Greece is still likely headed for the exits this year. The economy is just too sickly to meet the bailout requirements, and Germany is highly unlikely to ease them enough to make a difference. (James Pethokoukis)It’s Too Big to Control
I love Brit Janet Daley’s caustic but accurate take…
The economy is now beyond the control of national governments, and therefore outside the remit of democratic politics. It has become truly global, and thus a law unto itself; nation states have gone broke in their attempt to feed its gargantuan appetites for consumption and debt.
The remedies for this began in panic and are now ending in delusion: first the banks went bust and were bailed out by governments; then the governments went bust and needed to be bailed out by – whom? International funding agencies which get their cash from – where? From central banks which will have to print gigantic amounts of money to replace all the money that simply disappeared in the bad debt that bankrupted the banks in the first place.If You Believe in Fairy Tales, Clap Your hands!
And if we all agree to accept the illusion that this newly printed cash has actual value – if we all clap really hard and say that we believe in fairies – then the whole show can get back on the road and we will be rich again.Give us the Loot or Tinkerbell gets it!
But what will be required is a world-wide agreement to participate in the illusion. It will rely on every country, and every government, and every electorate, being prepared to say: “Wealth can come from thin air. It doesn’t need any basis in real income or assets to make it viable.”
If the population or the political leadership of one country (Germany) insists that money must be earned before it is spent, then the game is up and Tinker Bell dies. (Janet Daley)Democratic Dark Ages
London Mayor Boris Johnson puts his own formidable intellect to the task of scattering the fairy dust…
It is one of the tragic delusions of the human race that we believe in the inevitability of progress.
We look around us, and we seem to see a glorious affirmation that our ruthless species of homo is getting ever more sapiens. We see ice cream Snickers bars and in vitro babies and beautiful electronic pads on which you can paint with your fingertip and – by heaven – suitcases with wheels! Think of it: we managed to put a man on the moon about 35 years before we came up with wheelie-suitcases; and yet here they are. They have completely displaced the old type of suitcase, the ones with a handle that you used to lug puffing down platforms.
On the contrary: history teaches us that the tide can suddenly and inexplicably go out, and that things can lurch backwards into darkness and squalor and appalling violence. The Romans gave us roads and aqueducts and glass and sanitation and all the other benefits famously listed by Monty Python; indeed, they were probably on the verge of discovering the wheely-suitcase when they went into decline and fall in the fifth century AD.
And now look at what is being proposed in Greece. For the sake of bubble-gumming the euro together, we are willing to slaughter democracy in the very place where it was born. What is the point of a Greek elector voting for an economic programme, if that programme is decided in Brussels or – in reality – in Germany? What is the meaning of Greek freedom, the freedom Byron fought for, if Greece is returned to a kind of Ottoman dependency, but with the Sublime Porte now based in Berlin?
It won’t work. If things go on as they are, we will see more misery, more resentment, and an ever greater chance that the whole damn kebab van will go up in flames. (Boris Johnson)I am not reveling in any of this. The same problems beset us as well, to the tune of over $4 trillion at the state and local level alone. The irony is that as soon as our economy starts booming again, the interest on our debt will shoot up and consume an even greater percentage of our federal budget.
But on the bright side, President Obama Played his 100th Round of Golf last Week!