Algeria is lately facing a dramatic setback to its ambitious plan to build a modern nation and economy with its large infrastructure investment program, like all countries that rely heavily on oil and gas.
It's no surprise that the powerful both set the rules and break the rules with impunity. The world system isn't presided over by Miss Manners. For small countries like Greece, there's not much room for maneuver between the regulations of the EU and the general parameters established by globalization. There isn't much room for democracy either, as Greek citizens discovered when they voted in Syriza and attempted to vote out austerity in the more recent referendum. Iran, a larger country that plays a strategic role in the Middle East, has considerably more room for maneuver than does Greece. But it too cannot unilaterally remake the rules of the game. It can only negotiate the best deal it can. In the end, it must open itself up to the kind of inspection regime that more powerful countries would never tolerate.
If you need proof of how the modern welfare state can miss the mark, just look at the rising level of social inequality in much of the developed world.
I'm traveling back to my country dominated by a feeling of sadness. There is no more depressing thing for someone than to see his nation be stagnated in misery and depression caused by the high unemployment rates and lack of any light of hope for a better future.
In the image and reality of democracy some recourse to the people is essential. It must involve rich and directly effective activity by citizens and transparent inspiration by leaders.
MoveOn and Robert Reich have launched an emergency campaign to press the Obama administration to use its influence in the International Monetary Fund to push for a just end to the crisis in Greece.
The underlying question raised by the Greek financial crisis has been largely ignored, which is whether Greek adoption of the euro -- or even the creation of the Eurozone at all -- was a bad idea to begin with, and one that will not get better with time. This is the question that Germany must fear.
All eyes are on Greece, as the parties involved continue to strive for a lasting deal, spurring vigorous debate and some sharp criticisms, including of the IMF. In this context, I thought some reflections on the main critiques could help clarify some key points of contention as well as shine a light on a possible way forward.
This may seem facetious some six years into recovery, but many policy makers don't understand the severity of the Great Recession, or its consequences. It is the major reason why Greece, and many other Eurozone countries are in so much economic trouble at present.
By voting "No" with a large margin (61-39 percent), Greek voters demonstrated several important things. First, that they were not easily intimidated. Second, that despite a massive propaganda campaign by what the New York Times described as "the oligarch-dominated news organizations," they were not easily fooled.
Here Galbraith discusses the last week's dramatic turn of events and what is at stake going forward as the austerity doctrine -- and the entire neoliberal project -- come under threat.
Greece should welcome this chance to leave the Euro, and recover its monetary sovereignty, which has been lost. It has been unable to climb out of the hole, tethered as it is to the Euro.
What do they really want? That's the question everyone is asking about both the Germans and the Greeks. Aspirations explicit and veiled circulate. But recent events -- negotiations, stalemate, trash talk, referendum, shutdowns -- have moved many options off the table. A thunderous "no" vote in Greece drowned out the more pointed "no" from Germany. Both these negatives were expressions not of will but of weakness. Yes, that's correct, German weakness, too. Is this something Alexis Tsipras can exploit? On such a field of increasing obstacle and impediment is where the next battle will play out. Politics is like this.
As expressed (and predicted) in this blog several months ago, if I owe you 240 euros, it's my problem, but if I owe you 240 billion euros, it's certainly your problem, too.
Europe has arrived at its moment of double truth. The muddling is over with and the path ahead is clear for all to see.
It should not have come as a surprise that the majority of Greek voters opted not to accept more externally-imposed austerity, by voting "no" in Sunda...