Greedy Goblin

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Smart Chinese, stupid Greeks

Greece keep getting insane amount of money from the EU, mostly from Germany. They are demanded to perform budget cuts and they do so. Yet the Greek budget looks worse and worse, now the analysts now say that there is more than 50% chance that they will go default on their loan (practically bankrupt) in 2012Q1. In the same time, despite negative expectations, the Chinese economy does near 10% growth and so good export-import balance that the USA wants to introduce some toll against them claiming that the Chinese money is artificially undervalued.

What is the difference between these countries? Surely not the quality of the government. In China there is still one-party dictatorship, even if the key members seem to be enlightened. This system failed terribly in Eastern Europe. Also the Chinese bureaucrats are infamous for their corruption, which definitely doesn't help their country. While Greek politicians are corrupted too, they are not much worse than the ones polluting the EU and USA. The Greek people are not undereducated and I'm absolutely sure that there is no "genetic laziness". The problem is not even in the tax rates, the holy grail of Libertarians and neo-cons, as the Chinese taxes aren't low at all.

The difference is in social transfers. In China, there is no pension system at all, while Greece has one of the most supportive. In China the welfare system is pretty low, practically only prevent famine, while the Greek system is large even compared to Europe.

The Chinese keep the money within the circles of productive people. The taxes are spent on infrastructural advancements (high speed railways, highways) and the army, which create at least jobs. In Europe, especially in the countries in trouble the taxes are mostly given to various inactives.

Funnily the actions made on the demands of the EU are making the economy worse, despite they make the government spending smaller. They fire government employees and sell government property, while the social transfers are not touched. This way the relative size of the social transfers just grow. The fired teachers, firefighters, policemen and even the bureaucrats did some productive work, while as unemployed they do nothing and still get money (even if less than their old salary).

The solution to save Greece is obvious: drastically cut welfare, pensions, free health care, while keeping up or even increasing the Government sector (especially the police to counter riots).

Why don't they do it? Why don't the EU demand it? Because they are all under the control of the inactives. Funnily, the corrupted Chinese communist dictators provide less of a dictatorship than the European democracies, simply because the mentioned bureaucrats are more similar to us, working people than the inactives who dominate the Western elections.

Greece will go bankrupt because the holders of the true power, the inactives will not give up an inch from their loot and want to solve the crisis by forcing their "slaves", the taxpayers to work more for less. They won't. The highly skilled will flee, the unskilled but hard-working simply can't.

45 comments:

Azzur said...

100% spot-on. I've mentioned this many times to many people that this is Greece's issue. Gevlon's post is even more detailed than mine because it mentions that in order to cut spending, Greece has cut the productive people instead of cutting welfare. I also didn't realise that Greece has a large welfare system even compared to the rest of Europe.

I believe Europe has to let Greece default and force them to restructure (i.e. reduce welfare) for I feel that they can't solve the issue now.

SiderisAnon said...

According to reports I have seen, the 10% growth of the economy in China isn't particularly real. In order to prop up that required 10% number, there are massive building projects going on around the country producing things which nobody then uses. There are cities with fractional populations, apartment buildings lying mostly empty, and shopping malls with only a few stores. There's no customers for these facilities because nobody can afford them.

Because nobody is using these structures, some of them are now decaying. In one of the news videos (from BBC as I remember, but might have been out of Australia), they showed a mall with large cracks because there was no money for repairs. The only shop in one area of the mall was a lonely toy store. There was a security guard sitting on a chair in the middle of what looked like an entirely vacant food court, sleeping through their shift.

I'm afraid, Gevlon, that your example of the Chinese is little more than a sparkly pony or vanity pet. It makes them look like they're elite, but in reality means nothing for actual capabilities.


And since you can't just build forever when you're not using things and so there's no way to pay for it, sooner or later it will catch up with China just like it has with everyone else.

Andru said...

I am also extremely wary of dictatorships reporting higher than average economic achievements.

You, having lived under communism, should know better. I am betting that China is just riding on its own bubble right now. It will be interesting to see what happens when, not if, the bubble pops.

This, however, does not change much. As bad an example as China might be, there are a lot of other countries Greece could be compared to.

Jumina said...

Yes. I read several similar comments on this topic lately. The public pension system is the biggest fail of the western democracy.

Although China is not healthy economy. Many people warn their numbers are not real.

Andru said...

Also, this estimate from IMF is interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_future_gross_government_debt

Anonymous said...

amen, except i dont think germany is paying the largest part, but i havent seen the numbers.

Ephemeron said...

It is possible to combine economic growth with high welfare, provided that you have: (a) enough oil deposits and (b) enough nukes (or friends with nukes) to keep the eagles of democracy from swooping in and taking said deposits away.

Samus said...

Not that I don't agree with your general point (I do), but perhaps you did not see the EU just came to a deal (within the last 24 hours).

More loans for Greece are approved, private banks holding Greek bonds agreed to a 50% write-down, and the EU "bailout" fund is increased to 1 trillion euros.

Greece will not default for at least another year.

Gevlon said...

@Siderisanon: the unused railroad and the empty building is still there and can be used well one day. The money you gave to the inactive is lost forever.

@Andru: They may cheat with numbers. They can't cheat the "made in China" tags that zerged OUR shops.

@Ephemeron: http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2010/02/guild-leader-and-turkmenbasi.html

@Samus: if the loaner banks had to write off then Greece ALREADY defaulted, and will get the D-mark from rating companies momentarily. They explicitly told that forcing write-offs is by definition default.

Anonymous said...

"The Chinese keep the money within the circles of productive people. The taxes are spent on infrastructural advancements (high speed railways, highways) and the army, which create at least jobs. In Europe, especially in the countries in trouble the taxes are mostly given to various inactives."

According to this list: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures_per_capita" Greece is one of the countries whith the highest military expenditures per capita in the EU. they have also one of the highest number of active soldiers per 1000 capita in the world. exceeded only by countries like Israel an North Korea. ("http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_troops). And if you look at the numbers from Eurostat, the central organization for the European statistical system you get numbers like this:
working time per week: Greece 42, average in the EU 40,3
Retirement age: Greece 61,4 years, average in the EU 61,1
average pension height in Greece: 750 € one of the lowest in the EU if you compare it to other countries in trouble like Spain(950€) or Ireland(1700€).

Anonymous said...

Or it could just be the result of letting the world banking system create money out of nothing to loan and charge interest on leaving the world now holding more debt than there exists money in the world to pay said debt.

Andru said...

@Anonymous.

Contrary to 'conspirationist' beliefs, money is not created out of nothing. Money is created as a backing for 'real' stuff that is created. When money was created out of nothing, you get hyperinflation. History is rife with examples of governments that actually thought the same as conspirationists and created money out of nothing.

As for the debt part, that is both the fault of the creditor and the debtor. If there is more debt than money in the word it simply means that the creditors were stupid enough to loan money to deadbeats who thought that they could work hard enough in the future to cover debts made in the past. Hint: They couldn't.

Or, cutting the 'money' middleman, it simply means that creditors worked in the past hard enough to support deadbeats, and now, when's the turn for deadbeats to work hard in return, they can't.

What happens? Well, said deadbeats won't get any more loans, and the guys that worked in the past will only work for themselves. This, naturally translates to 'crisis' and shrinked GDP, since the workers don't work for more people than themselves, thus, they don't create as much 'real' stuff.

Dangphat said...

If you remove state support from unemployed, elderly, disabled and other at risk of society you would achieve a number of things:

1)Increased crime, due to civil unrest and the greater pressure for the underclasses to acquire money.

2)Higher mortality rates across all bands of society.

3) A net reduction in growth due to a large portion of the economy not having any spending power.

4) Reduced tourism, as the failing state regresses in comparison to mainland europe.

5) A coup after the people realise that they are in a fascist dictatorship.

Ulrik said...

I think the problem is that Greece wanted Scandiavian-style welfare states without the tax rates. Greece has a low tax rate and is rife with tax dodging so that the state actually doesn't get much money at all.

They survived for a while because the euro allowed them to get much cheaper loans than they would have gotten on their own, but that's now coming back to bite them.

Before condemning welfare states have a look at countries which implements it properly. While Norway is cruising along, that's mostly because we had the money to implement Keynsian principles without going bankrupt, mainly (but not only) due to our oil. Sweden is in a worse spot, but then, everybody is in a tighter spot than Norway.

We're just now starting to notice the crisis properly because our export industries (other than oil) suffers due to lack of international demand.

Ulsaki said...

What's especially stupid is Greece's attitude to all this. Their country is on the verge of going bankrupt... so let's go on strike in protest of austerity measures.

Nevermind the fact that this hits them badly by reducing business and general tourism (tourism making up about 18% of Greek GDP - who wants to have their flight cancelled and get stuck?)...

And yes, you're right Gevlon, reducing healthcare and benefits costs is going to be essential. Ideally they would be able to streamline the public sector to reduce wastage but obviously it would be hard to get those people into actually productive jobs at the time being.

Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who simply do not understand economics, and only focus on what's 2 inches in front of them.

In the UK, the steps taken to simply reduce the deficit have been very unpopular... and that only reduces the problem because it's still a huge number. If the current government gets ousted and another socialist government comes in (the same government who was so wasteful a few years ago), then the UK will go bankrupt as well.

That's the problem with democracy... the idiot vote...

Jumina said...

@Dangphat

"1)Increased crime, due to civil unrest and the greater pressure for the underclasses to acquire money."

Lefties always claim this but I never saw any real example. Usually this is easily solved by people getting arms and keeping police power working.

"2)Higher mortality rates across all bands of society."

Well, the inactive will not have the free health care.

"3) A net reduction in growth due to a large portion of the economy not having any spending power."

The money the inactive get are taken from the active. They don't go anywhere so the spending power would be the same. See "broken window example"

"4) Reduced tourism, as the failing state regresses in comparison to mainland europe."

Tourist visit Egypt even today.

"5) A coup after the people realise that they are in a fascist dictatorship."

Active people will establish dictatorship when they will have no other option. And there is nothing fascist about not giving free money to inactive. Quite oposite.

Ulrik said...

Yes, the idiot vote. Nowadays idiots vote in people who want to slash all spending and sack lots of people (leading to more welfare leeches, or alternatively more hobos in the streets).

The economy is a system - and one very important part of our economic system is demand. Demand for goods and services is crashing as people have less and less money to spend, and austerity measures only make this worse. Slashing expenses and wages might make immediate sense, but the aggregate effect when everybody does it is that suddenly you can't sell anything, because nobody can afford to buy. And then you have to slash costs even more, and so on.

unheilvoll said...

Do you actually have any data from where you can claim that most part of the economy default of Greece comes from their welfare or pensions?
You didn't put any link or graph.
I ask these because I really doubt that the volume of social transfers can escalate to the point of having billions of public AND private debts, and that these debts are not derivating from a very bad management of private debts and very high tax evation (mostly from upper classes).

You keep saying that social transfers go to anywhere, I doubt it. If people get money, they spend it. The higher inflation prices are a very little cost to pay for reactivating interior consume markets in a time-crisis.

@Ephemeron

Sweden and Finland don't have any nukes or terrific oil reserves, they have a very heavy tax pressure, higher taxes. And they are rich countries.

thenoisyrogue said...

Gevlon,

You've glossed over the tax issue in Greece. Tax evasion is a major problem; if you pay tax you're seen to be an idiot. The other big problem is the number of people working in the public service and their benefits. When you spend a good 35 years allowing people to retire on a full pension for the rest of their life after working for only 15 to 20 years then sooner or later the chickens are going to come home to roost.

Italy is in exactly the same boat with the only difference being their high level of industry, which is the third highest in Europe. But this isn't going to last, as the government is doing nothing to help industry while neighboring countries such as Switzerland and Slovakia are offering real incentives for medium size Italian manufacturing and industry companies to relocate.

This is all the main reason why I got out of Europe and came back to Australia. Not that I'm happy here, I miss Europe a lot. But my wallet is happy.

Papasouzas said...

You are 100% spot on your final statement:

""the inactives will not give up an inch from their loot and want to solve the crisis by forcing their "slaves", the taxpayers to work more for less. ""

this is the core problem of our society (yes Im Greek).


A large part of the population have been enjoying unjustified favourable income for the past 20 years.

We are a country full of arthasdklolers who refuse to give up all the good stuff they have been accruing all this time.

So what do they do? They go on fucking strikes...to protect their "interests" .. and who cares about the rest of us..

And since all these idiots are actual customers of the two largest political parties who are run by even more arthasdklolers I really can't see how we can get out of this any time soon.


However, I want to comment on your proposed solutions.

Should we cut down on our military expenditure? of course yes. Will they let us? no. Germany and US really like selling us overpriced war-junk stuff with imba commissions.

Should we cut down on social welfare and by that I mean giving the ability to every citizen to be treated at public hospitals? No. this is neither the cause of the problem, nor represents a significan amount of debt.

Should we restructure and create a "fairer" pension system instead of the current fucked-up behemoth? Of course yes.

Should we increase the Government sector? That comment alone shows how far from Greek reality you are. We have many more public servants than needed (768.000 !!!!!!! ). They just don't work hard enough or are in non-needed posts. They havent fired a single soul. The only people they fired were people with 2-3y expired contracts.


To be honest I see no future with the current political and social system that is full of idiotic and incompetent participants.


Instead of cutting spending expenditure they focus on more taxes thus completely fucking up an economy already in recession.


I am so out of here...

scotth said...

I think the main difference between Greece and China is that China's economy is growing and they have more money.

The Chinese economy is very inefficient. I have been there and seen many examples of how they are wasting money. Inefficient manufacturing practices, hundreds of empty buildings and they are still building. They are still growing because labor is cheap, and other countries are trying to get into the Chinese market.

If eventually China's economy was to slow down, and they did not have huge amounts of cash laying around, they would be in trouble.

This is what happened in Greece. Greece made some bad choices, but got away with it because of an influx of cash when they joined the EU. Now that the economy has slowed down those choices are catching up to them.

Anonymous said...

@Andru
Do you know anything about basic economics?
Bank has 100$
Bank loans 90$ to X (10% is the net required atm)
X deposits them at Bank
Bank has 90$
Bank loans Y 81$
And so it goes.
Meanwhile, Bank gets the interest on _ALL_ loans: In a few years, the money can be more-than-doubled. Now, it's not the exact case that happens, but it's possible.
Arguably, any money made off interest is "made from nothing". No work has been done for it.
Loaning capital is not a work, it doesn't create wares - at best, it enables SOMEONE ELSE to create wares.

Now.
The current crysis is surely a dependant on the concept of interest itself, but Greece's problems are far from being determined from that.
The problem is that countries all around the world kept their debts too high for too long, even highening them - And that modus operandi then diffused in every business.
I'm pretty sure Blizzard itself has money in loans, on which it's paying interest - And meanwhile, they build statues at their HQs and keep filing dividends.
It's simply failure at basic economic principles - Keeping capital that is not needed.
A debt-financed economy surely has advantages, but the concept of interest, whilist being applicable easily on small particles, creates problem on a bigger scale, when the money created out of interest outscales the wares created due to the loans being given.
The economy itself is based on the assumption that capital generates more capital, without work involved.
If you don't think this is wrong, i don't know how to help you - but again, it's NOT the cause of greece's problems.

China is a bubble, and won't last more than 10 or 15 years. Then will come india.
Japan, v2.

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way. Saying that social transfers go nowhere is retarded.

Business has two ends, creating and consuming. If everybody creates, what do you get?
Yeah. '29.
In a shard of the whole economy, it can work. You can export.
In the whole economy, no. Production has to be equal to consuming.
Social Transfered money will highen consumes, at investments' damage.
And that's not necessarily bad.
Now, if you want to get out of the current system, produce as much as you can and gift it, sure... but the human race, as a whole, is too greedy/stupid to make such a thing work.

Anonymous said...

I think having a bit more knowledge about the structure of debt would help.

When 90% of debt over the last thirty years is made of interests, and only 10% of real spending, thinking that a fraction of these 10% is the problem seems a bit illogical.

And even if it was, we need the poor to keep receiving this money because they spend it all, and we don't need their workforce.

What's the interest of economizing so little money that is almost completely used to sustain a most needed consumption?

Squishalot said...

The irony of your argument is that the richest people in China are the inactive bureaucrats and the relatives of government officials. The most productive members of the Chinese society are those living in the countrysides and working the land, or those working in the factories, both of whom could be categorised as the least rewarded / closest to poverty.

There is near zero correlation between work effort and reward. That doesn't sound very goblinish to me.

Klurg said...

Bread & circus certainly contributed to the economic death-spiral that eventually destroyed the Roman Empire. As they wrecked their economy, they couldn't afford the military might that kept the barbarians at the gate.

While late Rome certainly wasn't a democracy, the government had to satisfy the mob to retain power. Unfortunately, modern democracy is subject to the tyranny of the mob as well. We'll just have to see how much power the whole Occupy Wall Street movement gains within Western governments... it's hard to tell exactly what they want, but it sure looks a lot like bread & circus to me.

Goodmongo said...

@Urlik
You make a typical liberal mistake. You assume that a government worker is actually producing something. They are not.

All dollars paid to government workers come from private workers. Yes the government worker does things with those dollars but nothing that the private worker wouldn't have done.

Some government is necessary but once government of all kinds exceed 30% of GDP there are problems sustaining it. After all why produce if we can simply write a check to ourselves?

Joshua said...

" the USA wants to introduce some toll against them claiming that the Chinese money is artificially undervalued."

I'm not sure why you are calling it a claim. It is a fact that China controls the value of its officially interantionally available currency by controlling the exchange rate to the locally usable currency forcing an artificially contrived value with respect to other currencies.

There is one other flaw in your arguement that the noisyrogue pointed out. Taxes. Greece has them but nobody pays really. In fact there is no official agency in charge of enforcing tax collection, right now they are trying to collect tax through utility bills(electricity) and most people are in an uproar.

However, to many of the complainers a very large portion of Greece's debt crisis is their social benefits, which are very good, and while its not the sole reason it is a substantial one.

Goodmongo said...

People need to understand that work effert != productive work.

I can work 20 hour days shoveling a pile of dirt from spot A to spot B and then back again. I worked really hard.

But that means NOTHING. I didn't accomplish anything. I was unproductive. Get off the crazy thought process that working hard means you should get something. You need to be productive to be rewarded.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon I will not comment on the fact that, conveniently, you do not provide any real data to support your "analysis".

It is however strange that you think China is the example to follow. According to you we should aspire our countries to become like China because they have 10% growth.
Not like Australia or Sweden or Canada or other lame countries like that. Those noobs have social support structures and high levels of democracy - sorry I meant idiot votes.

Obviously, in Greece, welfare is the root of the evil. The huge corruption and bureaucracy that sucks the life out of all healthy business has nothing to do with it. And I'm pretty sure that Island's crisis that started in 2008 was because of their welfare system too...

Wodinn said...

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/greece/indicators - in case anyone wanted some hard data. @Anonymous who implied that military spending was overly high in Greece - military spending was under 8% of total government expenditures last year. Now, military spending could still be at fault, but it's a very small piece of the puzzle at under 8%.

Dillion said...

The issue lies with placing benefits at the feet of those to follow. For instance, in American we have Social Security which was designed to aid the elderly during the great depression. It was designed based on the assumption that the population would continue to grow and that more hands would contribute to it.

Now this is somewhat right, but another side effect from the great depression was that pregnancy rates went up greatly. I mean, come on. You're having a hard time, can't get a job and life sucks. All you want to do is have a little comfort sex, for a decade.

This created what was referred to as the baby boomers. Large families of 6 or more children per house hold. They helped social security as they went into the work force, contributing their taxes but they were paying for their forefathers and not for their own future. Because their were so many of them gov't adjusted social security benefits higher than it should have for the previous generation versus saving and investing. At this stage they might have created a regenerating fund had it have been managed properly.

So nowadays, as the baby-boomers are hitting retirement the coffers are drying up because of the failure to plan. Perhaps its due to the assumption that families would continue to be bigger. Most of my friends are only children or have one sibling and the lack of contributory incomes is only just slowing the failing.

This is the pension system. Assuming that tomorrow's workers can support today's.

For all, I'd say that there needs to be some reform. Is it gonna be easy? Not likely. But we're going to continue to fall in the mud as a world if we don't do something.

Goodmongo said...

@ Dillion

You said "another side effect from the great depression was that pregnancy rates went up greatly. This created what was referred to as the baby boomers. Large families of 6 or more children per house hold. "

Boy are misinformed. The baby boom happened AFTER WW2. Please get your facts right before posting silly things like this.

Anonymous said...

What about an article "Smart Scandinavians, stupid Greeks"?

Even if you exclude Norway (rich due to oil) the other three scandinavian countires seem to be in pretty good condition, even in the current crisis. They might not have 10% growth rates like China, but considering there already very high distributed (!) wealth that would be pretty insane anyway.

I'd also bet you'd rather live in Sweden than in China if you had to chose.

In case you didn't get my point: in my opinion you are cherry-picking the countries to compare so they fit your thesis "welfare = bad". You could pick other countries to compare (Greece and Sweden for example) and have a much harder time to apply your theory. Even if we agree that Greece went way too far with their amount of public welfare, then you still have a hard time to argue that public welfare, even on a high level (scandinavian countries!) is bad per se looking at said Scandinavian countries.

Troutrouter said...

Most actives would agree that some public assistance is warranted and would be willing to pay increased taxes to support it if the government would a) cut spending where needed and b) reduce abuse of the system. If someone is receiving welfare due to illness or age is one thing, but to be multi-generational recipients due to lack of self-accountability and pure laziness is unacceptable.

Azuriel said...

As people have mentioned, the comparison is completely ridiculous. It's not even apples and oranges anymore, it's apples and roller-skates.

It may very well be that austerity measures are required to get Greece past this, but let us not pretend that does anything other than shift costs onto individuals. The demand for goods is still low, and austerity does nothing to help the 20%+ unemployment rate. Nevermind whatever other systemic problems are going on (low tax participation rates as others have mentioned, corruption, etc).

Anonymous said...

A lot of what you say makes sense but there is one thing I take issue with.

"Inactives" aren't always inactive by choice.

With modern technology it takes a lot less humans to perform certain tasks. A farm that once employed 15 people may now only employ 2-3. A factory that employed 500 may now only need 20.

Messages are delivered electronically instead of through a postal system that once sorted and delivered by hand. When you go to the supermarket, increasingly you speak to a machine to process your payment instead of person, same with your banking or when you want a train ticket. What happened to all the people who once held those jobs, are they all IT proffesionals now?

Of course the system is creaking and groaning, because it is breaking.

Eventually it will boil down to who owns machines and who does not own machines, with less and less oppurtunities for non-machine owners to support themselves financially. (With some exceptions of course).

So where does society go from here... shall we just give a death sentence to all non-machine owners and get it over and done with? That is how Gevlon's post came across. Is there a better alternative?

Anonymous said...

I'm rather surprised that no one has suggested we cut Greece loose. Why does this have to be a problem that brings down Europe and possibly the world economy ?

I can hear the bleeding heart liberals indignation at the mere suggestion that it isn't one for all and all for one.. Have we learned nothing from raiding with friends and wondering why we don't progress ?

PorceleinEve said...

For the ppl wondering "why don't we just throw greece out of the eurozone". Many reasons, but here is one. In the bank markets out there, there is a thing called CDS. It's basically insurance you buy for bonds and other debt you might or might not own. So any smuck could have gone to a bank and get themselves some insurance against greek bonds defaulting. If europe were to throw greece out, greece would default, and those insurances against greek bonds should be paid. Now imagine that the insurance on a bond can be much higher than the value of the actuall bond. So if greece has 400bil euros debt, the value of the cds on that debt might be significantly bigger. So when the banks of spain, italy, ireland and portugal had to pay those insurance policies they sold, they'd probably would be out of money, and they'd colapse, taking their respective countries with them. After that, it's a domino effect and the rest of europe follows. It would have been better for the totality of europe to just print money like the uk and us do, use 'em to lighten the debt load of all overdebted countries and throw the rest inside europe to spur growth. Austerity measures tend to shrink economies, and with your economy shrinking, your debt grows in relation to your ability to pay it off...

Stede said...

Forget right and wrong, Gevlon. Eradicate welfare, pensions, and healthcare and the disenfranchised populace will grow to critical mass and revolt.

Then there will be a default on top of political instability, and everyone in europe will lose all their money in Greece. That's the cold facts.

Anonymous said...

Would we expect an occupying army of another nation to behave differently in a nation than the nation's own army?

I imagine we would.

Would we expect deliberate looting and austerity designed to aid more deliberate looting to look different from the a nation's own government trying to build up that nation?

I imagine we would.

Do we imagine that all leaders are not identical, and do not have identical goals?

Apparently not.

In fact, it seems to be forbidden to mention that leaders could want anything but the absolute bestest for "their" nation. Apparently acting for their own personal gain at the expense of the public good is impossible.

Doesn't seem like a very Goblinish attitude at all.

Anonymous said...

@PorceleinEve

Thank you, I had no idea that CDS even existed (I'm not a finance professional). But I've just read about them and the concept is frightening. It's financially advantageous for many that Greece does nothing and defaults on its loans.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you ever touch the subject of welfare state in the scandinavian countries? Because there it actually works?

Insom said...

While i am a very old subcsriber and i found evidence of truth on your article, it seems that you did not search i n depth the Greek crisis. It's not just an economical crisis. It's a crisis of everything. I can't really explain you how huge is the gap of the reality and your opinion to reality(of Greece, always). If you ever visit Greece, you are welcome to contact me at galatix@gmail.com and i will easily turn your opinion around.

The hell you name Greece is not just a typical case of inactives' dictatorship. Wish it was. You do not seem to know what violence, terror, inequality, anger, injustice, depression really means. They don't riot just for some money they wish to save. They riot about freedom mostly. They don't care if chinese are happy that they have "money" and no freedom( you cant argue on that, really). Here they want freedom and then they will find their way to money.

Our thoughts about Greek crisis are so different it scares me. It's no point of trying to get you facts about who's right and who's wrong. Just visit Greece and you will see the difference between propaganda and reality!
Greetings from Greece, 16/11/11

canIwriteNumbers564yesIcan said...

Agree. Remove pensions and pension tax and let everyone save their own money. But how inflation will affect it? Who cares, with this system there will be no inflation! Smart people will take 10% of their increased salary and save it for pension age. Okay, I wouldn't, I don't want to travel abroad when I'm 65. I'd rather save 5% and travel now. But who cares! Or I won't save at all, and at 65 commit suicide.

Fucking briliant.