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Austerity feeding public discontent in Europe

13 Comments
By Laurent Thomet

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The existing system is on life support. Change is inevitable world wide. We really have two choices. 1. Allow the continued concentration of wealth and power in the few while the masses suffer. or 2. Change the system and start a new renaissance of economic, political and social life for the majority of people on this planet.

Capitalism, as it is, is determined to exploit we working people for everything while enriching the few. It is ignoring the dangers to the environment and it has excluded most of us from having any meaningful involvement in the political process. When are we going to say enough is enough?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Greece and the EU are socialist societies, whatever vestiges of capitalism are left are not the cause of the current disaster. Rather it is the bloated government payrolls and dole lists expanded for 50 years now in the name of "fairness" and the government employees paid big euros the shuffle the papers that are bankrupting Greece and all of Europe. Only the somewhat more capitalist German economy has not succumbed, likely it will be dragged down anyway. The US is on the same course, one more term of 1.5 trillion dollar deficit per year will have us broke too.

All of this is of course on purpose, the meaningful political process mentioned above will the the bloodbath of the 1917 Revolution in Russia, or the 1960 orgy of firing squads in Cuba. Beware what you wish for, "meaningful involvement" is really only the opening for murder.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

edardoe, seriously? Where have you been?

Did socialists in the EU create the banking crisis? Did they create the American housing crash that helped precipitate the current problems? Did they create rating agencies that now carry so much power to damage national economies? Did they drive the current issues with currency?

I suppose your very loose definition of "Socialism" extends the right wing imagination to include nearly anything that does not boil down to American style Libertarianism. Afterall, that is the only economic model your world seems to understand, a weird misinterpretation of Christian values where Jesus says, "Get your own bread and fish peasants, I'm not sharing."

Debit was encouraged by capitalism since the close of WWII. Encouraged, promoted and supported by left and right wings of capitalist states all over the world. And forced upon everyone else.

Capitalism is murder. Murder of culture, murder of people through poverty, starvation and disenfranchisement. Capitalism is also falling over on itself and must be replaced with something that works better for humanity.

Like it or not change is here. How we deal with it is what really matters. It is like the 1930's all over again. We can choose a positive solution or let the world decline into totalitarianism and war.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do these protests happen in China?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Recipe for disaster, Greek style;

avoid paying taxes at all costs. Never mind the 'official' taxation rates are high, in reality you don't need to pay them. fail to reproduce, thus ensuring the pension system has no future contributors insist on retiring at 52 years old, and classifying jobs such as hairdresser as 'dangerous' spend more money than you take in for decades

None of these are problems of capitalism. They are problems of greed, laziness, self-entitlement, and reluctance to wean ones selves from the government teat.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

None of these are problems of capitalism. They are problems of greed, laziness, self-entitlement, and reluctance to wean ones selves from the government teat.

They are problems of liberal democracies. The tendency is to increase services without increasing revenue. The old bread and circuses problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the death of Keynesianism

That can't come quick enough. That dude's (Keynes) book, and the application of his failed ideas has done more damage to free society in the last sixty years than any other idea or "ism."

And Japangal, yes, these protests happen in China on a regular basis, at about a hundred a year. They're just not in the papers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So the Greeks basically have two choices.

Take the pill and accept the bailout package and work on the economy, or tell everyone to shove it lose pensions and lose jobs. Looks like they are choosing the latter as a way of telling their "banking masters" to eff off, because clearly they are just trying to suffocate the life out of Greece.

Ok, yeah, spite yourselves to prove a point.

as elbardoe said, it's the people's fault anyway. I mean, c'mon, a streetsweeper making nearly as much as someone who studies 8 years of medicine, really? And what's with hairdressers and their "dangerous work" categorization in order to be eligible for retirement at 50yo. That and cooking the books (if there were any books at all) for 40 years is how you bankrupt a country and then wonder what the hell happened. Then, of course, don't look at yourself in the mirror, but accuse the banker-cum-boogeyman of having it in for you.

Everyone was playing their fiddle whilst the country was going bankrupt for decades. But, apparently, for the land of Euclid and so many other mathematicians, accounting was more of a "bourgeois concept" and could not be bothered to balance their budgets.

I mean, how can you manage a country where the state only recovered about 60% of what was owed in taxes. A place where the black market economy was on par with the above board economy?

It's a recipe for disaster. But they just ignored it. Someone else will have to figure a way out of the mess. Well, the pied piper has come acalling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan Gal, I think China did have some recent similar turmoil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Scenes of burning buildings and street battles in Athens offer a violent reflection of growing weariness among Europeans at the austerity-first philosophy sweeping Europe.

Mindless destruction is not a recipe for positive returns. There are those who don't seem to understand that the party, the free ride, does not last for ever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sure to the Greeks aren't protesting a system that protects them as much as the grift and corruption that expedited this crisis.

It's probably not fair to talk about them like they're petulant children who want a free ride, despite what you see on tv. The politicians and corporations aren't accepting their fair due and that will make people angry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is that famous phrase "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts"....I suppose the modern version is "Beware of Greeks wanting gifts"--as in free benefits without the taxes that requisite taxes.

Looks to me like the roosters are coming home to roost for Greece, and the EU as a whole. A pointed reminder of what happens when successive governments shirk their responsibilities and pile on the debt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oops-typo in the previous comment--should just have said "fee benefits without the requisite taxes"

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