Actual Greek riots

Last year the riots were entirely fake, astroturf government rioters theatrically engaging in pretend conflict with government police. This time, there was some fake violence, and some quite real violence.

In the previous riots, government protestors threw Molotov cocktails from short range, not at police, but in front of policemen’s feet. And then they stood around, with the police making no effort to arrest them. In this riot, Molotov cocktails were thrown from long range and landed amidst the police from above. They were actually trying to harm policemen, and were acting as if they believed that police would try to arrest them.

We also saw plenty of government astroturf theater, for example a mob banging on a wall or crowd barrier – but they were not putting their shoulders into it. Whenever it looked like the barrier would fall, they eased up their already rather gentle banging.

Once again, the Greek government has cut expenditures, and increased tax rates.

The increase in rates is perverse, since it is obvious that rates are well above the Laffer limit, on rich and poor alike, and every time they raise rates, revenues fall substantially, due to massive tax evasion and people dropping out. The futile tax rate rises fit with the astroturf element of the protests. The government is protesting itself as part of austerity theater: “See, we are being as austere as we can be.” and the government is raising taxes, regardless of the fact that they well and truly on the falling side of the Laffer curve to show that they are being as austere as they can be.

But, perhaps to their surprise, high unemployment and high taxes may have caused some real protestors to show up.


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