Looking at the terms of the Greek bailout one thing is abundantly clear: this is not only a heartless deal, but a brainless one as well. The IMF – no tooth fairy themselves, as the Nigerian Seun Kuti’s song IMF makes clear – have signaled that they think the current Greek debt will never be repaid and would benefit from a partial write off, along with some ‘reforms’ that would see pensions slashed further and the retirement age pushed upwards. Sadly this program, austere in of itself, is not sufficient for those within the German Government and the EU who will accept no suggestion of a debt write off whatsoever.
Anyone who believes in the possibility of a better world should support Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn, even if they’re not convinced by his traditional left-wing agenda, argues Mark Braund.
Can Greece ever pay off its debts, adopt a German economic mindset and stay in the euro?
Since 2010 we have been gripped by the shenanigans being played out by major governments across the euro area. We all know Greece is in a catastrophic situation and its people are being shattered for a state of affairs that was not their fault. The debt is truly colossal, too immense to describe, but nevertheless I’m going to try and throw a bit of perspective on things.
Most people equate money with wealth, but in economic terms money and wealth are quite separate things. Wealth can be defined as those goods and services which are essential to wellbeing, along with others which enhance our experience of life. Money can be used to acquire such wealth, but of itself money is not wealth. This is a crucial distinction, but one about which neo-classical economics has very little to say.
When the worst rioting in a generation hit the streets of English cities last summer, politicians and pundits rushed to apportion blame. Many of the rioters, we were told, were previously convicted criminals and most were gang members. None had any respect for the law; all were pretty much beyond redemption.
Even people who do not believe that climate change is man made must see that our fragile environment is getting a battering from current economic arrangements. In a hyper-competitive economy, where mega-corporations chase short-term profits, something always gets exploited. Without systemic change, there is no chance of cooperation to achieve mutually beneficial solutions to the problems of resource depletion and climate change. Progress could quickly be made if the economic context and business incentives were to be altered.
News stories of peak self employment have given many commentators the false impression that the trend for working as a sole trader, or in a business with less than 10 employees is “returning to the norm” of big business employment domination. If you looked at the numbers and percentages from the 2008 crash through to today you would most likely agree, or at least see some evidence to support it.