–for now.

    2. And I’m sure that the the citizens of the rest of Europe voluntarily paying Greek debts for them will somehow make Greece’s fiscal clusterfuck substantively better than if the troika merely forgave the debt.

      To Hades with Greece. Let it burn.

  3. Thanks for the succinct info about a story I’ve failed to follow. A coworker of mine was telling me today that the mess in Greece was the direct result of the 2008 financial meltdown. She listens to NPR all day long; I’m surprised she’s not better informed.

    1. To blame the ‘financial meltdown’ betrays the unproductive and corrosive role a deep rooted culture of corruption coupled with what is essentially a tourist driven economy plays.

      For people who claim to be ‘abstract’ they sure can be concrete the left.

      1. Isn’t there are rule that says: take the opposite of a progressive claim and know the truth?

    2. The 2008 meltdown popped Greece’s bubble and accelerated their collision course with reality. The 2008 meltdown was a blessing for limited government in so many ways.

      1. “The 2008 meltdown was a blessing for limited government in so many ways.”

        Yeah, the government got out of the way and let the banks and GM fail, they didn’t grab taxpayer money and hand it out to various friends, and oh, admitted that the crash was largely caused by government meddling with the market and REALLY cut regulations to allow the market to self-correct, right?
        Man, you’re batting a thousand!

        1. If you think of the ’00s as ‘statism sex’ then that burst of bullshit was the climax. Now the worst of it-the endlessly higher tide of BS that was the ’00s-is over. At least now it stopped getting worse. Stuff that should not last isn’t. Lehman is gone.

          I always bat a thousand.

          1. Cytotoxic|6.29.15 @ 9:22PM|#
            “I always bat a thousand.”

            Legendary…………………………..
            stupidity.

            1. Legendary…………………………..
              stupidity.

              It’s Cytotoxic’s trademark. The 2008 financial crisis begat wide open central planning throughout the “capitalist” economy. They don’t even try to hide it anymore.

              1. “It’s Cytotoxic’s trademark. The 2008 financial crisis begat wide open central planning throughout the “capitalist” economy. They don’t even try to hide it anymore.”

                He’s supposedly an educated human; WIH make such a transparently false claim?
                So he can claim “I WON!” again? Who does he think is dumb enough to do other than laugh at him?
                Hey, C-toxic! Tell us how FDR was a blessing for limited government!

          2. Here’s the Canadian again, using the royal We in refrence to a country he is not a citizen of.

            The way he always smugly refers to himself as always having been correct…am I the only one who hears nothing but Palin Butt plug when he speaks? Right down to the way he says flyover country with the same acerbic scorn PB throws into peanuts.

        2. It also helped usher in the Libertarian Moment.

          1. Nah, ass sex and blow.

            1. Uh, let’s just say that was ‘ushered in’ long before Fannie and Freddie caused the melt-down.

    3. “A coworker of mine was telling me today that the mess in Greece was the direct result of the 2008 financial meltdown.”

      there is no facepalm big enough for this

      1. Seriously. I listened to NPR for the first time in memory only because I drove 20 hrs over the weekend and figured it might be better than Satanophobic preachers. I almost facepalmed myself into a ditch when, during a discussion about replacing several stained glass windows honoring Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson that include the Confederate flag at the national cathedral, both the interviewer and “expert” said they just couldn’t comprehend how such people who were respected as virtuous could have fought for the South in the Civil War or Germany in WW2. My first thought, which took about 3 seconds, was, “Wouldn’t that be what the Vietnamese say about our veterans now?” But I got the feeling that, had I been there and said that, the reply would have been, “And your point would be?”

    4. I love the juxtaposition of “A coworker of mine….listens to NPR all day long;” Obviously productivity is not an issue with her, is it?

      1. A robot could listen to NPR all day long for less. Or the job could be eliminated entirely.

      2. I’d have to put an icepick through my brain after a couple of hours, if I were forced to listen to this victim-cult shit all day. “Shaniqua, a 22-year-old single mother of six, admits that it’s a struggle to afford housing in the city, and find a job with the flexibility and income to support her family”…”Mikalos is angry about austerity measures; though he has never paid taxes and has worked a total of about six months in the last five years, he is concerned that the pension to which he is entitled will not be available for him to collect at age 55. Mikalos is angry at working Germans and Austrians, whom he says owe him and other Greeks a good life.”

    5. She listens to NPR all day long; I’m surprised she’s not better informed.

      lolwut

    6. She listens to NPR all day long; I’m surprised she’s not better informed.

      She seems to be very well informed… in the latest progressive propaganda.

  4. https://reason.com/archives/201…..uropean-un

    The continent clearly needs a massive, 1970s-style deregulation, as well as stronger institutional safeguards against the unchecked growth of economically destructive rules in the future. Such safeguards may include the strengthening of the role of the European Council and returning to unanimity voting on significant matters of economic policy.

    Uh huh.

    I’m also teh disappoint at the lack of Sheldon Derpman on this. It involves something he hates (IMF) and something he loves (political integration). Ought to be interesting.

  5. If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.

    1. Has the can finally hit the end of the road?

      1. MOAR ROADZ!!

      2. Why doesn’t anybody just pick up the damn can for the nickel deposit?

        1. It’s a soup can.

          1. Somebody’s not drinking enough.

  6. The Greeks should put the payment on another credit card and worry about it later.

    1. I think that’s what the negotiations amount to.

    2. Fist of Etiquette|6.29.15 @ 7:50PM|#
      “The Greeks should put the payment on another credit card and worry about it later.”

      Supposedly, Obo and Hollande are in talks to ‘help reopen the negotiations’. Given Obo’s stupidity and narcissism, I’m strongly hoping he’s not in there helping the Greeks fake another credit report so the US can ‘lend a hand’.

      1. Ob was handwringing earlier this week that the EU should try just a bit harder, and reach a little deeper into their pockets to bail out the Gredbeats.

  7. Greek tax evaders were not tax resisters seeking a more limited government?they supported, and even demanded, more government spending and a larger welfare state even while refusing to pay all their taxes.

    Describes much of Europe and Latin America.

    Greece Had a Prime Minister Who May Have Been Fixing Things

    Europe’s Reforms for Greece Ought to Be Pretty Uncontroversial

    I’m not sure I’d go that far. Does Reason support the “austerity” measures? The EU did look away when Greece cooked the books and bailed them out knowing full well they couldn’t pay or reform.

    1. “[…]Does Reason support the “austerity” measures?[…]”

      Please define “austerity”.

      1. How about what the “troika” is proposing?

        1. “The reform proposals by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund ? which comprise the so-called “troika” ? include loosening of hiring-and-firing laws, changing minimum wage rules and abolishing professional privileges, Germany’s Spiegel reports.

          To control the implementation of the reforms, the troika proposes keeping bailout tranches in a special frozen account, releasing them only after the reforms are introduced.

          The report also suggested that the troika proposed a debt restructuring, meaning that creditors would write off some of their Greek debt holdings, along with a two-year delay for budgetary consolidation.”
          http://rt.com/news/troika-greece-new-reforms-435/

          It’s from Russia Today, but it doesn’t look all that horrible.
          Got any more?

          1. Those sound pretty good. I suppose the real issue is whether raising taxes is a good austerity measure.

            1. “[…]I suppose the real issue is whether raising taxes is a good austerity measure.”

              Well, the government’s been handing out ponies for years and the Greek population has been on those pony rides.
              Seems at least *they* ought to pay for them instead of the Germans and I don’t know any other way to collect the fares.

              1. Perhaps Germany starts annexing Grecian territory.

                1. Sell Germany an island. Greece has lots of them.

                  1. Dibs on the rocky one with the hot chick singers.

                    1. Would that be Lesbos?

            2. “raising taxes”

              Why should they give a shit. They’re not going to pay them anyways.

      2. By austerity, does one mean spending less of the money you don’t actually have, the interest on which you will later have to pay by taking more from future taxpayers?

        If so, I can’t speak for Reason magazine, but reason most definitely does support austerity.

        1. The article in The Economist notes that self-employed Greeks underreport income to the extent that almost all of what they do report is offset by interest payments, resulting in no taxes at all. This suggests that loan interest is Euro for Euro deductible from income, which makes me wonder if their citizens simply view long-term credit as a financial planning tool. No wonder they don’t understand the idea of repayment. Perhaps a good austerity measure would be to eliminate the loan interest income tax deduction.

      3. Austerity is a severe cut in a budget. In government, that means when an agency asks for a large increase in their budget but gets a smaller increase then they wanted. It’s still an increase, just not as huge. No actual shrinkage in the budget ever occurs, of course, as that would be unthinkable. It would be labeled as genocide of children and the elderly, not “austerity,” If a budget were even one euro smaller year-to-year. Only a perverse libertarian would actually conceive of an atrocity like shrinking government.

        1. And, more importantly, anything that can be labeled as ‘austerity’ is an affront to dignity!:

          “The people of Greece have made many sacrifices. What interests me is not the euro but guaranteeing a dignified way of life for the next generations,” 50-year-old Vanguelis Tseres, who has been unemployed since the start of the debt crisis in 2010, told AFP in Syntagma square in the capital.”
          http://www.theguardian.com/bus…..losed-live

          Yeah, that slimy piece of lefty shit only wants a guarantee of “dignity” for the “next generations”.
          I would happily hand him his dignity and ask he tell me how it tastes instead of the food he won’t get.

    2. Describes much of Latin Europe and Latin America.

      FIFY.

      1. Ding!

    3. “Greek tax evaders were not tax resisters seeking a more limited government?they supported, and even demanded, more government spending and a larger welfare state even while refusing to pay all their taxes.

      Describes much of Europe and Latin America.”

      And MSNBC employees.

    4. Does Reason support the “austerity” measures?

      Who is “Reason”?

      The EU did look away

      Who is “the EU”?

      Really, stop collectivizing. Neither “Reason” nor the “EU” can “support” or “look” or “scratch their ass”.

      when Greece cooked the books and bailed them out knowing full well they couldn’t pay or reform

      The motivation for all these financial shenanigans is to make politicians and bankers happy; the former don’t want major problems on their watch, so they kick it down to their successors, and the latter are engaging in rent seeking.

  8. So is Grexit inevitable or will a last minute deal still be reached?

    1. They’ll make a deal; the Europeans don’t have the balls to let Greece leave and Tsirpas knows it. Fear of national sovereignty runs so deep in much of that continent, particularly among the elites, that any small step in the direction of disintegration is regarded as unacceptable.

      The EU will wait till the last minute then fold.

      1. “The EU will wait till the last minute then fold.”

        You may be right, but the market is not so certain:
        “S&P LOWERS GREECE SOVEREIGN CREDIT RATING TO CCC- FROM CCC
        S&P- SAYS THE PROBABILITY OF GREECE EXITING THE EUROZONE IS NOW ABOUT 50%”

        1. What the hell kind of weird grade inflation is that? Failed every test and turned in no homework whatsoever=CCC-. Do they even have a sovereign credit rating for don’t ever fucking give this government a penny again because they won’t repay any of it?

          1. There is, but it’s reserved for sovereigns like RVN, Weimar Republic, and the CSA.

          2. There is, but it’s reserved for sovereigns like RVN, Weimar Republic, and the CSA.

            1. Heh. So, if the South ever does Rise Again, man are they going to have some horrible compound interest loans to pay off… :p

  9. http://www.theguardian.com/com…..mic-system

    Since 2010 the troika has peddled the fantasy that spending cuts amid a historic recession, and “structural reforms” ? or the shredding of workers’ rights, the firesale of public assets and the pummelling of the welfare state ? will somehow fix Greece.

    1. In other news, I want free ponies now and forever.

      1. You know I read libertarians saying that after the Cold War the Left have finally seen sense and have rejected the welfare state and the socialistic aspects of their ideology. Judging by the anti-austerians, Obama, Hillary and Bernie Sanders, I’m gonna say no.

        1. Who believes this comrade? I require papers now! These counter-revolutionaries will be blacklisted for the Glorious People’s Libertarian March.

          1. Matt Welch?

            https://reason.com/archives/200…..as-numbers

            You should never take a politician at his word. But you should listen to what he campaigns on day after day, especially if he goes on to win big. Amid Obama’s host of illiberal campaign ideas?”fair” trade, centralized energy policy, New Deal?style infrastructure projects, more federal dollars into the sinkhole of public schools?the Democratic candidate also spiced his daily stump speech with a firm-sounding nod to fiscal responsibility. Coupled with a sorry budget situation that’s certain to get worse as a result of massive income tax losses from Wall Street, this commitment to fiscal sobriety may strangle many of Obama’s more expensive fantasies in the crib and crack open the door for ending or privatizing any number of inefficient federal programs.

            1. I think I’ll take tea leaves and auguries over Welch when it comes to predicting the future any day. But note that he at least qualifies his argument as ‘this is the bullshit a politician is saying’.

              1. Well his mistake was to think that Obama gave a shit about the deficit. A lot of libertarians overestimated the results of Bill Clinton’s triangulations (conveniently ignoring Hillarycare for example) and began to think the Democrats had become fiscally responsible. I mean if Republicans are big-spending statists despite their rhetoric surely the Democrats must be the opposite?

                1. Who are these libertarians? I don’t know any who think much of the Clinton economy beyond he had the good fortune of being President during a huge tech boom.

                  1. I’ll say tech “bubble,” not boom, which further taints Mr Clinton’s economic record–the after-effects were devastating, particularly if you worked in the industry as I did (do). Probably the best lasting effect he had on the economy was a result of conceding to welfare reform.

        2. I think the recession is a major factor. The whole “Do-Nothing Hoover caused the Great Depression and Keynesian FDR saved the world with the New Deal” is accepted knowledge so of course the solution to bad economy is more free shit.

          1. “We’ve tried it your way,”

            *points to the few threads of free enterprise holding up the economy*

            “now it’s time to try our way.”

            *pointedly ignores the colossal state-run barnacles weighing it down.*

        3. The Left has never been after anything but power, so it’s safe to say that they see nothing to reject. Humans rights are just bullshit they peddle to earn respect and shield themselves, until it becomes convenient to strip them away to consolidate their power. The only game they know how to play is Calvinball.

          One thing about the right, especially once you get below the political level, is that they’re at least fairly upfront about where they stand on rights, even if it’s bad. At least you know what you’re dealing with, and if you can persuade them to change their minds, you probably make some real progress.

    2. True, it’s a fantasy. In reality, Greece is bankrupt and unfixable.

  10. http://www.theguardian.com/com…..mic-system

    Since 2010 the troika has peddled the fantasy that spending cuts amid a historic recession, and “structural reforms” ? or the shredding of workers’ rights, the firesale of public assets and the pummelling of the welfare state ? will somehow fix Greece.

    1. Does anyone with a job still read the Guardian?

      1. I do. The bias is obvious enough to be able to read right through it. And the comments are by no means list consistently to port.

        1. I can never stomach it. I’ve never learned anything new from a Guardian article. They never seem to have substance, whereas at least, say, Krugman’s blog occasionally does. Reading the Guardian is like watching your least favorite team’s cheerleaders instead of watching the game, only the cheerleaders are fat, ugly, and instead of cheering they just yell mean things at you for being white and male.

          1. THAT is a hell of a description. Now I’m stuck with that as a mind-worm when I next waste some time reading that rag.
            I could easily say the same about the SF Chron, but I use the paper version as a coffee blotter and a source for the puzzles. The e-version is now worthless IMO, since they run constant pop-up ads which means you think you’re clicking on a story when, SURPRISE!, the ad popped up right there!
            I think swellington still might comment there; he was doing a fine job upholding the cause of economic sanity. I got tossed enough times that it wasn’t worth inventing a new handle to get back in. The ‘moderation’ was mob rule; you got tossed if X people objected to your posts. Lefties objected to my comments for reasons that are a mystery to me. Sort of.

            1. Ha! The Chron is indeed a bad bad joke. Not in any way surprising that you got banned. I can’t believe I have not. I have had a number of extremely innocuous comments taken down there. They largely have stopped covering any real news at all.

              The City is a fucking joke. The corner market across the street just got hit with having a couple benches out front by the local regulators. Some shitheel called them up to complain. This place has been an absolute boon to the area, friendly owner that sweeps the street and sidewalk, well kept store, and a good sandwich. The asshat that gave him the violation notice told him he was lucky he didn’t nail him for the plant boxes he had out front.

              1. Sorry for misspelling your handle. As you might imagine, my comments that pissed off the lefties were in no way innocuous.
                BTW, I saved the link to contact you for your services, just haven’t needed them yet.

                1. That is how I would say it, with a “Swell”. It is the funniest Brazilian name that I heard in several years there. Random pick. I chose it during the time when reason made us pick a single handle. Well, except of course for the puppets.

                  Whenever you need. Happy to serve Liberty seekers. I would like to have a meet up as I missed that last thing that Gillespie and all were at. just got back with the kids the nite before from camping in the sierras.

  11. “Greece debt crisis: Thousands of no supporters protest, as EC urges yes vote – as it happened”
    http://www.theguardian.com/bus…..losed-live

    Amazing! Borrowers support not paying debts!

    1. Anyone care to join me in protesting my bank for demanding that I pay my credit card bills?

      Surely, I the best way to get me to pay them back would be to loan me more money to stimulate my household economy to grow.

      1. Isn’t that what half of OWS was about?

        1. Yes, along with rape tents and shitting in the streets like stray dogs.

  12. I’m not sure what music to use for the inevitable Greek exit or collapse. What do you guys think, Nananana Hey Hey Hey Goodbye or When The Wild Wind Blows?

    1. Dust in the Wind

    2. Misirlou, of course.

      Why is this even a question?

      1. I don’t know, I think Old Man Sevo’s got this one nailed.

        1. Why do you hate the bouzouki?

          1. That’s a Turkish thing anyway, Remove kebab. You are worse turk.

      2. Misirlou from Pulp Fiction by The Icy Hot Club. From Pulp Fiction? By “The Icy Hot Club”?? Somewhere Dick Dale is puking.

        1. Really. I can remember when Misirlou was surfer music back in the sixties.

      1. I hear he died.

        1. Wut? Has anybody covered this event of over whelming importance?

        1. Seriously., Lionel Ritchie is more prophetic than Lou Reed here:

          Know it sounds funny
          But I just can’t stand the pain
          GirlEurope I’m leaving you tomorrow
          Seems to me girlEurope
          You know I’ve done all I can
          You see I begged, stole
          And I borrowed

          Ooh, that’s why I’m easy
          I’m easy like sunday morning
          That’s why I’m easy
          I’m easy like sunday morning

          Why in the world
          Would anyboddy put chains on me?
          I’ve paid my dues to make it
          Everbody wants me to be
          What they want me to be
          I’m not happy when I try to fake it!
          No!

          1. All the “sunday morning, praise the dawning” stuff left me shivering with foreboding for what’s next in Greece.

            Yes, it is true, Lou Reed predicted Fascism in Greece.

          2. Middle of the road, Man It Stank.
            Let’s run over Lionel Richie with a tank.

    3. I don’t know, but for some reason any time I read about their latest national get rich quick scheme I think of Yakkity Sax.

    4. God you’re all doing it wrong

      gotta be Zorba’s Dance

    5. “Dies Irae” part of Mozart’s Requiem?

    6. “All Tomorrow’s Parties”

      And what costume shall the poor girl wear
      To all tomorrow’s parties
      A hand-me-down dress from who knows where
      To all tomorrow’s parties
      And where will she go and what shall she do
      When midnight comes around
      She’ll turn once more to Sunday’s clown
      And cry behind the door
      And what costume shall the poor girl wear
      To all tomorrow’s parties
      Why silks and linens of yesterday’s gowns
      To all tomorrow’s parties
      And what will she do with Thursday’s rags When Monday comes around
      She’ll turn once more to Sunday’s clown
      And cry behind the door
      And what costume shall the poor girl wear
      To all tomorrow’s parties
      For Thursday’s child is Sunday’s clown
      For whom none will go mourning
      A blackened shroud, a hand-me-down gown
      Of rags and silks, a costume
      Fit for one who sits and cries
      For all tomorrow’s parties

      1. Papaya, you and I are the same wavelength. Lou Reed is the one true prophet, PBUH.

      2. I think the Velvet Underground was great (unlike Reed solo), but I actually always thought Nico was saying “clone” instead of “clown.”

        1. Interesting mondegreen, but I’m going with “clown” because it rhymes with “gown.”

          Lou Reed solo could also be very, very good. I saw him on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal tour… must have been ’73 or so.

      3. Interesting. I think I’d only ever heard the Rasputina version of this before.

      4. Can I vote for Zeplin – When the levy breaks?

        Only because my musical knowledge is pretty limited.

    7. You’re all fucking culturally illiterate, except HM, Diamorphoses is the only correct answer.

      1. Oh, hey. That’s pretty swank. Very early industrial. 😀

    8. Way late, but how is this not right?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2V3SNrkpp0

  13. “In Greece, where tax evasion is a social norm, this tool was particularly important. Greek tax evaders were not tax resisters seeking a more limited government?they supported, and even demanded, more government spending and a larger welfare state even while refusing to pay all their taxes”

    Not to say anything but I bet you a large segment of the North American population thinks this way too. It’s just that they dutifully pay their taxes (half of them anyway) and we’re productive. Nonetheless, we don’t stray too far off the line. Just look at the NYT’s writer who proudly wrote he defaulted on his loan. People will possibly do just that – stop paying.

    1. “Not to say anything but I bet you a large segment of the North American population thinks this way too.”
      Like the woman who realized O-care was going to cost HER?!
      Yes, quite common, and the politicos trade on it constantly: ‘We’re going to tax the other guy!’

    2. I was just talking with a good friend the other day. He and I have fairly similar incomes and are aghast at how much we pay in taxes for a nice albeit modest income. We decided we are both going to itemize the fuck out of our 2015 taxes and take off every expense possible in hopes of lowering our taxable earnings.

      Several proggie friends that continually vote for MOAR SPENDINGZ have been doing this for years.

      1. Progs are Greeks.

        They want free shit but prefer if other people pay it. Nay, demand other people pay it.

        1. Just like the AARP.

        2. Progs *can* be pragmatic. Scandinavian/Northern European proggies got real pragmatic real fast when their countries started to buckle under the weight of the state.

          1. Not so pragmatic that they’ve stopped importing Muslims.

          2. ” Scandinavian/Northern European proggies got real pragmatic real fast when their countries started to buckle under the weight of the state.”

            Swedes are also incredibly fiscally responsible since they actually pay for the shit their government does. Taxes are not the worst thing in the world when the alternative is spending the same amount of money while not having enough tax revenue to pay for it. Sweden has public debt that is something like 1/3rd of the European average.

            If you want to have a massive government, pay its expenses. The problem with Greece (and, to a lesser extent, modern America) is that people want free stuff but are lazy narcissists who aren’t willing to pay taxes themselves so they just imagine there’s some massive money pot controlled by the 1% and if we just tax that we can have everything we want without having to have higher taxes ourselves.

            1. Well it is often argued that it’s a part of the Scandinavian/Germanic (Max Weber may say ‘Protestant’) culture, fiscal responsibility that is. The Latin countries, not so much.

              If you compare a German’s lifestyle with a Greek’s there are some pretty obvious differences that explain a lot. The former will take out a loan to pay for a house; the latter will take out a loan to pay for a vacation.

      2. Well, see, they don’t have to pay their taxes to support the system; it supports itself through the Keynesian spending multiplier; each time a dollar gets spent by the gov’t in turns into two dollars, then 4, then 8, and so on, until eventually we’re all driving Bentleys, if only those teabaggers would stop screwing it up and just let us exploit this self-evident paradox of mathematics.

  14. “Greece threatens top court action to block Grexit”
    […]
    “”We are taking advice and will certainly consider an injunction at the European Court of Justice. The EU treaties make no provision for euro exit and we refuse to accept it. Our membership is not negotiable,” he told the Telegraph.”
    (yahoo or The Telegraph; link too long)

    ‘You can’t throw us out of your club!’
    I think he’s hoping Roberts lends them the magic 8-ball.

    1. This will be fun.

    2. ‘You can’t throw us out of your club!’

      They can leave through the door or through the third floor window. I recommend the former.

  15. Hmm.. this just came out:
    Capital Controls and a Bank Holiday in Greece? Here’s How You Can Profit

    Investor sentiment in Greece is nearing the point of maximum pessimism? the point at which almost nobody wants to buy. Prices of Greek stocks have already crashed headfirst into the pavement, so we may be getting close to the best time to buy. As Baron Rothschild advised: Buy when the blood is in the streets.

    That’s what crisis investing is all about, and it’s enormously profitable.

    It’s to pitch their services, but it’s the same idea I’ve been hearing for a while from many other sources from cheap real estate to well, everything:

    1. like this 4 years ago

      I went to dinner last night in an upmarket area of Thessaloniki. It wasn’t a touristy part of town at all, nearly everyone there was local.

      As we walked down a narrow cobblestone path flanked by traditional Greek restaurants, all the various hostesses and proprietors ran out to greet us and pitch their menus.
      …..

      Within seconds, outright calamity ensued with each thrusting menus in our faces, pulling at our shirtsleeves, and shouting over the competition. Then a shoving match? and then finally an all out physical altercation, literally coming to blows over what amounted to a $20 dinner tab.

      1. OT: When you get aroused, are you technically… np hard?

        Thank you all for the applause.

    2. Buy low, sell high. However penny stocks are for suckers.

      1. Bullshit, I’ve made a small fortune this week with penny stocks right from my computer.

        1. Aaaand now I’m broke.

        2. It’s much more effective when you say your aunt’s brother’s son made $7,132 this month. working only a few hours a week from a home.

      2. Well I would be looking into personal use and/or rental use (i.e. AirBnB) for real estate. Something like this looks quite nice: http://www.apropertyingreece.c…..LB125.aspx

        Or this island home on the beach

        Properties with older or classical unrestored homes are much less, and large plots of land in what seem like desirable locations appear very cheap to me.

        1. Wanna bet a foreign buyer will pay many “fees” to, say, put a modern toilet in one of those places?

    3. Hmm. I wonder if I sell my bike it will be enough money for me to buy the island of Crete?

  16. From Tsipras’ speech announcing the referendum:

    “The recent decisions of the Eurogroup and ECB have only one objective: to attempt to stifle the will of the Greek people.

    “They will not succeed. The very opposite will occur: the Greek people will stand firm with even greater wilfulness.

    “In the coming days, what’s needed is patience and composure. The bank deposits of the Greek people are fully secure.

    “The same applies to the payment of wages and pensions – they are also guaranteed.

    “In these critical hours, we must remember that the only thing to fear is fear itself.”

    Here

    (Apologies to all who strain eye muscles due to severe eyerolling.)

    1. “The bank deposits of the Greek people are fully secure.
      The same applies to the payment of wages and pensions – they are also guaranteed.”

      He’ll be here all week, folks.

    2. So bold and brave of him to take in that awful mean Reality. Why does Reality have to be so damn Real?

    3. “The recent decisions of the Eurogroup and ECB have only one objective: to attempt to stifle the will of the Greek people.

      Correct!

      “They will not succeed. The very opposite will occur: the Greek people will stand firm with even greater wilfulness.

      Like this, just less cute? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxBmISRw6XI

      “In the coming days, what’s needed is patience and composure. The bank deposits of the Greek people are fully secure. “The same applies to the payment of wages and pensions – they are also guaranteed.

      My God, he has communist propaganda nailed down pat!

  17. cut the greeks loose!!…..let them get back on the drachma..and see what the exchange rate looks like then……..ROFL…….

  18. Baklava, a very overrated dessert.

    Discuss.

    1. Agreed.

      However saganaki is a very underrated cheese. Damn. Now I gotta go get some kasseri and a bottle of ouzo tonight.

      1. …..and a bottle of ouzo tonight.

        Helpful hint…..if you can’t find Ouzo lacquer thinner is available at any hardware store!

        Not an endorsement of either the consumption of mineral spirits or the use of a wood chipper for any use other than that for which it was intended.

        1. a true Greek mixes it with water. Watches it turn the color of an empty glass of milk being rinsed out. While playing backgammon at the taverna.

    2. I once, in conversation, describe my thoughts for an invention that I called Choclova, where the sheets of filo dough would be replaced with thin sheets of chocolate.

      The woman I was speaking to had an orgasm just by hearing this.

      1. There is a place around here that does a nutella pizza that bears a striking resemblance to this with a filo-like bread involved. It may or may not be a part of my own seduction framework.

        1. My man!

          Just make sure she’s one of the skinny ones that can eat like 15 horses and never gain a pound. You can tell which ones those are because all the other women always call her a “bitch”.

      2. I am intrigued by your choclova idea.

    3. Well, for one thing, it’s terrible for masking your face during a bank robbery.

      1. Definitely. I tried to rob a bank once wearing a cardigan, but somehow everyone still recognized me, so that doesn’t work either.

        (Ahem, allow me to explain that joke: both the balaclava and the cardigan derive their names from the Battle of Balaclava of the Crimean war; the former obviously from the location of the battle, and the latter from the commanding officer of the British forces. Buzz Killington signing out.)

        1. I come here to learn things. Thanks.

          1. I come here to learn things

            Are we supposed to believe that?

            1. Go away, Crusty. There are other places you can go to hate titlessness.

              1. I come here to learn things

                My word. You come here for the tits…for the chicks. Goodness.

                1. Back in the old days, we used to talk about shoes.

                  1. Did you have an onion tied to your belt?

    4. I like it just not that much.

  19. I don’t think it is a coincidence that three of the PIIGS (Portugal, Spain and Greece) came out of authoritarian rightist regimes at around the same time and have at the same time gone to shit. The Greek Left was pretty pissed over Metaxas, the Nazi Occupation, the Civil War and the Colonels and once the last collapsed they had their chance to go full retard and predictably fucked things up.

    1. If you count the control that the Roman Catholic Church had over Irish politics, I think you can make that four of the PIIGS.

      1. And the Mafia in Italy to complete the PIIGS.

        1. If the Greeks had just borrowed from the Mafia, this would be a much more entertaining shitshow.

          1. *lmao*

            Hah, no shit.

        2. I didn’t take you guys to be naive. A little impolite sure. Intelligent. Absolutely. Passionate why not? But not naive.

          The Italian mob runs Europe.

          Always has.

          http://www.ibtimes.com/welcome…..pe-1619110

          1. The Mafia doesn’t strike me as that stupid. Where is the profit in ruining Greece?

      2. Ireland is very different from the other PIGS. They are actually having some growth and something approaching real austerity.

        1. Indeed, so it’s really just PIGS. Much better imo.

          1. Might even save it from becoming Eurabia.

            1. Ahaha took me a second but I get it, a kosher joke, or Hillel joke, or whatever it’s called.

        2. Meh. I think Italy included in the PIGS is absurd.

          1. You Know Who Else didn’t want Italy included in Something?

            1. Turks?

            2. Norwegians?

            3. Byzantines?

            4. The Germanic Tribes?

            5. Me?

          2. Why is Italy being included in PIGS absurd? They aren’t as bad off as Spain or Greece, but their debt/GDP is over 130% and they’ve had negative growth rates the last two years.

            Ireland had almost 5% growth in 2014 and they’re on pace for about 4% growth this year. Ireland is the one that absolutely doesn’t belong and never did. Since the Irish economy absolutely imploded and they had 8% economic shrinkage for about a year, their economy has been one of the fastest growing in Europe and their unemployment rate fell from 15% to about 9% in only about a year.

            Ireland is especially notable as being the country Paul Krugman used to point to to try and argue about EVIL AUSTERITY but he suddenly stopped talking about it in 2014. It’s almost like Krugman just ignores facts when they don’t fit his argument.

            1. “It’s almost like Krugman just ignores facts when they don’t fit his argument.”

              Why change now, when he’s got a secure place on the MSM gravy train, not to mention nice speaker fees coming in?

            2. I think someone posted it here once, but even Krugman’s favorite example of for great profligacy is, Iceland, actually turned out to be even more ‘austere’ than Ireland (and had a slightly higher growth rate 2009-2014) in terms of cyclical adjusted balance.

              Apparently Krugman didn’t even bother to looks at the data showing that Iceland was actually rather austere; he just assumed it was because that’s what one of his lictors (Brad Delong maybe?) had claimed, and far be it for him to question a prog rumor.

            3. My thoughts largely, it should be put forth, on Italy’s (just like France) capabilities of avoiding a Greek scenario.

              Yes. Italy is mired in a recession (though its technology sector is showing signs of revival) has low growth largely due to restrictive labor policies (which hurts productivity as compared to other G7 countries) with an aging population and generous welfare apparatus. Yes, their banks (except the two largest I might add) are not exactly And yes their GDP debt is 130% (not that the rest of Europe is anything to brag about) on the other hand Italians traditionally have hire savings and lower household debt rates.

              But the pending ‘doom’ of Italy mirrors what I heard about its politics in the post-war era. I remember getting in on a lecture on the state of European political systems and the panel argued that its politics, though seemingly chaotic to outsiders, was actually functional for Italy and more stable than one realizes. They cited, among many I can’t recall now, the economic miracle in the post-war era building an economy with an industrial, technological and manufacturing base (with some of the wealthiest parts of Europe and strong cash flow) the others in the PIGS can’t match on any single level. In this way, it’s closer in line to France, Britain and Germany.

              (cont)

              1. If the Swedes are good at suddenly getting pragmatic, let me assure you no one gets more ruthlessly pragmatic than Italy when its back is against the wall. This is precisely the character trait that frustrates their German and French partners.

                Also, Italy is a net giver and founder of the EU. They know what’s at stake. Though they do have a Mediterranean outlook (particularly in the South) they are not Greek or Spanish in their fiscal mentality. They can actually pull out of it. Having observed Italy for nearly 30 years, I find it hard to believe they’d act like the Greeks; though it’s unfortunate they bring themselves to that point.

                Thus, for these reasons I reckon and argue, Italy’s situation is like the USA or France. Not Greece or Spain. Imo.

                That’s why.

                1. Just to add to the point about Italy’s role in the EU. As a principal founding member, it has always been among the most committed to the EU cause. This is not the case in places like Greece. I think this plays a large role in their thinking.

        3. Yeah, Ireland kind of got caught up in the PIIGS, because the tax base was based largely on property taxes, so they got screwed when housing prices collapsed. A slight bit of tax reform and they’re back to a bunch

          1. of tech savvy commentators. (Damn, no edit button) The fundamentals of Ireland’s tech industry didn’t collapse just because of the housing industry collapse.

  20. The problem in Greece can be explained by an analogy; There are two candidates for class president in a kindergarten. One says that if the class is willing to give up 5 minutes of recess every day they will all get better grades and this will pay off over their lifetimes. The second one promises free ice cream every day. The second one won.

    1. I wish I could, and can’t credit this:
      “In a debate before children, the confectioner will always win over the nutritionist.”

      1. Democracy explained

      2. FLOTUS has a frowny-face.

  21. “They insist on the fiction that the loans will be repaid. ”

    Fine, and what is your collateral? Put up a few tourist islands that the creditors can auction off to the highest bidders if Greece defaults.

    1. Forget Mykonos, Santorini and Crete. Overrun with Germans and Brits.

      Go for Kos.

      1. All of those sound like ideal places for ZEDEs…

    2. Forget seasteading. Long live the Libertarian Aegean!

  22. Living below one’s means. Unpossible for socialists.

  23. If the EU is allowed to kick out Greece and its debt, than I demand the right to kick states out of the USA. I’m looking at you, People’s Republic of California.

    1. I’m looking at you, People’s Republic of California.

      …and I’d be there giving you the “double pumper” in return.

      Of course you’d be in the right…… but I’d still do it!

    2. i think I want to kick New Jersey out first. They voted for Chris Christie. More than once. If that’s not proof that there’s no intelligent life in New Jersey…

      1. Enh – Christie was the lesser of two evils, believe it or not.

        1. I’m told moonbeam was, also, but having not read the ballot, I can’t swear to that.

  24. My big fat Greek bankruptcy.

  25. Nice article Ed. Good info.

  26. First Detroit, now Greece. Is there anything those right wing teabaggers won’t ruin?

    1. Derp,
      Check The Guardian links; you got material for life!

    2. I say we restart the War of 1812 and see if we can trick Canada into retaking Michigan, and do the same with the Mexican American War and see if we can “lose” California too.

      1. What makes you think you ‘won’ Michigan in the War of 1812?

        1. I once addressed a post card to my friend Nancy in Mich., adding to the bottom of the address “Upper Canada”. It got there.

          1. Shouldn’t it have been “Lower Canada”?

    3. Truth-out is the funniest website in the universe. It’s the same website that gave us Thom Hartman claiming the only reason the 2nd Amendment exists is for slave patrols (an argument he believes because one time Patrick Henry said something about that, even though no other Founder ever even mentioned the idea).

  27. Alexis Tsipras, who was elected in a snap election in January promising less austerity to ignore reality.

    Like, when you are take out a loan, you sacrifice, and work hard to ensure your payments are made.

    Look, if there were free banking individuals, just as there are countless ratings systems, governments would receive a credit rating of F. They would eventually collapse as no one would invest in them. Individuals would likely choose sound businesses to invest in, verse fund criminally wasteful, abusive and violent govt’s. If someone wanted to invest in a horrid economic actor run like the govt, they would sacrifice their own hard work and money, and waste it on that institution, only to receive shitty service.

    1. “Look, if there were free banking individuals, just as there are countless ratings systems, governments would receive a credit rating of F”

      Nope.
      The outfit with the guns has an amazing ability to collect money, so long as it chooses to. So as spend-thrift as gov’ts tend to be, most of them pay off the debts most of the time.
      Until the music stops and all the chairs are filled, and your bet on THAT government turns out to be wrong.
      Greek paper is still selling. It’s selling at a huge discount, but someone is betting they’ll get a rope tossed to them and it won’t be tied in a noose.

  28. the country says it will not be making that payment,

    Uh, yeah, we know that.

  29. When I was in Greece decades ago, one thing I noticed were numerous lots that had partly-constructed buildings on them: usually just a floor and the start of some walls, with rusty rebar sticking out. I asked someone and was told that property taxes were suspended while a building was under construction. Hence, lots of buildings under construction, for many years….

    1. I like the Florida method for avoiding property taxes better. If you have some land that you’re going to eventually develop, you get some cows, let them graze the land, and then you get the (heavily discounted) agricultural tax rate rather than the property tax rate. There are even places that will rent cows for that purpose.

      1. That actually sounds like it could be a good idea on a broader scale: a whole block could get together and decide to buy a cow and just let it roam from one back yard do the next (everyone could put gaps in the fences big enough to let the cow through) and then technically would their lands be grazing lands? And they all get the lower tax rate? Or does only the person who owns the cow get it?

      2. “[…]you get some cows, let them graze the land, and then you get the (heavily discounted) agricultural tax rate rather than the property tax rate.[…]”

        Maybe you could get ag-subsidies from the feds at the same time? How about hiring a ‘hunter’; does the EPA pay for removing invasive species?
        I think there are gold mines in FL properties!

        1. Which reminds me: the Berkeley Hills are now crawling with deer and even wild turkeys, to the point of being a nuisance. My idea for solving two issues at once by arming the hungry homeless with bows and arrows isn’t getting any traction, though.

          1. Did they learning nothing from the Angel Island fiasco? Your idea is splendid.

  30. Greek tax evaders were not tax resisters seeking a more limited government?they supported, and even demanded, more government spending and a larger welfare state even while refusing to pay all their taxes.

    This can’t be understated. And it’s happening here.

  31. An Indiegogo campaign to raise 1.6 billion euros for Greece to make its next loan payment was launched earlier today. It’s raised almost 9,000 euros in less than one day, far from the mark but more than most crowdsourcing campaigns raise on the first day.

    uh huh. Good luck with that.

    1. “For the price of a cup of coffee, you can help the crooks and racketeers in the Greek government postpone the day of reckoning for their unsustainable economic policies!”

      1. “This is Alexandros. A newscaster, he was able to retire early at age 50, because of the dangers of germs on microphones. Now, his pension is in danger.”

        “This is Nikodemos. For 30 years he was the head of a 30-person government agency that was totally pointless. Now, his pension is in danger.”

        “Won’t you help Alexandros, or Nikodemos, or one of the many like them?”

        1. “Won’t you help Alexandros, or Nikodemos, or one of the many like them?”
          No.

  32. Greece should be broken up into city states and then have Sotheby’s auction them off as art.

  33. They are going to have to stop breaking plates.

  34. Greece’s original big plan to dig themselves out of this was to sell off a bunch of their public property for private use. The original plan they came up with would bring in 50 billion euros. I think it ended up being 2 or 3 billion.

    1. Pretty sure not much of what was promised was actually offered for sale.
      I.e., they lied.

      1. “they lied”

        Oh, the surprise!

    2. I think it ended up being 2 or 3 billion.

      How much of that was the “official” amount and how much of that wasn’t pocketed too?

    3. Kind of like those idiots on Pawn Stars who go in and say “I want to sell this piece of shit my grandpa gave me for $20,000,” and the store offeres them $80 bucks for it. “But it mean soooo much to me, I can’t sell it for that little.”

      But that public part meant soooo much to the Greek government, you have to give them at least a billion for it!

  35. Almost a century ago, the people who ran the New York subway system wanted to honor the Southern-descended editor of the New York Times.

    Guess how they honored him?

    (disclaimer: the transit people deny the story)

    http://nypost.com/2015/06/25/c…..y-station/

    1. And here’s the New York Times trying to defend its honor:

      http://www.nytimes.com/times-i…..alls/?_r=0

      1. Look, just tell me who’s right, because New Yorker’s won’t be able to go on without knowing that something they’ve been staring at for 90 years is a damn Reb Flag!

        1. Here’s a 2012 article on which the *Post* seems to have based its claims – a lot of circumstantial evidence but no direct proof.

          [ominous music]…how will this end?

            1. Incidentally, during the Civil War NY was crawling with Copperheads and Rebel sympathizers, like Teddy Roosevelt’s mother –

              http://www.washingtontimes.com…../?page=all

              1. Not surprising, considering that NYC was a major slave trading port before the southern states banned the slave trade.

                -jcr

          1. how will this end?

            Please let it be race riots.

            /every newspaper in NYC

      2. The Post is far more interested in poking a finger in the eye of the Times than in exposing the rampant racism of the NYC subway – although they’ll take the latter too if it means more clicks.

    2. BLOW IT UP. It’s the only way to be sure! We can’t have this disgrace on our subway!!

  36. From 2010: The ‘Atimorisia’ Illness: Greece’s Toothless Battle against Corruption

    From Wikipedia:

    The Kopais Lake Agency was created in 1957 to supervise the draining of the lake and building of a new road. The task was completed that same year, but the agency with full-time staff of 30 (including a driver for the president of the agency) still existed until 2010.

    1. That is one of the greatest stories I’ve ever heard.

      1. Just more Greek suffering caused by the heartless, pointless austerity.

    2. What about the pro-same-sex-marriage organiz’n reported on here that says now that they’ve won, they can close within months? Why does it take months to shut an office?

      1. Wrapping up a non-profit isn’t an instant thing: paperwork to file, records to store/destroy, office equipment to dispose of, leases, etc.

  37. Interesting paradox that people believing the government is a gang of incompetent crooks usually end up decided that the solution is TOP MEN.

    1. I only have a problem with TOP MEN when (1) they spend my money, or (2) they try to tell me what to do. If it’s their money, they can do whatever they want.

  38. Why is a supra government telling someone what to do “uncontroversial”?
    Greece can reform when it wants to, how it wants to.
    Let the EU lose patience. Greece can run to Putin.

    1. From the link:
      “Unfortunately, the Greek governments of the period 2001-2009 did not take
      advantage of the low inflation environment and they ran fiscal deficits of 6 per cent of
      GDP on the average while they also increased the share of the government spending
      in the economy (Antzoulatos, 2011).”
      So for all the Keynesians out there, you must once again explain how Keynesian Econ works when no government is willing to enforce Keynesian Econ.
      ————————–
      As Gibson et al. (2012) argue the markets partially made the successive Greek governments to
      believe that the low interest-rate environment would be a permanent feature of the
      Greek economy.
      The markets “made the […] Greek governments believe”? This paper was peer-reviewed and horseshit like that was allowed to pass? Did “the markets” also ‘make’ the Greek governments believe in Santa Claus?
      ——————————-

      1. “A more striking stylized fact was
        the during this period wages appreciated in real terms by 5.5% in the tradeables sector
        and by a huge 16.5% in the non-tradeables.”
        “non-tradeables” = the labor costs for that guy who rode around in the limo long after the contract was dead? Do I have that right?
        ——————————-
        “This downturn in the Greek economy
        was further fuelled by an extremely large and inefficient public administration sector”
        Yeah, pretty much.
        ——————————-
        “The current debt crisis has shown that a reform of current EU mechanisms must be
        put in force, otherwise the stability of the eurozone will be jeopardised and the euro
        currency itself will be negatively affected.”
        Yeah, pretty much

      2. The markets “made the […] Greek governments believe”?

        He did say ‘partially’. And some politicians can be victims of wishful thinking … while other politicians just say: apr?s moi, le d?luge.

        1. “And some politicians can be victims of wishful thinking”
          Pretty sure the term “victim” does not obtain here.

  39. Ed,

    Is this article a morality play on how it’s bad to pay pensions to old people.

    It was good that you mentioned something about tax avoidance. Other right-wingers who have been tut-tutting about the Greek pensioner aren’t always willing to divulge that information. Is your next article on how great the tax resistance movement is or on how the income tax is tyranny because maybe that wouldn’t be such great timing.

    1. Oh, great! Commie kid shows up to provide more evidence of lefty stupidity!

      american socialist|6.30.15 @ 12:16AM|#
      “Ed,
      Is this article a morality play on how it’s bad to pay pensions to old people.”

      No. It’s a statement of how moral cripples like you can ruin an entire country.
      —————————–
      “It was good that you mentioned something about tax avoidance. Other right-wingers who have been tut-tutting about the Greek pensioner aren’t always willing to divulge that information. Is your next article on how great the tax resistance movement is or on how the income tax is tyranny because maybe that wouldn’t be such great timing.”

      So you entirely missed the point of the hypocrisy of the Greeks, by either stupidity or willful ignorance? Are you proud of being a poster-child for lefty dishonesty?
      If you think there are others here stupid enough to accept your misdirection, I’m sure you are correct. Jackand Ace comes to mind. Tony is clearly dumb enough to do so, as is turd.
      But don’t bother hoping your ‘friendly’ address to someone fools most anyone else; you’re a slimy piece of shit and most everyone here knows it.
      BTW, shitstain, did you pay your mortgage, or are you hoping that the moral cripples in Greece will somehow give you absolution?

    2. Is this article a morality play on how it’s bad to pay pensions to old people.

      If you want to give your own earnings away to old people, then have at it. What’s immoral is stealing money from other people, no matter what you do with the stolen money, you smug pinhead.

      -jcr

    3. Is this article a morality play on how it’s bad to pay pensions to old people.

      Depends on the old people. If they paid in enough to cover their pensions, they are actually pensions. If they didn’t, it’s charity at gunpoint. Charity at gunpoint is not a good thing. I suspect Greece has the latter, not the former.

      Is your next article on how great the tax resistance movement is or on how the income tax is tyranny because maybe that wouldn’t be such great timing.

      Don’t see any problem with the timing. Get no government services, pay no income tax. The problem with the Greeks is that they want government services, but don’t want to pay the taxes necessary, and demand that the Germans pay for it. And the Germans, predictably, are saying “f— you”.

  40. Total Greek debt is around 300 billion Euros. Apple computer’s market cap is 730.21 billion dollars, or around 650 billion Euros.

    Any banker who lent money to Greece instead of buying AAPL shares should be out of a job.

    -jcr

    1. So… Apple should buy Greece?

  41. The gofundme for Greek debt will be about the same amount as that of people who make voluntary donations to the the treasury. I have always wondered why earnest lefties never seem to want to write that check.

    1. Because we should all be in it together… behind the barbed-wire fence.

  42. To tell the truth I havent always wondered; they want someone else to write it.

  43. I heard some rumors that the Chinese might be interested in helping Greece out. They apparently run some ports in Europe.

    If something like this happened in America, at least 40% of the population will support pension reforms and cuts. Even tea partiers who privately defend defense spending and medicare will get in the act. Because at that point, the battle lines will be drawn and it won’t be possible to kick the can down the road any longer.

    You can’t say that about Greeks. All of them are insufferable little commies, it appears. The French too. The left in this country will be humiliated one day, and we’ll be there to make fun of them.

    1. XM|6.30.15 @ 4:48AM|#
      “I heard some rumors that the Chinese might be interested in helping Greece out. They apparently run some ports in Europe.”

      As part of the bailout, Greece was supposed to ‘privatize’ (sell to a commercial operator) their biggest port, but it hasn’t happened.
      I think the unions are opposed, since a private operator would likely clean house.

    2. If something like this happened in America, at least 40% of the population will support pension reforms and cuts

      And the remaining 60% will vote a budget busting Bush, Obama, or Reagan into power.

      You can’t say that about Greeks. All of them are insufferable little commies, it appears.

      In terms of fiscal responsibility and entitlements, Americans sadly are closer to Greeks than to Germans.

  44. “Greeks want big government but they want someone else to pay for it.”

    There’s plenty of people outside of Greece who want that too.

    Including right here in the good old US of A.

  45. Just as Lucille said I didnt know that anyone able to get paid $7158 in four weeks on the computer .You can look here????????????? http://www.workweb40.com

  46. Everyone who wants big government wants someone else to pay for it.

    1. Not really true–not everyone who wants big government understands how much that actually costs!

  47. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

  48. I found it interesting that the troika want Greece to reverse a minimum wage hike. What about the rest of the European Union? If a lower minimum wage helps Greece, then why shouldn’t a lower minimum wage help *any* country?

    I also find the IndieGogo campaign interesting, but I’ve got better ways to waste my money than to help an unappreciative nation with its debts, be it Greece, or the United States.

  49. For many years, powerful Greek officials have collaborated with monied interests in Europe to mortgage the future of the common people. Those officials were eventually ousted by the popular vote, but the damage had already been done.

    Meanwhile, Troika has treated the Greek people punitively. Taxes have soared in Greece at precisely the worst possible time, and unemployment is over 30%. Unemployment among young people is at around 60%–an entire generation has lost the chance at landing that first job and gaining important marketable skills.

    The tax rate along with other cuts have strangled the economy, making any repayment of debt unthinkable. And while the former Greek regimes may have been responsible for the debt and for lying about their fiscal health, the IMF and other lenders are also at fault for failing to do their due diligence and for failing to recommend measures that would help the Greek economy recover. You can raise the taxes all you want to but 100% of nothing is still nothing, and that is all that the Greeks are left with after the Troika reforms.

    Of course there is plenty of blame to go around and the Greek government deserves its share. While the malicious tax hikes were bad policy, the privatization plans were sensible from both a tactical and a strategic perspective. Oddly, the Greek government was adamant in its refusal to privatize anything.

  50. Every banana republic in South America has the same makeup as Greece. Everyone wants high taxes, government monopolies and handouts, secure in the altruistic faith that “someone else” can be made to foot the bill.

  51. Let Greece default. Then kick them out of the EU. No more credit. If they revert to the stone age .. so be it. Their own greed and stupidity caused the problem. Let them figure out how to fix it. In the meantime no more shipments of food or hard goods. At least not on credit.

  52. I work at the airport. Saw whole igloos full of Obama Phones being loaded onto Helios Airways.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.