Crush the Entrepreneurial Spirit and the US Will Become Greece

There was an interesting piece written by Anne Jolis and published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. The article was on John Coustas, a Greek and head of Danaos Corporation, the third-largest container ship company in the world. I will simply quote from it: 

Mr. Coustas sees the rot (in Greece) as originating in 1974 when politicians in newly re-democratized Greece began expanding the state to ‘enlarge their influence.’ That process accelerated in 1981, when Greeks ‘got our first Socialist government…’

On top of misguided government spending, Mr. Coustas says, entrepreneurial activity was denigrated for many years and profit was regarded as ‘wrong…’ In the early 1980s, Mr. Coustas was in Japan to sign a new shipbuilding contract for Danaos. He recalls being approached by a Japanese workers’ representative who ‘wanted to thank us for giving them work…(In Greece), if you tried to do the same thing and place an order in the Greek shipyards, you would get protests that either you paid too little, or are trying to pressure the workers, or whatever.’

Read the whole thing for his take on what needs to be done to have meaningful reform in Greece.

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