Thursday, March 11, 2010


I've been looking everywhere for any media outlet to cover in detail the Greek debt crisis, the root cause, and what it means for Europe (and the economy of the world at large) and I've been left feeling like a girl who gave a blow-job on the first date and has been left sitting at home waiting for a phone call.

Plenty of sites are talking about the riots, and in general terms about the debt itself, but very few are providing true analysis on the situation. In the end the best analysis I found was Wikipedia and even they are lacking.

European Debt Crisis

In the end the Greeks have no one to blame but themselves. Nobody likes paying taxes, but the Greeks make cheating the tax man a national sport. Yet while they avoid paying their fair share they are quick to demand the benefits those taxes provide.

A Greek citizen who works in a job defined as "dangerous" is allowed to retire and start collecting a government pension at the age of 50. What is defined as "dangerous"? Well, occupations such as: hairdresser, musician, and television reporter. I shit you not.

Years of weak governments and strong unions have literally bankrupted the country. Years of demanding benefits that they are unwilling to pay for.

I believe in the concepts of a mixed economy, I believe in the importance of a social safety net, and especially socialized medicine. I believe in unions that are strong enough to protect the rights of workers against ruthless corporations who only care about the bottom line and care nothing about health and safety.

I also understand that nothing is free, you need to have a strong work ethic and understand that the government being there to give the less fortunate a helping hand does not mean you get a free pass. People need to take responsibility and accountability for their actions and decisions.

Greece needs to stand up to the protesters. Frankly someone needs to turn the entire country over their knee and give them a good smack on the ass. If they are unwilling or unable to get their finances in line or at least create a plan that starts that process...

...then Greece should be expelled from the EU.

I am not suggesting they must become an economic powerhouse like Germany. They will never be that. Countries like Portugal, Italy, or Greece will never replace France and Germany as the true economic leaders of the EU. In the same way that Cape Breton or Manitoba will never replace Ontario or Alberta as the primary economic contributors here in Canada.

There will always be "have" and "have not" provinces in Canada, and there will always be "have" and "have not" states within the EU. The whole concept of this shared responsibility is that we gain more by being together (and helping the less fortunate) then by existing alone. We just need to remember that is not an excuse for a "have not" to be irresponsible.


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xoggoth said...

Not much to do with nasty neighbours but excellent post, little I'd disagree with there.

Most have no problem with reasonable sharing of wealth but they have to know that the recipients at least put in as much effort as they do, no matter how little they may actually be capable of. Otherwise it destroys incentive.

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