In Greece- China Finds an Ally Against Human Rights Criticism – The New York Times

“GENEVA — China has long won diplomatic allies in the world’s poor countries by helping them build expensive roads and ports. Now, it appears to have similarly won over a needy country in Europe.At a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council this month in Geneva, the European Union sought to draw renewed attention to human rights abuses in China — only to be blocked by one of its member countries, Greece.

A spokesman for the Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens called it “unproductive criticism.” ”

Is the question now how to punish Greece?     Maybe not. Nicholas Kistof’s op-ed Sunday, about the black man in California on death row, though many are sure he was framed by the Sheriff’s office, suggests that we are in need of focusing on our own human rights abuses.

Unfortunately, I have just seen the play Titus Andronicus, by William Shakespeare, in its movie form of 1999, and have much to digest about the cruelty and evil of human kind.

One can love China and the United States, and yet, want to hold both to a high level of moral and political leadership. Shakespeare writes in Titus Andronicus about the fragility of leadership, and the abundance of evil and corruption in human centers of power. I do not advocate surrender to evil and corruption. We need to sharpen our weapons, even if only pencils and keyboards, and prepare multiple scenarios for how to attack an army of windmills.

The Eurozone’s Damaging Deal for Greece – The New York Times

“The one advantage of the agreement reached early Monday is that it buys some time. But unless that time is used to discuss how to really reduce the Greek debt and restore its moribund economy to life, it will not be long before eurozone leaders are locked in another agonizing debate about what to do. Germany and its allies have driven a hard bargain, but in forcing Greece to submit they have not resolved the crisis of the monetary union or advanced the European project.”

via The Eurozone’s Damaging Deal for Greece – The New York Times.

Economic policy promoted by American conservatives is how Greece got in severe trouble.|By Paul Krugmanx

Paul Krugman: “Greece’s formula for disaster, in other words, didn’t just involve austerity; it involved the toxic combination of austerity with hard money.

So who wants to impose that kind of toxic policy mix on America? The answer is, most of the Republican Party.”

Economic policy promoted by American conservatives is how Greece got in severe trouble.|By Paul Krugman

Thomas Piketty has wise words on German hypocrisy and how to solve the Greek debt crisis –

from Marty Stock’s fb page, Thomas Piketty on Germany and Greece:
“Piketty: When I hear the Germans say that they maintain a very moral stance about debt and strongly believe that debts must be repaid, then I think: what a huge joke! Germany is the country that has never repaid its debts. It has no standing to lecture other nations.

…after the war ended in 1945, Germany’s debt amounted to over 200% of its GDP. Ten years later, little of that remained: public debt was less than 20% of GDP. Around the same time, France managed a similarly artful turnaround. We never would have managed this unbelievably fast reduction in debt through the fiscal discipline that we today recommend to Greece… Think about the London Debt Agreement of 1953, where 60% of German foreign debt was cancelled and its internal debts were restructured.”

I am not too favorably inclined towards Greece, since I learned they have outrageously generous pensions for state employees that they cannot afford. We have that problem in Hamden, CT, where our taxes go up and up to pay town pensions most of us never met in the private sector.

“The history of public debt is full of irony.”|By Kabir Chibber

Paul Krugman at NYT: Ending Greece’s Bleeding

Paul Krugman: “The truth is that Europe’s self-styled technocrats are like medieval doctors who insisted on bleeding their patients — and when their treatment made the patients sicker, demanded even more bleeding. A “yes” vote in Greece would have condemned the country to years more of suffering under policies that haven’t worked and in fact, given the arithmetic, can’t work: austerity probably shrinks the economy faster than it reduces debt, so that all the suffering serves no purpose. The landslide victory of the “no” side offers at least a chance for an escape from this trap.”

If Greece can’t live with the euro, it will be because the currency offers no respite for countries in trouble.|By Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman: Greece on the Brink!

For retirees, who are dependent on the market, these dark clouds are worth paying attention to. There appears here, a sad echo between the damaging austerity climate in Europe, and the devastation caused by debtor’s prison in the US over traffic tickets and child support which has decimated the black male population.

Just as a workable economic compromise should be possible, a new government is wary of Europe’s intentions.|By Paul Krugman