David McWilliams is by far the most entertaining and creative economist in Ireland today. “Not much competition” I hear you mutter. Perhaps. It’s true that those adjectives are not normally associated with the ‘dismal science’. But McWilliams has a wonderful gift for making economics both understandable and, more importantly, human.
That’s because he’s a great story teller and his post of a couple of days ago is one of his best. Germans, Greeks, Bob Marley, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Jubilee, Capitalism, Communism, Catholicism, morality and the future of Europe all appear.
He is, in my amateur opinion, absolutely right about Europe now being a Bankocracy. And a bankocracy, I suspect, will collapse sooner or later as the elite whom it best serves become more and more isolated from an alienated majority.
I wish the Greeks well in their bid to re-negotiate down their absurd, immoral and unpayable level of debt. I admire the people’s courage to call the bluff of European elite who are protecting reckless lenders from taking responsibility for the risks they took while ruthlessly punishing the entire Greek nation for the mistakes their own leaders, bankers and some of the people made in getting into such debt.
We visited Greece for the first time last summer. On an island, after a tough enough hike in the hot sun down to a secluded and beautiful beach, we gratefully found a little family-run tavern nearby. The owners treated us like family, bringing out a delicious supply of mama’s home-made creations to sample. Afterwards, the son offered to drive us back up the long and uphill road. We were so glad of the lift!
In the car he told he was a qualified architect, but like everyone his age group, he had absolutely no hope of any work. He had had to return to his parents little home to have a roof over his head and food to eat. It’s his ‘lost generation’ that I wish well. I hope that some sort of reason prevails that can give people like him some sort of hope about the future instead of endless economic contraction and imposed austerity.
Here are some photos in honour of a beautiful country with generous and welcoming people.