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January 30, 2015

Planet Politics: Hoard Your Toilet Paper -- The Left Is Coming!

Greece gave us democracy and theater, and now is giving us a gripping new synthesis of the two: the dramatic, hysterical alarms of supporters of austerity. Facing slow growth and crushing debt, “Austerian” leaders in democracies such as Greece, Spain, France, the U.K., (and, until not long ago, Japan) clamped down on social welfare spending and eased regulation of business. But with unemployment widespread, especially among the young, and disturbing signs of renewed recession in many countries, a backlash has begun. On Sunday, Greece chose as its new prime minister a 40-year-old leftist, Alexis Tsipras, who vows to renegotiate $272 billion in foreign loans while amping up government wages and spending. In Greece, across Europe, and elsewhere, Austerians are responding to Tsipras types with apocalyptic warnings, many of which are overstated, comical, outrageous or just plain wrong.

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