Is anyone else sick of Greece, Greeks and their attitude right now?
After years of overspending, cooking the books and tax evasion, Greece’s party is coming to an end. Trouble is, they got rather accustomed to the party lifestyle and paying for it all on a credit card.
Now, it’s all caught up with them and the monthly credit card statement has arrived, only to their shock, instead owing a few grand, they owe in excess of €300B.
Like the rest of us who have overindulged at one point in our life, it’s time to figure out how to pay off the credit card.
To me, Greece is acting like a petulant child that doesn’t want to deal with the consequences of their actions. While I don’t necessarily agree with how the “troika” are handling the situation, I do agree that Greece needs to do whatever is necessary to get that debt paid.
Greeks are naturally upset that they’re facing a long period of austerity ahead of them and I don’t blame them: that’s not going to be a lot of fun, but it is necessary and right. Desperate times call for desperate measures and tightening the nation’s belt buckle is a fundamental step in that process.
I think that Germans are right to be frustrated with Greece and their attitude: after World War Two, they accepted their wrongs and committed to paying those affected by the war what was due to rebuild. They knuckled down, rebuilt their own nation and paid their internationally-agreed reparations and have now emerged as an economic machine on the other side of it. So for Greece to even moot the idea that Germany still owes them hundreds of billions of euros for damages done during World War Two is sickening.
Germany has paid their debts: now it’s time for Greece to do the same.
> Is anyone else sick of Greece, Greeks and their attitude right now?
Replace “Greece” and “Greeks” there with any other country or nationality and you see how idiotic an attitude this is. Way to typecast literally an entire nation of more than ten million people. You’re better than that man!
> To me, Greece is acting like a petulant child that doesn’t want to deal with the consequences of their actions.
Dude, a lot of the corruption / tax evasion that led into this was from the politicians and the top one percent of Greeks themselves – a lot of folks there are as hard-working as anyone else, working hard on a Titanic that they might not have known was being willfully driven into an iceberg by the people running things there.
As for the comments about austerity and doing whatever it takes to pay off the debts, it’s really complicated, because you need to tax people to get money to pay off the debts. But austerity measures, while seeming to work in theory, hurt things too because tax rates went up so much that many companies laid people off in droves. Thus, unemployment went up, putting:
a) more burden on social services, while
b) leaving a lot less income *to be taxed*
Take less money coming in period, from the masses, add a hefty helping of corruption and cooking-of-books from the top 1% and political leaders, *and* a fair dose of the general population who, yes, didn’t pay taxes and might abuse social services, as there is in every single nation, and you get a shitstorm.
> Germany has paid their debts: now it’s time for Greece to do the same.
Totally different situations for many reasons…
Still a fan of you and your work, but casting a net over an entire nation and “Greeks” is silly. Of course paying debts is the answer, nobody doubts that. But coming up with that actual money while trying to prevent *complete* collapse of society there is really complicated!
George, thanks for your considered and level-headed response. While it is unfair to lump an entire nation together, the fact that nearly two-thirds of the country voted No in the referendum with most citing that they don’t want to go through austerity, I think it’s safe to say that at least a large number of people have this attitude.
I definitely agree that the troika’s approach to trying to fix this situation, by instituting heavy-handed austerity is quite short-sighted because of the impact it will have on people and ultimately, their ability to pay more taxes.
Like many other countries, Greece democratically elects their leaders to make decisions on their behalf. Obviously, a lot was being hidden both from Greeks and from Greece’s creditors, but it’s unfair to hide behind the veil of “our leaders did it and we didn’t know so we shouldn’t have to pay”. I think we, and Greece, and the world, agrees that the debts need to be paid, so when people decry it as “unfair” or politicans try and imply that Germany owes them enormous sums of money for a war long since settled, it hits a nerve.
This was perhaps written and published a little hastily out of frustration but the attitude of many – both ordinary people and those in government – continues to irk me. I’m a particularly fiscally-conservative person, so to see people whine about their need to pay off the debt of the spoils that were enjoyed by a nation for a long time irritates me.
And again, very much appreciate your input and think more of you for it.
Just like individual they should own up to their mistakes and atone he.. He. I think you might enjoy joe rogan experience show when he interviewed Abby Martin. There are 3 videos on youtube. Key word: joe rogan abby martin. You can also access their podcast on itunes. Interesting facts.
Dave, I agree with you on Greece issue but I would also love to know your thoughts on our Debt issue. When a country bankrupts like Greece.. the first things that pops up in my mind is that what will happen to us? Any idea? Thanks.
Honestly, I don’t know of the logistics and how one goes about it, but the short answer is that the debt must be repaid. When a country becomes insolvent, like some US cities have (Detriot, MI and Stockton, CA for example), they need to be reorganised and streamlined so that they become profitable again and can work on repaying their debts. Governments – both local and national – are really just big businesses in the public domain. So, like businesses would do when declaring bankruptcies, they should create plans to reduce their expenditure while increasing revenues. It’s certainly going to take a long time and it’s going to be ugly for a lot of people but it’s the only path forward.