The Greeks suffer a failing economy largely because of that nation’s bloated redistributionist state, but another contributing factor is the mountain of bureaucratic feces the Greek government piles on entrepreneurs.
Alexandra Kassimi reports for Ekathimerini.com: “It took 10 months, a fat bundle of paperwork, countless certificates, long hours of haggling with bureaucrats and overcoming myriad other inconceivable obstacles for one group of young [Greek] entrepreneurs to open an online store.”
Tellingly, Kassimi writes, the government forced “all the shareholders of the company. . . to provide chest X-rays, and, in the most surreal demand of all, stool samples.”
If anyone still wonders why the Greek economy stinks, that story provides a strong indication.
But before Americans complain about the economic odors emanating from Greece, they ought first to clean up the bureaucratic cesspool in their own back yards.
As John Stossel reports, police officers ordered two Georgia girls to shut down their lemonade stand. Stossel tried to start his own stand in New York, and he ran into the following Greek-style bureaucratic demands:
Register as sole proprietor with the County Clerk's Office (must be done in person).
Apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number.
Complete 15-hr Food Protection Course!
After the course, register for an exam that takes 1 hour. You must score 70 percent to pass. (Sample question: "What toxins are associated with the puffer fish?") If you pass, allow three to five weeks for delivery of Food Protection Certificate.
Register for sales tax Certificate of Authority. . . .
And on and on.
Americans and Greeks who wish to restore a vibrant economy must demand that government stop assaulting businessmen and start protecting their rights, including their rights to produce and trade freely. Only that will clear the air.
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