This week, while the U.S. celebrates its independence, the world watches a modern Greek tragedy unfold as Greece votes on austere bailout terms imposed by the country's creditors. However the vote goes, one thing is clear: The austerity that came with the two previous bailouts has utterly broken the Greek economy. GDP has gone down nearly 30 percent. A quarter of the country is unemployed, including half of its young people. Pensions have been slashed. The health budget has been cut by 40 percent. Suicides are up 36 percent since 2008. The Troika has authored a new Greek myth -- that you can cut your way to growth. And now they're back, demanding more of what's already shattered the economy. The question is will they shatter the spirit of the Greek people? Just as we value our independence, so do the Greeks, who, after all, invented democracy. No matter the outcome of the vote, feeling some measure of control will help keep Greece's spirit alive.
ATHENS -- It seems extraordinary how averse we have become to democracy. How alien an honest leader, who is unwilling to sell the country out in exchange for continuing power, appears. Tsipras is what all leaders should actually be like. We have simply become so accustomed to seeing things through the warped prism of political expedience, that democracy as it should be appears twisted.
It's clear that we should not base our hopes on futile and dangerous solutions, such as returning to the drachma. Let us draw up a long-term plan for the next day, that will turn Greece into a modern, well-governed European country with a strong economy and liberated from the chronic pathologies that pester it.