From Business Week, "Life Among the Ruins":
Stefanos Manos applauds the recent decisions to cut wages and raise taxes but believes more drastic measures are needed. "The average pay is two and a half times the pay in the private sector," he says. In his view, more must be done to create a competitive environment. "In Greece, you cannot rent a little truck to move your refrigerator," Manos says. "Why? To protect the truckers. You have to hire a trucker. You have to get a parking permit. If you sell your house, both parties have to have a lawyer—by law—to participate in the transaction, and they're guaranteed a percentage of it. If I want to give my house to my son, both he and I have to have lawyers. If Coca-Cola (KO) wants to take out an advertisement during a news program on TV, a percentage of it [20 percent] goes toward a pension fund for journalists. They have so much money in there that journalists don't even know or care how much money they have!"
". . . a combination of proactive government intervention, education, research, and foreign aid have achieved the near impossible."
Nice refutation by AEI scholar Andrew G. Biggs of a paper making the rounds:
Areleased by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence argues that employees of state and local governments earn salaries and benefits significantly less than similar private-sector workers. But this study omits unfunded pension and retiree health benefits for public-sector workers. Once unfunded promises are included, state and local employees may receive significantly greater total compensation than private-sector workers.