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Sarevok
11-02-2011, 01:40 PM
After days of deliberating, an agreement was reached betweem the leaders of Greece and other European countries to save the Greek economy.
Then prime-minister Papandreou got home... and announced he'll be holding a referendum about the whole thing. :confused:

link (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15546063)

Davian93
11-02-2011, 02:04 PM
After days of deliberating, an agreement was reached betweem the leaders of Greece and other European countries to save the Greek economy.
Then prime-minister Papandreou got home... and announced he'll be holding a referendum about the whole thing. :confused:

link (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15546063)


Prediction: The EU will kick Greece out and they will end up going back to the Drachma and enjoying 3rd world status.

GonzoTheGreat
11-02-2011, 02:09 PM
Prediction: The EU will kick Greece out and they will end up going back to the Drachma and enjoying 3rd world status.Problem: there is actually no mechanism through which that could be done.
The only available options are:
1. Ask the Greek to leave the euro. That's not really gonna work, I suspect.
2. Have everyone else leave the euro, and let the Greek keep the name of the currency. That would be a rather difficult hassle, which would probably take a decade or more to go through. And in that time, Italy (and possibly Spain too) would topple as well.

All in all, the Greek PM is in the sort of comfortable position of knowing that he doesn't have anything to lose, since he doesn't have anything anymore anyway, so he can actually afford this kind of stunt.

Davian93
11-02-2011, 02:10 PM
Problem: there is actually no mechanism through which that could be done.
The only available options are:
1. Ask the Greek to leave the euro. That's not really gonna work, I suspect.
2. Have everyone else leave the euro, and let the Greek keep the name of the currency. That would be a rather difficult hassle, which would probably take a decade or more to go through. And in that time, Italy (and possibly Spain too) would topple as well.

All in all, the Greek PM is in the sort of comfortable position of knowing that he doesn't have anything to lose, since he doesn't have anything anymore anyway, so he can actually afford this kind of stunt.


Somehow, I think the Germans and French will figure something out. They aren't going to let the Greeks drag them down into the abyss. Both will leave the EU before they let that happen.

Zombie Sammael
11-02-2011, 02:11 PM
Prediction: The EU will kick Greece out and they will end up going back to the Drachma and enjoying 3rd world status.

There is actually no provision within the EU rules for kicking a state out, only for it leaving voluntarily.

You might be able to make a case that a "no" vote in the referendum constitutes a vote not to remain within the EU.

Davian93
11-02-2011, 02:13 PM
There is actually no provision within the EU rules for kicking a state out, only for it leaving voluntarily.

You might be able to make a case that a "no" vote in the referendum constitutes a vote not to remain within the EU.

Yes but the Greeks cooked their books to get into the EU in teh first place. There has to be some provision for fraudalent entry. Worst case, the Germans and French will leave the EU and the entire thing will collapse.

Sarevok
11-02-2011, 03:47 PM
Somehow, I think the Germans and French will figure something out. They aren't going to let the Greeks drag them down into the abyss. Both will leave the EU before they let that happen.

Problem is, if Fance and Germany leave the EU, everything would come crashing down, no matter what happens to Greece. So really the only option they have, is to keep trying to save Greece... and hope the Greeks don't mess it all up again.

A wacky theory I heard someone here on tv mention, is that this stunt is some kind of political suicide on the part of Papandreou. If he were to give up and resign now, he'd forever be the PM that quit when things got hard. If, on the other hand, he loses a vote of no confidence, then he can say that it was the parliament that threw him out.

Uno
11-02-2011, 04:04 PM
A wacky theory I heard someone here on tv mention, is that this stunt is some kind of political suicide on the part of Papandreou. If he were to give up and resign now, he'd forever be the PM that quit when things got hard. If, on the other hand, he loses a vote of no confidence, then he can say that it was the parliament that threw him out.

Sounds more like an act of long-term political self-preservation to me. It might be harder at a future date to campaign as the captain who jumped ship when the seas got rough than as the captain who was ousted by mutineers who didn't know what was good for the welfare of the ship. Though crushed to the earth, he may intend to rise again, as it were.

Davian93
11-02-2011, 04:05 PM
I notice that the Greeks also sacked their military chiefs of staff...was that to forestall a military coup or to prepare for one?

Sarevok
11-02-2011, 04:09 PM
I notice that the Greeks also sacked their military chiefs of staff...was that to forestall a military coup or to prepare for one?

Didn't hear that, but it sounds like it might have something to do with the purchase of some new tanks for 100 million Euro. Said purchase was of course cancelled after some pressure from the same people that were busy bailing them out.

Davian93
11-02-2011, 04:12 PM
Didn't hear that, but it sounds like it might have something to do with the purchase of some new tanks for 100 million Euro. Said purchase was of course cancelled after some pressure from the same people that were busy bailing them out.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=81135

Here you go.

Sukoto
11-02-2011, 04:17 PM
Problem is, if Fance and Germany leave the EU, everything would come crashing down, no matter what happens to Greece. So really the only option they have, is to keep trying to save Greece... and hope the Greeks don't mess it all up again.

A wacky theory I heard someone here on tv mention, is that this stunt is some kind of political suicide on the part of Papandreou. If he were to give up and resign now, he'd forever be the PM that quit when things got hard. If, on the other hand, he loses a vote of no confidence, then he can say that it was the parliament that threw him out.
Wacky, and yet so believable.

Sinistrum
11-02-2011, 06:36 PM
Greece went crazy along time ago. Right about the time its government started writing checks with its collective mouths regarding their welfare state that their state income level had absolutely no conceivable way of cashing. This is just par for the course. Its really can only end in two ways. Either Greece capitulates to Germany and France, guts its civil service sector and its welfare state, and collapses into economic depression and civil unrest, or gives in to the demands of those who subsist on the welfare state, defaults on its debt, finds out first hand what happens to its credit market when it does so, and collapses into economic depression and civil unrest. Either way, they literally spent themselves into oblivion with their welfare state.

Davian93
11-02-2011, 07:29 PM
Greece went crazy along time ago. Right about the time its government started writing checks with its collective mouths regarding their welfare state that their state income level had absolutely no conceivable way of cashing. This is just par for the course. Its really can only end in two ways. Either Greece capitulates to Germany and France, guts its civil service sector and its welfare state, and collapses into economic depression and civil unrest, or gives in to the demands of those who subsist on the welfare state, defaults on its debt, finds out first hand what happens to its credit market when it does so, and collapses into economic depression and civil unrest. Either way, they literally spent themselves into oblivion with their welfare state.

Yes, it has absolutely nothing to do with their rampant corruption and complete inability to collect tax revenue. All countries with social welfare programs are doomed to failure...like those lazy, lazy Germans.

Terez
11-02-2011, 07:39 PM
Everyone knows that all budget problems are due to the welfare state, even when said welfare state only accounts for a small sliver of the budget.

Sinistrum
11-02-2011, 09:10 PM
Yes, it has absolutely nothing to do with their rampant corruption and complete inability to collect tax revenue.

You act as if these two things are somehow separate from welfare states when in actuality they are inevitable byproducts of it. Any time you expand government to the levels you have to create and support a welfare state or cave into to your electorate's infantile demands for freebies, you are going to see rampant corruption and an entitlistic attitude that leads to less tax revenue.

All countries with social welfare programs are doomed to failure...like those lazy, lazy Germans.

And why do you think the German's are so worried about the collapse of Greece and the Euro?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_by_public_debt

Oh wait, because the German's have close to overleveraged themselves with debt at a rate of 80% of their GDP and that would only grow if they lost their current currency, thus potentially putting them in the same position as Greece.

Everyone knows that all budget problems are due to the welfare state, even when said welfare state only accounts for a small sliver of the budget.

Oh really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_sovereign_debt_crisis#Greek_government_fu nding_crisis

After the removal of the right-wing military junta, the government wanted to bring disenfranchised left-leaning portions of the population into the economic mainstream.[10] In order to do so, successive Greek governments have, among other things, customarily run large deficits to finance public sector jobs, pensions, and other social benefits.[11] Since 1993 the ratio of debt to GDP has remained above 100%

Terez
11-02-2011, 11:44 PM
Oh really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_sovereign_debt_crisis#Greek_government_fu nding_crisis
If Wikipedia says it, it must be true!

Needless to say, there's a lot more going on there than a simple 'welfare state' because there are plenty of 'welfare states' that don't have anything resembling the problems of Greece, and plenty of corrupt governments pushing austerity measures for personal gain.

Sinistrum
11-03-2011, 01:07 AM
Needless to say, there's a lot more going on there than a simple 'welfare state' because there are plenty of 'welfare states' that don't have anything resembling the problems of Greece, and plenty of corrupt governments pushing austerity measures for personal gain.

Or perhaps those welfare states aren't quite as stable as you'd like to pretend, hence why they are shitting their pants at the prospect of Greece, Italy, and Portugal going under. But hey, anything so you and people like you can con the tax paying public in this country into giving you handouts, right Terez?

Terez
11-03-2011, 01:34 AM
Or perhaps those welfare states aren't quite as stable as you'd like to pretend, hence why they are shitting their pants at the prospect of Greece, Italy, and Portugal going under.
Perhaps many of them aren't because they aren't even in the Euro. But of course, any state who is in the Euro has reason to worry despite a reasonable amount of stability.

yks 6nnetu hing
11-03-2011, 03:35 AM
Sounds more like an act of long-term political self-preservation to me. It might be harder at a future date to campaign as the captain who jumped ship when the seas got rough than as the captain who was ousted by mutineers who didn't know what was good for the welfare of the ship. Though crushed to the earth, he may intend to rise again, as it were.
I think this hits the nail right on the head. Apparently a large number of Greeks are as baffled as we are about the whole thing. They do realize that they don't have another option (although technically there is always another option. In this case though it's not a very desirable option at all). I think Papandreou is betting on more Greeks seeing how difficult the situation is and how necessary the EU package is than the visible protesters on the street. Either which way the vote turns out, he'll never be accused of "doing something above his mandate" as would inevitably happen a few years down the line when everything's calmed down and the daily drudgery has set in. Plus, if he wins, he'll have the mandate to do whatever he needs to do to get the country on its feet again. Unlikely, but possible.

Needless to say, there's a lot more going on there than a simple 'welfare state' because there are plenty of 'welfare states' that don't have anything resembling the problems of Greece, and plenty of corrupt governments pushing austerity measures for personal gain.

Sweden, which is the size of Italy and was one of only 2 countries in EU last year to post a budget surplus. Luxembourg, which has the highest living standard in EU and an extremely low debt level.

Terez
11-03-2011, 04:02 AM
Sweden, which is the size of Italy and was one of only 2 countries in EU last year to post a budget surplus.
Oh, but they have Marxist tax rates!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/36/Income_Taxes_By_Country.svg/450px-Income_Taxes_By_Country.svg.png

Greece seems to have a reasonable tax policy but I don't think this chart takes into account the fact that people aren't actually expected to pay taxes. And of course, Sweden's top rates aren't anywhere near as high as ours once were:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e5/MarginalIncomeTax.svg/585px-MarginalIncomeTax.svg.png

GonzoTheGreat
11-03-2011, 06:25 AM
Sweden lowered its top rates to keep ABBA from moving abroad, and then ABBA split up.
I'm not sure what explains the drop in the 1920s. Which Swedish pop group was bringing in millions at that time?

Terez
11-03-2011, 06:31 AM
Sweden lowered its top rates to keep ABBA from moving abroad, and then ABBA split up.
I'm not sure what explains the drop in the 1920s. Which Swedish pop group was bringing in millions at that time?
The second chart is the US. Sorry, thought I made that clear.

yks 6nnetu hing
11-03-2011, 06:58 AM
The second chart is the US. Sorry, thought I made that clear.

You did.

Terez
11-03-2011, 07:18 AM
As for what explains the 20s drop: greed. We saw the result of that in 1929.

GonzoTheGreat
11-03-2011, 07:44 AM
The second chart is the US. Sorry, thought I made that clear.You put far too much text in that post. I did not read all of it, apparently. So obviously it's your fault.

But that makes clear that Ronald Reagan tried to lure ABBA to the USA. That's not all that often mentioned when he is discussed, is it?

Davian93
11-03-2011, 08:47 AM
As for what explains the 20s drop: greed. We saw the result of that in 1929.

Not exactly. We basically had paid off our WWI costs (while, in reality, the US made a veritable killing for the years before we entered the war as an arms/food dealer to the Allies) and our tax rates dropped back to previous levels. Remember, there weren't any social welfare programs in the 1920s to pay for and our military was tiny as well.

1929 was due to a lack of financial regulation and corporate greed, not government tax rates.

Zombie Sammael
11-03-2011, 08:54 AM
Going back to the OP, it appears that what Sarevok said about a complex form of political suicide was correct: Greek government on brink of collapse (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/03/greek-government-brink-of-collapse).

Ishara
11-03-2011, 09:28 AM
A wacky theory I heard someone here on tv mention, is that this stunt is some kind of political suicide on the part of Papandreou. If he were to give up and resign now, he'd forever be the PM that quit when things got hard. If, on the other hand, he loses a vote of no confidence, then he can say that it was the parliament that threw him out.

I don't know how wacky it is, actually. It makes perfect sense to me in terms of saving face ater all the troubles of the past few years.

But really, as stupid as most see the decision to put it to a referendum - isn't Greece a democratic country? Shouldn't this be a decision that has the support and endorsement of the people who have to suffer through its implementation?

Zombie Sammael
11-03-2011, 09:36 AM
I don't know how wacky it is, actually. It makes perfect sense to me in terms of saving face ater all the troubles of the past few years.

But really, as stupid as most see the decision to put it to a referendum - isn't Greece a democratic country? Shouldn't this be a decision that has the support and endorsement of the people who have to suffer through its implementation?

Democracy versus world finance. The ultimate tension.

Isabel
11-03-2011, 12:28 PM
@Ishara: he should have done a referendum before negotiating. You cannot first let tons of other country leaders do negotiations to save your butt and than after a lot of work has been done say I want a referendum.

Zombie Sammael
11-03-2011, 12:31 PM
@Ishara: he should have done a referendum before negotiating. You cannot first let tons of other country leaders do negotiations to save your butt and than after a lot of work has been done say I want a referendum.

How could he have had a referendum on the issue without knowing the terms of the agreement? That would seem dishonest. At most all he'd be able to argue for would be his opening negotiating position.

Isabel
11-03-2011, 12:35 PM
@Zombie: quite simple: asked them if they wanted to stay in the euro or not. That's basicily the gist of it. If they want to stay in the euro, they better accept the help they get offered.

A referendum after wards is not necessary and dangerous. The government is already chosen by the people to decide these things.

Terez
11-03-2011, 01:58 PM
Not exactly. We basically had paid off our WWI costs (while, in reality, the US made a veritable killing for the years before we entered the war as an arms/food dealer to the Allies) and our tax rates dropped back to previous levels. Remember, there weren't any social welfare programs in the 1920s to pay for and our military was tiny as well.

1929 was due to a lack of financial regulation and corporate greed, not government tax rates.
That is exactly what I said, my dear.

Sukoto
11-03-2011, 02:18 PM
Well, what do you know? The whole thing has been called off.

Zombie Sammael
11-03-2011, 02:31 PM
Well, what do you know? The whole thing has been called off.

Just seen it. I'd bet there's a whole bunch of people in Europe's financial institutions and in Greece who'd like to find a way to take legal action against the Greek government now. Behaving in this way is just irresponsible. I'd certainly suggest the Greek parliament needs to hold a confidence vote in Papandreou.

Davian93
11-03-2011, 02:40 PM
Just seen it. I'd bet there's a whole bunch of people in Europe's financial institutions and in Greece who'd like to find a way to take legal action against the Greek government now. Behaving in this way is just irresponsible. I'd certainly suggest the Greek parliament needs to hold a confidence vote in Papandreou.

Greece should just default. Thats the easiest way out of this for them. Any austerity plan will basically crush them for 30 years. At least with a default, they can start fresh...kinda like Argentina in the late 90s.


Of course, a default would destroy the EU as a whole and lead to an entire new currency for the other EU nations...possibly multiple new currencies or wholesale reversions to the Franc, DM, etc.

Zombie Sammael
11-03-2011, 02:43 PM
Greece should just default. Thats the easiest way out of this for them. Any austerity plan will basically crush them for 30 years. At least with a default, they can start fresh...kinda like Argentina in the late 90s.


Of course, a default would destroy the EU as a whole and lead to an entire new currency for the other EU nations...possibly multiple new currencies or wholesale reversions to the Franc, DM, etc.

Sure, but the consequences of a Greek default followed by a wholesale reversion to previous currencies would be that one member of the Euro would essentially bring down the whole lot. I'm all for Greece defaulting - I mean, what's actually going to happen, we repossess the parthenon? - but for the inevitable consequences on the rest of the Eurozone, the EU, and the world at large.

Davian93
11-03-2011, 02:48 PM
Sure, but the consequences of a Greek default followed by a wholesale reversion to previous currencies would be that one member of the Euro would essentially bring down the whole lot. I'm all for Greece defaulting - I mean, what's actually going to happen, we repossess the parthenon? - but for the inevitable consequences on the rest of the Eurozone, the EU, and the world at large.

It could very well set up a 2nd major recession and drag the US back down as Europe collapses economically. It would be a terrible idea for everyone else other than the Greeks. Greece is basically a giant sub-prime mortgage that all of Europe's banks have bet on...those banks were very very stupid and Goldman Sachs cooked the books for Greece to get EU membership in the first place so there's a whole bunch of fraud here that eventually someone will get left holding. Its just a question of a controlled crash landing or an "explode on impact" high speed crash type landing at this point.

For Greece, defaulting is great...compared to the other options.
For everyone else, its a horrible, horrible thing that will be really sh!tty.
The Germans and French must be really sick of paying the bill for Greek corruption though...they have to be weighing their other options (new Euro currency, old currencies, etc)

One huge plus for this whole implosion is that US Bonds once again look like a very solid and stable investment. So win for the USA.

Zombie Sammael
11-03-2011, 03:05 PM
It could very well set up a 2nd major recession and drag the US back down as Europe collapses economically. It would be a terrible idea for everyone else other than the Greeks. Greece is basically a giant sub-prime mortgage that all of Europe's banks have bet on...those banks were very very stupid and Goldman Sachs cooked the books for Greece to get EU membership in the first place so there's a whole bunch of fraud here that eventually someone will get left holding. Its just a question of a controlled crash landing or an "explode on impact" high speed crash type landing at this point.

For Greece, defaulting is great...compared to the other options.
For everyone else, its a horrible, horrible thing that will be really sh!tty.
The Germans and French must be really sick of paying the bill for Greek corruption though...they have to be weighing their other options (new Euro currency, old currencies, etc)

One huge plus for this whole implosion is that US Bonds once again look like a very solid and stable investment. So win for the USA.

I should point out before I say this that I'm not what you'd describe as a Euro-sceptic as far as Economic Union is concerned, but, with the value of hindsight this was always a risk when you have multiple different countries with different economic realities trying to use one currency. If it weren't for that, I'd be in favour of a default; a major default like this would at least have the effect of showing how ridiculous, on a practical level, the idea of a nation being in debt is. Unfortunately, it'd go beyond that, because it'd also bring down the Euro, which would probably bring down the EU, and as you say, plunge the rest of the world into an age of darkness and torment that would last forevermore. Or something like that.

Were this some other country without the problems of EU membership and shared currency, which had the capacity to effectively isolate itself economically and rebuild internally for a few years, I'd be in total favour of default. Unfortunately, that isn't Greece. And as you say, someone's going to be left holding the baby.

Mort
11-03-2011, 04:12 PM
Sweden, which is the size of Italy and was one of only 2 countries in EU last year to post a budget surplus. Luxembourg, which has the highest living standard in EU and an extremely low debt level.

What size? Swedens square kilometer is about 450k, while Italy is around 300k. Population is just over 9M for Sweden and 60M for Italy :)

About the taxes in Sweden. I am not sure exactly what they are included in the mean income tax graph that was shown, but nearly 50% 2005 seems VERY high. They might include employment tax? Even though I'd see that as a corporate tax than a taxation on my money.

Anway, since 2007 income taxes has been through some changes. I actually found a calculator that takes into consideration all the different taxation rates etc. If I would be hired today in my field of work, with a pretty standard income (about 3900 USD/month) I would pay about 24% of my money in income tax.

My employer would pay about 31% of my income (before tax) in employer tax.

About the Greek PM. I think I too would have wanted a referendum if I were pretty sure whoever makes a decision on a huge thing like that would surely be shafted politically afterwards. Because let's face it, people want a scapegoat :) If they people decide, the PM can say: You wanted it, live with it.

He could have been smoother about it though.

Davian93
11-03-2011, 04:24 PM
He could have been smoother about it though.

I dont think there's really any way to make "Greek" smooth. Its pretty much always going to be a rough process.

Bryan Blaire
11-03-2011, 04:33 PM
What size? Swedens square kilometer is about 450k, while Italy is around 300k. Population is just over 9M for Sweden and 60M for Italy :)

About the taxes in Sweden. I am not sure exactly what they are included in the mean income tax graph that was shown, but nearly 50% 2005 seems VERY high. They might include employment tax? Even though I'd see that as a corporate tax than a taxation on my money.

Anway, since 2007 income taxes has been through some changes. I actually found a calculator that takes into consideration all the different taxation rates etc. If I would be hired today in my field of work, with a pretty standard income (about 3900 USD/month) I would pay about 24% of my money in income tax.

My employer would pay about 31% of my income (before tax) in employer tax.

About the Greek PM. I think I too would have wanted a referendum if I were pretty sure whoever makes a decision on a huge thing like that would surely be shafted politically afterwards. Because let's face it, people want a scapegoat :) If they people decide, the PM can say: You wanted it, live with it.

He could have been smoother about it though.

That's about what someone making that same amount gets taken out here, possibly even less when you include paying for health benefits to te company, etc.

Davian93
11-03-2011, 08:07 PM
That's about what someone making that same amount gets taken out here, possibly even less when you include paying for health benefits to te company, etc.

I think I see about 60% of my pay after taxes...not counting taxes I directly pay after that like property tax, sales tax, excise taxes on fuel, etc etc. Its probably close to 50% after all those.

yks 6nnetu hing
11-04-2011, 04:51 AM
Mort, I meant mainly the fact that every time I look at the map I'm surprised that Sweden looks geographically the same as Italy. Environmentally there's not as much fertile land and whatnot so you would *think* that Sweden would be the one taking irresponsible decisions to further their life (er... they have. In the past. Vikings and whatnot. Although, which people hasn't conquered other people, if given the chance?). And Sweden is always touted as one of the most socialist countries in the world, yet their public finances are as spotless as their streets.

When you go to Paris, London, Athens, Rome or Brussels however: yuck!

GonzoTheGreat
11-04-2011, 05:59 AM
The Vikings weren't all that irresponsible for Scandinavia itself, were they?
Sure, they were a bit of a bother for some of their neighbours now and then, but they didn't wreck Sweden's ecology.

yks 6nnetu hing
11-04-2011, 06:06 AM
The Vikings weren't all that irresponsible for Scandinavia itself, were they?
Sure, they were a bit of a bother for some of their neighbours now and then, but they didn't wreck Sweden's ecology.

ecology?

they did wreck and ruin alot (teehee), but not that much of it where they actually lived, true.

GonzoTheGreat
11-04-2011, 06:35 AM
ecology?

they did wreck and ruin alot (teehee), but not that much of it where they actually lived, true.Well, not in Sweden, at least. Iceland is a somewhat other matter, I'll admit. Still, with a couple more centuries of hard work, they may manage to undo much (some, at least) of the damage that was done in the first few decades they lived there.

Gilshalos Sedai
11-04-2011, 11:04 AM
I think I see about 60% of my pay after taxes...not counting taxes I directly pay after that like property tax, sales tax, excise taxes on fuel, etc etc. Its probably close to 50% after all those.

Well, isn't that the issue here? We're taxed at the Federal, State (property taxes for Texas), and sometimes even county level and then there's sales tax.

All told, I think we pay far more than 1/3 of our salaries in taxes.

Not that I know this for certain since I'm not an economist/mathematician/anyone who knows anything. LOL

Mort
11-04-2011, 11:34 PM
Well, isn't that the issue here? We're taxed at the Federal, State (property taxes for Texas), and sometimes even county level and then there's sales tax.

All told, I think we pay far more than 1/3 of our salaries in taxes.

Not that I know this for certain since I'm not an economist/mathematician/anyone who knows anything. LOL

We have a county tax that is accounted for most of the tax, then there is a national tax if you earn more than a certain amount and then another one marginal tax that is added on if you earn even more. VAT tax is 25% unless it's literature (6%) or restaurant (12%, coming 2012). Gas tax is superhigh though, we pay about 2 dollars per litre. 1 gallon is about 3.7 litres.

Terez
11-06-2011, 12:23 AM
The more I read on this, the more it connects with the book I've been reading for about two weeks now, called The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein (2007). Anyone else read it? Since I'm sort of reading the book at the same time as I'm reading up on current events, it seems really prophetic in a lot of ways. Furthermore, it seems to kind of get to the heart of our particular vulnerability right now - that is, the widespread beliefs that 1) economics is too difficult for the average person to understand, and 2) that 'big' government is inherently a big problem (when in fact those who are pushing 'small' government are doing it by throwing taxpayer money at profiteers with almost zero accountability, or selling off publicly held assets to private interests with almost zero accountability). The proportions of this problem are ridiculous, but Klein's central thesis is that the austerity brigade has organized specifically around a global disaster-hopping game. Whether it's an economic crisis - debt crisis, debt ceiling, hyperinflation, etc.; some of these crises often seem to be created out of thin air - or a natural disaster, like the 2004 tsunami (which Klein covered) or Katrina. The same corporations keep popping up all over the place to step in and do the necessary work, and the same banks and economists too, offering aid in exchange for austerity measures, while the populace is too disoriented to do anything about it. Many of these multinational corporations are set up to profit both from reconstruction and from the destruction that makes it necessary.

If you haven't read the book (and you're not ideologically inclined to dismiss it) I really suggest reading it. Klein is one of the best academic authors I've ever read (despite the fact she's not an academic, or perhaps because of it - she's an investigative journalist who knows how to back up her claims with facts). Her style is incredibly engaging, mostly by virtue of the fact that she really packs in the relevant information, and takes you from one crisis to the next with a strong sense of narrative. She doesn't do much preaching or demagoguing aside from the descriptive terms she uses. In other words, her views are rather clear, but she doesn't pontificate on talking points, concentrating instead on useful information. I think the book could have used a little more editing because there are a few places toward the end where she repeats herself word for word, and I don't think anyone realized it. It's hard to keep up with stuff like that when your head is buried in the book to the point of oversaturation, but these repetitions were minor and not really immersion-breaking at all. Fantastic book...and also, a fantastic rebuttal to the think tank reviews that surfaced months later:

http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2008/09/response-attacks

Zombie Sammael
11-06-2011, 06:06 AM
The more I read on this, the more it connects with the book I've been reading for about two weeks now, called The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein (2007). Anyone else read it? Since I'm sort of reading the book at the same time as I'm reading up on current events, it seems really prophetic in a lot of ways. Furthermore, it seems to kind of get to the heart of our particular vulnerability right now - that is, the widespread beliefs that 1) economics is too difficult for the average person to understand, and 2) that 'big' government is inherently a big problem (when in fact those who are pushing 'small' government are doing it by throwing taxpayer money at profiteers with almost zero accountability, or selling off publicly held assets to private interests with almost zero accountability). The proportions of this problem are ridiculous, but Klein's central thesis is that the austerity brigade has organized specifically around a global disaster-hopping game. Whether it's an economic crisis - debt crisis, debt ceiling, hyperinflation, etc.; some of these crises often seem to be created out of thin air - or a natural disaster, like the 2004 tsunami (which Klein covered) or Katrina. The same corporations keep popping up all over the place to step in and do the necessary work, and the same banks and economists too, offering aid in exchange for austerity measures, while the populace is too disoriented to do anything about it. Many of these multinational corporations are set up to profit both from reconstruction and from the destruction that makes it necessary.

If you haven't read the book (and you're not ideologically inclined to dismiss it) I really suggest reading it. Klein is one of the best academic authors I've ever read (despite the fact she's not an academic, or perhaps because of it - she's an investigative journalist who knows how to back up her claims with facts). Her style is incredibly engaging, mostly by virtue of the fact that she really packs in the relevant information, and takes you from one crisis to the next with a strong sense of narrative. She doesn't do much preaching or demagoguing aside from the descriptive terms she uses. In other words, her views are rather clear, but she doesn't pontificate on talking points, concentrating instead on useful information. I think the book could have used a little more editing because there are a few places toward the end where she repeats herself word for word, and I don't think anyone realized it. It's hard to keep up with stuff like that when your head is buried in the book to the point of oversaturation, but these repetitions were minor and not really immersion-breaking at all. Fantastic book...and also, a fantastic rebuttal to the think tank reviews that surfaced months later:

http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2008/09/response-attacks

I've heard of Klein, but I've been notoriously lax in my life in reading anything that isn't broadly defined as "fiction" :o . I will check it out.

Terez
11-06-2011, 06:14 AM
I've heard of Klein, but I've been notoriously lax in my life in reading anything that isn't broadly defined as "fiction" :o
Yeah, me too. I started branching out more when I started researching Chopin. I read some politics books around the 2008 election, but I realize now I read the wrong ones. Or at least, I missed some of the best ones.

Zombie Sammael
11-06-2011, 06:38 AM
Yeah, me too. I started branching out more when I started researching Chopin. I read some politics books around the 2008 election, but I realize now I read the wrong ones. Or at least, I missed some of the best ones.

I'm hoping that getting an e-reader of some description (probably Kindle) will help me to read more broadly, since I won't then have books taking up space on my shelves. I could also just join a library. Oh, the irony of buying a new piece of kit to read anti-capitalist texts...

Terez
11-06-2011, 06:42 AM
Not anti-capitalist. Anti-fascist. Big difference! :)

Mort
11-06-2011, 07:18 AM
I havn't read Klein. I have a friend who has though and got tired of her after a few books. The guy who wrote the background paper for the Cato institute is a Swede called Johan Norberg. Swedens foremost proponent of free-market ideologies. That's why the background paper ended up as a book in swedish :)

My friend actually swapped Klein for Norberg, believing he had better ideas. Not exactly sure how leftist Klein is, only know she is, but he traded the left/middle for a libertarian/ultra-liberal basically :) Pretty big jump I'd say.
Dunno if he's read Klein's respose to Norberg though.

I've thought of reading them both. As the moment I've only read half a book of Norberg about the world-market crash.

Terez
11-06-2011, 06:23 PM
I havn't read Klein. I have a friend who has though and got tired of her after a few books.
As far as I know, she's only written two. I'm not really all that interested in her other one, No Logo. I'm sure it's a great book, but not something I really want to read right now.

My friend actually swapped Klein for Norberg, believing he had better ideas.
Judging by the responses to her book from Cato...ugh. As she pointed out, they're totally dishonest.

Also, what about Cristofer Fjellner? Do you know who that is?

Mort
11-06-2011, 08:38 PM
As far as I know, she's only written two. I'm not really all that interested in her other one, No Logo. I'm sure it's a great book, but not something I really want to read right now.


Judging by the responses to her book from Cato...ugh. As she pointed out, they're totally dishonest.

Also, what about Cristofer Fjellner? Do you know who that is?

Maybe it was only two. I only knew of No Logo as the other one, thought she had written more.

I think my friend got tired of her because of Shock Doctrine mostly. I think he liked No Logo, at least did, until he swapped ideologies :)

Cristofer Fjellner? Never heard of before, but then again, I have very little knowledge of parliamentarians in the EU :)

Terez
11-06-2011, 08:40 PM
This guy is apparently the Swedish partner in ALEC (http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed), the World Fascism Organization. (That's not a joke.)

Sarevok
11-13-2011, 04:57 PM
For anyone that missed it:
Greece is looking to form a new government without the old PM Papandeiou.

Also:

Italy's PM Berlusconi resigned.

Ivhon
11-13-2011, 06:01 PM
Italy's PM Berlusconi resigned.


Women everywhere can stop looking over their shoulders

Mort
11-13-2011, 09:07 PM
Italy's PM Berlusconi resigned.

Hurray!

GonzoTheGreat
11-14-2011, 04:17 AM
Women everywhere can stop looking over their shouldersYou think that now that he has more time, he'll be better behaved? :confused:

Figbiscuit
11-14-2011, 06:51 AM
I could also just join a library.

DO IT!! At least join, even if you don't use it much, but any support for our libraries will not go amiss at the moment :(