Friday, July 10, 2015

I Think Greece Should be Helped to See Reality

               Greece has finally offered a somewhat timid approach to debt reduction. The issue is not increasing taxes on certain items, it is the actual collection of the taxes that is the problem. Tax fraud across Greece is rampant and must be dealt with. Appointing the ECB or a branch of the EU government as tax collector would go a long way in easing my mind concerning future Greek bailouts and refusals of payment. That way, if Greece cannot, or will not enforce tax collection on its citizens, the European Union agency could step in and enforce the collection of taxes owed by Greece's business owners and citizens.

                To wit, no one like to pay taxes, but the economic engine of governments runs on them, this is the reality. Everyone pays the piper. No one fiddles for free. If we are to maintain the rule of law around the world, this reality must be accepted and honored by Greek citizens without question.

                 There are other economic realities as well, we all work in jobs that are not exactly what we wanted to do, or at least the way we dreamed of doing them, but we like to live inside, we like to be warm and cozy, we like to eat, we like to wear clothes (most of us anyway), and we like to be seen as reasonably normal people in the eyes of others. So, we work at our jobs, and do the best that we can to realize our dreams in other areas of our lives.

                  Mr. Tsipras is just recently coming to the realization that winning an election is just the beginning. He has yet to face the reality that he is the "cheese," and is standing alone in his fight against the other 28 European Union countries. Parity is not in his vocabulary, but GRACE is in my vocabulary.

So, here is my advice on the matter:  Extend credit to Greece, accept 3/4 of the amount due to the IMF this past week, extend credit on the remainder for 90 days at 2% interest. Extend the repayment of all other debts owed by Greece for 2 years and reduce the interest rates to 1% under the condition that Greece commits itself to job creation (non-government jobs, mind you), using the reduction in the interest rates to create a small business loan program, increase education opportunities, create a unique industry that creates jobs and that Greek citizens can apply their unique sense of creativity to.

For Greece and every other country to survive, they must face the reality that time marches on, technology and its advances continue to speed up, old ways pass out of use, and new players take the place of older players. Greece needs to step up to the plate and get into the forefront of technology in multiple industries, and stop the hand wringing and whining about paying taxes.

Wasteful spending got Greece into this mess and austerity was necessary. Even I pay bills that I do not want to pay. As a man of honor, I am honor bound to pay them if I can.

There, that's my advice for this week.

Mark Winkle, CEO and Founder
The Winkle Institute for Worldwide Economic Stability

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