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Rory
Post  Post subject: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:11 am
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In true 'one for all and all for one' style, if every person on the planet contributed 45 euros then Greece's debt would be wiped out - okay we would need to pay more than that since not all 7 billion of us are of working age, and it would need to be tiered according to ability to pay.

Seriously, wtf are Greece going to do if they cannot renegotiate their debt situation?

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scoobydoo1
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:31 am
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What is the rationale for us to repay Greece's debt? How did someone else problem become my problem?


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:23 pm
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Apart from being the empathetic option - by dragging the eurozone down with it.

If Greece defaults on its debt then its creditors are not going to be as profitable and so as able to invest in other parts of the economies of Europe.

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scoobydoo1
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:02 pm
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That would imply that certain (bad) decisions and/or mismanagement has no consequences, and everyone can simply do the same at the expense of everyone else (those who did the same and those who didn't).


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:29 pm
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scoobydoo1 wrote:
How did someone else problem become my problem?

Shared currencies and connected international markets.

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scoobydoo1
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:13 pm
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iNow wrote:
scoobydoo1 wrote:
How did someone else problem become my problem?

Shared currencies and connected international markets.

Would craving off and selling chunks of land to private entities in repaying interests be feasible?


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:49 pm
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Perhaps feasible, but unlikely sufficient.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:15 pm
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and the plot thickens : New Greek government : Russia’s Trojan horse inside the EU ?

whatever the difference in politics, until europe's attitude towards Russia was pretty unanimous

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:29 pm
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scoobydoo1,

I get that people and nations ought to be fiscally responsible and that there should be some kind of a deterrent to defaulting on debts. However it doesn't seem fair to me that, for example, youths in Greece fresh out of school/college/university should have to pay for the mistaken decisions taken by those in power, from whom the individual ordinary citizen could not be more distanced - by living an existence without the prospect of suitable employment, without hope.

What needs to be achieved, is a way of punishing those who made the irresponsible economic decisions (both senior Greek authorities and their creditors) without punishing the people for a crime they never committed.

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scoobydoo1
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:21 pm
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Rory wrote:
I get that people and nations ought to be fiscally responsible and that there should be some kind of a deterrent to defaulting on debts. However it doesn't seem fair...

If it were some sort of natural disaster or something else beyond their control, I wouldn't mind lending a helping hand. However, the price for mismanagement which the governing body elected by the people needs to be (re)paid. That is why I was wondering whether carving up the nation into chunks of land for sale to private entities for repaying debt interests can be considered.


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:01 am
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But many Greek citizens did not want, and did not vote for, the government they were nevertheless forced to endure. It is not fair to punish somebody for a decision or action perpetrated, perhaps, in their name, but nonetheless without their consent. Even those who did vote for the catastrophic Greek government could not have foreseen what the consequences would be for their country or their family otherwise they surely would not have voted in the way that they did. Western indirect democracies are effectively elective dictatorships: the voter ticks a certain box according to the stated pre-election political principles and policies of a party or representative but they have zero control over the decisions and actions taken once the party or representative is in office. At the last general election I voted for the Liberal Democrats after growing weary of the Labour party and, crucially, because Nick Clegg categorically promised to cancel student fees. Once he had my vote and that of like-minded voters he sold us out and tripled tuition fees. Am I supposed to be somehow responsible for his decision? By way of analogy, that is the line of reasoning you are using to blame the Greek average Joe. Fallout from the recession has proven not only the economic fragility of the West but also its blatant lack of democracy and its compassion deficit. No ordinary citizen is burdened with the illusion that their government cares for their welfare.

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scoobydoo1
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:45 am
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Rory wrote:
... to blame the Greek average Joe.

No,to not blame; but to hold them responsible. Because someone or entity jolly well be. Rewards reaped when times were good weren't shared with the rest of the nations, but when time are bad, we get to shoulder the burden? I don't think so.

The keywords here are responsibility and consequences. Some body has to be the former, and this some body will need to bear the latter.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:16 pm
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It's important to recall that sometimes preventing moral hazard does more harm to the broader economy than is worth it. Accountability is great, but should be approached in context of more practical and unemotional notions of growth and system health.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:05 pm
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scoobydoo1,

Fully endorse the decision makers and executive taking responsibility for their decisions and actions. I also understand and partly agree with your opinion, that to expect countries that did not benefit from Greece's strategy during the boom years to shoulder the burden for Greece during the bust years, is unfair. However, the political landscape of Greece is not homogenous; the decisions taken by the Greek government did not necessarily reflect the wishes of all citizens. It is unfair to lump all Greek citizens together as if they were one body politik. In fact, some Greek citizens will have been so distanced from their 'representatives' as to take the equivalent perspective of some (equally unconnected) UK citizens. The fact that the poor misrepresented Greek citizen had the misfortune to be born into a country with a political landscape at odds with their own, is not the fault of said citizen, and so the average Greek citizen cannot be held responsible for the state of the economy - and, if justice prevails, should not be forced to live with the adverse consequences.

I think it would help, in terms of securing fair accountability, if nations were to see themselves not as one great landmass to be ruled with a blanket approach at national, regional and local levels, but instead if the treasury were to be fragmented into two or more according to the number of different political approaches to the economy (so in the UK that would mostly be a Tory/Labour split). Allow the two systems to operate alongside one another, in the same nation, but independent of one another, and allow voters to periodicalky opt in or out of the various systems. That way, everybody is happy, and there is no confusion as to who did or did not endorse certain economic policies.

iNow,

Good point - sometimes in trying to satisfy some moral code or other, it leads to greater or more numerous related but unanticipated problems.

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kojax
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:56 am
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Rory wrote:
However, the political landscape of Greece is not homogenous; the decisions taken by the Greek government did not necessarily reflect the wishes of all citizens. It is unfair to lump all Greek citizens together as if they were one body politik.


The problem with this logic is that it makes accountability impossible. Whether they all agree with their government's decisions, they are still acting as a group.

If you took away the group accountability, they could vote for the government to take out a huge loan and buy every citizen a nice sports car, then turn around and argue that they shouldn't be required to pay back the money because not every citizen agreed with the decision, and nobody can prove which citizens did and did not (due to annonymity of the vote.)


Quote:
In fact, some Greek citizens will have been so distanced from their 'representatives' as to take the equivalent perspective of some (equally unconnected) UK citizens. The fact that the poor misrepresented Greek citizen had the misfortune to be born into a country with a political landscape at odds with their own, is not the fault of said citizen, and so the average Greek citizen cannot be held responsible for the state of the economy - and, if justice prevails, should not be forced to live with the adverse consequences.


It is the obligation of any nation of people who feel their government is not representing their desires accurately to take up arms and force their government to start representing them accurately, or die trying.

If they are too cowardly to do that then they get a coward's reward.

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I think it would help, in terms of securing fair accountability, if nations were to see themselves not as one great landmass to be ruled with a blanket approach at national, regional and local levels, but instead if the treasury were to be fragmented into two or more according to the number of different political approaches to the economy (so in the UK that would mostly be a Tory/Labour split). Allow the two systems to operate alongside one another, in the same nation, but independent of one another, and allow voters to periodicalky opt in or out of the various systems. That way, everybody is happy, and there is no confusion as to who did or did not endorse certain economic policies.


It is a nice idea, but I doubt it could be made to be practical. For example, which group would build and maintain the roads?

Everyone in the nation drives on the roads. It's a shared benefit. How do you work that out in a way where everyone gets to "agree to disagree" about how much money to spend maintaining them without unfairly placing too much burden on one group over another?

Maybe one group would want to spend the absolute minimum, while another group would be willing to pay more in taxes if it means having really nice roads. But it would be unfair for the ones who spent less to get to drive on nice roads, nor for the ones who spent more to have to drive on shoddy roads, after paying for nice roads. The two groups ultimately have to agree or there can be no road system at all.


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:26 am
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Group accountability among a politically heterogenous group is what leads to inequity - for example, the recovery so far in the UK has punished the young, the savers and the most econonically deprived - the people least likely to have had any involvement in the political or cultural mistakes that have ruined the country. The system proposed above would allow for group accountabikity in a fair way - since it would be obvious who condoned the decisions of which parties.

If it has gotten to the stage where bloodshed is the only realistic option for securing political change then there can be nothing worth salvaging of this nation.

Communal facilities would be funded according to the average of what each party is willing to pay and accounting for the proportions of members. I am trying to think of a way of organising the funding of facilities that are geographically static among a population that is mobile - probably it could only work if the citizens carried around a political 'passport' that associates them with a certain level of funding. E.g. Labour citizens carry a membership card entitling them to 250k worth medical treament over a lifetime as funded communally between party members whereas the Tory citizens must rely on private healthcare providers.

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kojax
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:54 am
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Rory wrote:
Group accountability among a politically heterogenous group is what leads to inequity


Both group accountability and inequality are unavoidable in real life. They can be minimized, and should be minimized as well as possible, but you have to be realistic enough to accept a small amount of it, or you'll be "chasing pennies with dollars" and bankrupt your economy with unrealistic and expensive proposals.


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If it has gotten to the stage where bloodshed is the only realistic option for securing political change then there can be nothing worth salvaging of this nation.


Think about what "self government" means. Or the idea of "consent of the governed", within the scope of democracy.

It is the duty of government to maintain a police force or some kind of armed force to forcibly put its edicts into action. A government incapable for imposing its will is useless, and would never be considered very credible.

In effect, the goal of government is to impose conformity on a heterogenous group. It should only play this role when there is a benefit to be had, but there are many situations where there is, indeed, quite a lot of benefit to be had. For example, there may be some people in your country who do not feel that rape is wrong. They would be happy to go rape people, and do not mind having to worry that others may attempt to rape them (presumably they feel they are strong enough to defend themselves.)

The government comes along and tells them that, no, they are not free to choose for themselves on this issue. The majority wants to have no raping allowed, and so they will either have to go along with that, or they can spend a few years in jail.



Quote:
Communal facilities would be funded according to the average of what each party is willing to pay and accounting for the proportions of members. I am trying to think of a way of organising the funding of facilities that are geographically static among a population that is mobile - probably it could only work if the citizens carried around a political 'passport' that associates them with a certain level of funding. E.g. Labour citizens carry a membership card entitling them to 250k worth medical treament over a lifetime as funded communally between party members whereas the Tory citizens must rely on private healthcare providers.


I don't see how your system differs from simply leaving everything up to the private sector?


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:56 pm
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Quote:
kojax wrote:
Both group accountability and inequality are unavoidable in real life. They can be minimized, and should be minimized as well as possible, but you have to be realistic enough to accept a small amount of it, or you'll be "chasing pennies with dollars" and bankrupt your economy with unrealistic and expensive proposals.


You’re asking me to be pragmatic in a country in which it is regarded as “democratic” to have the situation in which voters do all that is within their power, which is to vote – a paltry once-in-5-years decision – and then are served a government that not only ignores their pre-election promise but adopts the reverse policy x 3. No amount of group accountability is going to fix that shambles.

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kojax wrote:
Think about what "self government" means. Or the idea of "consent of the governed", within the scope of democracy.

It is the duty of government to maintain a police force or some kind of armed force to forcibly put its edicts into action. A government incapable for imposing its will is useless, and would never be considered very credible.

In effect, the goal of government is to impose conformity on a heterogenous group. It should only play this role when there is a benefit to be had, but there are many situations where there is, indeed, quite a lot of benefit to be had. For example, there may be some people in your country who do not feel that rape is wrong. They would be happy to go rape people, and do not mind having to worry that others may attempt to rape them (presumably they feel they are strong enough to defend themselves.)

The government comes along and tells them that, no, they are not free to choose for themselves on this issue. The majority wants to have no raping allowed, and so they will either have to go along with that, or they can spend a few years in jail.


That’s an interesting analogy – my proposals above for a multiplicity of governments operating simultaneously would be equivalent to saying to citizens (with regard your analogy above) that all of those who are willing to act in a certain way are free to do so on the condition that they engage in that behaviour only with fellow citizens who have decided to behave in that way, and that they be prepared to be on the receiving end of that behaviour.

In the party political context, this would mean, for example, that citizens inclined to want to pay zero tax may do so as long as they join the party whose treasury receives zero tax income from those outside of the party.

It would still be possible to keep certain national laws including those against rape.

Does that make any sense?

Quote:
kojax wrote:
I don't see how your system differs from simply leaving everything up to the private sector?


Think of it as having two (or more) treasuries who receive taxes and redistribute wealth according to the principles and policy decisions of the party. For example, if this system were in operation today, 30% plus of the population would be answerable to a Conservative treasury who demand of them low (or zero) taxes; 30% plus of the population would be answerable to a Labour treasury with a progressive tax regimen.

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kojax
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:21 pm
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Rory wrote:
Quote:
kojax wrote:
Both group accountability and inequality are unavoidable in real life. They can be minimized, and should be minimized as well as possible, but you have to be realistic enough to accept a small amount of it, or you'll be "chasing pennies with dollars" and bankrupt your economy with unrealistic and expensive proposals.


You’re asking me to be pragmatic in a country in which it is regarded as “democratic” to have the situation in which voters do all that is within their power, which is to vote – a paltry once-in-5-years decision – and then are served a government that not only ignores their pre-election promise but adopts the reverse policy x 3. No amount of group accountability is going to fix that shambles.



A citizenry that isn't willing to use guns to enforce its will upon its own government when voting fails is like a police force that simply lets the criminal go if they can't get the criminal to come with them by asking nicely.

If you want to say that governments rule by "consent of the governed", then you have to define what that means in real terms. In real terms, the people ultimately are "in consent to" anything they won't pick up a gun and murder someone to prevent having imposed upon them.

In real life, there is no non violent way to force anyone to do anything. And failure to use force is passive consent.

Quote:

That’s an interesting analogy – my proposals above for a multiplicity of governments operating simultaneously would be equivalent to saying to citizens (with regard your analogy above) that all of those who are willing to act in a certain way are free to do so on the condition that they engage in that behaviour only with fellow citizens who have decided to behave in that way, and that they be prepared to be on the receiving end of that behaviour.

In the party political context, this would mean, for example, that citizens inclined to want to pay zero tax may do so as long as they join the party whose treasury receives zero tax income from those outside of the party.

It would still be possible to keep certain national laws including those against rape.

Does that make any sense?


It makes sense, but the problem is figuring out a practical way to create it.

Even in the free market, some situations are encountered where personal choice is unavoidably curtailed, even though the industry is still privately owned.

For example, electrical utilities. Most people in the USA would really like to be able to choose their power company and not be forced to accept the one that covers their area. But this would lead to a serious practical problem, because in order to have two or more power companies competing to provide electricity to your home, two or more whole power grids would need to be set up. You would need two or more, separate sets of power lines going to your home.

It was determined fairly early on in the USA's history that that would never be practical. So instead of having multiple power companies compete for your business, the government allowed geographic monopolies, and simply set price limits.

Your plan runs into a similar problem. It would be really hard to decide who gets what, where, and when, if you had to individually identify each recipient every time a service or benefit is about to be dispersed. Two individuals in the same household may choose to vote for two different parties. A husband and wive could be on different sides of the spectrum politically and still love each other enough to stay married. (Kind of a problem since, legally they share all their property equally, at least in American law.)


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Saving Greece  |  Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:15 pm
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kojax wrote:
In real life, there is no non violent way to force anyone to do anything.

Of course there are. There are several, unless perhaps you're using a definition of violence so broad that the term is essentially rendered useless?


Back on topic: The self-imposed crisis in Greece seems to have been averted, at least for the time being.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/world ... .html?_r=0
Quote:
A deal negotiated there lifted the threat of bankruptcy hanging over Greece and with it the immediate risk that it might have to leave the eurozone and the 28-member European Union, an exit that would have delivered a grave blow to Europe’s six-decade drive for integration.

But an agreement to extend Greece’s bailout for four months also committed it to honor fiscal targets and other conditions it had vowed to scrap and left intact the supervising role of the so-called troika — a trio of creditor bodies that Syriza wanted banished, viewing it as the hated symbol of their country’s subordination to so-called neo-liberal economic dogma. Moreover, the finance ministers made clear that Greece will not get any more cash until it satisfies them it can keep a lid on spending, setting the stage for more tense negotiations in coming days and weeks.

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