Trickle-down economics is the first cousin of austerity economics. Austerity is nuts when so many millions are out of work. And as we’ve learned before, trickle-down is a fraud. Nothing ever trickles down. - Robert Reich, "A Story for May Day"
Paul then examines the relative strengths of Pasok (the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, the traditional party of labor in Greece) and Syriza (which Paul refers to as the "radical left"), the difficulty of persuading labor voters to switch their votes, the likelihood of strikes and work stoppages, etc. ... things which hardly ever happen in America due to the weakness of our labor movement, but which are more common tools in Europe.
Greece’s new center-right government is set to impose fresh austerity measures in the fall, including further privatization of utilities, railways and ports. With unions already angry over wage and pension cuts, more work stoppages and demonstrations are expected. Three ministers have already resigned their posts, including a deputy labor minister who said the ruling coalition has no intention of keeping its campaign promise to renegotiate with the Troika (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund), which had insisted on more austerity as a condition of continued aid to avert bankruptcy.
The government is already unstable. With labor’s help, the people could bring it down, observers say, giving the once-marginal Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza), the biggest opposition group in Parliament, a chance of forming a labor-backed government opposed to the Troika’s demands.