A lesson in Greekeconomics - the second ticket collector on the buses

Tom Winnifrith Sunday 12 February 2017


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When you get on a Greek bus, either the driver or a ticket collector who sits with him at the front, checks your ticket. You cannot board without one. It is simple enough. But then it gets complicated.

In the middle of nowhere suddenly another chap joins the bus and walks down the aisle checking each ticket and sometimes running a red pen across it. Since each ticket has an allocated seat on an allocated journey it cannot be reused and since only those with a ticket can board the bus to start with you may ask what is the point?

But before you can try to work that out, collector two has asked the driver to stop and he gets off, again in the middle of nowhere, and waits to flag down another bus.

You will by now have established that collector two has achieved absolutely nothing in the war against fare dodging and has added not a cent to the revenue of the bus company. He has added two or three minutes to your journey time with the two additional stops and that is it. But you are not Greek and thus do not realise that this is job creation: the bus company has taken someone off the dole by creating a job, albeit one that is completely pointless.

And that is Greekenomics. Across the private sector but, on a far larger scale, in the bloated public sector, fake jobs are created on an enormous scale and whatever the IMF or EU tries to do these jobs have not been eliminated. Thus the Government runs an unsustainable deficit and the private sector is less efficient, less profitable and thus able to create fewer real jobs.

What could possibly go wrong?

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
[email protected]
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