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Wednesday, July 1, 2015


The Greeks tried to play brinksmanship, and it looks as if that strategy may backfire.

Alexis Tsipras seems to see himself as wily Odysseus, tricking his enemies (i.e., people who have lent Greece money) by virtue of his superior intelligence.

In reality, he's just Bernie Madoff, selling worthless pieces of paper the Greeks have neither the ability nor inclination to make good on.

Over 50 percent of the doctors in Greece declare incomes of less than $14,000 a year. With tax avoidance so rampant (and doctors are just one, obvious example) it's not surprising that the government can't remain solvent.

I don't know what the solution is, but I certainly wouldn't be inclined to lend them any more money.

The problem is, if the European Union doesn't extend more credit, and boots them from the EU, the Russians will swoop in and lend them money. But Putin knows the Greeks are not money-good, and would only do this to get something in return: a place to put a naval base. That's a headache the Europeans don't want.

So, it's an impossible situation. All because the Greeks are irresponsible and don't pay their taxes.


Anonymous said...

I questioned what was happening in Greece, how the country could be in such a mess.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
Citizens who don't pay taxes, and a government which views own repayment as optional.

Steven said...

Some of the details in the above article are mind blowing. It's unbelievable how badly Greece has been run. Crazily inflated public sector expenditure plus widespread tax evasion. Some of it could be reformed quite easily. They rely on honesty and civic responsibility but apparently don't have much of it. Plus it seems like everyone is on the take, like in India. Add to that the 2008 financial crisis and limitations to do with having the euro and they are fucked six ways from Sunday.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Wow. Just read it. What an incredibly corrupt country. They deserve whatever they get…..short of the Muslim immigrants they actually ARE getting. Thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

Isn’t this disaster also about out of control social programs – like full retirement for all at 50?


John Craig said...

Ed --
You're absolutely right, the article linked above by Steven illustrates that. Evidently pastry chefs, among others, get to retire at age 50 with 95% of their last year of pay because of the "hazardous" nature of their work.

Unions run amok.