This is not a problem just of Greece. Greece is not an isolated case. It just represents a more general friction of opposition between two different visions of Europe – a Europe of austerity and a Europe looking back to its old social model. We don’t want to continue this road of austerity because it’s a spiral of death: Recession, new austerity measures, new unemployment, again new measures. We have seen that the last five years. This doesn’t work, we want to change it. We are ready to negotiate with our partners, but not to continue on a road that clearly leads to nothing good for the Greek people.A classic piece of bad thinking. We can learn from it. First, austerity is an intentional conflation of two separate words. As I discussed before, austerity=frugality is not the same thing as austerity=LBO. Greece got into its current mess because it was NOT frugal. The current mess is an LBO by Germany. If Greece had been austere=frugal, its limited productivity would have supported a limited and sustainable lifestyle. It wouldn't have invited an LBO. It would have been living within its means, with a cushion of national savings. When you have savings, you can do the 'social model' to some extent, again carefully and frugally. Trying to do the 'social model' without savings guarantees a takeover. Austerity=frugality is the ONLY way any country or household or business can succeed in the long run. Living on debt makes you vulnerable to the household or corporate or national versions of LBO. Second, if Greece had been independent, the delusion of 'social model' wouldn't have been possible. Greece would have been forced into frugality many years ago, as its neighbor Turkey was. Greece would have found ways to MAKE THINGS that the world wanted. As Turkey did. This is directly parallel to the balcony collapse. Real-world math again. Do you think it's a good idea to place your car or your country on a structure that depends entirely on leverage? Or would you rather place your car or country on solid ground? Artistic sidenote: Granted, the cliff in back is far from ideal solid ground. Just waiting for a good rainstorm ... But I wanted to show the two cars at the same height with different types of support, different 'potential energies'. Couldn't think of a better alternative except maybe a pyramid, which would look weird in this context.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.