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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why are we having to pay for the indulgences of the Greeks?

According to the news article at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/greek-
bailout-has-risks-but-so-does-doing-nothing/article1550088/

"Politicians weighing a bailout of the hugely indebted Greek government face a
 grim choice that looks ominously like the one that U.S. policy makers confronted in the days 
before Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. failed."


At this website::http://www.heritage.org/Index/Country/Greece

I found the following information:

"Total government expenditures (of the Greek Government) , including consumption
 and transfer payments, are high. In the most recent year, government spending
 equaled 44.0 percent of GDP. Progress has been made in reforming and privatizing
state-owned enterprises. "

Why should other countries have to bail out the Greek Government from is financial mess, when in
reality it was the Greek Government and the people of Greece who were engaging in self-indulgence?
This is especially true due to these fact which I found online:

1."Greece directs approximately 4.3% of its GDP to military expenditures, the
 2nd highest percentage in Europe (behind the Republic of Macedonia).[4] In absolute
 numbers the Greek military budget ranked 28th in the world in 2005. By the
 same measure, Greek military budget ranked 6th in the Mediterranean basin
 (behind France, Italy, TurkeyIsrael and Spain) and 2nd (behind Turkey) in
 its immediate vicinity, the Balkans.[5] It must be noted that Greek arms
 purchasing is among the highest in the world: Greece ranked 3rd in the world in 2004.[6]"
(source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Greece )


According to the website:https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-
world-factbook/geos/gr.html


 "Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of annual GDP. The
 Greek economy grew by nearly 4.0% per year between 2003 and 2007, due partly to
 infrastructural spending related to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and in part to 
an increased availability of credit, which has sustained record levels of consumer
 spending. But growth dropped to 2% in 2008. The economy went into recession in
 2009 and contracted by 2%, as a result of the world financial crisis, tightening 
credit conditions, and Athens' failure to address a growing budget deficit,
 which was triggered by falling state revenues, and increased government
 expenditures."


"Athens, however, faces long-term challenges to push through unpopular reforms in 
the face of often vocal opposition from the country's powerful labor unions and the
 general public. Greek labor unions are prepared to strike over new austerity measures
 and continued widespread unrest could challenge the government's ability to implement 
reforms and meet budget targets, and could also lead to rioting or violence."


I suggest you read this very good article concerning the behavior of the Greeks: http://mises.org/daily/4091




Greek Government Expenditures have been over 40% of GDP and revenues just under that level over the past years. The Greek government has been operating at a deficit of 3% to 7% of GDP since 2000. Public debt is now close to 100% of GDP, and the fiscal deficit rose from 3.1% to 5% of GDP between 2006 and 2008 despite a buoyant economy.Compared to other OECD countries, the Greek government spends a much smaller portion of resources on education (5.5% vs. 12.9%) and a larger share of resources on social protection and general public services. In contrast to other OECD countries, local governments in Greece do not spend a large proportion of resources on health or social protection. These activities are predominately funded by social security funds. Instead, almost half of local government expenditures go toward general public services, with local governments also predominately responsible for environmental protection; housing and community amenities; and recreation, culture and religion. The central government is responsible for defence and public order and safety, with the largest share of resources going to economic affairs and general public services. (source:http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/5/52/44125050.pdf


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Why should other countries have to bail out the Greeks for their irresponsible and selfish behavior?
Let the Greeks cut their miltary spending, and let the Greece people cut their consumer spending before
we bail them out!

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.