A lot of people out there seem to have the notion that Greece’s troubles are the result of laziness.
That really doesn’t seem to be true. OECD:
Average annual hours actually worked per worker 2000-2010
And no, labor force participation is not wildly different: 55% in Greece, 60% in Germany.
To quote my friend Katherine: “It’s those goddam hyper-efficient Germans with their ‘work smart not hard’ screwing things up for the rest of us.”
Tongue in cheek there, of course, but it does seem to be German productivity in a single-currency regime that makes it impossible for Greek banks to stay solvent.
And it’s not that Greek bankers, politicians, or workers are lazy. No matter how hard they work, the financial system doesn’t seem to make it possible for them to live a lifestyle in which they crush their grapes with their childrens’ feet. No matter how much they want the “liberty” to live that lifestyle.
Cross-posted at Asymptosis.