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By Mr. Curmudgeon:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel received a noisy welcome from members of Greece’s Syriza, a political coalition of radicle left-wing groups – democratic socialists, the green left, Maoists, Trotskyists and euro-communists – while visiting that country on Tuesday.
Greeks attending anti-Merkel protests wore Nazi uniforms and carried swastika-adorned flags, which they later burned. They were not protesting the German occupation of their country (1941-1944). Instead, they were angry Germany won’t occupy their nation now … financially that is.
“She [Merkel] does not come to support Greece, which her policies have brought to the brink. She comes to save the corrupt, disgraced and servile political system. We will give her the welcome she deserves,” Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Syriza coalition, told the Reuters News Service. You see, it’s not Greek democracy that is at fault, it’s the German government for refusing to underwrite Greece’s welfare-state policies with never-ending bailouts.
Index Mundi, a website that provides “the Internet’s most complete country profiles,” says, “Many investors doubt that Greece can sustain fiscal efforts in the face of bleak economic outlook, public discontent, and political instability.”
Paul Jay, senior editor with The Real News Network, interviewed Costas Lapavitsas, professor of economics at the University of London and a columnist for the lefty Manchester Guardian.
“The situation is definitely getting worse in real terms,” said Lapavitsas, “What is happening is that the country is now forced to engage in a new bout of cuts, basically, a new bout of austerity. Basically, the country will have to reduce public spending by perhaps 13.5 billion euros up to 2014. This is a very large sum for the Greek economy, a large proportion of its GDP. So the country’s being forced to do that. And to achieve this target, the government will now have to cut wages, pensions of public servants, and it will have to effectively fire a large number of civil servants, up to 150,000 people, to 2014 … Now, in the midst of this depression, the European Union is forcing the Greek government to implement vast cuts, additional cuts, in order to achieve a primary surplus by 2014. This is nonsense economics. It’s absurd. It’s absolutely absurd.”
Actually, it’s Professor Lapavitsas who is being absurd to think Greek democracy is entitled to be saved.
Greece’s public sector accounts for 40% of the nation’s GDP. That GDP is two-thirds smaller than its leading euro-zone neighbors. 3.3% of Greek GDP comes from bailouts.
From 2003 to 2007, the Greek economy grew by 4% each year due to shovel-ready infrastructure spending. By 2009, the Greek economy contracted by 2.3%, and 6% by 2011. “Eroding public finances, inaccurate and misreporting statistics, and consistent underperformance on reforms prompted major credit rating agencies in late 2009 to downgrade Greece’s international debt rating, and has led the country into financial crisis,” says Index Mundi.
Here in America, President Obama’s “47%” want the nation’s 51% and hated 1% to keep bailing out bankrupt nanny-state entitlements geared to those with no skin in the game. Oh, the joys of democracy!
Democracies around the world are running out of other people’s money. And the globe’s central bankers can’t print currency fast enough to keep pace with voter demand.
As James Madison noted, “There is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied … that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.”
In other words, the underlying assumption of democracy advocates is that any evil can be legitimized provided you get at least 51% to go along … which is how a Mississippi lynch mob operates.
There is little doubt Alexander Hamilton was thinking of ancient Greece when he said during a debate urging the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, “It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.”
That “tyranny” and “deformity” eventually leads to national suicide. What really angers Greeks is their deformed democracy can’t force another nation, in this case Germany, to join them in a friendly game of Russian roulette.