Capitalism At Work
By Paul Craig Roberts
November 30, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - Zero Hedge reports
a story from “Keep Talking Greece” that
first appeared in The Times.
According to the story, the plummeting living
standards forced on the Greek people by German chancellor Merkel and
the European banks have forced large numbers of young Greek women
into prostitution. The large increase in the supply of women
offering sexual services has dropped the price to 4 euros an hour.
That’s $4.24, enough for a cheese pie or a sandwich, the value that
bankster-imposed austerity has placed on an hour’s use of a woman’s
body. The half hour price is $2.12. They don’t even get the minimum
When one reads a story such as this, one hopes it
is a parody or a caricature. Although the London Times has fallen a
long way, it is not yet the kind of newspaper that can be purchased
at grocery store checkout counters.
The story gains credence from the websites in the
US on which female university students advertise their availability
as mistresses to men who have the financial means to help them with
their expenses. From various news reports, mistress seems to be a
main occupation of female students at high-cost universities such as
The NYU girls have it far better than the Greek
ones. The mistress relationship is monogamous and can be
long-lasting and loving. Prudes make an issue of the disparity in
ages, but disparity in age was long a feature of upper class
marriages. Prostitutes have large numbers of partners, each possibly
carrying disease, and they receive nothing in return except cash. In
Greece, if the report is correct, the payment is so low that the
women cannot survive on the money beyond lunchtime.
This is capitalism at work. In the US the hardship
comes from escalating tuition costs, with 75% of the university
budget spent on administration, rather than on faculty or student
aid, and from the lack of jobs available to graduates that pay
enough to service the student loans. These days your waiter in the
restaurant might be an adjunct or part-time university professor
hoping to get a full-time job as an actor. As mistresses, the NYU
girls will be doing better.
In Greece the hardship is imposed from outside the
country by the European Union, which Greece foolishly joined, giving
away its sovereignty in exchange for austerity. The banksters and
their agents in the EU and German governments claim that the Greek
people benefitted from the loans and, therefore, are responsible for
paying back the loans. But the loans were not made to the Greek
people. The loans were made to corrupt Greek governments who were
paid bribes by the lenders to accept the loans, and the proceeds
often were used for purchases from the country from which the loan
originated. For example, Greek governments were paid bribes to
borrow money from German or other foreign banks in order to purchase
German submarines. It is through this type of corruption that the
Greek debt grew.
The story told by the financial media and
neoliberal economists who shill for the banksters is that the Greek
people irresponsibly borrowed the money and spent it on welfare for
themselves, and having enjoyed the fruits of the loans don’t want to
repay them. This story is a lie. But the lie serves to ensure that
the Greek people are looted in order to make good the banks’ own
mistakes in overlending. The banks got both the loan fees and the
kickbacks from the submarine producers. (I am using submarine
producers as a generic for the range of outside goods and services
on which the loans were spent.)
In Greece the loans are being paid by money
“saved” by cutting Greek pensions, education and social services,
and public employment, and by money raised from selling off public
assets such as ports, municipal water systems and protected islands.
The cutbacks in pensions, education, social services and employment
drain money from the economy, and the sale of public assets drains
money from the government’s budget. Michael Hudson tells the story
brilliantly in his new book, Killing The Host.
The result is widespread hardship, and the result
of the hardship is that young Greek women have to sell themselves.
It is just as Marx, Engels, and Lenin said.
One would think that people everywhere would be
outraged. But to most of those who commented on Zero Hedge it is
just something to make crude jokes about—“think about it,
Viagra costs 4x the cost of
pussy” “Sure beats dating and taking a
girl to dinner.” Those who represent the vaunted “Western Values”
see nothing to be outraged about.
The percentage of pro-Western Russians who look to
the West for leadership must be rapidly approaching zero.
What’s more important? The dignity of women or
another billion dollars for the banksters?
Western “civilization” has given its answer: Another billion dollars
for the banksters.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and
associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for
Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate.
He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have
attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are
The Neoconservative Threat To International Order:
Washington’s Perilous War For Hegemony,
The Failure of Laissez
Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West
How America Was Lost.