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Forum Post: Greece as Victim By Paul Krugman

Posted 1 year ago on June 18, 2012, 7:01 a.m. EST by flip (4995)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Ever since Greece hit the skids, we’ve heard a lot about what’s wrong with everything Greek. Some of the accusations are true, some are false — but all of them are beside the point. Yes, there are big failings in Greece’s economy, its politics and no doubt its society. But those failings aren’t what caused the crisis that is tearing Greece apart, and threatens to spread across Europe.

No, the origins of this disaster lie farther north, in Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin, where officials created a deeply — perhaps fatally — flawed monetary system, then compounded the problems of that system by substituting moralizing for analysis. And the solution to the crisis, if there is one, will have to come from the same places.

So, about those Greek failings: Greece does indeed have a lot of corruption and a lot of tax evasion, and the Greek government has had a habit of living beyond its means. Beyond that, Greek labor productivity is low by European standards — about 25 percent below the European Union average. It’s worth noting, however, that labor productivity in, say, Mississippi is similarly low by American standards — and by about the same margin.

On the other hand, many things you hear about Greece just aren’t true. The Greeks aren’t lazy — on the contrary, they work longer hours than almost anyone else in Europe, and much longer hours than the Germans in particular. Nor does Greece have a runaway welfare state, as conservatives like to claim; social expenditure as a percentage of G.D.P., the standard measure of the size of the welfare state, is substantially lower in Greece than in, say, Sweden or Germany, countries that have so far weathered the European crisis pretty well.

So how did Greece get into so much trouble? Blame the euro.

Fifteen years ago Greece was no paradise, but it wasn’t in crisis either. Unemployment was high but not catastrophic, and the nation more or less paid its way on world markets, earning enough from exports, tourism, shipping and other sources to more or less pay for its imports.

Then Greece joined the euro, and a terrible thing happened: people started believing that it was a safe place to invest. Foreign money poured into Greece, some but not all of it financing government deficits; the economy boomed; inflation rose; and Greece became increasingly uncompetitive. To be sure, the Greeks squandered much if not most of the money that came flooding in, but then so did everyone else who got caught up in the euro bubble.

And then the bubble burst, at which point the fundamental flaws in the whole euro system became all too apparent.

Ask yourself, why does the dollar area — also known as the United States of America — more or less work, without the kind of severe regional crises now afflicting Europe? The answer is that we have a strong central government, and the activities of this government in effect provide automatic bailouts to states that get in trouble.

Consider, for example, what would be happening to Florida right now, in the aftermath of its huge housing bubble, if the state had to come up with the money for Social Security and Medicare out of its own suddenly reduced revenues. Luckily for Florida, Washington rather than Tallahassee is picking up the tab, which means that Florida is in effect receiving a bailout on a scale no European nation could dream of.

Or consider an older example, the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, which was largely a Texas affair. Taxpayers ended up paying a huge sum to clean up the mess — but the vast majority of those taxpayers were in states other than Texas. Again, the state received an automatic bailout on a scale inconceivable in modern Europe.

So Greece, although not without sin, is mainly in trouble thanks to the arrogance of European officials, mostly from richer countries, who convinced themselves that they could make a single currency work without a single government. And these same officials have made the situation even worse by insisting, in the teeth of the evidence, that all the currency’s troubles were caused by irresponsible behavior on the part of those Southern Europeans, and that everything would work out if only people were willing to suffer some more.

Which brings us to Sunday’s Greek election, which ended up settling nothing. The governing coalition may have managed to stay in power, although even that’s not clear (the junior partner in the coalition is threatening to defect). But the Greeks can’t solve this crisis anyway.

The only way the euro might — might — be saved is if the Germans and the European Central Bank realize that they’re the ones who need to change their behavior, spending more and, yes, accepting higher inflation. If not — well, Greece will basically go down in history as the victim of other people’s hubris.

114 Comments

114 Comments


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[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 1 year ago

Not sure why the author picked on Mississippi.

They are not a low productivity state since they have a lot of oil industry workers. Their productivity rating using the regression approach is 0.973. If it were not for the moratorium in the gulf since 2010 and the lack of permits released for the past few years it would be even higher.

As for Florida, all the seniors that moved down there payed into a NATIONAL Social Security system since 1935 so of course they are pulling from that system. Why would Tallahassee make they payments?

[-] 1 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

maybe true in lots of cases, but it think he is pointing out the problem with the euro - no? as to mississippi don't know but i assume he did his homework - is it worth the bother?

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 1 year ago

Well the Greeks did not pay into a Euro system since 1935 like the folks in Florida so I do not agree with the analogy. They Greeks have into their own pension system so they should pay out of their own system.

As for Mississippi, he did not do his homework. The European Union as a group ($32,700 GDP (PPP) per capita in 2010) ranks below Mississippi ($32,764).

[-] 1 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

he did not compare mississippi to europe but to american standards! here - "It’s worth noting, however, that labor productivity in, say, Mississippi is similarly low by American standards — and by about the same margin." - as to social security and unemployment etc you don't seem to get it - you are making his point. that is why the euro is a flawed currency! and your point in all of this - just to take up my time?

[-] 1 points by Clancy (42) 1 year ago

Europe has created a holy shit storm for themselves

[-] 1 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

yes they have - the whole economic system is built on sand - theirs and ours - resource scarcity is coming and we will find out what we have done.

[-] 1 points by Clancy (42) 1 year ago

Were in a better spot then they are now but we aren't close behind with the way Obama is running things.

[-] 1 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

you think romney would do better?

[-] 1 points by Clancy (42) 1 year ago

He's not perfect but some things he will do will help but even then it is still pretty bad. There is no perfect answer in the election.

[-] 2 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

like what will he do?

[-] 1 points by Clancy (42) 1 year ago

He will lift restrictions on natural gas mining which is affecting global supplies of helium and other resources and more state controlled programs will bring more cash flow to state governments as well as prioritizing wellfare to people who actually need it. To many people abuse it and that costs lots of money.

[-] 1 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

you have lost your mind if you think welfare is costing lots of money - weren't your eyes open when bush did the 700 billion for goldman etc. and how about a few wars and the "normal" defense budget. and for what - aircraft carriers to protect us from?? bin laden and the boys - don't think so. sure nuclear submarines should stop those terrorists! welfare costing us money - get a grip man. i will leave the nat gas for another day but you need to talk to someone else - i am not an obama fan. we need a third and forth party but your gop shit doesn't fly!

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Good post!!

In the US we give our banks larger bailouts than the states.

"The total lending for the Fed's "broad-based emergency programs" was $16,115,000,000,000. That's right, more than $16 trillion. The four largest recipients, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, received more than a trillion dollars each." - Alan Grayson after the release of the GAO audit of the Federal Reserve

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11696.pdf

Unlimited resources for the banks, and nothing for the 14 million out of work and the 50% of the nation's population making less than 26,000 a year, a dollar amount becoming harder to live on due to inflation and rising costs of everything.

[-] 1 points by Shule (1521) 1 year ago

Spain's debt is roughly about $100billion with 47million people. Roughly that is about $8500. Personally I don't understand what the big deal is regarding finances in that country.

Greek debt is roughly about $500billion with 14 million people. Roughly that comes out to about $150thousand per family. That is bad, but consider this:

U.S.A. debt is something over $15.7trillion. With 300million people, for a family of four that comes out to roughly $210thousand owed, and most families in the U.S.A. don't have a dime in their savings accounts, or a job to pay for it. Now, who is in real trouble?

I think a lot of those Europe crisis are manufactured to divert attention away from the real problem.

Of course in each of these countries there are enough super rich folks that if they paid a little more tax, and played fewer magic money games these debts could easily be made to go away.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17690) 1 year ago

The Greek 99% are actually being ritually sacrificed at The High Altar of 'Bankster Ponzi Finance Kaputalism' & are being forced to suffer extreme austerity, deprivations & hardships, purely to maintain just for a little while longer - 'The Illusion of Pan-European and International Banking Solvency'.

The reality of 'Innovative Financial Products" ; of Mortgage Backed Securities, Collateralised Debt Obligations, Credit Default Swaps (apparently 'Insurance Contracts on Debt Default' but actually just bets!) and other such "Derivatives" - are fast catching up with 'International High-Finance Crapitalism'.

All this Unconscionable BS is based on and "derived" from the buying and selling of Compound Interest Bearing Usurious Debt, which up until now was 'controlled' by the totally artificially induced 'Business Cycle' {the ritualised regular contraction after the expansion of 'the economy' and 'money supply'} - but now the ever 'geometrically increasing' Compound Interest, means that there is Actually Not Enough Money In The World To Pay All The F*cking Debt & Interest !

The Abstraction that is "£MoNeY$" has now abstracted itself into the notional 'cyber-hyper-reality' of 'Credit' and 'Debit' via The Tyranny of Electronic Double Entry Bookkeeping, such that almost all of us Everywhere are ensnared in The Mysterious, Magical, Mythical Money-Matrix ... so .. We All Need To 'Swallow The Red Pill, Unplug' & Take A Good Look Around !!

For example, The Greeks need to reclaim their Democracy from their own Treacherous, Quisling 0.01%, who have sold their country to The International (in this case mainly Franco-German) Scum Bankster Parasites. They should Immediately Default ; Offer a maximum, notional and honourable 1:10, 10% on their Onerous and 'Odious Debt' ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odious_debt ) ; Reinstate The Drachma ; Demand A Referendum On These Matters ; NATIONALISE THEIR CENTRAL BANK & currency issue and reclaim their Country, Democracy, Integrity and Sanity !!!

I recommend this clever, insightful and useful individual and his website = http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/ as well as The Excellent Documentary Film, "INSIDE JOB" : http://documentarystorm.com/inside-job/ . In The UK, this year - 2012 'AD', is "The Diamond Jubilee" - 60 years of the now 86 year old Elizabeth Saxe-Coburg Gotha, Battenberg (Windsor) being 'HRH Mrs. Queen' & it's a Olympic and Leap Year too. Thus, wherever it is that WE are in The World, WE should all start to remember realise and reclaim the concepts of "The Jubilee", which is an Old Testament word for celebrations and festivities arising from the regular, every 49/50 years, remission of all debts & indentured bondage !!

Back then The Wise Ancient Israelite Elders knew and understood that 'Intergenerational Permanent Debt Bondage' was a very bad thing and to be actively avoided. Sons could pay their fathers' or even grandfathers' debt but that anything else was really Servitude & thus Unconscionable !

SOLIDARITY to The Greeks and to 'The 99% Wage Slaves in Debt Bondage' - Everywhere and further :

Radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

Viva Greece and ..

Ζήτω η Ελλάδα !!

[-] 1 points by Growup5 (-84) 1 year ago

Turn the machines back on! Borrowing money is never supposed to end!

Want solidarity with Greece? Buy one of their bond issues at 100 cents on the euro. No? Then shut the fuck up thinking someone else should.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17690) 1 year ago

Right, I'll be your huckleberry now ! What's your point numbnuts ?!! Or would you rather 'STFU' ?!!!

[-] 1 points by Growup5 (-84) 1 year ago

Your rambling retardedness doesn't excuse a deadbeat nation. Sure, you can borrow and steal, but that game has its limits and that limit is now. Austerity isn't a choice. You don't just choose to have the value you want to continue to spend and give away. It has to be created and earned. In this they fail.

I hope those fuckers do leave the Euro. They'll deserve it. I'd love to see them try to buy pharmaceuticals from a Swiss company trying to use Drachmas. LOL. The government employees deserve it though. Here you go, Drachmas, happy now? LOL. Good thing we don't have austerity and government can go back to spending whatever the fuck it wants to. You can't buy anything with the currency, but good thing it isn;'t austerity. But wait, getting less purchasing power in Drachmas is the same thing as simply having taken the deal for fewer Euros in the first place. Too late.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17690) 1 year ago

Drachma ; Smachma - "What's in a name ? That which we call a rose - by any other name would smell as sweet" !

You sound potentially incapable of any reflection upon "The Theory of Money" and appear to have totally overdosed on The Ruling Paradigms and unable to even rationally contemplate 'Money Not Generated By DEBT' !!

You sound apoplectic & fit to pop - so in deference to your 'Cardiac Health', I'll let you calm down & get back to you another time - maybe !!!

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by Growup5 (-84) 1 year ago

More rambling retardedness. Yeah, OK, money isn't real, blah, blah, blah. Greece fucked itself because it borrowed too much and the people they were borrowing from finally cut them off. Now they think austerity is a choice, but no matter what path they pick, they'll all have less subsidy. So, austerity it is. I hope they do pull out of the Euro. It'll be hilarious to watch.

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 1 year ago

If this "slizzo" sleaze account isn't being used to pump for Bill O'Reilly, then there's a random slam at Krugman.

Too bad there's no way here to filter out comments from shills and auto-shills.

[-] 2 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

you have to admit it is a very thoughtful reply from mr sliz - lots of facts and logic to bolster his argument

[-] 3 points by OccNoVi (415) 1 year ago

auto-shills leave poop all over the left-center sites. This one doesn't play defense.

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 1 year ago

Krugman walks right up to the edge of this financial Grand Canyon:

-- "Greece, although not without sin, is mainly in trouble thanks to the arrogance of European officials, mostly from richer countries, who convinced themselves that they could make a single currency work without a single government."

Then he stops. He refuses to look over into the Abyss. For in the events of 2000-2003 that led to the real mess in 2006-2012, there was a sovereign power that happened not to be a government:

-- "Brussels, Frankfurt, and Berlin" gets three of the main locations correctly.

-- "European Central Bank" names a major player. Who holds the puppet strings on ECB is more to the point -- ECB has no independence.

-- If you need to look into the Abyss, you will see the German banks and their cousins who engineered the Euro Boom to bring Germany and northern Europe out of it's 2000-2001 recession.

Governments are powerless in these games. This is a Game of Thrones where the scepters are held by private parties, Lords of Finance all.

Note that Krugman casts no blame on the heads of state. He dislikes lying. Krugman may or may not understand the actions of ECB in 2000-2003, but he surely does know that Gold Rules.

[-] 5 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

"Governments are powerless in these games. This is a Game of Thrones where the scepters are held by private parties, Lords of Finance all". - a bit overstated seems to me. we shall see who wins - democracy or capitalism. the people won in a similar fight during the great depression - at least to a large degree. they did that by frightening those who hold power. we mostly agree but how this all shakes out will depend on what the people of greece, spain and italy decide - in the end the people and the governments have the power if they choose to use it - finance does not control the state - unless the people allow it. which way the generals and the soldiers go is the bottom line. a war of propaganda is underway and information is power! gold standard and fiat currency are under discussion and where it goes nobody knows!

[-] 2 points by OccNoVi (415) 1 year ago

Elected officials have no independent power bases to speak of. There is nobody in view with any part of the status that Franklin Roosevelt achieved.

Consider Cameron in the U.K.

We got feral cats that come up on the porch... so I call one of them "Cam" cuz he's begging like a pol sucking up to Murdoch.

[-] 1 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

i agree but just pointing out that it does not have to be so

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 1 year ago

Sadly, our election finance laws say otherwise.

Big money also sends out armies of low-pay saboteurs to turn natural movements -- Tea Party, for one -- into False Front anti-liberal distractions.

Beating back the SOBs is a holding action until we get a better SCOTUS. The Justices are in the bag. Citizens United is a greater threat than anything this democracy has been up against since the Revolutionary War.

Strategy and tactics. What to hit and how to hit it. We need to score on both.

Anybody here whining about Obama either doesn't understand the game or else is a shill.

[-] 4 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

this is all true but look at bolivia - much more difficult system - you could be killed for organizing voters but they elected an indian. it can be done! we need occupy times 10 - or maybe 100

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 1 year ago

You sound like Ben and Jerry.

[-] 3 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

don't follow them - do they mention morales often. if bolivia can do it what would stop us?

[-] 2 points by OccNoVi (415) 1 year ago

The ice cream guys.

[-] 4 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

i have eaten their ice cream but i have no idea what they think - and your thoughts on bolivian democracy - do you know how they did it?

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 1 year ago

The real answer there is the Roman Catholic Church.

They got religion back a ways. Competition from the Evangelicals does that.

[-] 1 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

you have no idea what you are talking about - keep it up though - it is amusing

[+] -4 points by RealityCheckReDKA (-22) 1 year ago

You forgot the False Front anti-conservative distractions like MoveOn.org and the 99% Spring:

http://open.salon.com/blog/watchingfrogsboil/2012/04/15/is_99_spring_co-opting_ows_into_our_corrupt_2-party_system

And anyone here "whining about Obama" can whine equally about Romney, Clinton and Bush. They all answer to the same masters:

http://open.salon.com/blog/watchingfrogsboil/2012/05/18/americans_have_3_choices_bushbamney_third-party_or_nobody

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 1 year ago

MoveOn and 99% Spring are what they say they are. That's the opposite to the meaning of "False Front."

Centerist pro-capitalist is still different from pro-fascist. Prescott Bush would have cheered this SCOTUS.

[-] -3 points by RealityCheckReDKA (-22) 1 year ago

This is a lie:

"99% Spring are what they say they are."

The rest is spin.

[-] 4 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Indeed, moreover Krugman's analysis is spot on. Imagine if we were a collection of states with no real central government to speak of (meaning our pension systems and other social welfare programs were exclusively funded by individual states, and not by our entire nation). Imagine how our weaker states would be performing under this scenario. Well, you don't really need to imagine, just look at Greece (and you would see this story repeated in states like Florida and Mississippi). In fact, one would think the only option for our weaker states, would be to leave our senior citizens and poor hanging out to dry (or more accurately stated, starving). The only irony is our weaker states tend to be our more conservative states. The states who are on the receiving end of this wealth transfer are deluded into thinking they would be better off without money from the taxpayers of stronger states, like New York or Massachusetts or Washington state. I guess we know how Mississippi would treat its citizens if these federal programs didn't exist, one only needs to look at the performance of their so called education system, or try to imagine how Mississippi would treat its African American citizens if left to their own devices (well, again, we really don't have to imagine, just rewind to pre-civil rights).

[-] 0 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 1 year ago

Sounds like there's a fellow Truther in da house! Am I right? Am I right?

Sir Truth Hurtsalot

[-] 1 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

i didn't catch your meaning or get your drift

[-] -1 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 1 year ago

I know a Truther when I read one!

[-] 3 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

well i try to tell the truth but are we talking about 9/11 sine i don't really have a dog in that race - are you another version of socrates reborn?

[-] -2 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 1 year ago

socrates reborn? I'm not sure what you mean. Always nice to meet another Truther though. Keep up the good fight!

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (17690) 1 year ago

'SirTrashyLiesALot' - verily doth one detect thy odious stench and thine malicious, mendacious and manipulative 'worm tongue' !!! What sayest thou and what be thine dark purpose on these threads ?!! Ahead of thy specious response, be sure that all here will think that "the lady(boy) dost protest too much", dolt !

verum ex absurdo et temet nosce ...

[-] 0 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 1 year ago

???

[-] 0 points by commonsensefolks (-55) 1 year ago

Why are the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain) in trouble and the Germans aren't?

Look no further than the fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant.

[-] 2 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

did you read the article - do you know that the greeks work much longer hours than the germans - and who loaned the pigs the money and why is germany able to export so much. do you know the answers

[-] -2 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

Krugman is a joke. This is further proof.

[-] 3 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

see above for my thoughts on your response - just like all the other right wing crazies on this site - you make pronouncements with little behind them. that probably works on the tea party crowd - why not work their website?

[-] -1 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

Diversity! (in everything but thought)

Real intellectual, fascist.

[-] 2 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

what you are doing is not thought - it is shit throwing

[-] -1 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

You either missed or deliberately avoided the point.

Google "krugman wrong" and be overwhelmed by his laughable record.

Enron....he worked for Enron up until they collapsed. No comment on that?

[-] 3 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

not in any way relevant to what was posted. we are all wrong many times over - does that mean we are wrong every time? he is not my favorite economist - too capitalist for me but he is mostly correct here and enron or the nobel have nothing to do with it! point out where exactly he is wrong in this instance or just stop. either way would be ok with me.

[-] -2 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

He ignores the profound cultural differences between Greece and, for example, Germany. The folly of joining the two in an economic union is so obvious to anyone who isn't a slave to pc, mindless multi-culti thinking. As a DNC economist, he must tow the line and not admit this truth, so he lazily strawmans the opposing argument (aka, reality) by claiming the Greeks aren't lazy. No one is saying they are lazy, but they are quite different from the Germans when it comes industriousness and thrift.

To deny this would require a trainload of reasons why they allegedly (laughably? where's the evidence?) work longer hours and yet industry giants like VW-Porsxhe-Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW were all founded and are located somewhere else.

He also displays his pitiful hard-on for Texas (the state that's is crushing lefty NY and CA with economic freedom he despises) with the long-ago debunked claim that the S&L crisis was one state's fault.

Krugman is full of shit.

[-] 4 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

and since you are so smart i am sure you can tell us all how germany benefits from the euro - go ahead i will wait.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the average Greek employee works 2,017 hours per year, more than their counterparts in any other European country. The Dutch, on the other hand, work on average 1,377 hours per year – the least amount in all of Europe. Germans work 1,408 hours a year – the second least amount in Europe. Of course, working more hours doesn’t always equal more productivity. Even if Greeks are working many more hours than Germans, the OECD finds that the Netherlands and Germany are the most productive countries in Europe). ........and does the productivity have anything to do with capital intensive industry and technology - the marshall plan perhaps - we rebuilt germany while we stepped on the necks of the greeks. i am sure you know the history of greece post ww2. do you?

[-] -1 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

Snce you didn't bother to respond to what I wrote, you'll be waiting an awfully long time. Unless, of course, you have the intellectual honesty to concede the point,

I won't be waiting for that.

This is typical of 9/11 truther debate. Make a demand, get an answer, realize you have no response, and ask another question. Time to grow up, kid.

Regarding the working hours, you proved my point. Greeks aren't lazy, but the difference in industriousness and thrift is evermore clear with your stats. Thanks for that.

[-] 2 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

where did 9/11 come from? the german economy would implode if the euro broke up - i agree that the euro was doomed from the start and who pushed so hard to make it a reality - who twisted arms and called for election after election until they got the result they wanted - the greeks, krugman, the dnc (i am no fan of the dems)? and texas - poor texas - paul doesn't like them - sorry if that makes you unhappy - all of this has very little to do with what he said. and i am the one who doesn't respond properly!

[-] -2 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

I said you are arguing like a 9/11 truther. I explained it. Was it too complicated to understand?

Yes, based on the rest of your response, it was.

Unless that was the strongest confirmation you could put together that I pointed out a flaw in krugman's piece that you agree with. Zooming way out from the specific point you tried to make, that I made a baseless assertion, is yet another tactic typical of truthers that often occurs when the assertion is proved to not be baseless at all. The tires on that goalpost must be worn thin like baloney skins by now!

[-] 4 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

really now - let me break this down for you - point #1 -No, the origins of this disaster lie farther north, in Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin, where officials created a deeply — perhaps fatally — flawed monetary system, then compounded the problems of that system by substituting moralizing for analysis. And the solution to the crisis, if there is one, will have to come from the same places.

#2 - So, about those Greek failings: Greece does indeed have a lot of corruption and a lot of tax evasion, and the Greek government has had a habit of living beyond its means. Beyond that, Greek labor productivity is low by European standards — about 25 percent below the European Union average. It’s worth noting, however, that labor productivity in, say, Mississippi is similarly low by American standards — and by about the same margin.

3 - On the other hand, many things you hear about Greece just aren’t true. The Greeks aren’t lazy — on the contrary, they work longer hours than almost anyone else in Europe, and much longer hours than the Germans in particular. Nor does Greece have a runaway welfare state, as conservatives like to claim; social expenditure as a percentage of G.D.P., the standard measure of the size of the welfare state, is substantially lower in Greece than in, say, Sweden or Germany, countries that have so far weathered the European crisis pretty well.

4 - So how did Greece get into so much trouble? Blame the euro.

Fifteen years ago Greece was no paradise, but it wasn’t in crisis either. Unemployment was high but not catastrophic, and the nation more or less paid its way on world markets, earning enough from exports, tourism, shipping and other sources to more or less pay for its imports.

Then Greece joined the euro, and a terrible thing happened: people started believing that it was a safe place to invest. Foreign money poured into Greece, some but not all of it financing government deficits; the economy boomed; inflation rose; and Greece became increasingly uncompetitive. To be sure, the Greeks squandered much if not most of the money that came flooding in, but then so did everyone else who got caught up in the euro bubble.

And then the bubble burst, at which point the fundamental flaws in the whole euro system became all too apparent.

5 - Ask yourself, why does the dollar area — also known as the United States of America — more or less work, without the kind of severe regional crises now afflicting Europe? The answer is that we have a strong central government, and the activities of this government in effect provide automatic bailouts to states that get in trouble.

Consider, for example, what would be happening to Florida right now, in the aftermath of its huge housing bubble, if the state had to come up with the money for Social Security and Medicare out of its own suddenly reduced revenues. Luckily for Florida, Washington rather than Tallahassee is picking up the tab, which means that Florida is in effect receiving a bailout on a scale no European nation could dream of.

Or consider an older example, the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, which was largely a Texas affair. Taxpayers ended up paying a huge sum to clean up the mess — but the vast majority of those taxpayers were in states other than Texas. Again, the state received an automatic bailout on a scale inconceivable in modern Europe. ok, got all of that -seems to me he said the euro was flawed - did you read the piece - did you understand it - have you refuted any of his main points? i can make it more simple for you if needed. maybe you are eating too much baloney!

[-] 0 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

tldr

[-] 3 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

too old to know text speech but whatever you just said it is not a good response - this was your most intelligent reply and it was not good as you can see from reading the points i posted above - "He ignores the profound cultural differences between Greece and, for example, Germany. The folly of joining the two in an economic union is so obvious to anyone who isn't a slave to pc, mindless multi-culti thinking. As a DNC economist, he must tow the line and not admit this truth, so he lazily strawmans the opposing argument (aka, reality) by claiming the Greeks aren't lazy". - give up!

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

What's wrong with his analysis? I mean, specifically? Let's see if you can patch together an intelligible objection, which relies on data and an actual understanding of simple economics (not internet pseudo-babble from stupid-kookoo land).

[-] -1 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

Simply put, he has invented Democratic Party Economics.

And he was an economic advisor to Enron. A total fraud,

[-] 3 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Oh come on, who you think you foolin?? You wouldn't know economics if it jumped up and slapped you upside that empty fucking head of yours (duhhh, the democrats must have bribed the Nobel prize committee into awarding Krugman the Nobel, oh know, it's a giant socialist conspiracy, the blacks and communists are teaming up against me and Ron Paul, what do they have against good old fashioned cousin fucking anyway) :)

Is that a banjo playing in the background, or just shit rattling around the empty space between your ears? Things that make you go hmmmm.

[-] -3 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

Yasser Arafat also won a Nobel Prize. For peace. And their decisions impress you?

Wanna buy a bridge, dummy?

[-] 3 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

You look more idiotic every time you open your pie hole.

[-] -3 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

Yes, now about that bridge. Do you want the undercoating? It's normally $150,000 but we're running a special on it today. Only $90,000. You're smart enough to know you don't want to miss this sale. Act now, truther.

[-] 6 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

What the hell is a "truther" dip shit?

[-] 1 points by vvv0619 (19) 1 year ago
[-] -3 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

Must be so easy for you to play dumb

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

And it must be much harder for you to actually be dumb, my sympathies.

[-] 1 points by slizzo (-96) 1 year ago

I wouldn't know. But since you're an expert, why not share your maudlin tale of truther woe.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

easier than looking everything up

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 1 year ago

The Peace prize has long been known to be a political gift.

However their decisions in the sciences, math, and economics have been very conservative.

Maybe Einstein should give his Nobel Prize back as he didn't deserve it?

[+] -4 points by delayedgrat (-157) 1 year ago

Can Krugman answer a couple questions? Why is every flat surface, every wall, pole, rail, bench, sign in Athens totally covered in gaffitti? Same wih Thessoloniki? Why are wild packs of dogs roaming the streets?

Greeks are slovenly loathsome people.

[-] 3 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Why do people in Mississippi score the lowest in terms of education, intellectual aptitude, etc.? Why do so many people down there live in virtual squalor, trailer parks that look like some shit out of mad max? Why is the deep south (Arkansas, Mississippi, etc.) such a cluster fuck of a society?

So should we call these people a bunch of loathsome white trash pieces of human shit? Through federal social welfare programs, we transfer wealth from our rich states, to our poorer (and more chaotic) states. To have a common currency without the sort of centralized social welfare programs we have here in the US, was a disaster waiting to happen (which was Krugman's point).

Imagine if we told states like Mississippi and Florida that we can't afford to pay out social security checks anymore, no more Medicare, no more food stamps, etc., do you think they have the wherewithal to pick up the tab themselves?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Good questions - as that is the heart of the so called Bible belt. You might think it would be the best that our society has to offer - except - In my opinion - people are relying on someone else to tell them what is and what should be and are not putting in the effort to learn the truth or live the truth for them-self.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Hmmm, the better part of me knows that people are the result of everything they're surrounded by, an immersion in a certain way of thinking (pretty much from birth), and many didn't have the good fortune to become intellectually inspired at some point (and so much depends on accident of circumstance). In my view the best way to improve society is through education. I think everyone should understand at least Newtonian physics, algebra, trig, at least a little calc, a good general philosophy course, biology, chemistry, history, maybe statistics, and a good cultural anthropology course couldn't hurt either :)

You'd have to assume that an intellectual people would be more difficult to rule.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

I think you might have meant misrule/misgovern.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Nope, just rule in general (smart people don't need to be governed very much).

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Good people who are smart.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

I guess this segways into the relationship between behavior (moral choices) and intelligence (very debatable subject I suppose).

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Well you can have smart people who are totally rotten. You can have self absorbed smart people. You can have apathetic smart people.

Put it this way smart people can run the gamut of possible social and anti social. Just like we have today.

Unfortunately a lot of the anti social types have the money and power at this very point in time.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

On average, there's a strong correlation between education level and propensity for criminal activity. This is also true for domestic violence, drug addiction, and a panoply of social problems. The number of Wall Street crooks who may be highly intelligent pales in comparison to all the scientists, good lawyers, doctors, teachers, engineers, psychologists and sociologists, anthropologists, architects, and scholars of every sort, on this earth.

However, it is true that most crooked politicians are probably pretty intelligent, but only because they can get away with it, and they can only get away with it because most people are poorly informed. Sort of a vicious circle, but I think it's pretty clear that if most people simply had a well developed intellect, we would have far less problems.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Yes an educated - critically thinking population is to be desired.

See also UD's post as this is also related to the excellent video shown there. Sorry Republicans -- these are the facts!

See my post as it is also related:

Society fails when the people are removed from the process.

The ills of society can be complex. The causes of the ills - not so much.

[-] -1 points by delayedgrat (-157) 1 year ago

Worse yet, a blithering elitist. You are plain miserable in your own skin. What earthly good could calculus hold for anyone? I took calculus, chem, physics, etc and i use none of them, and i am a surgeon.

Intellectual people are the easiest to control. Jews have a great tradition of intellectual thought, and they meekly marched into the gas chambers.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by delayedgrat (-157) 1 year ago

You really hate America. I suggest you leave, and soon. I was in Delacroix, louisiana 2 months ago, Cajun, bayou, supposedly white trash, and the fishing guide never locked his boat house with $1000s of electronics, boat hardware, fly rods, his car, nothing locked. Those people feel safe in their homes. Good hardworking people.

Your characterization is bullshit. I was in Athens, the place is a vermin infested pigsty, pickpockets everywhere, graffitti everywhere, Athenians fear for themselves.

Basically "fuck you". You hate America and need to leave. All you do is lie to make America look bad but we arent buying your BS.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Urrrr, did that make you feel better? Ahhhh, tribalism, the old trusty emotion trigger of the masses :)

Now, if you only learned to redirect that tribalism towards the entire human race, we might be able to call it altruism. Don't be afraid to open up that mind.

[-] 0 points by delayedgrat (-157) 1 year ago

And no denial of your hatred for America. We now know who you are and why you post here.

Having been to both the Deep South and Greece and within months, You cant fool me. I have also been to Ireland, England, Germany, Italy, France and Turkey, and all make Greece look 4th world.

Krugman is a liar and another self loathing American, as are you.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Question, did you ever serve this country at war inbred? Or too busy fucking your cousin and eating Twinkies?

[-] -1 points by delayedgrat (-157) 1 year ago

I am waiting for your denial that you hate America, that you are not a self loathing sycophant Paul Krugman boot licker.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

I guess the answer is no eh? No worries, judging from your psychobabble, the military wouldn't have taken you anyway.

Let's hear more from the intellectual midgets foundation (I bet that propeller on your tin foil hat is spinning like a mother fucker right about now) :)

[-] 3 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 1 year ago

Socrates, Plato, Hippocrates, Ptolemy, Sophocles.... there would be no modern western civilization without Greece.

Your lack of respect shows who is really loathsome here.

[-] 0 points by delayedgrat (-157) 1 year ago

My lack of respect?! Comical!!! Hilarious!! There is graffitti on the Acropolis. I was there last year. They dont even respect their own heritage.

My post stands. Sorry if you dont like truth.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 1 year ago

Graffiti has been around for thousands of years. But obviously you get your panties in a knot over it. Here is some graffiti found at Pompeii, after they dug the site out from the volcanic eruption:

http://www.pompeiana.org/Resources/Ancient/Graffiti%20from%20Pompeii.htm

[-] -2 points by delayedgrat (-157) 1 year ago

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-10-07/graffiti-artists-leave-their-mark-on-athens/533104

Ok. So you approve of tagging 2500 year old sculptures. Go move there then, please. You were a cheerleader for the assault on Michaelangelos Pieta.

You must be proud.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 1 year ago

Oh the dramatics. The graffiti at Pompeii were created by the Romans, wealthy ones of the day. Tagging with with spray paint is far different than taking a hammer to the Pieta.

[-] 1 points by flip (4995) 1 year ago

and the germans are??

[-] -2 points by Growup5 (-84) 1 year ago

Borrowers are always victims. The more debt they have, the more someone else is to blame.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Hey, then the north should stop subsidizing the south--here in the US (which is not only a wealth transfer, but to a large degree, it's financed by debt).

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

debt is often used as a reason to blame

[-] 0 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Let me guess, the only book you've ever read was "Road to Serfdom" (algebra was just too dang difficult for my scrambled genetics to comprehend).

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

the 1 % created money through loans to other people

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

There's a great Wiki article, list of recessions in the US:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recessions_in_the_United_States

Scroll down to the section:

"US recessions, Free Banking Era to the Great Depression"

Look at the column "Business Activity" (note the magnitude of the negative numbers in that column).

Then, keep scrolling down, and look at all the recessions after the great depression era (beginning with the recession of 1945).

If you want to dispute the validity of these numbers, okay (but the article provides footnotes, and overall it's a good article with good information). We can believe that every college professor on earth, every economist, every scientist, etc., is colluding in a grand global conspiracy (which is statistically absurd, and I'd encourage anyone who believes this to learn the difference between critical thinking and irrational paranoia, maybe start by reading some David Hume), but if you're willing to accept the validity of these numbers, then what do they tell you?

It tells me that before we had a fed, good banking regulations, etc., the United States was an economic basket case. I mean, it was great for the 1% (the robber barons), but if you think life is shitty for the 99% today, just rewind to the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The problem with our financial system, is we allowed the 1% to rewrite the rules, to weaken or eliminate the protections we built into the system in the aftermath of the great depression (like Glass Steagall). So I'm sorry, but I'm not going to sit by and say nothing while these Ron Paul disciples try to feed us pseudo-economic gibberish.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

FED should to publictized

[-] 3 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Did you even read the article? I would like you to explain why, after the New Deal, our economy grew at such an even rate (and post New Deal recessions were tiny compared to pre-New Deal recessions).

I mean, with respect, bare assertions are not arguments. Do we want to politicize the fed? How would handing control of our money supply over to politicians help us? Sure, I'd like to see some changes in the way the fed is structured, but unless someone steps up with data, analysis based on facts and an understanding of finance and economics, then in my view it's not even an argument. If I said the sky should be purple without offering any rational justification, why the fuck should anyone listen to me?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

banks are no longer necessary middle men to handle money

money can be handled openly in the public eye

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Would we have any lending standards under this scheme? If you said something like all banks should become credit unions, I might have some respect for this line of reasoning (I would like to see something like that happen), but even if all banks were credit unions, owned by its depositors, they would still have lending standards.

Or, maybe you would like to give local governments a printing press so they can print money at the public whim (in which case, our currency becomes absolutely worthless, it's only utility will be for wiping our asses, which will come in handy when hyper-inflation raises the price of toilet paper to unimaginable heights).

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

credit unions is how the old banks got established

I would prefer funds representing the general populous

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

So far, you haven't offered a single answer to any of my questions, just a bunch of I prefer this, I prefer that .... well, I want the sky to be purple, I think we should sprinkle purple die on the clouds, and I think the human race would be much happier with a purple sky. Why am I wrong?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

good call on the statistical fallacy argument

[-] 2 points by Recycleman (102) 1 year ago

America has influenced the progress of the world. The USA invasion is now led with our companies. We go to small (3rd world) countries and use their slave labor. We do this till they start demanding higher wages. Then we move on. You don't have to go to europe to find our effect.

The 1% are international. They are not restrained to their country. Our stock market is open to all.

American idol is the perception we give to all. We expect to be the example they should live by.

As most idols we hide our problems with belief that we are superior.

Are we really feeling superior to the countries that we take so much from.

One day we will be 1 world. The Internet leads the way.

OWS has influenced others. Now let them influence us. They are making changes we have yet to embrace.

Vote now before they take it away.