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Politicians, I am afraid, are out of fashion.

Everything being a "technical issue" or a "private issue", is essentially the denial of democracy.

Leave things to the specialists, they say.

by cagatacos on Mon Nov 7th, 2011 at 03:34:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What, you want to leave it to the greedy voters and the greedy politicians who play them for fools.

I'm seeing a lot of people thinking in the box, just like they did after the end of the Great War.

How'd that go for you? You're forcing yourselves into accepting the man on a white horse.

Greece has a lot of curable problems, but none of the cures involve a pony for everyone, now or ever.

Is anyone here going to stop bashing the austerity drive? It's actually the right solution, but it has to include everyone, almost a communist system. Ready to think about that seriously, or are your minds closed?

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Tue Nov 8th, 2011 at 01:46:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece has never had anything but austerity.
by Upstate NY on Tue Nov 8th, 2011 at 10:48:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I heard the Greek 1% is not so bad off. Somebody needs to buy the villas, yachts, and apocryphal Porsches.
by asdf on Tue Nov 8th, 2011 at 11:31:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Greece's, it's always been about the 10%.
by Upstate NY on Tue Nov 8th, 2011 at 11:34:45 AM EST
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Which is really the basic problem for the country. If the elite paid its taxes and abstained from corruption, the man in street would as well. And then you wouldn't need austerity to balance the budget.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Nov 9th, 2011 at 05:37:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But, the fact is, Greece collects 40% of GDP in taxes. It has very high taxes paid by a disproportionate amount of its citizens. I keep seeing Greek tax evasion as a problem of justice and fairness inside the country.

Outside the country, though, people tend to take the sum total of the evasion (say 30% though officially it's 25%) and subtract that number from the debt. They don't realize two things.

  1. The Euro tax evasion average is 19% and the USA average is 17%, so the savings for Greece would be 6-12% of GDP.

  2. Any additional amount collected from the rich should be used to reduce the extraordinary debt burden on the classes and jobs that pay. So, the net would stay the same.

I would also mention that shipping, the oligarch's domain, is untaxed except for tonnage tax on the ships, and the shipowners are largely paid in long-term capital gains (i.e. selling stock). This also means that while shipping is a significant part of GDP, it does not add much to taxes. so the tax revenue to GDP number appears slightly skewed.
by Upstate NY on Wed Nov 9th, 2011 at 07:08:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ormondotvos:

Is anyone here going to stop bashing the austerity drive? It's actually the right solution, but it has to include everyone, almost a communist system. Ready to think about that seriously, or are your minds closed?

Even if it included everyone I would not agree, because what austerity means is to underuse the one resource we have plenty of. It is also a underutilisation and destruction of capital as it is not maintained.

What we need is to use less raw materials, in a way that optimises useful output/resource used. That means letting people work and taking care of the capital we have.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 8th, 2011 at 02:27:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death:
What we need is to use less raw materials, in a way that optimises useful output/resource used. That means letting people work and taking care of the capital we have.

i agree with both of you. if austerity were a burden shared fairly, all the cuts would not be on services for the weakest parts of society, pensions etc.

the real austerity, as you cogently point out, needs to come with regard to our profligate waste of precious resources, and our criminally irresponsible, ecocidal sidebarring of green initiatives in favour of the vested interests of fossil fuel producers and middlemen, who have captured the political forces responsible for guiding us towards a wiser energy policy and greater environmental awareness.

so you're both right!

 

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Nov 8th, 2011 at 02:50:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ormondotvos:
It's actually the right solution, but it has to include everyone, almost a communist system.

What we are seeing is the usual neolib "reform" ie wage depression. It doesn't include everyone, it favours the plutocrats, it is nowhere near a communist system, and, yes, we'll go on opposing it, thanks.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 8th, 2011 at 02:38:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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