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Chop Chop Chop

The Greeks are used to breaking things. It’s part of their custom. Smashing plates at parties, wedding receptions and tavernas, that is. The custom is said to have originated with ancient traveling potters breaking their own wares, inviting the locals to share in the fun and thereby maintaining a market for their products.

But the story also goes that the noise of the smashing of plates was meant to drive away evil spirits. That makes a lot more sense in modern terms: rioting Greeks (and others) breaking things to ward off the evils of the recession – pensions being reduced, benefits being cut, public spending being chopped, bankers continually being stuffed with free public money, etc.

The Greek debt crisis is often blamed on the citizens. They are blamed as overpaid tax evaders. The truth is that the Greeks are no more overpaid or tax evaders than most other nations. Even in the United States unreported income is estimated to be $2 trillion (which includes tax avoidance by individual as well as a long list of usual suspects of tax avoiding companies).

However, the smashing of plates also implies abundance. After all, poor people will think twice before breaking their plates or any of their goods. So, yes, there was an abundance of credit before the 2008 recession. Citizens borrowed too much from banks that lent too much (banks were lending out up to $35 for every $1 in their vaults) because they received too much from governments (read, the citizens). Citizens – from Greece and other peoples facing austerity measures – understand this. Their issue is not the cuts but the unfairness of those cuts. Chop-chop-chop it may be… but then those others, the bankers, who also benefited from the pre-recession credit rush should also get the chop.

07/07/2011. Category: People. Topic: .

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