Monday, July 6, 2015

Next Up: Greek Limbo

All of us peasants just want the Greeks to be kicked out of the Euro so we can get on with our lives. But James Delingpole doesn't think so. Because, as was true of the Soviet Union, you are not allowed to leave the Euro or the EU.

That's because "we" are the Ruling Class of educated experts and "we" will decide when it's time to go.

The annoying thing about Syriza and the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is that they know exactly how to play against the educated ruling class. They would, since they are part of it. Educated lefty experts.

Incidentally, why aren't people calling them "fascists?" They are blaming foreigners and Jews. They have a "stab in the back" myth. And they seem to think that they can do anything they like to the economy. Let's see. A socialist is a lefty pushing class warfare. A fascist is a lefty pushing race warfare. A progressive is a lefty pushing identity politics warfare.

Let's look at all this through my microscopical lens. In which any government is an armed minority occupying some territory and using the usufruct (the right to enjoy the use and advantages of another's property short of the destruction or waste of its substance) of the people that live there to reward its supporters.

Oh, maybe "usufruct" is too tame a word, since what governments typically do is use the peoples' property and destroy it as well.

The way this racket works in the modern age is that politicians bidding for power offer potential supporters benefits and pensions. They they win. Then they enact pensions for their supporters. Then they run out of other peoples' money. Then the fun begins.

The fun in the Greek case is that the Greek governments have been playing the game perfectly for 20 years. They entered the EU on a lie, but a lie that perfectly aligned with the needs of the politicians, to offer their voters more benefits. Then in 2009 the whole thing went belly up. But not completely, because Greece was able to take advantage of the EU ruling class's need to keep Greece in the EU. They could continue their unsustainable pensions by borrowing more money from the EU ruling class.

How unsustainable? Rich Galen has the numbers:
According to Eurostat, the EU statistical arm, Greece leads the EU in percentage of GDP that goes to pay pensions: 17.5 percent. Although we think that every dollar we earn is going toward someone's pension in the U.S. that number is about 6.8 percent of GDP.
The thing to remember is that the Greek leaders are not in the same boat as the Greek voters. They don't care if the pensions can't be paid. They'll find some other gig somewhere. And meanwhile they are having the time of their lives winning elections, running plebiscites, tweaking the noses of the rich uncles in Frankfurt, Berlin, and Brussels. Emile Zola already had that figured out over a century ago in Germinal. Community organizer, name of Etienne, comes into town, organizes the striking miners, leads them to sabotage the mines, then skips town as the miners face starvation.

And the same goes for the politicians and bureaucrats running the EU (and the US). They don't care about you and me. It's not their money. Their pals will give them a gig, somewhere, somehow. And if they don't it was all great while it lasted. Power is the great aphrodisiac, said Henry Kissinger.

And the band plays on.

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