Greece as rentier
The best writers on the Web are UK Telegraph commenters. Not the paid authors; they're mostly conventional Western shit-vendors. I can count on the commenters to say what needs to be said, and to teach me something I didn't already know.
Excellent example here.
The paid author is running the usual RUSSIANAGGRESSION PUTINHITLER toxic sludge, saying that EU needs to do something to prevent Greece from linking with RUSSIANAGGRESSION PUTINHITLER.
The commenter says in essence, Too late for that. Greece is migrating Eastward PRECISELY because of everything EU is doing.
And Greece is not alone.
Russia is not nice;
Russia makes demands; but in the current setup, Russia's demands and rewards are considerably more sane and human than EU's demands and rewards. By any standards, modern Russia is SANE and EU is hopelessly wacked.
While thinking about this, I bumped into a new thought. The usual econ lefties absolutely LOVE the Syriza government and breathlessly follow its absurd theatrics. Partly for obvious reasons: Yanis and "his" "husband" Alex. But there's something deeper and more important that I couldn't pin down. Now I think I've caught it.
When I'm doing my technician thing with a circuit or a program, I like to Wiggle And Watch. Apply a periodic or predictable input (sine wave, numerical pattern, etc) and see what the output does. Pull out or replace various components, as appropriate, and see how the output changes.
You could also treat countries as economic black boxes. The periodic input is already there: seasons and generations. So you pull out or replace various components and see what happens.
With countries like Germany or Turkey or Belarus, pulling out the working class brings the value to zero, and pulling out the governing class increases the value. This tells you that the country is MAKING THINGS. With Turkey, reducing the land to zero decreases the value somewhat. This tells you that the THINGS are partly agricultural. With Germany or Belarus, zeroing the land wouldn't make much difference because industry is the main active component.
With Greece, pulling out the working class changes nothing, pulling out the governing class does nothing, and pulling out the land zeroes the country.
Modern Greece is essentially nothing but location, location, location. It has agricultural and mineral resources but it's not using them effectively. It's not even using location effectively. Ancient Greece became important as a trading and shipping hub; the 'spokes' of that hub are even more important in the era of oil, but Greece has lost its focus on ports and ships. In other words, you could remove all the people and the value wouldn't change.
Humanizing this a bit, Modern Greece is a senile nobleman with a formerly beautiful country estate, who has forgotten how to organize servants and tenant farmers. His grapevines and olive trees have died. All he can do is rent out pieces of the land to campers and Historical ReCreators. He's a rentier.
And that's why the usual lefties like him. Lefties are aristocrats. They hate grubby factories and farms, and love other aristocrats.
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