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What the Greek Situation Should Teach Us

I can't help but share a few final thoughts on the Greek tragedy. Forgive me if my thoughts wander occasionally.

There has been talk by Germany, Slovakia, and Finland of somehow forcing the Greeks to exit the euro, even though there is no legal mechanism for forcing any country to exit. The Greeks have said repeatedly that they will not be exit.

A number of lessons should by now be apparent.

  • In any contest between democracy and the neoliberal banking elite, the bankers win. That's the bottom line, for all of us.

  • Schäuble has been plotting Grexit for at least 3 years . Which means he knows the Greek debt can never be repaid, since repayment in (worthless) drachmas, post-Grexit, would never be feasible.

  • Germans are not known for their haircuts. They will not agree to one now.

  • The rich do not let humanitarian concerns interfere with business.

  • In this case, the EU is more than happy to "lay off" an entire country. If Microsoft or IBM or (name any other large corporation) were in charge of Greece, it would act exactly as Germany is acting.

  • To see how well philanthropy works in the U.S., drive to the middle of any large city and notice the number of homeless people wandering about.

  • If the super-rich were job creators, there would not be homeless people all over America. We'd be awash in jobs.

  • If America is a "land of opportunity," why do 2.3 million people (more than in any other country) "choose" the "opportunity" of being in prison? Maybe there's not enough real opportunity.

  • Countries with real opportunity have fewer -than-normal people in prison, not more.

  • Greece was allowed into the country club (the Eurozone) by mistake.

  • The Eurozone is a country club. Only well-to-do members are welcome. You must wear a tie and jacket to dinner.

  • Little-known fact: The modern neck tie is a Croatian invention, symbolizing the noose of the indentured.

  • By crushing Greece, Germany hopes to send a message to lesser countries (which is to say, all other countries) that non-Aryan ways will not be tolerated.

  • Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Ireland: You may pack your bags now. Be sure they fit in the overhead compartment.

  • Russia could very well help Greece, but it knows the rule: Wait until after the bankruptcy to buy what you want at pennies on the dollar.

  • When federal spending is 50% of GDP (as it is in most European countries), austerity doesn't work. It undercuts GDP directly. By a lot. IMF's own experience with multipliers shows that in some countries, cutting $1 in government spending results in $1.50 loss from the economy.

  • Austerity did nothing good for Greece.

  • In the future, ethnic cleansing will be conducted by purely economic means. The future begins today.