Reset the Debt
Once again the Press has it all wrong. Even Amy Goodman was struggling to get her head around this week’s debt forgiveness by Croatia of its poorest 60,000 citizens. Once again Revolution and Beer has the scope and the true analysis of the story. It was an ill-conceived effort by Croatia’s Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic to boost the southern European nation out of a crippling recession deepened by the Global Financial Crisis. As a predominantly service-based economy full recovery, at least in the near term, remains doubtful.
The gesture is a short-term reprieve for those making less than about $200 monthly. The average monthly salary in Croatia is about $1200. That represents predominately penshioners who would have been unlikely to pay back any debts any way. Croatia’s economics woes are far too complex to be solved or even affected to any notable degree by this debt-forgiveness effort. Currently the nation maintains an average unemployment rate of close to 20 %, but among men and women 25 years old and younger, a growing segment of the country, that number skyrockets to 45%. 18% of the population lives in poverty
Personal debt, predominately to meet basic survival needs has reached epidemic levels. In 2013 outstanding debt for 322,000 people whose accounts were blocked due to unpaid bills reached nearly $6billion USD. The population of Croatia is about 4 million.
Don’t be fooled, Croatia’s debt forgiveness for its poorest 60,000, under current conditions, will land most back in the debt-survival cycle. Not until there is system international economic reforms will there be any true relief for the poor, and for nations struggling with mounting debt, such as Croatia, Greece and Spain. Croatia’s debt forevivess gesture is a splash of cold water to an sick patient. It may bring the patient around for a moment, but it definitely is not a cure.
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “Shoot Down: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.