Greece Pushes Back

GreeceThe BBC reports that there is a general strike in Greece over yet more austerity from their Europe Union partners. This stuff tends to be reported in the United States as though the Greek people are a bunch of ill behaved children who don’t want to take their necessary medicine. Most of that is correct—all except the word “necessary.” Greece has been through this many times before over the past two years. And what has it earned them? Nothing other than 25% unemployment.

Dean Baker comments that Greece has a lot more leverage than they have had in the past. He points to Argentina in 2002. They were in a huge amount of debt—more than Greece. So they defaulted. All the Serious People said this was terrible—it would be a catastrophe for Argentina. But it wasn’t. Instead, their economy quickly rebounded—unlike Greece that has taken what all the Serious People claim to be the correct path. So what if Greece defaulted and left the Euro?

Greece’s economy might finally be able to heal itself. And that would be a catastrophe—for the Euro Zone. If leaving the Euro was good for Greece, then Spain—which also has 25% unemployment—would certainly follow. And then perhaps Italy would leave. And Portugal. And Ireland! The whole damn thing could fall apart.

All the pressure on Greece and the other weak economies in the Euro Zone is coming from Germany. But just like the rich in the United States, they haven’t seen that more equity would make they position stronger. Nor have they seen that less equity could greatly harm them. But maybe—just maybe—they are starting to see the reality of their situation.

Newsweek’s Dead; Long Live the Beast!

Tina BrownThe Daily Beast reports that Newsweek is going to stop producing its print version. Tina Brown, one of the top generals in the war to destroy our culture, puts a positive spin on this. They, “Are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it.”

That is a load off my mind. After all, without Newsweek, where would I turn for Niall Ferguson’s latest passel of lies about the President? Or tripe about Muslim Rage by Ferguson’s wife Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Or the latest news about the afterlife and other drug induced hallucinations? You can imagine my relief!

Newsweek’s problems are not the fault of of Tina Brown. Newsweek has been irrelevant for, I don’t know, my entire life. (But I’ve heard that it totally rocked during the Great Depression!) Brown was just the last desperate gasp of a magazine that has nothing to offer. I can image what the meetings were like. “I know the word ‘news’ is in the title of our magazine, but maybe we could become more pop culture; I know: let’s get that chick from Vanity Fair!”

I’m not clear what this whole thing is about. The truth is that Newsweek already has a digital form. It’s called The Daily Beast and it isn’t bad (probably owing to the fact that the Newsweek folks didn’t create it). So saying that Newsweek is going digital is pretty much the same thing as saying that Newsweek is going away.

To coin a new bumper sticker: if you care that Newsweek is dead, you haven’t been paying attention.