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November 13, 2011

Editorial: Greek Socialist Founder Had a Harvard PhD in Economics

While many Americans are comfortably believing that the Greek debt crisis has little or nothing to do with the United States, the facts are more disturbing. The outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou is the son of the ruling Socialist Party founder Andreas Papandreou, a Harvard PhD in economics.

Liberal academia attached themselves to Greece in the 1990s when they had a higher standard of living than most of their larger counterparts, now I'm sure that attraction will be distancing. It's interesting how nobody seems to talk about the U.S. connection to Greek leadership. Not only did the ruling party founder attain his economics PhD at Harvard, but he had a university faculty job in Minnesota when his son (the outgoing PM) was born.

In 1981, when Andreas Papandreou became Prime Minister, Greece's debt was 34% of GDP. Today the debt to GDP ratio is 140%. Clearly, this family's relationship with the Greek government and the socialist party's agenda have had a direct impact on the debt crisis. Let us not remove ourselves from the Greece situation by thinking "it won't happen to us" or "they are too different from us for that to happen here."

Make no mistake about it, the Papandreou's have a direct connection to American liberals and elite academia in the United States. They thought they could creatively raise their people's standard of living through borrowing. These people are no different than the Ivy Leaguers who believed mortgage backed securities and credit default swaps were tools for generating future wealth.

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