Monday, January 23, 2012

My Letter to the NY Times re: Greeks Return to the Land

Subject: Greek Return to the Land
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 13:36:25 -0500

Re: With Work Scarce in Athens, Greeks Go Back to the Land

Dear Sirs,
Your front page, above-the-fold article on January 9th about the Greeks returning to the land is not as sanguine as Ms. Donadio portrays it. A peoples' return to the land in large numbers is a sure sign of a regressing economy, one that is becoming less specialized, less productive, and less affluent. The myth of the happy yeoman farmer is just that--a myth. The industrial revolution broke the shackles of a large and impoverished agricultural class everywhere, releasing them to more productive and prosperous lives in the cities. The Roman Empire's final days were marked by starving city dwellers fleeing to the land in search of food. Greek citizens may not be that desperate...yet, but there is no reason to portray this development in any way except as what is really is: a horrible adverse consequence of decades' of disastrous economic policies.

Patrick Barron

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