from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
The world’s attention is still on the Greek summer pantomime, the Chinese economy goes through its own “readjustments“ and Australia is still borrowing $100 million a day. All is normal, nothing to worry about, but, not wishing to be again accused of being asleep at the keyboard, I throw my triobol worth in.
‘You have come for the money for that bill of exchange, if I am not mistaken?’ the chaplain asked his guest.
‘Yes, and I hope…’
The chaplain sighted.
‘A man is often brought into a situation where hope is the only thing left. How beautiful is that little word “hope”, from that three-leafed clover, which exalts man above the chaos of life: faith, hope, charity.’
‘I hope, chaplain, that sum…’
‘Of course, worthy sir,’ the chaplain interrupted him. ‘Allow me to repeat once more, that the word “hope” is a great strength to man in his struggle with life. And you don’t lose hope. How wonderful it is to have a definite ideal, to be innocent, clean being, who lends money on bills of exchange and has the hope that he will be paid back at the right time. To hope, to hope unremittingly that I shall pay you twelve hundred crowns, when I haven’t even a hundred in my pocket!’
Švejk returned in a moment with the obstinate man who stared sullenly in front of him.
‘Sit down,’ the chaplain invited him politely. ‘We’re just finishing our supper. We’ve had lobster, salmon and now fried eggs and ham as well. We have marvellous blow-outs when people lend us money.’
‘I hope that I am not here just for your amusement,’ said the sullen man. “This is the third time I’ve come. I hope now that everything will be explained.’
It was not and no money were returned, just in case you are an EU politician and are wondering.
I suspect that nobody plans a similar referendum in Germany. After all, the Turks at least were going to Germany to work and then send the money home. The Greeks could not be bothered. Money kept coming directly. Certainly, the Greeks of old gave us, the Western civilisation, a lot, and after all this Antisthenes fellow was probably a Greek, but those giving Greeks are long time dead. Now we have taking Greeks, who are ethnically, linguisticaly and culturally somewhat different.
“According to the World Bank, Greece’s labor participation rate is only 53%. It’s hard for private industry to take advantage of an underemployed populace because government regulations and powerful unions make it difficult for new job-creating businesses to get off the ground.
“Among those obstacles are the role the government plays in many sectors of the economy — either through outright ownership of assets, such as a utility; price controls; and high barriers to entry, such as strict limitations on the number of players in a profession, and/or difficult licensing requirements, according to the McKinsey report. Add to all that very tough labor restrictions on large enterprises. The result is that very few businesses have been able to get started or grow in size…”
Then there are pension problems, which are even worse than the ones we have in the United States.
“The Greek Reporter notes that according to the data, almost 75 percent of Greek pensioners retire before the age of 61″ and “according to the IMF, pensions account for around 17 percent of the country’s GDP.”
Greece has also been running a deficit four times bigger than EU members are allowed to have by law and papering it over with phony statistics.” [Thank Goodness the Stupid, Socialist Greeks said ‘No’ to a Bailout!]
This is not to suggest that all Greeks are the socialism tainted takers. Even in that farcical referendum, almost 40% of them voted for reforms and austerity.
As Ludwig von Gress mentioned in Borrow, borrow, till you drop: Do not ask for whom the drachma tinkles – it tinkles for thee. For the time being it seems the bankers’ mafia decided that as long as the German taxpayer stays docile, all the house of cards needs is a drop of super-glue / hope.