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Martyn Sadler

Member Since 23 Aug 2004
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Greece Election

Yesterday, 12:01 PM

The issue in Greece is not pensions or public services, it's that Greek billionaire shipping tycoons - and Greeks dominate the global shipping industry one way or another - do not pay a single penny in tax. But, for some reason, no-one wants to talk about that.

When you give any group special privileges, whether its tax breaks for shipping, or unsustainable pension rights, the beneficiaries are reluctant to give them up, as the previous Greek government found out.



In Topic: 50 years since the death of Churchill

Yesterday, 11:20 AM

Eugenics. Says it all.

Not quite.


Eugenics was incredibly popular among many people in the post-Darwin era until soon after the second world war.


This article makes that clear.


Churchill was one of many from all sides of the political and intellectual spectrum.


It had gained in popularity after the publication of Darwin's work.

In Topic: Greece Election

Yesterday, 11:17 AM

So the choices are high unemployment or high unemployment?

For as long as Greece stays in the Eurozone and doesn't reduce its debt, that's probably true.


And things would be better, of course, if the other Euro countries cancel all or part of Greece's debts.


But that's unlikely, and it doesn't change the underlying structural imbalance of the Greek economy, which would create the same problem all over again.


On the other hand if it leaves the Eurozone and adopts a new currency, which would then find its own level, it might then be able to offer a future to its young people if it could make some necessary reforms.

In Topic: Greece Election

Yesterday, 10:52 AM

Good god!! A govt wanting to provide work for the people as opposed to the "successful" model of removing it from them!!!!

The point is that those policies of spending more than they can afford, when applied in the past, have resulted in 50 per cent unemployment among young people.


It's the opposite of providing work for people and it's actually a cruel deception.

In Topic: Greece Election

Yesterday, 10:31 AM

Bloody democracy, people voting for a party which says it cares about people!!


That's rather a romanticised interpretation of what's happened.
The financial crisis in Greece comes mainly from previous governments' extraordinary generosity to public sector employees.
For example, civil servants employed before 1992 could retire at the age of 58 on 80 per cent of their final salary if they had completed 35 years service. I don't know any other country that is so generous with its former employees, although there may be one somewhere.
In far too many countries public sector pensions are based on a sort of Ponzi scheme, whereby current retirees draw their pensions from the taxation of current workers.
In the Greek economy there are now as many retirees with those pension rights as there are people working in the economy. 
Those retirees didn't want to give up their rights, no matter how damaging they are to the 50 per cent of young people in the country who can't get a job. They are prepared to sacrifice the young generation to preserve their own financial position, even though it is clearly unsustainable. They want the rest of the EU to pay for it.
It is hardly surprising that Greece's debt is 177 per cent of their GDP.
And yet the new government is promising to take on more workers in the public sector.
I'm afraid the circle can't be squared.
"Caring about people" means, in the first instance, not misleading them about the current state of affairs, or what is possible in terms of trying to address the problems they face.