Iceland’s standing up

First Iceland, then the World
Michael Collins

The public is angry. Why should the public pay for the bankers mistakes. Iceland blogger Halldor Sigurdsson

Who cleans up the mess when ignorant, greedy bankers rack up massive debt then go broke? The people of Iceland made a strong statement Saturday. The sins of big bankers and government regulators shouldn’t fall on the citizens. By a 93% to 2% margin, they voted down a proposal requiring them to cover bad debt incurred by one of the nation’s oldest and largest banks. Covering the debt would have cost Iceland’s 317,000 citizens around $17,000 each.

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1 reply on “Iceland’s standing up”

I love Iceland! In 1976, the year of the 200th anniversary celebration of U.S. independence from England and establishment of our country, I took my 10 year old son and 15 year old daughter, went there, spent a week living in homes of Icelanders, hiking, traversing glaciers, jumping into the thermal pools (free outdoor hot tubs, provided by Mother Nature), exploring a recent volcanic eruption, enjoying watching and getting to know a bit about the 300,000+ people, the 750,000 sheep that RAN on legs that looked like stilts under their huge, beautiful thick wool coats that gave them the appearance of wooly bear caterpillars with speed, the smallish , friendly,horses that all had gaits as easy to sit as the Tennessee Walker in this country–having a great time. I could even read and understand quite a lot of the language because of studies in Old and Middle English, cognate to the Icelandic still in use.

Admiring scenery included tall, lean and athletic, spirited blond women, men and sturdy children who have had a WORKING DEMOCRACY from the 10th Century! Their parliament is amazingly in touch with the people and vice versa. The women of Iceland at that time had been demonstrating to demand that their roles as Mothers, home managers and partners be better compensated and respected and the domestic workload shared by mates. They even used an ancient female tactic of democratic action, (withholding their sexual favors) employed by Greek women and made legendary by one of the greatest of the writers of drama. Clear blue skies with vast green fields, steam rising from thermal pools against that landscape full of boulders and ice-snow patches, even in summe, rdotted with greenhouses where the fruits and vegetables are grown. Beautiful! I had been in Reykavik, the nation’s capitol, several times before with my husband, thanks to Icelandic Airlines which then offered the best prices forTrans-Atlantic flights, allowing site-viewing not only there on a stopover but also taking you to another little-known and small-in-size European country, Luxembourg. Haven’t heard about them recently and I think this article may explain some of the “why.” Like the rest of the world, following the lead of U.S. capitalists, they succumbed to the fast money, huge debt, pleasure-seeking, consumption crazes of the 1980’s-90’s, good ole Regonomics, fully developed in the aptly named wilderness of U.S. “Bush country” politics-crony-enhancement. Their government followed some of the same paths as ours. Seems as though they are better than we are though at admitting to their mistakes, taking broader responsibility for them and rehabbing.

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