That’s what the people of Greece said, resoundingly, yesterday: Fuck Austerity! If you’re like me, the topic of economics makes your eyes roll back in your head. The simpler the explanation, the better for me. So I was thrilled to find an article entitled “The Absolute Moron’s Guide to the Greek Debt Crisis.”
…lenders told Greece that they had to implement austerity measures, or tax increases and steep budget cuts. This involved reducing wages, pensions, and spending on social services. Time helpfully crunched the numbers to explain the Greek austerity measures to Americans. If the same cuts were imposed in the U.S. over the past few years, we would have seen the hourly minimum wage drop from $7.25 to $5.66, the average government worker’s annual salary decrease from $51,340 to $43,639, and the average senior citizen’s monthly check drop from $1,294 to $776.
So while the bailout money kept Greece afloat over the past five years, the larger scheme didn’t work. Greece was able to keep making payments to its creditors, but its overall financial situation continued to spiral downward. Its economy shrunk by a quarter in the past five years, one in four Greeks are unemployed, and as of 2013, 44 percent of Greeks were living below the poverty line.
That makes sense, right? Stay tuned…
Today, being Monday, means we get a visit from media trainer & strategist Joel Silberman! This morning, we discussed the disgraceful pundit conversation about Greece where they gloss over the fact that we forgave a lot of the German debt after WWII, and that opportunity is what brought about the German resurgence.
When he was able to get a word in edgewise, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs attempted to explain the issue (about which he wrote this Op-Ed) to the Morning
Joke Jerk Joe crew this morning, as Joe Blow really dissed Dr. Sachs superior knowledge in favor of conservative, corporate Dem BILLIONAIRE Steve Ratner’s punitive language about the situation. This is a Milton Friedman disaster capitalism moment that Naomi Klein wrote about in her book on the subject – The Shock Doctrine. This is where the media narrative is really important because how we discuss things change the perception of events and that in turn becomes public policy which in this case will favor the disaster capitalists.
In hour two, I spoke with my old friend Jason Leopold about the first batch of Hillary Clinton’s State Dept emails that were released Tuesday night at 9pm. What you might not know is that the only reason we’re getting these emails is because Jason Leopold, whom our government labeled a “FOIA Terrorist” filed FOIA requests for those emails!
Click here to find Jason’s articles for Vice News, all in one place. And happy reading!
I’ll be back tomorrow with author, journalist, oil industry expert Antonia Juhasz, who’ll tell us about the new and final (?) BP settlement announced late last week, and GottaLaff too, radio or not!