Old and Busted: Can Greeks Become Germans?
Well, they could for a spell thanks to World War II, as James Taranto quipped yesterday, goofing on Thomas Friedman’s ridiculous New York Times headline and dubbing it “Breaking News from 1941.” And Tom Maguire calls it a case of “Waiting For The Deus Ex Machina:”
Megan McArdle ponders the growing, ongoing Euro-debacle and warns that she is “having a hard time seeing how any of this ends well”.
Hmm – I have a hard time seeing any of this ending. Italy has had problems with its tax collections and public finance for my adult lifetime (their demographic challenge is a relatively new wrinkle, since that has only emerged in the last few decades.) And Greece? Tom Friedman delivers (yet another) howler, in a column with a title that is both question and answer:
Can Greeks Become Germans?
…It will take a cultural revolution. And that can happen only if Greece’s two major parties come together, hold hands, and collectively force through a radical change in the governing culture from the top down. Without that, Greece will never be able to pay back its loans.
Is that all it will take? Then the suspense is over, because it won’t be happening.
Germany was a pre-eminent industrial power before Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler, and rebuilt to become one again afterwards. Following WWII the Allies had some issues about the wisdom of allowing Germany to re-industrialize but none doubted their ablity to do so. Recent Greek history is much less reassuring.
The New Hotness? Italy surpasses Greece as euro area’s riskiest borrower.
We need a complete and total shutdown of Europe until we can figure out what the hell is going on there.