Sunday, July 5, 2015

Some Thoughts on Greece

I know Greece. I speak Greek, a little, I have had a company in Greece, my best man is Greek, my Godfather was Greek. I have spent time in parts of Greece that most non-Greeks never go to. The Greeks who are outside of Greece are all successful. Those in Greece are successful with their projects outside of Greece.

But Greece is a mess. There is an overload of Government employees, direct and indirect. Greek political overhead is almost as great as a US Hospital or Academic University. Our Government is rapidly moving to the Greek model. New Jersey is a bit like Greece. Political types have three or four State jobs, each entitling them to a pension and health care. So one can say we have our own clusters of Greece here at home.

Ireland got its act together, and is now rebounding. Yet Ireland never had the Greek disease, namely overstuffed Government employees. Iceland got its act together, and Iceland is not the Disney World of Europe, at best it has rocky hot baths.

So what is Greece to do. I have seen dozens if not hundreds of analyses. None will tell the true tale. Greek politicians are grand manipulators, but the drachma will return. It will again cost 5,000 drachma for a cup of coffee. I still have drachmas, but not enough for that cup of coffee.