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The Greek Tragedy
Another European Greece Failure
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  • Kevin

    “Democratic governance is failing on both shores (of the Atlantic)” – I think I’d say democracy is not so much failing as it hasn’t been tried as elites try to remove decision making from democratic politics and into the hands of technocratic or judicial elites.

  • lukelea

    Great reporting/analysis! Hope it shows up on RealClearPolitics.

  • Fat_Man

    ” one must understand that democratic governance is failing on both shores.”

    Well, the last presidential election sure made us look pretty sad.* But, outside of the white house, the country seems to be humming along pretty smoothly.

    The EU, OTOH, is not a failure of democratic government. Any resemblance between the EU and any democracy or democratic republic, living or dead is purely coincidental. To paraphrase the old radio story disclaimers.

    *I voted for neither of them, and I don’t think the other one would had a particularly easy time of it either.

    • Andrew Allison

      How ’bout outside the Beltway Bubble?

      • Fat_Man


  • FriendlyGoat

    Keying only on last sentence in article:

    Populists are those who are easily swayed to a position or point of view. Elites are those who 1) Do the persuading, or 2) Support those doing the persuading, or 3) Profit from people having been persuaded.

    At a demonstration of any kind, you can often hear: “What do we want? followed by a crowd answering two or three LOUD words. Then “When do we want it?———NOW. Repeat for effect. Elites ask the questions or are hired to do so; populists stand in a daze and repeat until they are more or less in a trance. Populists can elect good leaders or bad leaders. But don’t expect populists to solve anything. It’s not what they do.

    • Angel Martin

      Elite rule is the default in any society. Populists only get into power when things are in bad shape and all factions of the elite are totally discredited.

      The EU and Greece are prisoners of past decisions on currency integration and lending/borrowing that cannot be wished away. Writing off debt or exiting the euro has its own set of costs, and all the politicians in the EU, including Syriza, are putting off that day of decision in the hope that some deus ex machina will save them.

      In the meantime, the ordinary people continue to suffer as documented by Prof Meade in this article. That won’t end until belief in the magical powers of the euro ends in the EU – which isn’t going to happen any time soon.

      The eurozone really has entered a bizarro world when the people making the most economic sense about the euro are Greek marxists and Silvio Berlusconi.

      • FriendlyGoat

        The USA has its own set of somewhat similar problems.

  • ——————————

    Jeez WRM
    Who peed in your Cheerios this morning….

  • Andrew Allison

    Crisis? GMAB!

    • Disappeared4x

      Perhaps Mr. Mead is thinking of the Congressional democrats’ “messy and noisy crisis”. It is traumatic to confront the failure of elites if you believe the 21st century IS postindustrial, but not postmodern. We have no idea what he thought of the POTUS-presser yesterday.
      TY for Follett, Battle of the Somme!

      • Andrew Allison

        It’s disappointing that the good professor appears not to recognize the difference between crisis and the hysterical over-reaction on the part of the left to the election of President Trump. So glad that you are enjoying Follett!

    • Disappeared4x

      Best take on the POTUSPresser; perhaps Mr. Mead’s “messy and noisy crisis” was because he had just read this:
      Opinion “Trump Performance Was the Best Press Conference Since the Clinton-Lewinsky Days A bristling, tweeting media just got schooled by an alpha male and they know it” By Joseph Curl • 02/17/17 12:30pm

      “…One: Trump took a big steaming dump on the Constitution, threatened to execute the Fourth Estate without a trial, and proved himself to be not only a narcissistic megalomaniac, but quite possibly a psychopathic nut job.

      Two: Alpha-dog Trump exposed the lapdog media for their hyper-liberal bias (it was bloodier than expected), showed America that he is, in fact, going to make good on the campaign promises that got him elected, and he showed that he is large and in charge. …”


  • Pete

    “With a callous indifference to human suffering more reminiscent of absolute monarchs than of democratically elected officials, Europe’s policymakers have preferred politically soothing lies to actual solutions to problems that blight the lives of millions of European citizens. ”

    How are German officials responsible for Greeks? They are both citizens of Europe, you say. Hogwash.

    There is no country called europe. The United states of Europe is an illusion, a pipe dream, Mr. Mead. Until you understand that, you won’t understand the Greek problem.

    By the way, the root of the problem is that greece does not nor ever did belong in the euro or the European Union. Trying to force that square peg into a round hole is the cause of the difficulty. If Greece was forgiven its debt, it would be right back in the same situation eventually.

    And I wonder if you even understand your own country when you say, “We are having a messy and noisy crisis here in the United States.”
    What crisis?

    • Andrew Allison

      The German government is responsible for the misery of the the Greek people in that it politically cannot afford to acknowledge that German banks, among others, recklessly loaned money which could never be repaid, and that the loans are more-or-less worthless. The EU is responsible because, as you rightly point out, Greece never belonged in the eurozone.
      The messy and noisy so-called “crisis” in the US is simply the hysterical response of the elite to an overdue course-correction.

      • Fat_Man

        Don’t let the Greeks off the hook. As my old securities law prof said, every con requires two parties, a con man, and somebody who wants to get something for nothing.

        • Andrew Allison


          • ljgude

            Yup, hence the expression “You can’t cheat and honest man.” Having been cheated I know this from experience. 😉

          • Andrew Allison

            Yup, but Fat Man’s comment was a digression. We’re talking not about the mutual blame of the Greeks and the banks for what happened (acknowledged by most) , but the fact that post-facto the German government can’t afford to acknowledge that the bonds are close to worthless.

      • Pete

        “The messy and noisy so-called “crisis” in the US is simply the hysterical response of the elite to an overdue course-correction.”

        That part of your comment is correct anyway.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    The sooner the Euro and the EU disintegrates, the better for all involved.

  • markterribile

    “With a callous indifference to human suffering more reminiscent of absolute monarchs than of democratically elected officials”–
    It’s easier to depose a king or end a dynasty than to bring bureaucrats to heel, when each of the bureaucrats can claim he’s just following policy set by others with more power–and he will make that claim no matter how fanatical his devotion to that policy, and how jealously he guards his perogatives.

  • ljgude

    While I think it is fair to say that nobody knows what is around the blind corner facing the West, it is a lot clearer that the EU have all but blocked their road ahead with denial that the single currency has caused insoluble problems than that it is ‘democratic failure’ for the American electorate to chance forcing the road ahead by electing an outsider. Chancy, yes. “Democratic governance failing?” No. What EU elites have imposed on Europeans is fundamentally different than what Americans from flyover country have imposed on American elites by electing Donal Trump. They are not populists. They are Americans. They give their lives disproportionately for their country. We know for certain that a mere two of these Jacksonians can hold off a horde of jihadis for 7 hours until the jihadis bring mortars in while our costal elites can’t manage to even try to send in a chopper.

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