Thursday, October 18, 2012

Corridors Of Power

Budapest, Hungary

- Do you want to hear the truth?
- Do you know it?
- I'll tell you what I heard.
- Ok.
- The chief administrators of the European Union were always coming and going at the Central European University. George Soros the billionaire money speculator founded the University, and had recently added a Center For European Union Studies. Thus the traffic in bureaucrats. They were a dull and dispiriting bunch, but do you know what I liked about them?
- What?
- They actually said what they thought.
- What did they think?
- The usual: the European Union had lived too long on borrowed money, now had to save, suffer through austerity, and then begin again stronger and healthier. 
- And of course you think that is wrong.
- Of course I do. I performed this experiment on the bureaucrats. First, I pointed out that even for them there is nothing right or wrong in paying what you owe. The bankers and financial institutions don't do it themselves. They go bankrupt, or get their governments to subsidize them. Second, I told them they were acting on the belief that econonic policy based on "paying what you owe" is best for the countries which it is forced upon. Fifty years of economic history has showed conclusively, with 100% consistency, that this is false. 
- What do they say?
- The people who borrow and don't repay have to be taught a lesson.
- But not the bankers who borrow and don't repay.
- The bankers do, usually, repay.
- After they get the government to give them the money to repay with.
- Yes. And the European Union bureaucrats don't want to give the people the money to repay with.
- You tell them they're not being fair. What happens?
- They say something like, "life is unfair."
- They're hypocrites.
- Of course. And that's what's interesting: they know the economic policies they are pursuing will destroy the lives of the majority of the people they supposedly work for. But they excuse themselves by shifting attention to a moral principle, "pay what you owe".
- Which no one practices!