Debt, democracy, and the Greek crisis.

Much has been written about how the Greek crisis is really a tragedy for democracy. The argument goes that the desires of the Greek people are being overruled by the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund) and Angela Merkel. This group demands how Greece should be run without any responsibility to the people by using the threat of economic collapse.

This is the problem of democracy, when the power lies with the citizens no one is effectively responsible. Direct democracy is unfeasible (and arguably undesirable) so we elect representatives; however, if a nation makes a certain policy decision, the majority of people can effectively disown it by saying "I voted for another party" or "I wouldn't have voted for them if I knew they were going to do this." 

Which brings is back to the Greek crisis. 

The Greek people elected leaders who made poor financial decisions. But while everyone feels the weight of past decisions, everyone does not feel the responsibility of those decisions or the responsibility of changing course. "I didn't do anything wrong so why should I have to suffer?" The difficult answer is that collective power means collective responsibility. 

The country is bankrupt. The Troika are not required to continue financing Greece's poor decisions and have every right to ensure that any additional bailout they provide will not be sent up in smoke.

I do feel for the Greek people though. No one wanted to talk about (and people still avoid) the fact that maintaining a true currency union requires the individual members to give up sovereignty to the central authority. Not doing so simply creates a set of exchange rate pegs and history has shown that pegs are unsustainable except in a narrow set of circumstances.

The Greek people have spoken. They want their sovereignty. And so they should leave the Eurozone now no matter how destructive that would be.

Meanwhile, the E.U. and the Eurozone need to address their identity crisis head on. I have an idea, but that's for another post.