Working Until You Die is "Good" for the Economy
Many Greeks will doubtless be bewildered by a system which seems only to want to take and not to give in terms of protecting the needs of its own citizenry, but of course since Greece is a part of the European Union, and since the European Union is about harmonising the bloc of countries in trade, then one can hardly be too sympathetic with Greeks when you learn that many have had retirement ages as low as age 50 and that other more productive countries such as Britain for example have sought to increase or abandon the retirement age altogether.
The UK Govt sold the idea of course, that it would be 'fairer' to 'allow' its citizens to work until they die here whilst simultaneously ending our ability to get a job by increasing immigration whilst imposing a lot of laws to promote positive discrimination where only white males can be discriminated against, and thus sold people the idea that this was good for society because Brits being without work, (obviously), is 'good for the economy???
But back to that idea the EU had to create a stable trading zone where goods bought in France were no differently priced to those bought in Spain or the Netherlands or in Britain.
This partial chart, taken from Wiki, shows the muddle of VAT rates across the EU.
I wonder where harmonised trading is supposed to be in this when clearly goods bought in one country will simply not be the same as in another when VAT rates themselves are not equal?
Surely this is competition not equality?
Yet if you believe politicians (and I don't), then you would think we are part of a trading bloc in order to balance out our economic fortunes as members, and that 'protectionism', or 'competition' is to be frowned upon?
How can this be equal when incomes and salaries and pensions and pensionable ages, VAT and income taxes are not 'equal'?
But there are other questions too, and at this point I'm minded to go get some more figures but I'll resist the temptation to do that right now and instead give readers the benefit of the doubt that they themselves are intelligent enough to see there are major problems if wanting to think 'equality', if you live in an 'unequal system'.
For instance Greece doesn't have a nuclear program but France and Britain do and surely it is British and French taxpayers who would meet the bill of providing defences to Greece and to other European countries if the shit hit the fan, and meanwhile it is us who are maintaining those systems.
Another example for instance would be if the Canary Islands were seized and occupied by another dictator as they were in WWII, whether it would be the taxpayers of the Canaries who would meet the bill of British task forces with the measly contribution of Canarians of 5% which had already been re-invested into its economy and had been spent?
But I still feel sympathy personally for Greeks in their economic plight right now which sees that the only way for them to manage is with a sizeable loan through an EU and IMF led rescue plan which I can't really see as being that much different to tipping money down a Greek drain.
Greece's economy must surely have been primarily based on tourism unless you can think of any major Greek exports apart from Feta cheese? - Incidentally, the higher rate of VAT in Greece could be one reason why British tourists previously tended to have to dig deep into their Visa's when holidaying there, and it could be why 'some' would say it was a 'rip-off' when they returned?
Also, over 50% of their employed are employed by the state, and it has to be considered as to exactly where the money comes from to pay those people given that tourism generally has dropped by at best 40% across Europe?
How does Greece pay back its loan?
Oh hang on, you think tourism will bounce back and everything will be okay right?
Or maybe Greece could sell more cheese?
I would ask on the other hand, who will buy that cheese and who will be touring around Greece in the coming months, and then I'd look around and see our own economic drain hole which is about to start swirling to suck the last remaining bit of wealth out of British taxpayers pockets, in a climate where jobs are scarce, industry is non-existent, debts are high, cuts have to be made before we go under, and where our own state services employ 40% or more of the workforce on higher salaries than the national average along with immigrants who will likely not be giving up their jobs any time soon as a result that politicians have already been 'warned' - stroke - threatened with mass strikes if they make cuts to jobs or incomes.
So basically, the government will instead of upsetting immigrants and unions, go fishing into private pensions again and will have no scruples at making cuts where they hurt you but not it.
Nice for some people to feel that they are protected in a European Union where everyone and everything is 'harmonised' then?
I could go on a lot more but if I get into the industrial outputs of France and Germany versus that of all the other EU economies then I'll be here another week.
Go take a look yourselves and when you do, come back and tell me how we are 'equal partners', trading in a 'balanced economy', where we are able to live in 'harmony' in a market which is the same. And then tell me why 'protectionism' only applies if you have muscle to bring down governments like the unions in Britain which are funded predominently with money from state employees whose wages are met by the taxpayers, who are thus responsible for their own demise when that taxman's chopper lands on the back of their neck (or pension), and why anyone else can go take a flying leap because 'protectionism' is wrong (sic), and being unemployed or working until you die, and giving your jobs to immigrants is 'good' for the economy!