Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Greek voters determined not to be greeked

By Dave Anderson:

From Reuters, the reaction to the Greek decision to actually put the future of their country into the voters' hands si one of shock. The Greek public will be asked whether they approve of the conditions (long term austerity) for the next round of bail-out funds from the EU, ECB and IMF.

Greece's shock decision to hold a referendum on its euro zone bail-out package sent investors scurrying for safer investments on Tuesday, hammering stocks and punishing the euro...

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's announcement on Monday that he will put Greece's bail-out to a referendum immediately cast doubt on the euro zone's plan to hand Athens 130 billion euros and arrange a 50-percent write-down on its huge debt. It raised the possibility of a disorderly default on its debt if Greeks vote against the plan.

The entire point of bailing out Greece is to save the Euro zone and more importantly, to save the French and German banks from recognizing their losses on Greek debt. Greece staying in the Euro zone is basically a case of Greece creating positive externalities for everyone else while the Greeks continue to get kicked in the balls.

If I was a Greek voter, I would vote against another decade of austerity in order to save foreign bankers who failed in their basic job of accurately assessing risk of borrowers. Yes, a "NO" vote means devaluation and default, and probable secondary bank runs in Greece's major trading partners, but the possibility of seeing per-capita income return to its 2007 values by 2016 is well worth the risk compared to be a kicked prostrate dog.


  1. Agreed on the idea that the Greeks should really just default on their unpayable debt and get it over with. They should also likely get off the Euro and return to their own currency. It will drive some painful inflation for a time, but its devaluation will also make Greek exports that much cheaper and ultimately stimulate their economy. Those old, tired traditional solutions to a country in economic trouble still tend to work, so long as they have control over their own currency, anyway.

  2. Here's one of the bloggers in the Roubini stable who would agree with you, making a compelling case that Greece is being scapegoated by Germany and the rest of the EU big shots.
    ...The prevailing narrative is that Greece is, in the words of the FT�s John Authers, �a country that was truly profligate�, with little in the way of data to support that assertion. The country, however, is truly stuck: they can�t devalue, they can�t pay their own way because they do not have a sovereign currency, and nobody will voluntarily finance them. So they must exit and devalue or drop their domestic prices. The massive default, though inevitable, is just a step along the way.
    The core of the Greek challenge, according to this writer, has more to do with revenue than budgeting.
    ...The top 20% of the income distribution in Greece pay virtually no taxes at all, the product of a corrupt bargain reached during the days of the junta between the military and Greece�s wealthiest plutocrats. No wonder there is a fiscal crisis!...
    ...if one looks at total social spending of select Eurozone countries as a per cent of GDP through 2005 (based on OECD statistics), Greece�s spending lagged behind that of all euro countries except for Ireland, and was below the OECD average. Note also that in spite of all the commentary on early retirement in Greece, its spending on old age programs was in line with the spending in Germany and France.
    In fact, Greece has one of the most unequal distributions of income in Europe, and a very high level of poverty..."

    Greece makes our One Percent appear philanthropic by comparison. No wonder they're raising hell in the streets.