austerity, Big Brother, budget deficit, citizenship, Debt/GDP Ratio, default, Europe, European sovereign debt crisis, Greece, Occupy Wall Street, politicians, remittance economy, tragedy of the commons, US, venality
Two key (related) themes echo through recent articles about the Greek sovereign debt crisis. I’ve the distinct & nagging feeling something’s missing here? Hmmm… Anyway, the first theme is the expression of outrage at Greek politicians, their profligate ways and their general shiftiness. Sure, it’s always fun to criticize politicians, but why bother really? What exactly did you expect of them? I’m bemused by the air of superiority displayed in some articles – nah, nah, nah, my politicians are better than yours! Rubbish, there’s nothing unique about Greek politicians in a global context – they’re just a little further down the road to hell…
Let’s think about what makes them tick: Well, they say politics is an unpredictable business – true, you just can’t second-guess stupidity sometimes. But otherwise, you mostly just need to consider the actors’ motivations. Depressingly, this seems to boil down to Money, Power, or both! OK, Duty’s another possibility – reluctant leaders are often the best leaders. But how often, in the past decade or two, have you seen a politician consistently serve out of a clear sense of duty?