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Dept. of Windmills

Sometimes It's Right to Tilt at Them

I'm not an economist, a politician, or anyone paid to analyze the actions of economists or politicians. So I'm very possibly wrong when I say that I believe the idea of holding countries accountable for debt that they've been encouraged by bankers to accumulate in order to keep their economies afloat, for what seems to be an underlying desire not to get the money back, but to consolidate power over those countries is obscene. I mean, what do I know about the IMF, amirite?

But I'll go out on a limb here and say that I don't think talking heads saying things like "They caused their own problem by borrowing, so I have no sympathy for them" - as if they were talking about Cousin Al, who never learned to balance his checkbook, and needs a lesson from the school of hard knocks - know much more than I do. At least I understand we're talking about countries here; mass organisms of incredible complexity that bear as little resemblance to Cousin Al as I do to a powder puff. 

So when I read about the Indiegogo campaign launched by a Londoner, to crowdfund Greece's 1.6 billion Euro debt, I was pleased to see how fast it was growing (fast enough to crash the Indiegogo page for several hours.) Not because it stands a hope in hell of actually succeeding, but because it's proving, I think, to be a piece of guerrilla theater with a message to the people who pretend that money in the hands of powerful countries and financial entities is anything but a tool to increase their power, at the expense of poor countries. Perhaps more than one message. 

Anyhow, if you're interested in the campaign, head one over. The last I saw it had reached about 502,000 Euros. Not bad, considering it was 222,000-some Euros earlier today.
This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/368341.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2015 03:14 am (UTC)
Dude. I think the talking heads are slow to learn that the power is shifting back to the people...in more and more unique ways. The snobbery and economic asshattery will end. It's just a matter of time.

And a few euros.

Jul. 1st, 2015 12:27 pm (UTC)
I hope you're right; this sort of thing energizes and comforts me, but I am all too aware of the ruthlessness of the people in power. Still, one should cheer when people fight back, no matter how small the chances are of winning.

*hugs you back*
Jul. 1st, 2015 07:54 am (UTC)
It looks as if that site is still crashed! It's still being too successful for its own good? Which is v cool.

It does sound rather like the whole third world debt thing all over again. Haven't we done this? I know very little about Economics, too (my one module of Economic History convinced me that it's a mystery and probably nobody does and what can you expect of a science dealing with a thing that largely doesn't actually exist (money) and invents words like stagflation?), but prior to cancellation of the debt (or some of it at least), it was said that we couldn't because the governments in question wouldn't use the money properly. So obviously we should still keep them paying ever mounting debts to the richest countries because that would help in some way. Which did at least get addressed, but here we are again.

The world economy is connected. When one country's economy crashes and burns, it doesn't stop there. /o\ (Any and all history of economics is all full of people being far too parochial and then it comes back to hit them, as far as I can see. Which, admittedly, isn't far, because words like stagflation are v off-putting.)
Jul. 3rd, 2015 06:16 pm (UTC)
You are a very wise woman. There's a reason economics is called the dismal science. And we do regularly, monotonously, forget that we are all connected, and that there is no way to pull out of the interwoven tapestry of lending, debt, etc. that holds the world together.

Yeah ... stagflation ...augh.
Jul. 1st, 2015 09:44 am (UTC)
Thank you for the heads up!
Jul. 3rd, 2015 06:07 pm (UTC)
What amazes me, as I look at the increasing numbers on Friday, is that it's continuing to rise. It will never get to the point where it becomes a fiscal success, but it sure as hell continues to be a pointed reminder to politicians that people are paying attention.
Jul. 4th, 2015 05:36 am (UTC)
Yes, exactly!
Jul. 1st, 2015 01:11 pm (UTC)
Found this in one of the comments on the crowdfunding page. The Bank of Greece is accepting voluntary donations towards repayment of their debt. Which is fascinating - did this come about because of the Indiegogo campaign?

Edited at 2015-07-01 01:12 pm (UTC)
Jul. 3rd, 2015 06:09 pm (UTC)
I just checked the link - thanks for pointing it out - and it looks as if it was set up in 2010, probably when things started going pear shaped for the country. I'm sadly certain that people haven't donated much to it, although the account may have become a little more active with the Indiegogo campaign. Perhaps the guy who started the campaign should deposit whatever gets donated into that account?
Jul. 1st, 2015 09:51 pm (UTC)
the watchdog that didn't bark in the night
I have been watching the ratio of news items about those awful, slovenly Greeks and about those awful, flint-hearted German bankers. It's almost dividing by zero.
Nothing about actual numbers, or pain already incurred, payment terms, just run in circles, scream and shout.
Jul. 3rd, 2015 06:12 pm (UTC)
Re: the watchdog that didn't bark in the night
I remember reading some articles about the loss of pensions for people (either cutting them, or ending them, can't remember which) and a hike in retirement age to some awfully high number. But those stories were back a while, before the new government came in. I'm sure if we looked hard, in the right places, we'd find more intelligent analysis. Unfortunately, you're right about the lack of that kind of reporting in large scale media outlets. Another bad mistake my big-time colleagues are making.
Jul. 2nd, 2015 11:26 pm (UTC)
That Indiegogo page now has over a million euros attached to it, which, while still very far off from 1.6 billion, is the highest amount I've ever seen raised in two days on a internet crowdsourcing fundraiser.
Jul. 3rd, 2015 06:14 pm (UTC)
It's up to almost 1.7 million euros now. I found myself sadly mistaken; I'd thought that 1.6 million would amount to the account being 1 percent funded, but BB corrected me, and himself because he'd thought the same thing, saying that 1 percent would actually be 16 million euros. So, yes, this is not going to reach its goal; still, as you say, it's pretty amazing for a crowdsourcing fundraiser.
Jul. 6th, 2015 03:54 pm (UTC)
That's a pretty moving initiative. And the Greek crisis is just a headache on so many levels—the whole debt system and how to handle that is indeed questionable, and I'm not really knowledgeable enough to be able to seriously discuss it, but one thing is for sure… Even if we did go with the assumption that the various Greek governments are to blame (which, as you stated yourself, is pretty oversimplified), that doesn't make it okay to put the people, who didn't ask for it, under life situations that become truly unbearable.

(What I'm really not managing to understand atm is why in-depth reforms are not happening. I mean… it looks like the system needs some, and pretty badly at that. I get that those might take time to bring in cash, and cutting some resources is faster, but when are the authorities going to TACKLE THAT instead of cutting retirement/retirees help/pushing up VAT for the umpteenth time? I get that Syriza being what it is, market reforms are not going to be a thing but isn't extreme left-wing rather friendly with the idea of taxing the rich? A friend of mine who comes from Greece is adamant that it's the troika refusing some of the reforms, which doesn't make much sense, other sources say it's the Greek government, there are just a thousand parties at play and things are so entangled and complicated. And in the meantime, the people simmer in desperation and rage, feeling the whole of Europe point fingers at them, and sometimes wanting to lash back in a feeling that is both highly understandable and sometimes misguided.)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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