News & Analysis
Greece – Salvation by Politicians
The Reboot Greece Needs ... Greece's prime minister, George A. Papandreou, comfortably survived a confidence vote on Tuesday, momentarily stabilizing his fragile Socialist government and clearing the way for a fresh infusion of financial assistance from the European Union. But the country's economic crisis, which began at the end of 2009 when the world belatedly realized that Greece's fiscal and trade deficits were unsustainable, is far from over; in fact it has taken a new and dangerous turn. – New York Times
Dominant Social Theme: If we could all just get along ... Let the politicians lead the way.
Free-Market Analysis: Loukas Tsoukalis has written an editorial for the New York Times (excerpt above) that provides us with yet another glimpse into elite thinking when it comes to the salvation of the European Union.
It is perhaps persuasive on paper, but we would humbly submit that the laundry list Tsoukalis proposes is proof positive of the EU's dire circumstances. None of them are practical, at least not when pursued to their logical conclusion. That they appear in the pages of the New York Times and are presented as logical outcomes is further evidence of the undoing of the euro, and perhaps the union itself.
As we mentioned, the article SOUNDS reasonable, in a kind of soft-authoritarian way. He provides us, throughout, with a fear-based dominant social theme – that disaster will occur if Greece is not properly "fixed." He then suggests political solutions, beginning with a meeting of the minds of the leadership and a "government of national unity."
For Tsoukalis and many others, the EU is a grand experiment, embodying all that is noble about the human spirit. Tsoukalis has even built his career around it. He is "a professor of European integration at the University of Athens and the president of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy."
As someone who specializes in "integration" – a euphemism we would suggest for forced centralization – Tsoukalis has many ideas. He begins oddly enough (or perhaps not so oddly) with Marxian terminology, explaining that "The SPECTER of a default on Greece's sovereign debt — close to $500 billion, most of it owed to other Europeans — is haunting bankers and politicians."
Having made the requisite obeisance to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, he provides us with an increasingly apocalyptic vision of a Greek default. It could set off "domino effects" not only within the EU but beyond. "Greece, a country of only 11 million people, risks being caught in an unbreakable cycle of decline," he warns.
And while the government has succeeded in reducing Greece's budget deficit, it has not done so well as regards structural reforms, especially economic adjustments and privatization. Unemployment, he claims, remains at 16 percent. (Actually, it's probably a lot higher.)
So what's the solution? Gee, it's political. "Greece desperately needs a radical renewal of its political class; at stake is the survival of many members of that establishment. It also needs a peaceful revolution in its economy and society. But democracy takes time. The next parliamentary elections may not be very far off, but the political and economic climate has to improve first."
Tsoukalis has economic ideas as well, chief among them is "more effective tax collection." He wants to couple "effective" tax collection with the creation of a "safety net" for economically vulnerable Greeks. Then, there's catharsis. "The people who have mismanaged public funds should be brought to justice." Such an investigation is necessary, he believes, along with the creation of a national unity government.
What would a national unity government entail? Tsoukalis suggests a program of limited duration that would help restore public confidence. This is necessary in order to create sufficient support for the rest of the necessary program to be implemented – "notably the elimination of public sector jobs."
Tsoukalis is firm on this. He believes, like porridge, the International Monetary Fund has gotten it just right. "For the heavily indebted and uncompetitive economies of the European periphery, fiscal consolidation and structural reform — the mantras of I.M.F. economists — are a must."
In the final analysis, Tsoukalis demands "growth." If Greece can grow, he informs us, then problems with debt and unemployment will be alleviated. "Growth is the key," he explains. Here's the conclusion to the article:
In trying to cut bureaucratic tape, Greek politicians will need to create an environment that is propitious to investment, which has not been the case for many years. European funds for investment could bolster the determination of local politicians to proceed with structural reform.
Some in Europe are already talking about a new Marshall Plan for financially embattled countries. Solidarity with strings attached is a politically intelligent form of investment. The sovereign debt problem in several European countries, including Greece, raises the question of who should pay for the accumulated mistakes of the past — taxpayers or private creditors — and how much of the burden each country should bear ...
Greece is at a dangerous crossroads. Other countries — Portugal, Ireland, maybe Spain — are coming behind it. The consequences of excessive borrowing and consumption, of the bursting of the credit bubble, have caught up with us. If we fail to deal with them effectively, the achievements of decades of increasing integration and shared sovereignty in postwar Europe may no longer be taken for granted.
Let us summarize now. Tsoukalis wants political renewal, austerity, growth and a government of a national unity. All of this is to be imposed by Greek politicians under the watchful eye of the IMF. If the money runs out, Europe should implement some sort of civilian Marshall Plan. (Never mind that the initial Marshall Plan apparently didn't work and only retarded the recovery of Europe by distorting the real economy with misapplied capital.)
What do the Greeks themselves want? Obviously they don't want top-down austerity measures. Nor do they even want IMF aid apparently. They do want "justice" but we would humbly point out that the justice in question should inevitably rise up even beyond Greece itself and proceed to Brussels and thence to the City of London, Washington DC., even Israel. There is no doubt who is behind the wretched European Union – it is the Anglo-American axis and their world-spanning ambition for global consolidation.
Tsoukalis has a vision of European integration. It is to be implemented with rigor, led by politicians, supported by vast public works programs if necessary. We would suggest that the political will to do any of this is lacking at this point, or it would have been done. The Greek government itself is on the way out and it is doubtful that the Greeks themselves will cooperate.
As the spectacle of Greek resistance continues, it has spread to Spain and has touched both Italy and Britain as well. The truth-telling of the Internet – and of the Internet Reformation itself – is an ongoing process, not an episode. The same could be said for the unraveling of the EU, a reincarnation of Charlemagne's Frankish empire, only built on dissembling rather than conquest.
It is an entity so corrupt that EU auditors refused to sign off on the books for over a decade. Its supreme chambers operate under the principle of "insulated decision-making" which is a euphemism for the creation of arbitrary and unaccountable rulings that no one can disobey.
The EU budget has ballooned to an incredible US$500 billion a year (no Greek austerity measures here) and the leadership is now readying some US$400 million to explain itself once more to the peons. You'd think they already know. Surely the Greeks do. And the supporters of the recently successful True-Finns party as well (Finland having just essentially tried to vote itself out of the union). There will be more of these episodes, we would think.
Conclusion: There are plenty of good reasons why the EU will remain in one piece and eventually prosper. But none of them seem to be persuading average Greeks, or many other disabused Europeans either. Editorials such as Tsoukalis writes are one thing. But reality, increasingly, seems to be another.
Posted by speedygonzales on 06/25/11 12:41 AM
Since 2008 the vast majority of the Western population dream about saying "no" to the banks, but no one has dared to do so. No one except the Icelanders, who have carried out a peaceful revolution that has managed not only to overthrow a government and draft a new constitution, but also seeks to jail those responsible for the country's economic debacle.
Click to view link
The repeal of this law "ad personam", designed to allow Berlusconi not to present himself at trials under the guise of official duties, insisted that the law is equal for everyone, and especially for those who hold public office.
In this case, the victory is the result of a wave of indignation and rejection of a mindset in which those who have money and power can do anything.
Click to view link
For some time now I've been on the trail of a prophecy to David. In Psalm 89 Nathan's Davidic Covenant is sung to us by a son of Zarah. This covenant includes David having a descendent perpetually on the throne of Israel. There are no less than five other mentions of this promise to David. It was first given to David in II Samuel 7:16. "And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. I Kings 8:25 confirms with, "....There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel;..." Also, I Chronicles 17:12. "He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever." Again in II Chronicles 13:5 we find, "Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?" Finally Jeremiah states in chapter 33, verse 17, "For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;"
And it's interesting that Jeremiah specifies the "house" of Israel. This term always refers to the northern ten tribed kingdom, to whom Jesus said he sent, and sent his disciples.
There is overwhelming evidence that the monarchs of the British Isles and northwest Europe are all descended from the marriage of the Zarah-Judah-Milesian high king of Ireland and his bride the Pharez-Judah daughter of king Zedekiah, Tea Tephi. A more detailed account is on my Royalty and Jeremiah and Tea Tephi pages. For a better understanding of the whole subject area, I invite you to see all the Lost Tribes pages.
The following is a genealogy chart that appears in "Bloodlines of the Illuminati", by Fritz Springmeier. At least 25 American Presidents are related to each other. Please pay particular attention to the prominence of the Cheney family. If this is the Cheney that we know, then he and GW Bush are relatives. And the antiquity of the Cheney line explains why they pulled Dick out of retirement to help Dubya run things.
Who says the Elite don't run this country, and have run this country from the beginning?
Click to view link
Posted by KittyAntonikWakfer on 06/24/11 08:27 PM
Chuckled as I slowly made my way thru the last paragraf, thn relizd much of ths iz prt of Twittr alrdy. Howevr itz volntry - no ordrs on hi:) 1 cn alwys Twitlonger or uz othr apps. Click to view link!/KittyAntonik
Posted by David_Robertson on 06/24/11 10:04 AM
You are correct. The arbitrageurs do not cause the problem but they make money out of it. The "experts" meanwhile tell us there is an imbalance in the global economy. That is rather like saying "I see it is raining today" when it is pelting down. They do not have an answer because they cannot delineate the real problem.
I believe the condition is related to the idea of "free". Everyone is looking for something for nothing and the disease starts at the top. This builds up a debt to the Law, in Christian terminology it is sin since it is tantamount to stealing. The day of settlement is bound to arrive and the Day is connected with the declaration of a Jubilee which is God's solution to the problem, a universal re-set. No-one declares the Jubilee because by and large no-one wants to forgive anyone else of their debts so the snowball continues to roll downhill until the time of grace comes to an end and we all face the Judgement. That Final Day is now here and only a very few are aware of it.
Posted by gabe on 06/24/11 09:58 AM
what if the shipping vessel is full on the way to New Zealand and empty coming back? then the shipping costs for both ways would actualy be paid for on the trip out there and the real shipping costs for coming back are zero...low costs for shipping are not a sign that something is Click to view link just shows how cempetition can help humans innovate to do things cheaper.
It seems like you thinking as if you were a central planner and frettign that somebody should make a law to increase the costs of shipping..kinda annoying.
Posted by turbomango on 06/24/11 01:38 AM
@Col: "BREAKING NEWS : Putting "Unity" back into the EU"
Hilarious! Loved it. Thanks!
Posted by John Danforth on 06/23/11 10:51 PM
I love today's pic. Which one of the elves is that?
Posted by Dave Jr on 06/23/11 06:18 PM
"Our conclusion was that there is something seriously wrong with the world economy. We do not know what it is but it is staring us in the face every day"
An hour of human labor does not equal an hour of human labor. When separated by distance and economic systems, people don't make a case. But the difference is known and capitalized on.
Posted by David_Robertson on 06/23/11 05:35 PM
We had a very small lesson in economics today. My wife wanted to buy some netting staples. She went online to price them at two local stores, Homebase and B&Q. At Homebase they cost £1.65 while at B&Q the cost was £1.35.
Obviously she decided to go to B&Q. However I pointed out that the only reason she did so was because we are pensioners and have free bus passes. If we had to pay for the bus fare of £0.85 each way then she would have gone to Homebase which is within walking distance. Petrol at the moment sells for £1.36 per litre for regular unleaded. Even if one goes shopping in a car it is impossible to buy the cheapest item if the store is only accessible by car.
Now we discussed how much of what we buy comes from outside the UK and is flown in or comes here by ship and train or lorry all of which use petrol. e.g. We buy New Zealand honey at £2.95 yet the local honey made by 52 million worker bees in Perthshire costs £3.88. So we buy the New Zealand honey even though we know that it is impossible for it to be cheaper to collect, make and transport here than the local honey which is on our doorstep.
Our conclusion was that there is something seriously wrong with the world economy. We do not know what it is but it is staring us in the face every day. It is impossible for such a situation to continue to exist and it is so deeply rooted and enigmatic that it is impossible to fix it.
Do you think this is why the Greeks are storming their parliament? Maybe they have figured out the same thing and they see the writing on the wall for their way of life for a very long time.
Posted by Dave Jr on 06/23/11 02:52 PM
The issue is, worker pay vs what the worker can buy. A free market resolves that question minuite by minute. Centralized anything interfers and causes dislocations, and we wonder why those dislocations always benefit the same few. Meanwhile those effected, argue and blame each other, ie. the rich got richer. The PE are rotfltao. It will all catch up, I'm sure. The Greeks are their test bed, that I find very interesting.
Posted by Kriss Robin on 06/23/11 02:25 PM
Posted by gabe on 06/23/11 02:12 PM
If people really want a balanced budge then they need to start defaulting...that way there is no one standing around trying to loan Click to view link is the ONLY way any of these over-indebted governments will really stick to a balanced budget.
People really do seem to enjoy stealing from the young/the unborn/the children. It is truly amazing how many people think it is a good and "public-spirited" idea.
Posted by gabe on 06/23/11 02:07 PM
Hello Mr Wile, elves and freedom loving humans.
I had the sickening experience of listening to an hour long interview on NPR yesterday with Paul Gilding "On Point" Click to view link They played it twice on the Boston NPR station yesterday and from the looks of the Gilding website they are going to be promoting him even more later in the week.
With the semi-legitimate threats of QE2 ending(for some period anyway)and the failure of the US economy recovery and Bernankes brilliant plans...and the Fed's insistence that QE has nothing to do with Food and energy inflation(seriously).
We are seeing the obvious promotion of blame on "Climate Change" in which case we all need to pay CO2 tax to the bankers and have a more centrally managed economy(managed by democracy of course)... the other meme is that it is "speculators" that cause high commodity prices....with no hint of any question about the reasons speculators might be interested in investing in commodities(except for the smart ones who know that commodities are good bets due to climate change! :) sarc).
I kinda wish they would just print though...the deflationary period here may be pretty painful and has already caused some whipsaw losses on my part.
Click to view link is amazing how they dance around anything having to do with monetary policy and central banks. I just kinda wish that Ron Paul and the Rothbardians would make it explicit that "QE" or "not QE" isn't they right question...bad things will happen either way. We are advocating ending central banking and the government sponsorship /special priveleges for fractional reserve bankers/primary dealers etc.
Posted by Col on 06/23/11 01:59 PM
BREAKING NEWS : Putting "Unity" back into the EU
In a move to strengthen what many see as a fracturing Europe Herman Van Rompuy & The European Union commissioners have announced today that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.
As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as Euro-English (Euro for short). In the first year, 's' will be used instead of the soft 'c'. Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard 'c' will be replaced with 'k.' Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome 'ph' will be replaced by 'f'. This will make words like 'fotograf' 20 per sent shorter.
In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent 'e's in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go. By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing 'th' by 'z' and 'W' by 'V'. During ze fifz year, ze unesesary 'o' kan be dropd from vords kontaining 'ou', and similar changes vud of kors; be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil b no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drem vil finali kum tru.
Reply from The Daily Bell
This is funny. Thanks.
Posted by alexa on 06/23/11 01:37 PM
Can't help, but notice how appropriate the Greek writer's last name is: Tsoukalis..
tsoukalo (??????) means a night potty in slavonic translation. lol
Posted by amanfromMars on 06/23/11 12:50 PM
Agreed, Daily Bell. Wait and see. It's AI@ITsWork and is a bit tricky to Master in Control of Power. IT is a Labour of LOVE, no less.
Sticky Sweet Doughnuts from GCHQ Office of CyberIntelAIgent Security Systems. An Ethical Detica Gem in a Game of Thrones/Wrestle with Imagination/Grapple with Reality?
And no comment and "No Comment" on the matter is comment enough, speaking volumes.
Posted by insurer on 06/23/11 09:30 AM
"Conclusion: There are plenty of good reasons why the EU will remain in one piece and eventually prosper. But none of them seem to be persuading average Greeks, or many other disabused Europeans either. Editorials such as Tsoukalis writes are one thing. But reality, increasingly, seems to be another."
Please explain what are the good resaons the EU will prosper?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Ha, we wrote there are plenty of good reasons. We didn't say we believed any of them...
Posted by Dave Jr on 06/23/11 08:14 AM
"In the final analysis, Tsoukalis demands "growth." If Greece can grow, he informs us, then problems with debt and unemployment will be alleviated. "Growth is the key," he explains."
The Man is sheer genius. In fact he may have discovered the fountain of youth. Just keep growing. Who knew?
Posted by alexsemen on 06/23/11 06:41 AM
It is as I said , and not only me:
As you describes the situation from now on with the Greeks test-case we are entering in the Era of the New Nazi-Soviet Union . The same ideas had my self 30 years long listen in one of the former USSR satellites. But at that time the sovereignty and independence it was much greater than in this Bruxelles Soviets Union. It is time to say good by for ever to freedom and real market economy in Europe . Even the HOPE is dead in the EU Pandora Box !
Reply from The Daily Bell
Don't be so gloomy, Alexsemen. Wait and see.
Posted by Gypsy_Man'68 on 06/23/11 05:14 AM
Can you really blame the Greek citizens for not wanting aid from the IMF? Aid from the IMF would likely result in loans that Greece would find impossible to pay back and would at best delay default and restructuring of its debt, which is more than 150% of the country's GDP. As a result, the IMF would want the debt to be renegotiated, possibly resulting in agreements that lead to the country's resources being made available at low cost, selling of their public services to foreign corporations (the public sector in Greece accounts for 40% of its GDP), support in foreign entanglements, etc.