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Greece's Middle Class Revolt against Austerity

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-23-11 05:17 AM
Original message
Greece's Middle Class Revolt against Austerity

from Der Spiegel:



Small business owners in Greece have long been the backbone of the economy and reliable taxpayers in a country where tax evasion is rampant. That, though, is now changing. Self-employed workers like Angelos Belitsakos have had enough of rising taxes and have begun to revolt.

The people who could ultimately give Greece the coup de grace are not the kind to throw stones or Molotov cocktails, and they have yet to torch any cars. Instead, they are people like 60-year-old beverage distributor Angelos Belitsakos, people who might soon turn into a real problem for the economically unstable country. Feeling cornered, he and other private business owners want to go on the offensive. But instead fighting with weapons, they are using something much more dangerous. They are fighting with money.

Belitsakos is a short, slim and alert man who lives in the middle-class Athenian suburb of Holargos. He is also the physical and spiritual leader of a movement of businesspeople in Greece that is recruiting new members with growing speed. While Greece's government is desperately trying to combat its ballooning budget deficit by raising taxes and imposing new fees, people like Belitsakos are putting their faith in passive resistance.

The group's slogan is as simple as it is stoic: "We Won't Pay." ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,78784...



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Owlet Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-23-11 05:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. Maybe Belitsakos won't pay
but it's beginning to look like the rest of us will when his country defaults. :-(
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-23-11 06:10 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. We all are paying
for the banksters, politicians and rest of the parasitical elites for fucking up our planet. We don't need them, they need us.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-23-11 06:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. Whoever thought up the idea that if a country is drowning in debt
give them more...debt? That is exactly what austerity and these supposed bailouts to Greece are all about. Greece is being loaned money (creating more debt for Greece) to pay the interest on its current debt.

In exchange for more debt, Greece is taking money away from its poor, its elderly, its sick, its children and its uneducated. It's selling off its assets and laying off more people. It all creates an even worse economy, causing fewer revenue collections because fewer people are working.

Instead of saying. I'm sorry, I can't pay up, I'm declaring bankruptcy, too bad. They are taking on more debt and making sure their economy continues to decline. Donald Trump renegotiates loans all the time. Most uselessly wealthy people and corporations do it frequently.

Why don't they simply renegotiate their illegally (corrupt politicians were hiding the debt - with some help from the bankers) obtained loans? Why doesn't Greece merely pay back what little it can, renegotiate the payments and get on with improving their economy just like most of the idle rich do?
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-23-11 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
4.  We complain when the repukes wont support fair and required taxes needed
to sustain the government, infrastructure etc, but then praise business owners and the wealthy in Greece who won't pay taxes? Color me confused.
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Admiral Loinpresser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-23-11 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. The tax increases needed in the US are directed at the 1%
It sounds like the austerity taxes in Greece are aimed at the 99%
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-11 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Taxing the 1% alone will not fix things for the US and the repukes are opposing all taxes
Edited on Sat Sep-24-11 09:02 AM by ProgressiveProfessor
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Admiral Loinpresser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-11 02:02 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. It's a key part. Here's the start of a solution:
1) 40% marginal tax rate on the 1%;

2) uncap the FICA tax (it's currently capped just over $100k for an individual);

3) do away with LTCG tax rate, just apply regular marginal rate for capital gains;

4) change tax code to create tax disincentives for relocating factories overseas (and give incentives for hiring in US);

5) federal Clean Money law for all federal elections (cost probably $3B-$5B per year, but tremendous net savings due to the emasculation of big business lobbyists);

6) immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq;

7) re-institution of the draft;

8) DOJ anti-trust suit against any corporation deemed to big to fail (must be re-structured/down-sized so as to be small enough to fail);

9) free health care for all (which will reduce the overall cost of US health care per capita by at least 50%);

10) free college education available to all;

11) legalize pot;

12) re-instate Glass/Steagall;

13) re-instate the Fairness Doctrine;

14) "Manhattan project" for clean energy;

15) renounce Copenhagen 2009 and call for immediate conference for realistic international treaty on climate change;

16) cut the military budget by 50%.

This is a proposal based on realism, so it isn't politically feasible (yet). I'm aware of that, just as I'm aware that both political parties act insane (GOP more so), currently.

Anyway that's my first take at a solution to our crumbling empire woes.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-23-11 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
5. delete, intended as OP
Edited on Fri Sep-23-11 09:10 AM by marmar
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-23-11 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
6. recommend
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