Democracy is Flourishing on Wall Street

Cleisthenes” by Licensed under Attribution via Wikimedia Commons.
Cleisthenes: The inventor of Democracy

Democracy is Flourishing

Ancient Athenian style Democracy is flourishing in only one place in the modern world. The Wall Street stock markets. They vote everyday on everything. In ancient Athens where participatory democracy was born this is how it worked. Citizens debated and voted on every issue. Up, or Down, Yes, or No. There were no elected officials that ruled unhindered for a period of 4 or 5 years. The modern politicians have turned a creative way to express the will of the people “Democracy” into an “Olympic” event. The winner is awarded 4 years of absolute rule. Democracy is not an Olympic event waged by Politicians to win power. It is the direct expression of the people’s will in all their affairs. The Athenian people’s will was obeyed and actualized on a regular basis. Not just once every 4 years.

In modern times we find this type of Democracy in only one place. The Wall street stock market.

Did some news of calamity hit the newswire the stock market participants and big capital immediately vote on Wall Street by buying or selling. They drive the prices up or down in a flash. Wall Street is the modern version of the Acropolis where they meet and rule over their vast financial empire. They control the money supply of our modern democracies. Unlike their predecessors the Athenians, they are not seekers of truth, justice or free thought. They are seekers of ever expanding wealth in the hands of the very few. Continue reading Democracy is Flourishing on Wall Street

What is wrong with the Greek olive oil industry?

Shooting the Messenger

My last article on the fears of how low prices may effect the quality of olive oil Greeks will be consuming this year ruffled a few feathers. A Greek website claimed they had received phone calls and complaints. They even “warned” me that people are very angry. They claim olive oil companies have lost a great deal of money because of my article. They published my photo without authorization. They refuse to ask for permission or remove it. This is the sorry state of modern Greek journalism. This is the type of hyperbole that mirrors the state of the olive oil industry in Greece today. Thinly veiled threats from people hiding behind the “journalist”.  I asked them out for a cup of coffee and they have so far refused.

The fact is, 70-80 percent of our exported, high-quality EVOO is being sold off at the lowest prices to Italians and other foreign buyers in bulk. The question the Greek government, olive oil companies and Greek journalists need to answer is: why are we still selling our best EVOO in bulk? Why are the prices dropping during a period of limited supply? We are not alone in this race to the bottom of the price pool. There is another country that is struggling to add value as it sells its liquid gold off in bulk at lower prices: Tunisia

Italian and the Spanish Olive Oil Companies are Thriving

In contrast, Italian olive oil companies who had to deal with some very real stigmas to their reputation are thriving. Honest and hard working Italian olive oil companies have managed to flourish in spite of the stigma of adulteration in the past and even into the present. They have become so successful they are forced to buy up Greek or Tunisian EVOO in bulk in order to fill their orders. Producers in Spain have bounced back from adversities and are thriving. What is wrong with the Greek olive oil industry?