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Comment: Greece's Welfare State is Unsustainable (Score 4, Insightful) 599

I've been following the Greek debt crisis for at least five years, Greece's problem is that they absolutely refuse to stop spending money they don't have. Remember: Greece has never practiced real austerity (cutting deficits to match receipts) since they joined the Eurozone. Not once. (By contrast, Estonia did eliminate their deficit, and as a result started recovering from The Great Recession quicker than other EU economies.) Greece merely slowed the rate at which they were going more broke (or at least pretended to). Despite being right at the edge of complete national bankruptcy, Greece continues to insist that there will be “no wage or pension cuts” for government workers.

Greece lied about their economic situation to get into the Eurozone, lied about it before the crisis broke, lied after it broke, and continue to lie now.

Keep in mind that the past four years of bank loans from the ECB have not been to save Greece. What they were really designed to do was to keep the card game running long enough to let EU insiders and favored national banks unload Greek bonds, and to reduce their exposure to Greek default risks long enough to put European taxpayers onto the hook in the inevitable event of a Greek default. They pretended to save Greece, and Greece pretended to reform. And now here we are.

The adoption of the Euro hastened and deepened Greece's crisis, but was not the central cause, which was their refusal to stop spending money they didn't have to prop up their extravagant (even by European standards) welfare state. This modern welfare state has now become more sacred to voters than the capitalist economics that make it possible. As Mark Steyn put it, "People’s sense of entitlement endures long after the entitlement has ceased to make sense."

The problem is that with declining demographics, the cradle-to-grave European welfare state is unsustainable. Greece and the rest of the PIIGS are discovering that first, but birth rates are declining all across Europe, and modern welfare states are unsustainable without a new generation to stick with the bill. Most economists believe that Greece will never be able to pay back what they've already borrowed.

Syriza was elected on a platform of ignoring basic economic reality, but they've finally run out of people willing to loan them money to spend. The risk of a Grexit is already priced into all the European markets, But leaving the Eurozone doesn't provide relief for any of the Euro-denominated debt Greece already owes, and there's no guarantee European markets would even be willing to exchange refloated drachmas for real(er) money. And since it's hard to see any sane institution buying Greek debt after a default, Greece's government would undoubtedly start printing drachmas like mad and trigger hyperinflation.

If Greece was willing to pare back its welfare state to much saner levels, they might have a chance to slowly dig their way out of the crisis. Since they refuse to, they're in for a whole lot more economic pain...

Comment: The European Welfare State is Unsustainable (Score 0) 385

Since the UK wisely kept its own currency, disruptions from a "Brexit" would be relatively minimal. It's far more likely that will see Greece exit the Euro, because they absolutely refuse to stop spending money they don't have. (Note that despite talk of "austerity," not once since the European debt crisis started has Greek cut government outlays to match receipts.) To Greece (and to a lesser extent the other PIIGS), the welfare state benefits have become more sacred than the capitalist system underwriting them.

The problem with the modern welfare state is that eventually you run out of people to stick with the tab. It both discourages work and generates declining demographics, a dynamic that is unsustainable in the long run.

Well, Greece is starting to reach the long run. They can't afford their own welfare state, but it's become so entrenched that politicians refuse to significately pare it back even on the brink of national bankruptcy.

The UK, like Germany, has a strong enough economy to avoid this fate for quite a while, but it too will get there eventually...

Comment: They took the Tea Party seriously... (Score 2) 405

by Nova Express (#49652131) Attached to: Is IT Work Getting More Stressful, Or Is It the Millennials?

...because the Tea Party took scalps . They defeated Republican incumbents in primaries. They ended political careers. That's what forced Republican office-holders to take them seriously.

As far as I can tell, an Occupy-backed candidate (if there even is such a thing) hasn't defeated a single Democratic incumbent. As such, the Democratic Party can continue to ignore them the way they ignore black voters.

Comment: No, it's the SJW Crowd Who Defends Islam (Score 0, Troll) 494

Indeed, criticizing Islam is a sure way to get attacked by Social Justice Warriors. Given that Sabeen Mahmud was almost certainly killed by radical Islamists, your comment is nonsensical.

Just how Islam became so sacred to radical feminists is an interesting question...

Comment: It will have an effect all right... (Score 4, Interesting) 349

It will encourage high tech companies in general and venture capital firms in specific to:

A). Locate their businesses in a state (like Texas) where Social Justice Warrior-type lawsuits have little chance to succeed.
B). More carefully screen potential employees for Social Justice Warrior tendencies so as to minimize the chance of future lawsuits.

Businesses exist to make money, they don't exit for believers in victimhood identity politics to wage politics and cash in at their expense.

Toys

Dad and Daughter Recreate Jurassic Park With $100,000 In Lego Pieces 52

Posted by samzenpus
from the play-time dept.
mpicpp writes Animator Paul Hollingsworth and his daughter Hailee, along with some help from a few "master builders" — decided to Jurassic Park using only Lego pieces. More than $100,000 in Lego were used, according to the video's description. The result is a surprisingly stunning and hilarious version of the 1993 dino-thriller. The team behind the film also released an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the production.

Comment: "Dystopian Future"??? (Score -1, Flamebait) 392

Looks like someone was looking to win the Hyperbole of the Year Award.

If the worst thing about the future is having to buy adapter cables, sign me up. Sounds like a vast improvement over a future where men spend 8 hours reciting the Koran every day before going out to shoot heretics and abduct more women into sexual slavery...

+ - Daylight Saving Time Change on Sunday for N. America 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Just a reminder that DST starts this weekend for most of North America. The majority of people feel that DST is a bad idea and want it to stop. If that was done, the main question would then probably be whether to go to Standard time year-round, or "summer" time year-round (more). For the latter, there is some evidence that it helps reduce crime (at least initially); for the former, more northern locations would have sunrise occur 08:30 or later, which would make the morning commute difficult. Some even argue that the US should go to only two timezones. The DST change occurs at the end of March in the EU, so they're will a second round of confusion for trans-Atlantic conference calls then.

Comment: As Doomed as the Kellog-Briand Pact (Score 3, Insightful) 318

Remember that? That was the 1928 pact that outlawed war.

You might remember how well that worked out.

This will work out just swell until Russia or China or ISIS develop an effective fighting robot and are able to deploy them in sufficient quantities to make a decisive difference in battle.

Plus there's the impossibility of enforcement. How can you prove it was a robot rather than a remote-operated drone?

And there's the tiny issue that, knowing how slowly the wheels of the "international community's" court systems turn, the war is likely to be won or lost before those violating it ever come to trial...

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A firefly is not a fly, but a beetle.

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