From The Wall Street Journal:
Syriza Victory in Greek Election Roils European Debate Over Austerity
Leftist Party’s Win Is Likely to Embolden Populist Movements Elsewhere in Eurozone
By Marcus Walker | Jan. 25, 2015 8:33 p.m. ET
BERLIN—For five years, Europe’s common-currency bloc has squabbled over whether the solution to its economic crisis lies in slimming the state and deregulating markets, or in more expansionary fiscal and monetary policies.
The battle lines just got messier, the way out even less clear.
Since the start of the eurozone’s debt crisis, the bloc’s wealthier countries—led by Germany—have largely prevailed in pushing economic overhauls, not stimulus, as the main way to nurse indebted nations to financial health. Now, eurozone voters are in open revolt against such fiscal strictures, while the European Central Bank just overthrew German monetary orthodoxy.
Sunday’s historic victory for the radical left-wing Syriza party in Greece’s elections is likely to embolden populist movements in other eurozone countries, including Spain, France and Italy, which reject German-sponsored austerity.
More at the original.
It was the subtitle, “Leftist Party’s Win Is Likely to Embolden Populist Movements Elsewhere in Eurozone,” which caught my attention: the Journal is suggesting that people in democracies all across Europe may decide, well, Hell, why should we pay our bills? It’s the almost inevitable conclusion of the silly Occupy movement, where people who have been living better than their production supported decided that they didn’t want to have to actually pay for past profligacy.
Well, no, the debt is not owed to taxpayers; the debt is owed by taxpayers, who would not have accumulated that debt had they paid enough in taxes to support the spending of the governments they elected. But, had they paid enough in taxes to keep their budgets balanced, then they’d have had less money themselves, and not lived as well. It was the financiers who provided than money for them to live better. That €40 billion gift would be the gift of the taxpayers not having to pay what they owe, but it would be a €40 billion theft from the people who had loaned their hard-earned money to the Greeks.
Of course, for the Occupods, owing money to people who actually earned money, well they’re the evil 1%ers, so it’s just Social Justice not to pay them back!
The sad part is that the austerity program was working for Greece, but the Greeks were apparently not nearly as interested in getting their government and their country on a sounder financial footing than they were in having more money in their wallets. That’s understandable enough, I suppose, but the real result will be that their government will go broke, and they’ll still have to live no better than their own production will support. Anyone who lends the Greeks money after yesterday’s elections is Just Plain Stupid, and deserves any losses he takes.
Related Stories from The Wall Street Journal:
- Syriza Win in Greek Election Sets Up New Europe Clash
- Markets Take Greek Result in Stride
- Europe File: Eurozone Cohesion Put to the Test
- Right-Wing Party to Form Coalition With Syriza
- Greece Must Repay Debt, Europe Officials Say
- How Will Syriza’s Greek Victory Hit the Markets – Recap
- Syriza’s Big Post-Election Challenge: an Empty Greek Treasury
- Academics Fuel Rise of Insurgent Greek Party
- Greece: Austerity, Relief or Exit?
- How Greece and Germany Brought Europe’s Long-Simmering Crisis Back to a Boil (Jan. 21)
- Smaller Party Could Emerge as Kingmaker in Greek Election (Jan. 21)
From The Wall Street Journal:
Syriza Poised for Victory in Greek Election
Vote Results Could Determine Country’s Future as Eurozone Member
By Nektaria Stamouli and Alkman Granitsas | Updated Jan. 25, 2015 12:25 p.m. ET
ATHENS—Greece’s radical leftist Syriza party was poised to win a historic victory in national elections Sunday as exit polls showed voters rejected a ruling party that had implemented Europe’s harsh austerity medicine.
Syriza appeared to win between 35.5% and 39.5% of the vote, trouncing the incumbent New Democracy party, which managed to secure just 23% to 27% of the vote, according to the exit polls, which were issued immediately after voting booths closed.
If Syriza is able to secure more than 150 seats on its own, it won’t need coalition partners and will have a freer hand in implementing its program—something that could lead to ruptures with Greece’s creditors.
The polls also showed that voters backed a handful of smaller parties—ranging from the extreme-right Golden Dawn party to the centrist To Potami party—making it unclear whether Syriza would win an absolute majority in Greece’s 300 seat legislature. According to the polls, Syriza was projected to secure between 146 to 158 seats, depending on the final outcome.
The elections are expected to have lasting repercussions for both Greece and the eurozone. Syriza, which emerged as the main opposition party in mid-2012 at the depths of the nation’s debt crisis, has promised to tear up the austerity program that Athens pledged in exchange for a €240 billion ($269 billion) bailout from international creditors.
Since first seeking a bailout in 2010, Greece has undertaken a broad sweep of revamps and cutbacks that have helped fix its public finances and nudged the economy back to growth following six years of deep recession. Those cutbacks have come at a cost: Some 25% of Greeks remain jobless, while a quarter of households live close to the poverty line.
Syriza has promised to change all that: pledging immediate relief to the poor, rolling back unpopular taxes and negotiating a debt write-down with the country’s creditors to free up spending on social programs.
There’s more at the link, but this is no surprise: Greece, like most of the democratic European nations, have been living beyond the means supported by their production, for decades. While the PIGS — Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain — are closer to eventual default than the more productive eurozone members, France and Germany have their own problems; France threw out the more sensible government of Nicolas Sarkozy almost two years ago, voting for the Socialist François Hollande, but it turned out that that socialist government hasn’t helped very much.
It’s simple: today’s voters don’t want to pay the bills run up by their parents so that their parents could live better. Once Greece exits the eurozone and reinstates the drachma as its currency, well maybe they won’t go quite as far as did Zimbabwe in trying to get out of debt, but unless the new government does what it has promised not to do, austerity will be forced on Greece, as no one will lend them any more money.
Would you lend money to a country in which the voters can just decide not to pay you back?
Yesterday, I used the snow blower for the first time since getting it back from the service people. It started fine, ran for a minute, and then cut off, and I couldn’t restart it. What the heck, I was saying to myself. It acted like it wasn’t getting fuel, and then I realized: the service people had shut off the valve underneath the fuel tank, so once I used up the gasoline in the fuel line, it was out of fuel. I did enjoy putting more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
And if the forecasts are correct, I’ll get a lot of use out of the snow blower over the next couple of days.
Now, on to the blogroll
- Phineas on Sister Toldjah: Journalism Dean: “There are limits to free speech”
- Amy Taylor on The Victory Girls: #SOTU: Democrat Opposition to Obama’s Agenda
- John Hitchcock on Truth Before Dishonor: ‘Margaret Thatcher, not so much’: Obama cutting short India trip to pay respects to Saudi Arabia
- Hube on the Colossus of Rhodey: Let’s check in with the Moonbat Comicbook Creators
- Karen on The Lonely Conservative: Obama Created So Many Arctic Climate Agencies He Needs A Committee To Oversee Them All
- Perry on Bridging the Gap: Nothing new since December 13th.
- William Teach on The Pirate’s Cove: Oh, Snap: Doomsday Clock Moved To 3 Minutes Thanks To “Climate Change” And Nuclear Weapons
- Robert Stacey Stacy McCain on The Other McCain: Professional Perverts
- Wiliam Jacobson on Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion: Finally Obtained: David Gregory Arrest Warrant Affidavit
- Donald Douglas on American Power: Obama Administration Pushes to Tax ‘529’ College Saving Accounts So, the President wants to make two-year, state-run community colleges “free,” but wants to take away a mechanism under which some people have set aside money to pay for their children to go to college. Just fornicating brilliant!
- The much better-looking Dana on Patterico’s Pontifications: Young Woman Forced To Undergo Chemotherapy Against Her Will
- Darleen Click on Protein Wisdom: “We cannot have these cities with low density, designed for the use of cars.” Our betters know how we should have to live!
It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Uma Thurman in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude. This week, a look back on some older photos, because, regardless of how we imagine things, armies have been using women in dangerous roles when they needed women in those roles.
Thanks to this story from Donald Douglas, I found out that the left are just totally obsessed with the shoes worn by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) for the Republicans’ rebuttal to President Obama’s supposed State of the Union address:
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 21, 2015
I particularly liked this response:
— Alex Boivin (@Boivin) January 21, 2015
The Republicans, huh? And how long ago was it that the Democrats got their hearts all a’flutter over Wendy Davis pink tennis shoes, and even decided to nominate her to become Governor of Texas over them?
The essential error of the Obama presidency is an unfounded belief that greater government power—in our pocketbooks, in our private lives—will make America more prosperous and free. President Obama’s faith in concentrated power was on full display in tonight’s State of the Union address.
Working families feel squeezed by higher health care costs and tuition bills. Those fortunate enough to hold steady jobs haven’t seen a raise in years. They worry about their children’s future and their country’s.
The president seems to have only one answer for them: enlarge the size and scope of the federal government. To help middle-class Americans, the president demands more than $300 billion of tax hikes and a new round of stimulus spending. To rein in education costs, the president creates a federal education entitlement, the type of which led to skyrocketing tuition in the first place. To fix our health care system, the president touts the same law that has caused prices to rise and stripped families of access to their doctors. To make the financial system more stable, the president threatens to veto reforms to Dodd-Frank, his law that made banks bigger than ever. And to protect Americans’ privacy, he offers yet another report instead of reining in his own spies.
Higher federal taxes, more federal spending, and greater federal control of our lives haven’t worked over the past six years. Our country is beginning to turn the corner not because of government but in spite of it. Instead of faith in Washington, let’s put faith in Americans to determine their own lives. Let’s give liberty a chance.
I have better things to do with my time than listening to the worst President of my lifetime — and my lifetime includes Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter — make yet another campaign speech proposing things which the Congress will never pass.
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When the listening time is over, a lawyer who has taken the time to listen can provide solid answers that can bring peace of mind. After all, a man who is going through a divorce is going through a lot of stress. He needs guidance and assistance in how to proceed. A lawyer who listens carefully to the situation of a man and understands it can give thoughtful feedback that can help him greatly. A lawyer can talk about what specific paperwork needs to be filled out. Numerous individuals and firms can be helpful to men who are experiencing a divorce. Reading information about a firm or an individual can be insightful. Cordell & Cordell Reviews is an example of real people who have provided feedback on their services.
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In two years from now, the worst President in my lifetime — and my lifetime includes Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter — will leave office forever.
I don’t know how good President Obama is at golf, but I would like to see him practice it more and more and more. I want him out on the golf course, every day, for the next two years, because the less that he’s in the office, supposedly doing his job, the less harm he can do to us.
I haven’t been to Colorado since the summer of 1972 — and that was just passing through — but if I ever return, this looks like a great place to stop and eat. From CNN:
I bet they don’t get robbed!
The CNN interviewer was doing her damnedest to try to rattle Shooters Grill owner Lauren Boebert, but couldn’t. More openly liberal MSNBC tries the same thing:
Open carry is perfectly legal in Colorado, no permit required, and, quite frankly, the Second Amendment says, in effect, that open carry is perfectly legal, anywhere in the United States, by anyone legally allowed to own a firearm. The Fourteenth Amendment states that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” which ought to mean that only persons actually convicted of crimes for which the penalties include the loss of civil rights should be legally barred from owning firearms. The courts, which are supposed to protect our rights, haven’t always done a very good job of that.