Greek Debt

So it’s taken me two weeks longer than I thought it would, but here’s the afore-too promised article on the economic crisis in Greece (I’ve been working hard on re-designing the DCI website; hopefully I’ll have some results up for you to look at soon).

I did some research to get up to speed on what’s going on, but I found this on CNN’s website and I’m no expert, but clearly this is a problem:

So what’s the problem in Greece?
Years of unrestrained spending, cheap lending and failure to implement financial reforms left Greece badly exposed when the global economic downturn struck. This whisked away a curtain of partly fiddled statistics to reveal debt levels and deficits that exceeded limits set by the eurozone.
How big are these debts?
National debt, put at ā‚¬300 billion ($413.6 billion), is bigger than the country’s economy, with some estimates predicting it will reach 120 percent of gross domestic product in 2010. The country’s deficit — how much more it spends than it takes in — is 12.7 percent.

And that’s really all I had to read to know what I wanted to write about. It’s a big personal issue for me, because globally, locally, personally, I see on a daily basis what irresponsible “borrowing” does to people.

I put the word “borrowing” in quotes, because we’re not really talking about borrowing, if you think carefully about it. Borrowing means that I give back what I borrow. Irresponsible borrowing, or “borrowing” and not giving back what I took… we have another word for that: stealing.

I have a lot of friends that I tell: I know some Buddhists who would never steal, but they’ll “borrow” something and not give it back. What’s the difference? Let’s call it like it is: irresponsible “borrowing” is stealing. And my contention is that it plants seeds as such.

So let’s apply that to the problem in Greece. In a national economy that spends 12.7 percent more than it makes and has allowed it’s overall debt to exceed it’s gross domestic product, what would you expect to happen, if every time you spend more than you know you can pay back you’re planting a seed in your mind for stealing? You would get all the results of stealing: mainly, that you will not have the things you need in the future.

So what should they do? Hard to say now, but whatever they do it must include a strong commitment to stop stealing and and equally strong motivation to start repaying their debts.

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2 Responses to Greek Debt

  1. As usual brilliant Eric. I also must note a hard pill to swallow when you are behind in debt. Trying to catch up and be difficult. Of course the karma for not paying you’re debts on time is you don’t have money when you need it. So doesn’t that mean I go further behind.
    Is restructuring that debt and making a new agreement to repay perhaps over a longer time or at a different loan rate a possible solution? Of course the new agreement has to be something that will be actually followed through on.

  2. ericbrinkman says:

    Of course restructuring is an option. Like I said though, I think the most important thing is what you’re thinking as you do it. If there’s a real intention to repay the debt, and a change of heart that says, “Okay, I’m not going to keep doing this because I don’t want to collect these bad seeds,” then I think a real change is possible. So the most important thing is to say to ourselves, “Going forward, I am not going to keep behaving this way.” For people in the know, it’s just applying the four powers…

    Thanks for the comment. šŸ™‚

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