Greek drama

Embattled nation teetering on brink of further economic chaos

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They may be moving from bailouts to merely bailing out in Greece: The country has become such a drain on other countries, and so unwilling to change course, that the Eurozone may be better off without it.

“Europe’s ruling elite is now openly talking about whether Greece might leave the euro, breaking a two-and-a-half year taboo,” writes the United Kingdom’s Guardian.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a lonely voice of strength and sanity among the nations of Europe, spelled out the obvious to an audience of students this week in a very straightforward way:

“What’s completely normal to you – that you can’t permanently spend more than you take in – that applies to states as well. You can vote for whomever you like, but at the end there’s no way around it.”

Absolutely. From her lips to the Greeks’ ears.

The entire world is a bit breathless today as the Greeks try to decide whether to stay on their suicidal spending spree or turn back toward sustainability. Their decision – recent elections were inconclusive, and an additional election is coming June 17 – may help determine whether the world pulls out of its financial funk or dives more deeply into it.

And that most certainly includes the United States.

If Greeks fool themselves into thinking that 1) the rest of the Eurozone will continue bailing them out or that 2) they’ll be just fine pulling out of the euro and reissuing the drachma, then they risk falling into mass civil unrest. The contagion could spread to other European nations, as well as world financial markets – which have already been buffeted by the track Greece is on.

The situation could also spell trouble for the future of the euro itself – which, truth be known, was always on shaky ground. It’s a dubious notion that a currency could hold together nation-states that have such differing spending patterns and civil service benefits.

Nations have long flouted the laws of economics, and great empires have succumbed to that hubris throughout all of recorded history. But while economic principles remain the same, the situations change and each era grows its own set of problems. We are, as one expert noted, in uncharted territory today.

Ground zero, at this point, is Athens. And there is no easy way out.

“If Greece stays in the euro,” Nick Parsons, head of strategy at National Australia Bank, writes in the Guardian, “it faces a long, slow depression in an effort to remain solvent. If it exits, it could see the collapse of the domestic banking system, the decimation of private savings and a crippling increase in the cost of imported goods and energy.”

Some experts see a more stable scenario if the Greeks keep their wits about them – but so far they have not. In the alternative, one expert predicts “chaos.” Another predicts inflation, skyrocketing interest rates and shortages of basic goods. Several experts say unease would spread to bank depositors in Portugual, Spain and Ireland.

Making the situation more tenuous still is the fact that recent elections in France, Italy and Germany have lurched those countries away from fiscal sanity too.

When will voters – here included – understand that Western society’s spending has been unsustainable – and that, by definition, something that is not sustainable won’t be sustained indefinitely?

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dichotomy
32975
Points
dichotomy 05/16/12 - 11:57 pm
4
0
Oh, I'd say about the same

Oh, I'd say about the same time the riots start. You know, when their checks are cut in half and hamburger is $15 a pound.

specsta
6505
Points
specsta 05/17/12 - 12:41 am
9
9
The Reversal Is Overdue

Of course rampant spending is unsustainable. At some point, a reversal must be made.

For the US, that means cutting the budget for wars, halting military expansion, ending the incarceration of millions of non-violent offenders, putting an end to the military-industrial complex, eliminating corporate welfare, ending the drug war by legalizing and regulating marijuana, increasing the tax on the wealthiest Americans, and aggressively implementing preventive healthcare for all.

These measures will save the US billions of dollars in expenditures.

Additionally, free access to a college education for every child in America will exponentially increase productivity, generate new businesses and profits and will ensure that our country is educated and strong. This is an investment with an assured payoff and is the most important key to our future.

Of course, the Republicans and conservatives are only interested in the prospering of America when it happens at the expense and suffering of the American worker, the middle-class, the poor and the downtrodden.

allhans
23651
Points
allhans 05/17/12 - 02:42 am
4
2
Specta "Of course rampant

Specta "Of course rampant spending is unsustainable. At some point, a reversal must be made".
At least I agree with that one statement..then there you go.

The voters will stop voting for them when the wage earners are no longer able to pay for the "free" goodies the politicians hand out as if was their own money to give away, and that time will come. Sooner, rather than later if we don't have a change in Washington.
The warnings are all over the place....
Keep your eye on the debt counter (which you won't hear Obama and Biden mention..I wonder why).

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 05/17/12 - 05:14 am
5
0
We are in a denial stage,

We are in a denial stage, grief will be next. This country's economic system will die if the national debt isn't soon improved. In a very short time we will not be able to pay for ANYTHING but social security and medicare. Once interest rates start to go back up, we won't be able to pay the interest on the debt. Everyone should look up this fact.

Obama can't even get a budget passed now. We are dysfunctional and running on borrowed time. But don't worry, the checks won't stop coming to all the recipients as we are able to print money. They just won't be worth anything.

carcraft
25868
Points
carcraft 05/17/12 - 05:47 am
4
3
Total Spending $6.3 trillion

Total Spending
$6.3 trillion

Pensions
$1.0 trillion
Health Care
$1.1 trillion
Education
$0.9 trillion
Defense
$0.9 trillion
Welfare
$0.7 trillion
Here is US government spending, as you can see welfare is almost as much as defense, pensions is second highest and between pensions and welfare we spend twice as much as on defense. I wonder how long before Obumbler’s “green energy” program lead the pack. Here is the source, so quite ranting about the “military industrial complex and wars etc. I am ranting about the teachers union welfare complex. At least the military industrial war complex defends us. The welfare class produce nothing and the politicians keep giving them more to keep voting for them! http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/ here is my source, those are 2012 figures!

carcraft
25868
Points
carcraft 05/17/12 - 05:52 am
5
2
Any time you try to cut the

Any time you try to cut the spending the Democrats scream "Shoving Granny over the cliff" When inflation is 12-15% per year and hamberger is $12/pound and gas is $10/ gallon granny will starve. The cuts are in rate of growth and actually don't cut programs! Have you seen the Pelosi video of her doorman in New York across from the welfare office. You those people need a hand out, like I need more cancer!

nofanofobama
6825
Points
nofanofobama 05/17/12 - 06:09 am
5
1
we will be comfronted with

we will be comfronted with the spector of greece when our non-taxpaying citizens and over promising politicians see that their neighbors have run out of money..then they will get it..a healthy dose of responsibility and a lot less greed and envy will be the only thing that saves us..

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 05/17/12 - 07:32 am
4
2
You might want to click

You might want to click "Federal" on the website. It looks like you have "total" and are confusing the total amount spent by federal, state, and local governments as being solely federal.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 05/17/12 - 07:34 am
4
2
Also figures after 2010 for

Also figures after 2010 for State and after 2009 for Local are "guesstimates".

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 05/17/12 - 07:43 am
6
6
I notice that a poster above
Unpublished

I notice that a poster above states

"For the US, that means cutting the budget for wars, halting military expansion, ending the incarceration of millions of non-violent offenders, putting an end to the military-industrial complex, eliminating corporate welfare, ending the drug war by legalizing and regulating marijuana, increasing the tax on the wealthiest Americans, and aggressively implementing preventive healthcare for all."

Nowhere did he/she mention cutting ANY entitlement spending, and as a matter of fact, suggests that we have MORE entitlement spending in the form of "free" college.

I have learned in the past, also, that any time someone uses the term "military industrial complex", that their point will be so biased that one can usually just ignore it.

seenitB4
87285
Points
seenitB4 05/17/12 - 07:45 am
4
2
Hold on

I think of the song Hold On .....cause it is coming here......ya better grow that garden NOW!

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 05/17/12 - 07:46 am
4
2
Surely anyone who follows US

Surely anyone who follows US politics knows the Federal Budget isn't $6.3 trillion. That should have been a pretty big tell that something was off.

justthefacts
21876
Points
justthefacts 05/17/12 - 07:46 am
5
3
Major on minors

Yes, Tech, pick the numbers apart. Whistling through the graveyard.

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 05/17/12 - 07:50 am
5
3
Techfan, there is no federal
Unpublished

Techfan, there is no federal budget and hasn't been one for 3 years. That should have been a pretty big tell that Techfan was off.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 05/17/12 - 08:02 am
3
3
Pick the number apart????? Go

Pick the number apart????? Go to the dang webite. You can see the number for Total, Federal, State, State and Local, and Local. The number he gives are for ALL government spending in the US addded together. I've used this site before, you just have to follow the simple directions to pull up what you want. Federal for 2012 is $3.8 trillion, not $6.3. There are budget resolutions (which set a framework for spending, taxes, etc.), which have not passed and appropriations bills (where the money is actually spent) which have. Please read up on how the government works.

justthefacts
21876
Points
justthefacts 05/17/12 - 08:07 am
4
2
Oh, OK

We're good then. Let's party like its 2099....

harley_52
23355
Points
harley_52 05/17/12 - 08:18 am
5
2
Unfortunately, "the people's"

Unfortunately, "the people's" fears are placated by a major political party eager to use government spending to keep them in a state of contentment with the free goodies and the free cash the government provides them. It's much like an unscrupulous doctor who keeps his patient medicated with narcotics just so that patient will continue to keep the doctor employed. Ultimately, the narcotics (aka government spending) will result in the death of the patient. Remember the Michael Jackson case?

Can the patient recognize what's happening and break the cycle before it kills him? I kinda doubt it. The political class has been buying votes with taxpayer money for a long time. I don't see that changing. What's catastrophic in today's situation is that the Party holding the power actually wants to destroy both our Constitutional government and our Capitalistic economy. To them, overspending, wasting money, bankrupting the Country, and social chaos are all methods. They're all part of the plan. Obama, many serving in his Administration, and many on the democrat side of both houses of Congress want to see political and economic chaos, social revolution, and a new social order (socialism/communism) replacing what we have today.

That's what people really need to comprehend and stop. But when those leaders keep them medicated with the narcotics of "free" goodies and cash, and keep them soothed with lies and false promises, it doesn't look promising, I must admit.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 05/17/12 - 08:27 am
3
4
And the wealthly and

And the wealthly and corporations keep medicated with tax and labor laws that allow them to control politicians and the entire political process to destroy our Constitutional government and lead us into plutocracy and corporatocracy.
"I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in it's [sic] birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws our country."

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 05/17/12 - 08:30 am
0
0
NATIONAL DEBT
Unpublished

Hey Spec, you conveniently avoided mentioning cutting and eliminating entitlement programs that are bleeding our nation dry. Millions of Americans have no pride, and are perfectly happy letting others work and pay the bills. "If more people are piling onto the wagon, and letting fewer and fewer push the wagon, the wagon is gonna break!"

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 05/17/12 - 08:59 am
1
2
Military Industrial Complex

That phrase is a tip off that the person you are talking to probably listens to George Noory and votes Ron Paul.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 05/17/12 - 09:05 am
1
1
Economic Warfare

I am wondering what the Eurozone countries are going to do to Greece if they decide to default on their loans. Would we see an actual physical takeover or would it simply be massive tariffs on everything coming out of Greece? Given that the Greeks just voted to give 21 seats in their Parliament to a neo-nazi party and the economics following WW1 in Germany gave rise to nazi's, are we looking at much the same set up for another large scale war in Europe?

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 05/17/12 - 09:53 am
3
3
Shea_Addams writes:"Nowhere

Shea_Addams writes:"Nowhere did he/she mention cutting ANY entitlement spending, and as a matter of fact, suggests that we have MORE entitlement spending in the form of "free" college."

Anytime I see a poster decry entitlements I must take umbrage especially since the entitlements I get are hard earned over years of service to the nation, honest labor thereafter all of which was taxed and paid. And I'm not alone in that sentiment. This jealousy of those of us who have earned our entitlements is BS and you know it. I don't live "high on the hog" on my Social Security and Army pension. We have a modest home still paying for(servicemen and women by and large move a lot and end up still owing on a home much later in life than do most folks). That so-called free lifetime medical all of us were promised as part of our service agreement is now costing us cash on a quarterly basis and there is a serious move afoot to raise that by a considerable amount. Even if that doesn't come about, I get to play rob Peter and pay Paul when I see medicare deducted from my modest military pension. If I could see more service for the cash, I'd feel better about it, but my benefits will not increase.

Now, we see the State of Georgia making a move to take pension money away from tired old men and women servicemen existing in the lap of luxury state nursing homes. Where is the honor in that?

As for free education, yes I'm all for it, so long as it is a common sense approach that teaches useful skills especially in the better paying blue collar trades, or professional skills such as medicine. That is a true investment in this nation's future and one that is sorely needed. We need young productive taxpayers who are not burdened by these ridiculous student loans, who can contribute to the growth of our tax base and return their decent earnings to the economy. Not just exist on Ramen noodles and hot dogs out of their parents basements.

Most importantly we must have National Single Payer Health care. I'm happy to see the Affordable Health Care act being challenged in court. It was only a half step in the right direction and will cause a decade in lost progress towards the right thing for all Americans.

Now if you want to really attack entitlements that aren't earned, by all means do so. Step up to the plate and ask why government has a no compete policy towards the purchase of needed drugs for our seniors. That's big pharma's ENTITLEMENT. Boy, I sure would like to run a business where I can charge the government(people)whatever I think is right with no recourse and especially after I used government grant money to develop the product.

Should we go to the farm subsidies, or the tax breaks given mega oil companies? Farm subsidies are a prime example of good intentions gone bad, although the cynic in me says it was always intended to happen that way. Ask any small farm owner who has seen generations of solid American work ethic go down the drain and sold off to the food conglomerates who cash their ENTITLEMENT checks on a quarterly basis.

Of course any of us could have questioned all the no compete contracts that Dick Cheney's outfit, Haliburton got for the questionable at best Iraqi adventure, while the man was the sitting vice president of our nation. But, nothing but the best for our troops and if you can make a HUGE profit on it why not. That's all heart there Uncle Dick-or at least we've bought you a new one.

The mean or at least uneducated greedy folks that spout entitlement this and entitlement that, are by and large talking the code of Nixon's famous "Southern Strategy" and anybody with a lick of sense knows it.

There will be charges of Socialism to this post. So what? I'm in good company with the likes of that Greatest Socialist of all time, Jesus Christ Himself.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 05/17/12 - 09:50 am
0
0
shea adams says "I have
Unpublished

shea adams says "I have learned in the past, also, that any time someone uses the term "military industrial complex", that their point will be so biased that one can usually just ignore it."

http://www.h-net.org/~hst306/documents/indust.html

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 05/17/12 - 10:10 am
2
1
No one is talking about
Unpublished

No one is talking about EARNED entitlements "retired army." We are talking about medicaid, welfare, food stamps, free cellphones, etc. etc. ad nauseum. These are things that people do absolutely NOTHING for yet feel they are still entitled to it. End THAT or at least restrict it so that it is not a way of life.

Nice to envoke Jesus's name. @@ The bible also says that he who will not work SHALL NOT eat.

burninater
9583
Points
burninater 05/17/12 - 10:19 am
2
0
Bruno, European neo-nazis

Bruno, European neo-nazis don't have control of the means of production like the German Nazis did -- they're more analogous to our own leftist anarchists or rightist militias. Like our homegrown versions, the extent of their political and economic power basically ends at the level of being a national embarrassment. Within Greece, they could pose more of a problem, considering they've gained some -- but still exceedingly minor -- political validation.

The likeliest scenario if they choose default is removal from the Eurozone, and even that's uncertain. The recent vote was essentially against austerity measures, and the future direction of voter sentiment will likely take Eurozone removal much more seriously, because then the issue will be austerity vs return to the drachma. It's likely that most Greeks understand that as bad as austerity is, life under the drachma was worse ...

justthefacts
21876
Points
justthefacts 05/17/12 - 10:54 am
2
2
Pharma Issue

RA is quick to point out Cheney as a culprite, real or not. Notice, no mention of who caved in to the Pharma issue he noted in order to get their endoursement of Obamacare. His "street cred" takes yet another hit.

nofanofobama
6825
Points
nofanofobama 05/17/12 - 10:54 am
4
3
RA please christ was not the

RA please christ was not the greatest socialist of all time.scripture doesnt support that mission...shea adams is right ---because there is an envy of those who have wealth..unfortantly a socialist defintion of rich is anyone who has more than i have and therefore its owed to me..earned retirement is earned...entitlements are usually some assistance that has grown over the years to become a lifestyle..we have spent trillions on the war on proverty and only created a larger dependant class...this has to stop**people have got to grow up and take care of their own business..

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 05/17/12 - 11:30 am
3
0
:O

"military industrial complex" - a coin termed by Dwight D. Eisenhower towards the twilight of his presidency. Arguably one of the most rabid liberal wackos in American history.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 05/17/12 - 11:53 am
2
0
I believe the "MID" came from

I believe the "MID" came from Ike's last State of the Union speech. Who the heck is George Noory and what's the big deal? Did a quick Google and got the Coast to Coast but what's his schtick? If it's like anything else on AM radio it's probably not worth listeng to.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 05/17/12 - 12:11 pm
5
2
What? No defense of the

What? No defense of the "Corporate Welfare" so predominate in America's society?

Just those ad hominum attacks on the imagined individuals that are seen buying steaks and lobster with their food stamp cards and then being followed to the parking lot to watch them load up the Escalade or if you prefer Crew Cab F250. That is what I mean by code for "Southern Strategy".

It is so much easier to attack the poor than go after the real criminals of society. You won't get much of a fight from the poor. Nor do they have the financial resources to shove their way to the trough via bought and paid for Congress critters.

By the way, Jesus had much to say about caring for our neighbors and the less fortunate. Sell all that ye have", "Store not up treasures", healing the sick, Hell, even raising the dead that they might care for their mothers. Stuff like that. If Gospels are to be believed He most certainly was a socialist in every sense of the word, because He asked no recompense for his work. I do believe some of the worst of man are the "Prosperity Jesus" hypocrites.

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