16 February 2012

Italy "on the brink of bankruptcy"

The cartoon is explained by artist David Horsey in his column at the Los Angeles Times.


  1. Yes unelected technocrats brought in to force crippling austerity surely will save the economy from the lazy workers who wrecked things by, what, choosing not to work hard enough?

    1. I really know nothing about Italian economic history, but I would guess that it would have begun with elected bureaucrats, who promised the public various work-related amenities (hours, benefits) in order to get elected, and later passed them into law in order to stay elected, never calculating the long-term effects of their laws.

      Correct me if I'm wrong.

    2. I'm not an expert on the Eurozone crisis, but it wasn't *started* by countries giving workers too many benefits. (Obviously the US-led economic crash precipitated it, and we can debate the cause of that). It's completely possible some Eurozone countries were being irresponsible (lavish benefits, legal tax avoidance), but this is what you get when there is one currency uniting multiple countries but no over-arching regulation. Some countries have managed better than others.

      What happened was: the shit hit the fan, and now the the well-off countries (ie Germany) decide to not help out the others (Greece and the other PIGS). Instead of some type of rational measures to improve their economies, the IMF and Eurozone is forcing barbaric (and counterproductive) austerity and everyone is pretending this is the only option.

      I think at this point they're just trying to drive Greece out of the Eurozone.

    3. There WAS overarching regulation, Abbie. Most countries (Germany included) ignored it. No one thought that would be a problem. And it wouldn't have been, as long as money kept flowing. Countries were all like credit card abusers who kept transferring balances to new '0 percent introductory rate' cards. Except then banks stopped offering those cards, and the bills came due. Some couldn't/can't pay. But someone has to pay. The question is who. That's what all the hubbub in Europe is about right now. Who should pay and how much. The Euro goes up every time it looks like the banks/investors won't have to pay as much. The Euro goes down every time it looks like the banks/investors will have to lose (more) money. Riots start whenever it looks like people will have to pay the banks or do with less so the banks/investors can make their money. Riots stop when it looks like the banks/investors will cover more of the bills.


  2. Haha!

    Such a bullseye.

  3. Long gone are four-hour lunch breaks (and other implied perks) for "normal" folks; most workers get about 45 minutes. It's the members of the Camera dei Deputati and the Senato who receive massive benefit packages and who don't necessarily have to do anything at all once elected.

    If previous governments, both left and right, had been doing what they should have been doing, Italy wouldn't have to have "unelected technocrats" in office. Don't knock Monti... he's doing a great, and necessary, job.


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