Meanwhile, in Greece…
Is the country that gave us the word democracy leaving the United States of Europe and it’s Euro? Could be, maybe, I don’t know. And in other news…people are actually suing Facebook? (Corporations are people, my friend) And Mitt wants to load up classrooms with students because it’s more efficient I suppose. He also suggests that prospective college students should “shop around” for a cheap school to go to because the government won’t give them money. Of course the government will give them money if they join the armed forces. I guess being born into money as his five sons were helps a little. None of boys joined the military but still went to expensive colleges, but that’s a “choice” I guess. Back to the point at hand, so what’s happening? Well Greece needs to form a government soon to either accept or reject the bail out conditions of austerity or go back to the drachma. And Facebook was not completely truthful about its projected earnings ahead of its IPO. It sounds like the whole deal was a wee bit shady, but hell, that’s free enterprise. I know it’s hard to believe. Greece could be leaving the Eurozone. Reading what the other members of the “zone” are saying, it sounds like it won’t be that much of a set back. How does that make Greece feel I wonder?
Initially the Eurozone grew out of the Common Market in 1957 and was hailed as the first step in organizing trade and what not under one umbrella with other countries. Over time as more and more countries wanted in, the Eurozone was created with it’s own common currency. Supposedly if you used the currency the “euro” you had a say in stuff the zone did. However, Kosovo and Montenegro, have adopted the euro unilaterally. These countries do not formally form part of the eurozone and do not have representation in the ECB (European Central Bank) or the Euro Group. Go figure. (England is sorta kinda part of the zone but retains its own currency with the Queen’s picture on it.) So I guess you can have currency but no voice in the administration of the currency or policy. Soooo…since there is no mechanism to expel nations that sign on to the Euro it is up to the individual nations to pull out. And since the recession hit the world wide community, several countries who had been flying high are now on the verge of falling off the edge (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland to name a few) like Greece.
The European Central Bank and member countries have given Greece an ultimatum to cut cut cut their budgets or they don’t get any more bail-out money. So it sounds like the grand experiment to unite countries in trade and to avoid war by being bound under a single currency is starting to falter. I am sure it is more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it. So cuts in arts, entitlements and education are on the table for the Greeks. Many understandably don’t like these cuts and have had protests and riots to prove it. Something must happen. The notion of cutting is appealing to those who think simply but at the G8 meeting recently, growth must also be part of the equation including raising revenue. (Yes, Virginia…the “T” word)
So we over here in the non-eurozone can cut funding for education, putting more folks out of work and on unemployment, then pack the classrooms like a Syrian detention cell with one teacher and everything will be fine. No vision. Knee jerk reaction to a solvable problem. Invest wisely in those things that make a country great like the arts like education and stay away from overpriced stock like Facebook. Cutting for the sake of cutting without investing doesn’t make a lot of sense. So Greece, you’ve been doing this democracy thing for a few millennium now and I know you will get it right. And Mr. Romney I double dog dare you to teach a class of 60 seventh graders and see if they listen and learn about the euro-zone.
Now, I’m kinda glad I didn’t mortgage the ranch for a piece of my neighbor’s business down the street here in Menlo.
and so it goes…