Monday, July 13, 2015

1511 Never on Sunday

1511 Never on Sunday

A famous movie about a hooker in Athens with a theme song that has become part of the Great American Songbook.  The song won the Academy Award, and so did the lead actress, Melina Mercouri.

But this is hardly a tribute to the great contributions of ancient and modern Greeks from Aristotle to Zorba.

Where does current prime minister Alexis Tsipras sit on that scale?  It remains to be seen.  But given his circumstances it’s a wonder he’s anywhere on it at all.

The European Union’s gnomes of Frankfurt and Brussels are asking for the moon.  And early Monday morning, they got it. Sort of. Greece does not have a moon to give.  And the local banks there… major lenders, know that but pretend they don’t.

So let’s get some nonsense out of the way:

--Yes, Greece didn’t watch its borrowing or its credit rating.
--Yes, its pension and welfare system is generous to a fault.

A friend recently asked why should other countries be forced to pay for the (alleged) sins of Greece?  The answer lies in three basic ideas:  

  1. Europe is an emerging nation acting much in the same way the US acted in its pre constitutional days.
  2. As an emerging nation it has yet to realize that rich states here kick in to help poor states.  New York gets back less than it gives so Texas and Alabama can survive.  We have learned to accept and sometimes embrace this.
  3. When Greece abandoned the Drachma for the Euro, it gave up control of its own finances and now is being forced against its will and its ability to solve its own crisis.

You can’t have it both ways.  If the EU is made of autonomous states than each state should have and be able to set value of its own currency.  If the EU is truly a “union” then there is no question that the Big Boys -- Germany and the UK primarily and France, sort of -- have to help out without imposing the kinds of restrictions that will kill Greek commerce and then what’s left of its employment.

So, never on Sunday may apply to Greek streetwalkers, but it can’t apply to the leaders in Athens.

Grapeshot:

--The only version of Never on Sunday with Mercouri is in Greek, and too long to post… but you can find many another version on YouTube, though most of them are corny and lack soul.


Shrapnel:

--It’s the calm before the storm.  Microsoft is about to release a new version of its operating system.  PC sales are down while buyers await the debut so they can rush out and buy the latest in a seemingly endless parade of false promise and bungle.

--Mac fans will advise us all to trash our PCs and buy the ever-so-much cooler (and infinitely more expensive)  Apple computers.  Apple is one big sales pitch for itself and its biggest selling point is that it’s not Microsoft.  Owning one is like succumbing to someone saying “Here, light up.  All the cool kids smoke,” only slightly less dangerous.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2015

No comments: