Dean Baker (Aljazeera): Fighting back against the eurozone tyrants
The present mess in Greece should be seen in a much broader context than in merely the context of imbalance in relative prices between the crisis countries and Germany and other northern countries. I think the mess also has a lot to do with the lack of an effective global regulation of financial markets and bond markets.
Just now in November 2012 the Greek state is paying almost 17 percent to refinance its debt on the bond market. At the same time the inflation in Greece is not even two percent. Meaning that the buyers of the Greek state bonds are getting 15 percent in real return.
At the same time the American Federal State is able to refinance its debt at the cost of almost nothing (US Treasury 2 Year Yield is 0,26 % and 5 Year Yield is 0,67 %). The USA would probably go broke right away if it had to refinance its public debts on Greek terms.
On the other hand if the Greek State could refinance its entire debt on American terms then the Greek financial crisis would, if not go away, so at least become highly manageable.
Something tells me that this dichotomy is grossly unjust and calls for a strong handed global regulatory shake-up.
The Greek Resistance – Al Jazeera
Firstly, one should acknowledge the important role the EU played in the transition from totalitarianism to democracy in Greece. It is really quite questionable whether Greece or Spain or Portugal could have made such smooth transitions to democracy without the lure of a promising and enriching membership in the EU. So when one contemplates the dire straits of the present situation in Greece one should keep in mind the preceding 3 decades of economic prosperity which came about very much thanks to its EU membership.
Secondly, there was almost a consensus among economist before the introduction of the Euro that the theoretical underpinnings of this currency project were, to say the least, shaky. For political reasons the decision was still taken to launch the economic and monetary union. People at the highest levels in the EU must have been aware of the considerable risk in terms of economic asymetries and of the presence of nepotism and corruption in Greece and in the other mediterranean countries. The project still went ahead. So if there now are some serious bumps in the road then this development was very much to be expected.
In fairness, if one wants to assess the role of the EU in bringing about the present dire economic and financial situation of Greece these historic facts should be kept in mind.
Finally, the Greeks are now rightfully indignant about their fate but why don’t they bring to trial those politicians and civil servants of theirs who made private gains and who produced the fraudulent statistics that paved the way for the Greek membership in the economic and monetary union?
Min feedback till Davinder Kumar. Kumars artikel.
Have you visited www.humanurehandbook.com by Joseph Jenkins in Pennsylvania, USA? There are some very nice videos on Youtube about sanitation on Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake. I have cloned the humanure toilet, it can be bought from my site www.torrtoa.se. A communal approach appears a very wise cure for the 1 billion stink situation. It takes a bit of a cuban barefoot doctor approach to really fix this stink. Not to be forgotten is that there is quite a bit of fertilizer potential.
Eisenhowers varningsord i hans avgångstal som amerikansk president den 17e januari år 1961 ang det militärindustriella komplexet har ständigt aktualitet. Här är orden:
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little resemblance to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.
Now, this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.