An article about how things in Greece are nowadays since they signed up for another austerity plan. Here’s an interesting paragraph:
Sales taxes have risen from 13 percent to 23 percent on many basic goods — including some meats, cooking oils, coffee, tea, cocoa, vinegar, salt, flowers, firewood, fertilizer, insecticides, sanitary towels and condoms.
Most European countries already have a VAT on things, but a haircut of 23 percent on something as essential as meat….well, thats a tough pill to swallow. How do you adjust your budget to suddenly accommodate this sudden redirection of your spending power?
Well, if you’re smart, you either have connections or networks to allow you to buy things without paying the tax. (Which, really, has been part of Greece’s problem all along…tax-evasion and avoidance is something of a national pastime there.) This is why cash is awesome….so you restrict cash and limit people to the use of debit cards or other instruments that leave a trail of paper. That trail of paper means that you can’t really evade those pesky taxes. So the winners here will be the folks that have lotsa cash (or cash-like instruments such as gold or silver), folks with heavy stockpiles of goods, and folks who can get those two groups together for a little piece of the action.
Look at that list of things that these new taxes affect….mostly things that are pretty easy to store for the long term. interesting, that.