Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Greece: Bailout Handling Still Moronic

This is a quote, in this article, from an economist in Greece:

"It's lunacy," said Yanis Varoufakis, an economist at Athens University. "Greece should default, and the European Union should finally accept and deal with the inevitable, instead of pushing it under the carpet, like children trying to avoid being spanked."

A second Greek bailout, he added, would "just throw good money after bad. What's the purpose of getting an additional loan when it's unlikely Greece will be able to repay it?"

Greece's people (most of whom are union and/or public service employees, or retired) are protesting the terms of the new bailout funds as unacceptable. Public opinion in Greece of the country's leadership is rapidly declining. Public opinion of the other EU countries and their leadership is also souring. Many people in Greece don't want to accept the austerity measures the other EU countries are insisting on, and most seemingly have no interest whatsoever in enacting reforms to fix Greece's broken and bankrupt economic system.

The other EU countries are fighting a losing battle for no good reason. It's akin to convincing a drug addict to give up drugs and get clean, when the addict can still get drugs, and doesn't even admit a problem. Meanwhile, the addict is lashing out at you more and more, because you're trying to take away their drugs, the thing they value the most, for no reason they can currently fathom. The people of Greece clearly cannot even comprehend that their country is bankrupt, much less that their socialist entitlement system has led them to this point. Heck, the EU is only asking them for the metaphorical equivalent of showing up to a treatment facility to get their fix, which they are still willing to give them, and even that is so burdensome as to provoke mass protests.

What the heck is the problem? The Grecian people don't want a bailout. The EU people don't want to throw more of their good money after bad. The bond holders certainly don't want to take a haircut without concessions, at least "voluntarily". Nobody wants the years of legal wrangling that trying to legally categorize a default as a "voluntary write-down" would likely entail. Greece will not be able to fix themselves until the people realize how fundamentally broken their entitlement-laden socialist system is, and that cannot happen until they experience a full economic collapse. There's absolutely no benefit in trying to shove a bailout down their throats, and a whole lot of downside.

Get with the program, EU people: figure it out, cut you losses, and make sure your sides of the border are secure. I'll wager the people will be a whole lot more receptive to your conditions after a year or so of hyper-inflation and social unrest. Plus, there's a small chance they might learn something too, which is not only good for them, but could be good for the EU in general.

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