Image: © Пресс-служба Президента России via Wikimedia Commons

Greece ditches austerity

PM Tsipras says he’s had enough of cuts and from now on it’s spend, spend, spend.

Alexis Tsipras says he’s had enough of cuts and from now on it’s spend, spend, spend.

What it means: After eight years of austerity, or big cuts to public spending on everything from wages to pensions to building new roads, Tsipras says Greeks deserve a break. He’s promised backdated pay rises, lower taxes and increase welfare benefits.

Greece’s bailout program ended in August, which means the EU and IMF think its economy is now good enough that they no longer have to give Greece money to pay its debts. They’re unlikely to be happy about Tsipras’ plan to end austerity though, as they think the reason Greece got into trouble in the first place was that its wages were too high, its taxes too low, and its welfare too generous.

But Tsipras says the extra spending will boost the economy, and plenty of economists would agree with him. They point out that one person’s spending is another person’s income, so the more money Greeks have to spend the more jobs and business will be created to make and sell stuff for them to spend money on.

Brits, who have also spent the last few years being told that austerity measures are the best way to make them all richer, should be watching Greece’s spending experiment closely.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?