Friday, June 17, 2011

Greece is the Word

Cassandra was cursed to see the future clearly, but unable to do anything to change the outcome. Such was the case for our wise friends in Athens, Lefteris and Daniel. Many summers after doing archaeological projects in Israel and Jordan, Therese and I would stop over for a few weeks in Greece. I remember vividly Daniel and Lefteris warning about the repercussions of Greece joining the European Union, and adopting the Euro. They explained that while such moves would greatly benefit the Swiss and German bankers, it would be devastating for the modest Grecian agrarian farmers and the workers. They said it was all devised so that people in northern Europe could pay lower costs for tomatoes and TVs. It is sad to see all of that playing out so vividly. And now the more cuts the Greek government shoves down the peoples' throats, the better the stock markets do around the world. Now Greece's unemployment rate is over 15% and set to rise.

While in Greece I recall watching the Marxist organization 17 November riot in protest because of a visit by President Bush 41, who they claim had played a role in supporting the Greek Military Junta. While I don't condone assassinations, I remember being impressed that at least some of the people would fight back against oppression. And honestly, I'm happy to see the people of Greece protesting these cuts today. It's hard to imagine people in Louisiana doing something similar. I would love to see a revolution. And oddly, perhaps we could model it on our own military. Nicholas Kristof wrote a column I read today about how the U.S. military has excellent healthcare, pays for education, and gives a living wage to all without the "top brass" earning 300 times what the lowest level employees are paid, as is the model with many corporations.

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