Friday, July 17, 2015

How Can You Earn Enough Money To Repay Your Debts?

That's the question that no one is asking anywhere in the debt-ridden world. As we noted about Greece a while back, their primary industry is tourism. They sell postcards, sunglasses, hotel rooms, entrees and desserts, tour bus rides and so on. If they're going to take on more debt, they're going to have to answer the question, "How will we bring more customers into the country?" Instead, they're asking the question, "How can we borrow more money?"

Jim Jubak, one of my favorite financial commentators and one with a very level head, had this to say about the Greek deal;
The biggest problem with the deal, if there finally is a deal, is that the EuroZone has forced Greece down this road before and there is no reason to think that tax increases and cuts to government spending will stimulate growth in the Greek economy. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then this program is insane. This is a recipe for a contracting economy in Greece that will require more austerity that leads to even more of a decline in the Greek economy.
I love Jim, but this still doesn't ask the right question. What are they going to do earn more money? As  valued commenter Jedi Master Ivyan has noted after returning from a trip to Greece, the place is pretty wrecked and covered in graffiti. That means that the Greeks themselves are sabotaging their only real means of earning more money. If that's the case, then lending them any more money is a complete waste of time no matter what the PhD economists say.

This isn't exactly welcoming. 
"An eldery woman begs by the Bank of Greece headquarters in Athens."


Anonymous said...

One Facebook friend suggested that, owing to Germany's immigration policies, that Greeks might consider emigrating to Germany. Interesting idea...

K T Cat said...

Germany is going to have the same kind of problem very soon. German women aren't having children and soon, a majority of their population will be retired, supported by what's left of the working age population. At that point, debts are just water poured on a drowning man. Even without them, the Germans are screwed.

Jedi Master Ivyan said...

It's kind of sad that Greece's best features are thousands of years old. We did like the food, though. Hubby keeps requesting Greek salad.

Anonymous said...

Great braces. Wonderful sweaters. Amazing yogurt (and NOTHING like what is called "Greek Yogurt" in the grocery stores here.)

I blame most of the contemporary woes: no/few children, moral relativism, and sexual licentiousness, on the fact that as a society, the West stopped going to Church (or changed "church" so much as to make it essentially irrelevant, e.g., the Anglican church.)

Anonymous said...

BEACHES! Not "braces."

K T Cat said...

And here I thought the Greeks were at the forefront of orthodontia! :-)

I agree about the church part. There is no objective morality, no connection with the past, no connection with the future. It's all about getting what you want right now.

Anonymous said...

I visited Greece thirty odd years ago. The churches had almost no one in them under forty. Those forty year olds are now in their eighties.

The young Greeks I met here in the US were VERY involved in their churches. Anyone who married a non-Greek pretty much demanded the spouse convert to Greek Orthodoxy -- and it worked. (Better than what I saw with Conservative and Reform Jews I knew.)

Church (or synagogue, as the case may be) is not supposed to be "fun" or "entertaining." I think it is HUGELY important to bring your children up in church -- attend services every week and holidays, Sunday school classes, day school if one exists (and to cab afford it.) And also to be a real part of the church community. It will make the children be better adults for it, and better parents. And society as a whole will be better.