Q. What is your views on Greece given all the hubub? Would it be better for them to fail and hopefully rise from the ashes, all the while keeping the Euro and staying a full member of the EU or would it be better to at least reinstate the Drachma and break off from the Eurozone…? — nowahklrk, from tumblr.
A. Pardon the title pun — it’s just way too obvious to pass up.
I haven’t closely followed the situation in Greece, though I know it’s been growing steadily worse for quite a while now. Like most Americans, I am unfortunately ignorant of the politics of most other countries (but hey, at least I’m aware of it, right? And I hope to remedy that sooner than later). It’s not that I don’t care; it’s just that reading, writing, and working in American politics kind of takes all the capacity for politics which I have at this point.
That said, my main thought on the subject is that the citizens of other countries in general, but especially America (I mean, we’re not even in Europe — geez), should not be forced to pay for the Greek government’s failure and apparently rampant corruption. That’s just not our job. Daniel Mitchell at Cato makes this argument better than I can:
It appears that American taxpayers are about to subsidize another Greek bailout (via the Keystone Cops at the IMF). This is way beyond economically foolish. It is also morally offensive.
To turn Winston Churchill’s famous quote upside down, “Never have so many paid so much to subsidize such an undeserving few.” Let’s start with a few facts:
- Greece’s GDP is roughly equal to the GDP of Maryland.
- Greece’s population is roughly equal to the population of Ohio.
- Despite that small size, in both terms of population and economic output, Greece already has received a bailout of about $150 billion (actual amount fluctuates with the exchange rate).