HAS SOCIALISM BEEN REPLACED IN GREECE?

July 21, 2019

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I was very pleased to watch on the Greek SKAI News Channel an address to the Greek Parliament and the populace at large by the New Greek Prime Minister – a conservative who speaks perfect English, has an MBA from Harvard and a degree in economics from Stanford, and a man who worked in the private-sector financial industry in Great Britain.  Prime Minister Mitsotakis replaces a socialist whose failed politics have nearly impoverished Greece, where unemployment has remained stagnant at around 25% for the past decade, and the GDP has shrunk.

The new PM has taken heed of the American economic revival under President Trump and seems eager to implement the Trump pattern – lower taxes, cut regulations and red tape, reduce the size of government, and encourage (and celebrate) the entrepreneurism that is native to every Greek.  His ministers are working long days and weekends and have foresworn the annual August vacation period.  They actually wear suits and ties and are clean-shaven —  unlike the socialists they replaced.  In short, they are serious and experienced.

It is clear that the new PM and his ministers understand economics, that the private sector is the only place where real job growth can happen, and that conditions for business expansion must be created and nurtured.  The Greek left (like its brethren elsewhere) believes in government solutions to all things and that government jobs are real – but they never explain where the money comes from to pay all those government salaries.  Every government employee, everywhere, gets his or her salary from taxes imposed by the government on wage-earners whose salaries are paid by the private sector!  Yes, government workers also pay taxes, but their individual tax payments cover only a miniscule part of the actual salaries and benefits they are paid year-in and year-out.  Let that sink in.  It is a universal truth that many fail to grasp.

The previous government – and most of the Greek media – claimed that everybody’s taxes were too high because the “rich” escaped paying their “fair” share.  (Where have we heard this before?)  And Greek labor unions – in league with government leftists — crippled productivity at every turn, often forcing inefficiencies that increased prices, drove down sales and even forced businesses to close.

There is a new sheriff  in town and we wish him every success.  But, of course, the left remains unrepentant and may call for more of the endless “demonstrations” that cripple commerce, drive away tourists, and have been all too frequent over the years.

Stay tuned.

Old Frank

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