What Would John Adams Do?

One useless man is called a bore, two a law firm, and three a Congress or Greek Parliament!  I am really pissed off at Tsipras, I mean I’m mad as hell at the man.  If ever there was a time to show backbone, gumption, independence, leadership, and above all fearlessness in the face of death defying odds, this was the week.  He should have told Snable where to park his wheelchair.  He should have told Merkel what to do with herself in private.  He should have told the Finns to put two corks in it and how far.  He could have been a contender, a champion.  Now he will be another minor foot note in the pages of history.  So he came back to Parliament with his tail between his legs and posed the good, strong pose of a champion declaring how he concluded the greatest deal on earth, after Germany water boarded him.  And the Parliament had a chance to go down in glory with the 300, a chance to revive the spirit that was Greece before the Romans, the spirit that conquered half the known world.  But they wimped out.  Us bench warmers on my high school football team had more pride.  Maybe we didn’t get to play but, god damn, we gave it all we had, we gave it our best shot.  We showed up for practice an hour early just to hit the sleds.  We ran the extra laps.  We practiced among ourselves.  We earned the respect of the varsity players because we didn’t quit.

John Adams is rapidly spinning in his grave about now.  For the Greeks there was only one answer, Go to hell, Germany!”  Vote for independence.  Yes, they has structural problems that needed attention and the resolve and the courage to face those decisions honestly.  Yes, someone has to take a stance, someone has to say no to the waste and the corruption.  That’s the plainest facts on the face of the earth.  If the job has to get done someone has to step up to the plate and take his cuts.  After tonight, Greece will no longer be remembered as the birthplace of democracy.  When the going got tough the weak caved in.  Tsipras is toast, he is through,  In another month he and his party will be just minor annoyances.  He could have been a contender, he could have been the champ.

Years ago I almost died from a heart problem and the doctors told me that I needed an immediate operation,  There was a hitch though, the chance I might die was ten to fifteen percent.  I spent a few days looking at sunsets, trying to remember then in my mind.  I remember one woman who told me have brave I must be to face that chance so calmly.  My answer was simple.  It’s not bravery or courage when the only other option is death.  I’m no hero because I chose to face my mortality in a calm manner.  When there really isn’t a choice it doesn’t take courage, only acceptance.  So what does Greece gain now?  Death by a thousand cuts?  Will haircuts be taken?  Don’t count on it.  It was a pure power play by Germany, has nothing to do with the money.  So what is gained by accepting total surrender?  Germany’s good will?  So you get the money to keep the dream turned nightmare alive.  Greece becomes the official European zombie.  Tell that to your grandchildren.

Greece needed to exit the euro zone.  Anything else is insane.  It is a mathematical impossibility to pay off the creditors.  And not to borrow more to pay the creditors….doesn’t make sense.  I will gladly pay you Tuesday what I owe you for last Tuesday for the hamburger I bought with borrowed money in you lend me the money to repay you again.  Did I miss something?  I have to borrow more money to repay the money I previously borrowed.  And it was Aristotle who gave us the rules of logic.  Without any reduction is debt by at least fifty percent Greece will never be able to repay its debt.  The new loads will push Greece to the mark of debt to GDP equaling 200 percent.  Now remember that one of the components of GDP is government spending.  If part of that government spending is debt service (paying the interest) and debt retirement (paying down the debt owed), then depending on the economy, that can be a very heavy burden.  Well, we can project that the Greek GDP will be X amount.  How so?  All of Europe is in a recession if not heading into a depression.  So where is the economic growth going to come from for the country, through taxes, because it’s the people who will pay down the government debt,  If there are no jobs, if there is no industry that will pull the Greeks through, where does the money come from?  I don’t give a damn what you thing the creditors will give you, if you don’t have a job you can’t pay no matter how good the deal from the creditors.  Tourism is not enough and besides, the people will cheat when it comes to collecting the VAT.  All Germany has done is to encourage a cash economy.  That means no paper trail for the tax audits.  Hell, I buy firewood here in France and the sellers only take cash.  No checks, no credit cards, not debit cards, only cash.  Do you think they really report the sale to the government and pay taxes on it?  Greece will become a cash economy just to avoid the taxes.

In six months Greece will be back again in the limelight because they can’t pay their debts.  Then what will Germany do?  Are they going to repossess the country?  They tried it in 41 and it didn’t work.  Yes, we now have our tiger banks, unstoppable.  Armor protected and big guns to blast your vaults.  But Germany relies on exports and the financing for those exports.  What is their export levels right now?  About zero.  And that is their GDP  growth as well.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that their future isn’t that bright.  But lend Greece more money just to show the world that you don’t stiff German banks?  That does not compute, Doctor Smith.  Even a Vulcan wouldn’t try to parse that logic.Mr Spock would show some intuition in this case.  Most illogical, Captain.  No, the only way forward is though the Drachma and debt default.  If Greece wants any kind of viable future that is the only way forward.

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