Re: Rejecting the Euro and the EMU (and the Maastricht Treaty)
- From: ADR <aretzios@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 21:40:59 -0700 (PDT)
On Apr 1, 1:27 pm, Nashton <n...@xxxxx> wrote:
Nashton, you made a couple of points that I feel I need to emphasize.
Even if Greece pursued such a policy by either fudging with inflation or
government trade of foreign currency reserves to manipulate money
supply, it's still market manipulation. I don't believe in market
manipulation as it comes back to bite the country that engages in it in
the rear eventually. Since Greece has a very poor record on productivity
and an essentially non existent culture of innovation (so sad, really,
many great minds often resort to working in other countries because of
this fact), we're debating a very ephemerous fix to internal
deficiencies that need to be addressed. Given Greece's record, I doubt
they will ever be addressed, I'm afraid.
A: I believe strongly in market manipulation. I happens every day, in
every country by every government. Every time the Canadian government
decides to increase or decrease money circulation or to increase or
decrease credit availability, it manipulates the market.
B: Productivity is a gross measure. Just look at the manufacturing
output and divide it by the number of workers and you get a number.
However, it is meaningless unless one compares apples to apples. Greek
industry is dominated by light, secondary agriculture industries with
little automated machinery. This is a result of poor
C: I agree that Greece does not have a strong "culture" of innovation
but I thought that I have shown to you that the "non-existent" part is
not correct. It actually has a strong performance in alternative
energy use and aquaculture. There is progress in other fields as
well. Just do your due diligence and you would find that the seminal
work about the risks of cancer by exposure to secondary smoke was
performed by Greek scientists in Greece. Greece has many good
innovators in product specific institutes (I know well of their
work). I thought I shared the link on the formation of a joint
venture to pursue nanotechnology inventions, etc..
In summary, I think that your assessment is overly pessimistic and not
in accordance with the record of the state. Lots of elements of the
Greek state actually work quite well. Some do not, others need
I believe the question to ask would be: Do we, as Greeks believe it's
time to take the bull by the proverbial horns, pull up our sleeves and
create a powerhouse of a country that is self-sufficient?
I would also make sure, that I didn't sign up into a monetary union
where when the tide changes, it becomes every country for itself.
The EU, given the absence of any equalization regime that ensure equal
services and standards for every country is nothing but a over-glorified
free trade agreement between nations such as NAFTA. Nothing more,
This is a major misconception that in order to fix the country we have
to "grab the bull by the horns" etc, etc, etc. Countries are not
individuals. Even if many individuals are highly motivated (and they
are), it does not mean that the manage much because neither the
resources nor the money is there. Even if you were an entrepreneur in
Greece, however hard you may wish to work, if the government slashes
wages and reduces the GDP by 4%, you would find it very hard to make
it and you, in fact, would be lucky if you do not get out of business.
So, terms like "grab the bull by the horns" are at best paternalistic,
at worst, insulting. Millions of people in Greece wake up every day,
they brave tough traffic or packed underground trains, they work long
hours for low wages and the last thing they want to hear is "grab the
bull by the horns". My dad worked really long hours at the bank and
he took many assignments for added work to make ends meet. He was not
unique. Virtually all the persons that I know are hard workers who
"grab the bull by the horns".
You are right about the EU. I have to say that the points you have
mentioned have been made time after time by many credible politicians
in Greece. The majority was convinced otherwise. But one can always
learn from one's mistakes
I agree with you about the problems of starting a business in Greece
but these are really intrinsic to the nature of the economy.
You need to be more specific and establish a time frame. Were they
intrinsic when the economy was doing better or are they intrinsic now
that the economy is in the dumps?
No, they were present always. What is in short supply in Greece is
capital. Greece simply did not have the "fortune" to exploit huge
colonies in the 18th and 19th century to accumulate wealth. You
should go a bit away from the notion of GDP and look at accumulated
wealth. In a typical western European country, the accumulated wealth
is order of magnitudes greater than it is for equivalent populations
in the US and Canada. In comparison to the accumulated wealth in
Europe, Greece emerged in 1830 utterly destroyed. Hardly a brick had
been left on a brick. That a relatively modern country was built on
that desolation is simply a miracle. At the same time as Greece was
struggling after a 10-year destructive war in a tiny and mostly
mountainous territory.Belgium was exploiting the vast resources of
Congo. You need to understand the discrepancies of the European
Because it's used as a tool to keep the infamously non-productive Greek
civil servant busy.
The "hartosimo"??? Let's find a better villain shall we?
You must be the first person that has ever said that they have met with
"eager to help" public employees in Greece.
I tell you the reality. Greeks like to kvetch and kvetch and the
story gets longer in the telling.
I am currently in the process of having my mother transfer some land to
me. It's been a nightmare. There is no comparison with other Western
I am with you regarding the red tape for most tasks. This does not
mean that most of those who work the system are all unhelpful
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