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Capitalism will eat democracy—unless we speak up

Yanis Varoufakis

TED Talks

Posted: Feb 28, 2016

Have you wondered why politicians aren’t what they used to be, why governments seem unable to solve real problems? Economist Yanis Varoufakis, the former Minister of Finance for Greece, says that it’s because you can be in politics today but not be in power — because real power now belongs to those who control the economy.


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Well, Greece's precarious position was based on overspending on social needs as well as government workers early retirements. This is what I have come to understand. It has meaning for the US as well, but with Greece as part of the EU, this kind of thing seemed destined to happen. Why? In the EU, after the fall of the Berlin wall, the EU, principaly, the Germans, wanted everyone in the EU as one big happy family. The trouble with the family, theory, is that families are not always happy, and in this case there was an alternate reason why Germany wanted everyone in. Their economists based the "all in" hypothesis, that with many countries dependent on one currency, therefore a country, such as Greece could not low-ball Germany and France, and Scandinavia, with cheaper imported goods.

The EU looked at the example of the Americans, with vast importation of cheaper good from Japan and Taiwan (this was the 1990's remember?) and saw how our industries got whupped by Japan and Taiwan, Hong Kong (not yet China or S.Korea) imports, and their tarrifs on US products. The Germans must have thought to themselves, "how stupid can the Amis be?." So, back in the 90's it was everyone in the EU's Love Boat. Now, public spending can be a huge burden on an economy, and I am only, guessing that economist Varoufakis, was a socialist kind of guy, under a Greek socialist government. Therefore, the ideology takes ownership of economic policies. A socialist cannot say no, to the handout of goodies, because its against their 'faith.' Plus, the EU was supposed to take care of any extra tax burden correct?

To close out here, Greece, had it refused EU membership, might have developed a huge manufacturing base, in order to import cheap goods to the EU. The EU would have slapped on tariffs of course, but then EU citizens would be visiting Greece to buy 'duty-free' goods. When the EU bureaucrats would confiscate or slap duties on incoming citizens purchases, it would have caused a big outrage, in the EU. Governments, might have fallen. But in the end, Greece would have been far richer, because they played the role of economic insurgent.

As far as the Democracy being bought out, here in the US its already true. Money changes how individuals think, and this includes how the billionaires who own the Parties, direct their Pols to make policy. It's an oligarchy, madame, if you can keep it? Ever wonder why Bernie and the Donald sound so alike in their description of politics and power? Bernie acknowledges how the system in the US works, and, the Donald, being a class traitor, actually talks about the politicians he purchased with his own money. Very refreshing with both candidates.

Re "real power now belongs to those who control the economy."

What else is new? grin Marx knew that. Power has always belonged to those who control the economy, ideologies are only window-dressing for the gullible.

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