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By urging Greeks to pay up without whingeing the IMF chief has revealed her deep historical and cult.
Tags: Greece IMF Eurocrisis
Let them eat cake!
What the G8, G20, IMF and others should do is let everyone who needs to go bankrupt go bankrupt. Write off the total global debt, nationalize and recapitalize the system. Then, start over.
Now, why won't this be done?
Neo-classical economists still have total control over the system.
Politicians are more concerned about getting re-elected and keeping their jobs with the nice perks. What does Lagarde do to justify her salary (tax free)and various other perks?
As long as this continues, everyone makes money. The IMF, the Fed, The ECB. Also, various pundits (Stiglitz, Richard Wolfe,Robert Reich, and others).
Many politicians who are multimillionaires would lose a lot of money if the debt was written off. What's more important? Maintaining your own wealth and power? Or, doing the right thing?
Various corporations that donate to politicians won't allow it.
The Euro/E.U is the real insult to Greece , yet the majority of Greeks don't yet know it.
I think the problem is that Greece needs help, and no is prepared to bite the bullet, and offer constructive help.
Greece needs to go after tax cheats, and make sure all taxes are collected, but at the same time, the EU has to help stimulate the Greek economy and protect the poorest in society.
We in an age that children should not go to bed hungry or neglected.
In your tweet you referred to your response to her 'INSENSITIVE' comments about Greece. Kind of says it all. Insensitive. Poor sensitive suffering Greeks, right? Who live in a democratic country and elected a government and ended up bankrupt, by their own choice, like it or not. The Finns didn't do that, did they.
So her comments about whose suffering we should feel sensitive about ring true, and the Greeks come lower than the examples she gives. Regardless of one's views of the merits of the IMF as an institution.
Her comments are insensitive because they seek to erroneously set the starving of one country against the starving of another - not for reasons of Greek sensitivity, as you suggest.
By your logic, of course, the children of Niger - also ostensibly democratic and bankrupt by choice - deserve their fate, too.
You may choose to judge who deserves compassion and who does not, based on information provided by the world's biggest payday lender. I could not make such a judgement.
the useless Pouffiasse has spoken, and didn't even mention letting them eat cake....what a vile creature she turned out to be.
The Greece government as any other government on earth is absolutely free to ignore what the IMF says or wants as long as they don't want money from them.
Unfortunately, as an American observer, your article just smacks of a sophomoric reaction to a very difficult situation. Greece is approaching a cultural breaking point, and there are either two solutions:
1- Leave the Euro and face the cultural upheaval of creating governance institutions, a taxation system that actually works (let's face it, corruption, tax evasion, etc. have been a large part of the issues of Greece - and Greek voters only have themselves to blame for prior political regimes...)
2- Change the culture. View payment of taxes as a part of one's civic duty. View sacrifice as a part of the national burden of dealing with the issues of the past.
Unfortunately, we are all (the U.S. included) beginning to realize that we have been living in a dream - spending far more than we earn. The way we all choose to handle it going forward will define us as a people for the next decades.
1- Blame others? Refuse to change, demand something for nothing, hold others hostage? How does that define the character of a nation?
2- Suck it up, suffer - yes there are human consequences. There have always been human consequences of government systems, none which are perfect and all which have faults. But we preserve our dignity this way, I believe.
I don't claim to have the answers. But I do know how some Americans perceive the situation in Greece - there is a fundamental problem with spending and income - you cannot sustain a situation where people receive $1,000 in social goods and benefits (roads, health care, pensions) and pay into the system only $500. It's just not possible. Europe has already written down a tremendous over $100 billion Euros of Greek debt.
I, too, care for my brother and fellow man - but I can only help to the extent he is willing to help himself.
I think you've nailed it on the head there.
Although I'm sure many would argue that most Greeks were unaware of how vastly their government (as has ours) overspent. They must accept the blame however, as a majority, for repeatedly voting in a government that allowed such corruption, which a vast number of Greek's clearly personally benefitted from, in increased personal finances, to run their country into such large debts.
However sad and unpleasant their situation may be, if ones neighbour spent more than they earn in times of prosperity and then found themselves in trouble in times of hardship. It wouldn't be expected of their more frugal neighbours bail them out, especially if they said they weren't going to pay them back.
Thanks for the lecture, glad to know we have 10 million greeks who are lazy and looking for handouts.
I agree with some of your observations. They do not take away from the fact that, if the point was to encourage such attitudes and nudge the Greek vote back towards the centre, rhetoric like that of Lagarde is a massive PR fail which, in fact, just polarises.
Of course we must learn lessons from the past. We can choose to learn the lessons handed down or investigate. In my view, one of the biggest lessons (if not the biggest) is that we arrived at this position globally under the careful stewardship of august organisations such as the IMF.
Lagarde shame on you ! And its a shame she wouldn't waste her time reading NS, Im sure she would dismiss it as leftist dribble. What would be good to see is editors, writers from NS and like minded publications infiltrating the mainstream media, that would rattle the status quo....just a thought.
Excellent article. A depressingly predictable high handed approach from someone who sings from the same hymn sheet as our own inept chancellor.
Greek-born, Alex Andreou has a background in law and economics. He runs the Sturdy Beggars Theatre Company and blogs here You can find him on twitter @sturdyalex