Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Thursday, May 06, 2010 :::

Greek's fiscal problems:
To live for any length of time among the Greeks is to witness tax evasion as a hilarious art form: flourishing storefront businesses whose actual operation is almost entirely off the books; a confetti of phony receipts; tens of thousands of occupied homes with rebar protruding from their concrete-slab roofs so that the houses are, technically, still under construction -- and therefore taxed at a much lower rate. It's possible to get away with such widespread chicanery because the men and women charged with enforcing compliance can generally be brought around to the point of view of the tax evaders. If a personal connection is not available, then ena phakelaki (a "little envelope") will take care of matters. Over time, and belatedly, the lenders and spenders in the other European powers reached the obvious conclusion that the Greek government was never going to be able to enforce on its refractory population the levels of taxation needed to pay off its bonds.
I don't know about this, but it's interesting if true. And it would mean that any money spent bailing them out is almost certainly squandered.


::: posted by dWj at 9:19 AM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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