Greeks despair

Greeks watched the latest political drama unfolding in their capital with a mixture of despair and disbelief.

... "What happened this week was a disgrace. We looked bad and Europeans are already sick of paying for us."
"Looks bad"? "This week"? What's happening in Greece is bad. It's a disgrace, and has been for a lot longer than a week.

But we shouldn't be too smug. Peter Foster says we're all headed that way:

... Greece is the result of mixing fundamentally Marxist principles with democratic governance (which the philosopher Karl Popper pointed out had happened by the middle of the last century in all Western countries), and then giving it a credit card with no limit. The anti-principle of “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” inevitably deteriorated into “From each productive sucker to each unionized public servant and policy wonk.”

This is a crisis not just of Greece, not just of the eurozone, but of nothing less than the dominant version of modern democracy itself. As Joseph Schumpeter pointed out 60 years ago, this is not the rule of “the people” but of politicians who compete to buy votes in order to wield power. Milton Friedman noted after the fall of the Berlin Wall that the collapse of Communism did not represent some kind of victory for Western forms of democratic economic management. It was just that, since they had capitalism to feed on, they were collapsing more slowly. Prof. Friedman also noted the shift in power from politicians to bureaucrats. “The government has become a self-generating monstrosity,” he said. “We don’t have government of the people, by the people, for the people. We have government of the people, by the bureaucracy, for the bureaucracy.” ...