Haven't similar experiences in the debt crises of the 1980's, Russia in 1998, and Argentina in 2001 taught us that waiting too long to restructure in situations of clear insolvency can be more costly in the end?
Greece's political leaders still don't seem to get it, and neither do its official creditors. The longer this problem persists, the greater the challenge of turning around a country already beset by recession, insolvency, distressingly high unemployment and rising poverty.
Europe's political winds have shifted over the past month. The first sign of this preceded the event now being hailed as the catalyst, Sarkozy's loss in France's presidential election, and it occurred in an unlikely place: the Netherlands.
The results are a death blow to the country's decades-long two-party system, leaving both Pasok and New Democracy in a lurch. But this should not come as a surprise considering the widespread popular discontent largely due to how the Greek crisis and how has been handled.
Running on a campaign based around anti-immigration, anti-austerity, and all-around fear, Golden Dawn's leader, Nikolaos Mihaloliakos took advantage of Greece's economic and social hopelessness to instill his message of hate to the masses. And, he was sadly rewarded.
Yesterday's vote is a message that young Greeks are tired of a future without promise, and for older Greeks, a message that the medicine they are being given hasn't worked to turn their situation around.
Structural failures in economic management bring on such crises when they fail to maintain expectations for improvement in the standard of living among the middle class, the mainstay of democracies and principal source of political stability in the modern world.