Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The cost of German-imposed austerity

German-imposed austerity has been a disaster for Greece: 28% unemployment, mass poverty, a public health crisis, a 20% increase in suicides and a 40% increase in infant mortality. Its a foreign-imposed humanitarian crisis, as if they lost a war or had all their food and money stolen by Nazis. The scary thing is that it doesn't have to be that way. In the New York Times, Paul Krugman runs the numbers:

if you follow that through, you find that dropping the [Troika] requirement that Greece run a primary surplus of 4.5 percent of GDP would allow spending to rise by 9 percent of GDP — twice as much — and that this would raise GDP by 12 percent relative to what it would have been otherwise. Unemployment would fall by around 10 percentage points relative to no relief.

Which would obviously be tremendously beneficial for the Greek people. Instead, the bankers are imposing policies that are killing people so they can extract their pound of flesh.