Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Occupy Wall Street analyzes the Greek debt problem

At OccupyWallStreet.Org, they are outraged by the unpopular austerity measures being forced on the Greek government:
Wages are to be cut by more than 20 percent, thousands of civil servants will be laid off, and vital social programs will be severely cut. These laws punish the Greek 99% to repay the debts of the ruling class. The government has sold out sovereignty, the poor, and the working class in the interest of foreign creditors and the demands of the 1%. Bankers continue to make millions and corporations pay fewer taxes. The rest of society, having done nothing wrong, is being punished for the failures of the market. [Emph. added]
Is Greece bankrupt because of "the debts of the ruling class"? No. It is bankrupt because of the debts of the Greek government. What has the Greek government been spending its money on? You can find the data (in English fortunately) at the Greek Ministry of Finance. Their 2009 budget is here (PDF). On page 10, there is a helpful pie chart (click on the chart to enlarge):

Greece is bankrupt because it has been spending money that it doesn't have on "health and social policy," "education," and all the other things that left-wing governments spend money on. It is bankrupt because it is a socialist government and it has run out of "other people's money" to spend.

Occupy Wall Street is too busy hating on the "1%" to realize that Greece's problems were caused by politicians buying votes from the "99%".

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