Tuesday, 14 July 2015
Greeks, lefties and Muslims constantly seek victimhood.
The spectre of Eurozone (EZ) countries allegedly ganging up on poor little Greece has been a huge emotional thrill for lefties. It has enabled lefties to play the role of heroic saviors of downtrodden Greece.
In fact lefties are so keen to be seen as saviors that they’d probably pay you good money (on the quiet) to trample on people so that they can be seen to come to the rescue of the downtrodden.
In the case of Greece, clearly a high price has been demanded by the EZ in exchange for lending yet more money to Greece. But then if you lend to someone who has a reputation for dishonesty, what else do you do? Greeks are the world’s experts at cheating the tax authorities. Plus they cheated their way into the EZ in the first place. “Beware of Greeks…” as the saying goes.
But there’s a very simple way for Greece to avoid the high price involved in borrowing yet more money: it’s Grexit, i.e. reverting to the Drachma.
And would reverting to the Drachma be a big problem? Well I don’t remember any horror stories about life in Greece last time Greece used the Drachma rather than the Euro, i.e. prior to 2001.
And are there big problems involved in a small country having it’s own currency? Not that I know of. Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, Denmark and Bulgaria all have their own currencies. Bill Mitchell (Australian economics prof) doesn’t think that Grexit involves insuperable problems. See here and here.
As for Bulgaria, you probably haven’t even heard of its currency: it’s called the “Lev”. And the Lev is in fact becoming popular in Greece. The moral is that people will use just about anything as money as long as the relevant form of money is not run in a totally incompetent manner.
Grexit means responsibility.
But of course the big problem with reverting to the Drachma for Greeks is that running your own currency involves a measure of RESPONSIBILITY, and Greeks hate responsibility. Cheating is their real skill.
I’ve actually pointed out to a number of lefties who have been advertising their saintly concern for Greece on Twitter that Greece has an easy alternative, i.e. the Drachma. But those lefties couldn’t be less interested.
As I said, the main objective for lefties is to be SEEN AS saints and saviors. Whether they actually do any good for those they claim to save is sometimes of little interest to them.
Apart from the adrenalin rush that comes from being seen to be downtrodden, the Greeks have another motive for staying in the Euro, as follows.
If you have your own currency, you definitely have to pay your way in the World. In contrast, if a country joins the EZ, it still IN THEORY has to pay its own way: the EZ is certainly not a charity. However, once in the EZ, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to borrow large amounts, second, fritter way that money, the third, then plead poverty and renage on your debts.
Greeks have been cheating their creditors for a good two hundred years. They obviously have a keen nose for sucker creditors. And you’ve almost got to admire the Greeks for that: if some twit creditors want to lend you loads of money without doing due diligence, why not rip them off? You’ve nothing to lose!
And if you can then plead poverty and rip them off some more, even better!
Greek and German wage increases.
Another reason for not feeling sorry for the Greeks is the in the decade after joining the EZ, Greeks awarded themselves wage increases totalling 53% in terms of Euros. In contrast, Germans awarded themselves 16%. That’s according to this OECD source.
Now why am I supposed to feel sorry for a bunch of people who award themselves a big pay increase and fund that by borrowing up to the hilt? An individual person or entire country can do that if they want, but the price will be a period of cold turkey.
But that’s not to say Germans are 100% innocent. Inflation in that decade in Germany was around 1.5% which is below the 2% target: that’s a bit too spartan and hair-shirt. But the Germans only missed the target by 0.5%, and that’s not a crime against humanity.
Democracy has been destroyed?
A final tear jerking and heart rending problem that lefties are in floods of tears about is that what they call “democracy” has been downgraded in Greece. That is, the people of Greece now have less of a say in their own future.
Well if by “democracy” you mean the right to vote yourself piles of other peoples’ money, I’d favour withdrawing democracy from Greeks altogether.
Moreover, lefties don’t seem to have realised or are pretending not to realise that joining the EU or EZ or any similar organisation inevitably means a loss of sovereignty. Indeed, there are constant complaints in the UK (where I live) about the loss of British sovereignty to Brussels.
If lefties haven’t noticed those complaints, they must be blind, deaf or extremely stupid.