Thursday, March 12, 2015

Getting Greece Back on Track

               Some people never thank you for all the hard work done on their behalf to save their country and their own economic futures. Such a people are the Greeks. Although austerity (paying their debt) has been difficult for them, the difficulty was brought upon them by themselves. While everyone likes to have clean streets, clean drinking water, safe neighborhoods, safe road that are well maintained, and other government services, every other country and their citizens understand that these services are paid for by taxes.
               Roads are built with road taxes, tolls, and gasoline taxes. Social Security (pensioner funds are paid through payroll deduction. Police and fire protection, criminal investigations, crooked courts, and many other items are paid through payroll deductions and business income taxes.
               Unfortunately,  Greek citizens obviously are no longer proud of their once great nation, or at least not enough to pay their full taxes. While an average Greek citizens makes around $19,000 US, the average government worker was making around $95,000 plus benefits. That is why the first advice I gave to the Greek Prime Minister was to cut 30,000 to 50,000 government jobs. On average over the past ten years, the number of government employees in all parts of Greek government have increased. It takes five average citizen's salaries to pay for one smoozing government worker.
                In addition to the slacking tax dodgers, the average Greek citizen is having problems paying their debts. If Greece had taken some of the tax dollars it had saved as a result of austerity measures or even a cut government program and provided small business loans to small business owners last year as they were advised to, the overall national debt could be paid down in the next five years at the most.

                 Greece's refusal to change the Social Security age to 65 like almost every other country, and the refusal of Greek citizens to pay income taxes has caused an economic uproar of nearly every other nation in the world. Every good citizen pays taxes of one kind or another; of course we try to fudge the total amount by shaving a few cents off here and there, but Greek businesses and oligarchs were bribing tax collectors on a grand scale. Had this happened in the United States, prison time and asset forfeitures would be the passwords for the day. Even I make the attempt to be as honest with my total income as I can so my wasteful government can squeeze yet another drop of blood from my already dry wallet.
                   Greece needs to understand that the party is over and the bill has come due. The debt has been reduced as much as it can, and the interest rate is bargain basement and yet, you still cry, "Woe is me!" The piper needs to be paid so he can pay to feed his family, and those that owe taxes need to pay their fair share or have their assets and their asses seized and sold at auction (and imprisoned). While their assets ,may not cover all of the debt owed to the Greek government, they can work on prison farms and in prison factories to reduce their debt.

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