Atlas Shrugged

atlas-shrugged-sg-amazonI live in Greece. Just finished the book. Could not have been a better time. I think it describes perfectly a big part of the greek problem…

Some similarities that i couldn’t help but notice:

Public sector is big and the most corrupt in Europe according to indexes. Caters for its “own people”, with old and established businesses having political connections that struggle newcomers. Only under the recent EU supervision many such scandals came to light.

Even in those harsh economic times, increase in taxation is preferred instead of layoffs of public servants. During those 2 years of economic depression there was not even one layoff from the public sector (it is constitutionally forbidden too)

Years of populism and left party domination established an ideology that demonizes private entrepreneurship and businesses. I challenge you to ask any greek which is considered worst. Being labeled communist or being labeled “capitalist” or neoliberal.

Tip1: being labeled anarchist is better than both.
Tip2: Greece is one of a few countries in the whole world(and the only one in Europe) where a Stalinist totalitarian party exists (the same as North Korea’s). And not only exists but it also gets around 8% on every election
Tip3: There is and never was a liberal party represented in the parliament. Ever.

State is controlling even how many taxi drivers, pharmacy shop owners etc can exist in a certain neighbourhood. In order to hinder competition and guaranty profit for those already in business – state controlled licences are valued 100.000-200.000euros just to be able to get your own taxi driver licence for instance. EU tried to enforce liberalization in the drug stores market recently and all pharmacy owners came on strike along the lines “if anyone is able to open any store he likes, anywhere, then what will become of the already existing ones?” Reminds you something? Next step i guess is an anti-Dog-eat-Dog regulation as Ayn Rand imagined…

In Atlas Shrugged there was an intentional strike of business minds to destroy and save the country. In Greece i m afraid there will be an unintentional and unwilling hunger-strike of those same business minds as no one will be able to create and keep a business any longer.