The new Syriza government is against all-inclusive resorts

by on January 31, 2015 at 2:10 am in Current Affairs, Economics, Law, Political Science, Travel, Uncategorized | Permalink

Nonetheless it is considering tolerating them, as we are told by Air Genius Gary Leff.  Here is one short bit:

The tourism minister says that even though the Greek Prime Minister is attacking all-inclusive resorts as it identifies problems with the country’s economy, it has no plans to make crackdown on these properties ‘its mission’.

How reassuring.  Greece needs some Very Serious People in charge!  Right now it doesn’t have them.  And as you know, one thing worse than the Very Serious People is…the Not Very Serious People.  I think someone told them that all-inclusive resorts might drain off domestic aggregate demand (p.s. investment matters too, including for demand).

Oh, had I mentioned that tourism provides 15% of Greek gdp? (higher by some estimates, perhaps up to 20%).  I’m all for debt forgiveness in this context, but right now the Greeks need to get serious or they will tumble off the cliff and soon.

1 Brett January 31, 2015 at 2:37 am

If they Grexit, then tourism will be thriving after the initially brutal 1-2 years. They’d devalue the Neo-Drachma so much that it would be incredibly cheap to go there on vacation.

2 Handle January 31, 2015 at 9:19 pm

I suspect by then they’ll give you an additional discount if you pay in Euros.

Last time I was in Greece (2005 – so before the GFC), I was surprised to see how high the prices of many things had climbed from a previous visit about a decade prior, and it was certainly no longer a bargain compared to other European Mediterranean destinations in richer countries, unlike, say, Croatia. I don’t know how far prices have fallen so far, but if they’re anything like they were 10 years ago, they’ve got a long way to drop before they are great deals again.

3 So Much for Subtlety January 31, 2015 at 3:18 am

I’m all for debt forgiveness in this context, but right now the Greeks need to get serious or they will tumble off the cliff and soon.

Seems like a win-win to me. Either way it will work out well. The Greeks have just elected the Communists. They have long had a soft spot for the Soviets. The voters, to paraphrase Mencken, have got what they wanted and they deserve to get it good and hard.

Traditionally in southern Europe, this sort of electoral insanity would be met by a military coup which would restore common sense. The problem with that is that no one ever learns. The Left can always say “If only the military had not stepped in! We were so close!”. Now the North is keeping the military in their barracks. So the Left gets to go as far down the rabbit hole as they like. With luck it will result in the Greeks rejecting Socialism for a generation or two.

At the moment I expect the Left is praying for a coup in Venezuela to save them from having all their prayers answered. And no doubt cursing Condoleezza Rice for forcing the military back to their barracks in 2002.

4 Brandon Berg January 31, 2015 at 5:41 am

It would be intemperate to call the recent Greek election a referendum on being a first-world country, so I won’t.

5 ila February 1, 2015 at 11:18 am

+2

6 Moreno Klaus January 31, 2015 at 6:32 am

Gosh… some people are so blind they can only see left or right…However most problems in the real world (as in Greece) are a bit beyond such a simplistic description…

7 Anon. January 31, 2015 at 7:22 am

+1

The problems in Greece are mostly of the public choice variety. Neither left nor right have been able to (or interested in?) tackle them.

Of course the current overlords are less serious than the previous ones. But does it matter?

8 dan in philly January 31, 2015 at 7:30 am

Democracy does not always produce leaders able to make hard choices.

9 konshtok January 31, 2015 at 10:32 am

that’s not how democracy work
in democracy the public makes the hard choices and then elects representatives to implement them

10 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 11:14 am

Large numbers of people vote according to preferences derived from their identity and self-concept, odd little side issues (e.g. the House banking scandal, Jane Swift’s child care arrangements), and certain highly personal reactions to particular politicians (“George Bush reminds every woman of her first husband…”). Others seem to think that any political leader who is a party to a controversy must be guilty of wrongdoing (see David Patterson’s approval numbers in New York). Many voters think like difficult women, governed by their aversions. “I don’t want this, therefore that”. Not much signal in all that noise.

You need a capable political class who are public spirited and make good decisions. They work in the matrix formed by the electorate and elections tell them in a vague way what people will put up with. (Elected officials are, of course, better aggregators of political preferences than judges meeting in secret).

Our problem is that the quality of our political class has been suffering secular decay, in large measure because the sort of bourgeois from which that class is derived is low calibre compared to what it was in 1950.

11 carlolspln January 31, 2015 at 11:40 pm

Not to MR denizens – everything is binary: Black….

or White. Just note the ‘fear’ of Communism

..in 2015.

12 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 10:54 am

Traditionally in southern Europe, this sort of electoral insanity would be met by a military coup which would restore common sense.

Traditionally? Outside of Greece, the last time a parliamentary administration in southern Europe was dislodged by a military coup was in 1926. Even in Greece, there has been only one coup of that sort since 1935.

13 Vasco Jesus January 31, 2015 at 11:25 am

Not really.
At least 2 examples
Spanish civil war 1936-39
Portugal April 25th, 1974

14 Sam Brown January 31, 2015 at 11:31 am

Portugal is something of an exception because it was a left wing military coup.

15 Vasco Jesus January 31, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Sam, the 1974 overturn of the portuguese government was a totally apolitical movement.
With some exceptions, it was a grassroots low level military officers upheaval, when the country was feed up with 14 years of african war.
Only after the revolution had occcurred, had the far-left tried to access power through interference in the chain of command.

16 Sam Haysom January 31, 2015 at 1:45 pm

This is completely teneditious. The Armed Forced Movement was an explicitly left wing political organization. If they were apolitical then so was Pinochet. Just because they didn’t immediately declare their fealty to Moscow doesn’t make them apolitical. Yes, the ultra-left did attempt to a second coup to overthrow the juanta, but that hardly means the juanta members weren’t left wing. They were they just weren’t left wing enough for the left wing Stalinists and Marxists.

I do love your euphemisms though. I suppose the shah of Iran came into power through interference in the chain of command. Is interference in the chain of command a euphemism that applies to right wingers or is it just used to make left wing coups not seem like left wing coups?

17 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Your not careful about terminology, are you? The Spanish Civil War was a civil war, not a military coup. A military coup is over in a day, not in three years. Whatever you call Marcelo Caetano’s government in Portugal “parliamentary administration” would not be it.

18 Sam Haysom January 31, 2015 at 1:36 pm

The Spanish Civil War was an unsuccessful military coup that turned into a Civil War. The plan was for all of Spain to fall into the Nationalists hands within 48 hours.

19 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 2:50 pm

You mean it did not happen, so we pretend it did.

20 RoyL January 31, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Well then let us rephrase that to:

Ultimately successful military coup attempts

21 Sam Haysom January 31, 2015 at 5:01 pm

So Franco never came into power? All you are doing is falling back on terminology. You were even the person that added “dislodged” to the discussion. The original commenter said that it would be “met” with a military coup. If the Spanish Republic wasnt met with a coup then where did Franco go when he left the Canary Islands? For the second time now you’ve tried to change the terms of the discussion.

Never mind that a coup d’état neednt be successful. So regardless of your quibbling over terms the point stands. Franco and Mola initiated an unsuccessful coup which nevertheless ultimately dislodged a left wing government.

22 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 6:59 pm

There was no coup, Sam. It’s a different phenomenon than a civil war. It is described by terminology, but the teminology reflects a different essence.

Europe ca. 1939 was not Central America. The political order most places could not be upended with a one day operation to seize the radio station and put the president on a plane to Miami.

23 Sam Brown January 31, 2015 at 11:29 am

Well there was the Spanish Civil War. Moreover, Italy has been faced with the prospect of a far left government since 1927 so there has been no need for a military coup. Since 1927 three far left governments have come into power in Southern Europe. Two were overthrown and one is now currently in power. Not sure how his comment wasn’t exaxtly right. He didn’t say frequently he said traditionally.

24 Sam Brown January 31, 2015 at 11:31 am

Italy hasn’t been*

25 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Well there was the Spanish Civil War. Moreover, Italy has been faced with the prospect of a far left government since 1927 so there has been no need for a military coup.

The original observation concerned acute economic and financial problems, not the coloration of the government. Of course, leftist governments have been quite unremarkable in Europe during the postwar period, just not governments dominated by Leninists. There really is no example of parliamentary Leninism in the European history of the last five decades (unless you count the transitional Salami-tactics governments in Hungary and Czechoslovakia after the war). The Spanish republican parties were obnoxious social and cultural fanatics who deserved to be dealt with severely, but they were not by and large Leninists.

26 Sam Haysom January 31, 2015 at 1:54 pm

You know you are absolutley incorrect in your estimation of what the original comment dealt with. It said military coups are traditionally the response to “electoral insanity.” You make a lot of good points and you have an enviable command of facts, but at times you should admit that you sometimes post too fast and screw up. no one said anything about parliamentary Leninism, and it is quite clear that the original comment had to do with popularly elected left wing governments not Leninist/salami tactic inspired governments.

Also it is hardly surprising that their haven’t been any Leninist governments in power in the past five decades because Eurocommunism, which came to dominate the communist parties of Western Europe in the early 70s, openly forswore Leninist tactics. Now maybe they were lying, Revel sure thought the were, but their party platforms repudiated Leninist tactics.

27 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 3:27 pm

You know you are absolutley incorrect in your estimation of what the original comment dealt with. It said military coups are traditionally the response to “electoral insanity.”

Sorry, ‘electoral insanity’ in response to acute financial and economic problems. (And, by the way, his notion of what was ‘traditional’ was straight out of his imagination).

but at times you should admit that you sometimes post too fast and screw up. no one said anything about parliamentary Leninism,

You said “Since 1927 three far left governments have come into power in Southern Europe. -” . I merely made the terminology more specific.

No elected ‘left wing governments’ of any subtype have been overthrown in military coups in Europe (unless you insist on continuing to count the Spanish Civil War) since the 1st World War (leaving aside, perhaps, some of the components of Germany in 1918-20). The parliamentary ministries in Spain prior to 1923 were run by standpatters; those in Portugal prior to 1927 were run by machine hacks; the Albanian parliamentarians run out of town in 1924 were generic liberals, the inter-war Greek political spectrum was organized around local polarities unlike the left-right spectrum elsewhere, Marshal Antonescu in Roumania removed a royal dictatorship, and all the other violence against parliamentary government during the interwar period came from elected officials or monarchs. As for Greece in 1967, its political spectrum was dominated by descendants of the inter-war spectrum (with some of the same personnel). And, again, the government in Portugal removed in 1974 was a fusion of military officers, civilian careerists, and votaries of pre-war Catholic/corporatist authoritarianism.

28 Sam Haysom January 31, 2015 at 4:50 pm

If you don’t consider the Papandreou government left wing the we have differnt definitions of what is left wing. The fact you refuse to accept the overthrow of the Spanish Republic as even attempted coup leads me to believe that stubborness and ego are a lot more important to you than facts.

The three left wing governments were the Spanish Republic, Papandreou, and now Syrzia. No need to go searching Albania and Romania for examples. I see you’ve now moved on to denying that military coups are a regular feature of the Southern Cone countries so this is where I hop off.

29 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 7:05 pm

If you don’t consider the Papandreou government left wing the we have differnt definitions of what is left wing. The fact you refuse to accept the overthrow of the Spanish Republic as even attempted coup leads me to believe that stubborness and ego are a lot more important to you than facts.

You’ve confused George Papandreou with his son Andreas. George Papandreou was a protege of Eleftherios Venizelos, the pre-eminent figure of the interwar period. Venizelos was not some red, but a latter-day manifestation of 19th c strands in continental European politics, roughly equivalent to the Radical Party in France.

30 Sam Haysom January 31, 2015 at 7:23 pm

No again you are wrong. I don’t mean Andreas. It’s hopeless with you. Andreas was even further to the left than his father and his scheming did contribute to the growing unease with which the army viewed Gerogios’s governent and impending electoral victory, but I am speaking of Gergios’s left wing government.

31 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 8:01 pm

No again you are wrong. I don’t mean Andreas. It’s hopeless with you.

No I’m not Sam. Here’s a clue, the two political parties he was associated with for most of his working life (including the last seven years) carried the names ‘Liberal Party’ and ‘Center Union’. Parties associated with Socialist International and the Comintern and the like did not have much traction in Greece prior to 1935 (really, prior to 1958) and during the period of the Greek civil war, Papandreou was a member of ministries in the British sponsored Greek government, not the Soviet sponsored government.

There actually was a red haze party in Greece in 1967, but it was not led by Papandreou. Gregoris Lambrakis (Z) was a figure in this outfit.

32 Adrian Turcu February 1, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Art, you said: “Marshal Antonescu in Roumania removed a royal dictatorship, and all the other violence against parliamentary government during the interwar period came from elected officials or monarchs ”
Antonescu replaced, not removed, one dictatorship for another, his own. For the remainder of his rule he emitted decrees, Parliament was suspended, in fact this was one of his main requests when he confronted king Carol.

33 Doug January 31, 2015 at 2:52 pm

The Southern Cone is pretty close to being an extension of Southern Europe.

34 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Uruguay has had spells of authoritarian government since 1890, one brief civil war, and a wretched political terror campaign, but no military coups to speak of; Chile had a brief civil war in 1891, confused period running from 1924 to 1932 which included multiple coups and periods of military rule, and a military coup in 1973. The political order in Argentina was dominated by bosses and patron-client networks prior to 1912, but there was a legal order to it and no military governments to speak of (though some of the country’s presidents had been professional soldiers); during the democratic period running from 1912 to 1943, there was one brief military government, lasting less than two years. The period running from 1943 to 1983 was characterized by a struggle between the military and the Peronist movement, and ‘economic insanity’ would have been at issue only regarding the last of the four major coups during that period. Not seeing how stretching the boundaries to South America establishes his thesis either.

35 Sam Haysom January 31, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Since 1950 the five countries within the southern cone have experienced eight military coup d’etats. If we restrict the Souther Cone to Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina the number is six coups in three countries. Ill let that stand as a resounding rejoinder to the fog of words and quibbling that Art Deco is sure to let loose.

36 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 7:29 pm

1. Chile has experienced one coup since 1950. Chile is unusual in Latin America in the durability of its legal order and with two periods of exception (1924-32 and 1973-90) has had roughly constitutional administrations since 1831. It’s not really a good candidate for a model of Southern European politics which posits routinized military intervention, ‘traditionally’.

2. Uruguay had a turbulent political history to about 1890, not since. It’s had three breaches of constitutional rule since then: a brief civil war (1904), and authoritarian regime in charge from 1933 to 1943 (instituted by elected officials), and one from 1968-85, wherein electoral institutions were shut down in stages over a five year period by the country’s presidents with the co-operation of the military. No coups.

3. As noted, Argentina had notable coups in 1943, 1955, 1966, and 1976; you might include 1962 as a fifth. There were intramural office shuffles in 1955, 1970, and 1971.

4. Of course I do not include Bolivia as a ‘Southern Cone’ country. About 3/4 of the population lives in the Andean highlands, most of the population speaks Indian dialects at home, and the per capita income is about a third that you find in Chile, Argentina, or Uruguay.

5. Paraguay is sui generis. It’s a bilingual mestizo country with a strange history, a strange economy, and has a pci maybe 40% that of Argentina. There are four Latin American countries where Indian dialects are prevalent, of which this is one (and Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay are not). I’m not sure how Paraguay counts as an extension of Southern Europe, unless you think there are lots of people in Italy speaking Guarani or Quechua and smuggling street drugs and stolen cars. Paraguay has had two coups since 1950, neither one against a constitutional regime.

Sorry you do not know what ‘quibble’ means.

37 Sam Haysom February 1, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Classic old man sputter before thinking post right here. Brazil Art Deco not Bolivia. These are basics. You’ve got to this stuff right before you start quibbling. The fact that you don’t find it notable that since 1950 not a single country within the southern cone hasn’t has a government overthrown by a military coup is laughable. Not its not laughable its just sad. This kind of stubborness and pride is destroying the respect with which our society used to have towards the old. Boomer narcissism mixed with old age is noxious brew.

38 Tom Warner January 31, 2015 at 5:10 am

But the head of the junior coalition party, defense minister Panos Kammenos, likes junkets to Russian resorts from Russia’s ultranationalist oligarch and covert ops financier Konstantin Malofeyev.

http://globalized.blog.com/2015/01/31/here-comes-the-greek-default/

39 Moreno Klaus January 31, 2015 at 6:31 am

EU does not want to lose Greece to the Russians, so I guess it is a smart move from them to flirt with the Russians and put some pressure on EU…

40 Tom Warner January 31, 2015 at 10:56 am

Even if it wetre only flirting, and even if it were with say the foreign minister, I doubt such tactics could work here. There’s not a lot of patience for Greece right now. But these are longstanding ties between the defense and foreign ministers and the ugly end of the Putin regime, the part that finances black ops and an ultranationalist who calls openly for genocide in Ukraine. And it’s the IMF, hence also the US, who needs to be convinced most urgently. There’s an €810m payment due Feb 12 and another €8.6b due to the IMF during 2015.

41 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 11:02 am

EU does not want to lose Greece to the Russians,

Yes, people are often strangely indulgent of their problem children, which may explain why they are problem children.

42 Adrian Ratnapala January 31, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Greek polity has been a problem since long before Mitteleuropa existed. It was a problem even before the ravaged the place the first time. But it ain’t exactly a child.

43 Adrian Ratnapala January 31, 2015 at 1:20 pm

“the ravaged” was meant to be “the Goths ravaged”. But you can insert any vaguely German invader you liked into that blank.

44 RustySynapses February 1, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Yes, as a parent, I would think the right approach here is to call their bluff – you want to be part of Russia? Go ahead. Just remember, you won’t be able to undo that decision (unlike joining the EU 😉 )

45 Tom Warner January 31, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Having figured out that blog.com just plain suxx, I moved here:

http://globalizedblog.blogspot.com/2015/01/here-comes-greek-default.html

46 Ray Lopez January 31, 2015 at 6:00 am

What TC complains about–Greek’s lack of economic sense–is true (I have a GR passport and have lived there for years). Anecdote: I was talking to a hotel owner, asking him if he cuts prices during the off-season. His reply: he raises prices, since with higher prices he can get more profit with fewer people. The only way I could rationalize this was to assume he must know that in the summer (peak season) he gets a lot of cost conscious students, while in the off-season he gets richer, less cost conscious retirees and thus is price differentiating. But it makes little economic sense otherwise. Another Greek said he does not do volume discounting for groceries since he owns the grocery store so “even one sale a month would be pure profit, and I have a pension”. He, btw, went out of business when a grocery store opened nearby and started undercutting his prices, just like I told him to (he had nice margins while it lasted). In other news–my favorite–some plane spotters from the UK were thrown in Greek prison about a decade ago for ‘spying for the CIA’ even though they were part of a plane-spotting club. Only in Greece…which, like the Philippines, is not a serious country.

47 Richard Besserer January 31, 2015 at 9:15 am

So why do you live there?

Seriously.

48 msgkings January 31, 2015 at 12:02 pm

How do you NOT know why he lives there, from his literally endless posts about cheap cost of living and easily obtainable young mistresses?

Seriously.

49 Moreno Klaus January 31, 2015 at 6:48 am

Huuuh.. Prime minister said something stupid before being elected and kind of retracted it…. Like that does not happen ANYWHERE in the world only in “stupid” Greece loool ….

50 Ronald Brak February 1, 2015 at 2:24 am

It’s an example of Greek exceptionalism. Australia’s current (though maybe not for much longer) Treasurer apparently doesn’t know how much the average Australian pays in tax and no one outside of Australia paid any attention whatsoever.

51 Just Another MR Commentor January 31, 2015 at 7:01 am

I’m against All Inclusive Resorts too. People should be working, the wealthy don’t go to All Inclusive Resorts so why even bother having them?

52 James Gurung January 31, 2015 at 7:50 am

Germans love all-inclusive resorts. For poor Germans, an annual holiday is a week at an all inclusive resort in Greece, Spain or Italy….

53 Just Another MR Commentor January 31, 2015 at 8:58 am

That’s why I’m against them. If you’re poor you should be working.

54 Moreno Klaus February 1, 2015 at 10:27 am

loool

55 Jazi Zilber January 31, 2015 at 8:06 am

I think the game is over. The main question is messy grexit or orderly

For Messy exit:
1) morons in charge
2) syriza believes that by posturing strongly enough the EU will cave. The EU of course cannot rationally give in. Thus at least the Greeks will not be serious enough to prepare for a orderly exit.
3) the confrontational attitude, the resulting lack of trust, and that siryza guys live in a different universe.

For orderly grexit:
They are going into such deep trouble, that they got at least to avoid the messy part.

56 Mark Cancellieri January 31, 2015 at 8:07 am

The biggest problem is that Greeks still don’t seem to believe in the importance of economic freedom. Prosperity and economic freedom are highly correlated, as can be seen from this ranking:
http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

What’s worse, Greece’s economic freedom has *declined* over the last few years rather than improved.
http://www.heritage.org/index/country/greece

The success of Syriza in the recent election certainly doesn’t bode well for Greece’s economic freedom going forward.

57 Bill January 31, 2015 at 8:43 am

Sounds like the left wing is courting right wing small businesses who object to larger, and often foreign, competitors offering bundled discounts through an all inclusives offer.

This is a right wing small business mom and pop objection. So, it is funny to see some of the comments above refer to it as “left wing”.

Sort of like the Retail Pharmacy Association in the 1930s spearheading the charge for the Robinson-Patman Act to protect small business from the evils of chain stores.

58 bill January 31, 2015 at 11:27 am

excellent point. many “pro business” concepts are anti-free-market in effect.

59 Thomas January 31, 2015 at 11:35 am

Yes, Bill, the Coalition of the Radical Left objects to multinational profit-making corporations as an olive branch to the powerful Greek right wing small business lobby.

60 Bill January 31, 2015 at 12:18 pm

You make it sound like its not true, and you are unable to deny it or the logic of small business owners lobbying for their own interests.

Small business owners of the world unite!

61 Richard Besserer January 31, 2015 at 9:38 am

The Greek government are not going to ban all-inclusive resorts. That’s just silly and they have far bigger fish to fry.

If they can find ways of promoting all-year tourism as well, bully for them.

Moving on, in the “markets in everything” mood:

All-inclusive resorts are a throwback to the time when you needed a travel agent to organize your flight and hotel for you outside your home country because e-mail did not exist and international calls were extremely expensive. I’m amazed they’re still as popular as they are.

They’re a boon to governments (junta-era Greece as well as Cuba) who want to be able to keep an eye on guests to make sure they’re not unauthorized journalists or spies. But what do tourists get out of them nowadays?

62 Anon. January 31, 2015 at 9:41 am

>But what do tourists get out of them nowadays?

The main selling point is price. They are incredibly cheap.

63 Bill January 31, 2015 at 10:26 am

+1 Econ 101 I am surprised that the mom and pops ala carte offerors don’t create their own bundle through a trade association or travel agency.

64 Bill January 31, 2015 at 10:27 am

And, the most all inclusive is a cruise ship parked in the harbor.

65 Bill January 31, 2015 at 11:22 am

Richard, All in ones work on the premise of having a large bundle of integrated products (you stay at the resort, eat the food, and buy the drinks) so that the bundler gets the profit on the entire package. There is also a reduction on transactions costs for the customer.

Think of Disneyland.

66 jazi zilber January 31, 2015 at 11:24 am

All inclusive has an experiential value. as it means you never think about money, nor haggle or look for agents etc.

There are also economic reasons, some of which are win-win.
the hotel guys can charge above the cost of the added services with little added expense, and certain buyers, which also allows for various price reduction via well known in advance buy in bulk etc.

67 Tracy W February 1, 2015 at 10:16 am

I used to wonder this. Then I had kids. Normally part of my brain is thinking about the continual flow of meals: are we running out of milk? what time is it and when will the kids be hungry? What can I make for dinner? All-inclusive resorts are a break from all this. And you don’t have to even worry about total cost.

68 RustySynapses February 1, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Yes, plus it seems like there’s an information/branding angle (or maybe it’s just the flip side of “hassle-free”). If I go to Club Med (and I have, several times, with and without kids), I know everything will be pretty good. I know I might save money and get better experiences if I shop around and buy a vacation a la carte, but then again if I shop around to find someplace (hotel, restaurant, excursion) in a location that I don’t know well, I might (probably will) save money, but it will take a lot more work and I still might get burned -possibly really badly. Maybe it makes me a bad parent, but like many, I probably am less adventurous when I’m travelling with my wife and kids, and will often pay extra for the peace of mind that nothing will be really bad. (Of course, all of that thinking is exactly opposite of TC’s food blog – but of course, that’s local (I’m in NoVA) and is a known source of information.)

69 Tracy W February 2, 2015 at 10:53 am

I read once, pre-kids, a distinction between being a tourist and being a holidaymaker. I can’t recall the name of the author, but he was a Londoner who decided to spend a year living in the most normal (statistically) way for the UK, so moved to the postcode with the closest demographic mix to the UK overall population, watched the most popular movies, and went on the most popular holiday.

So, he noted that while his normal social circle pulls all sorts of distinctions between tourists and travellers, what a lot of British people do when they go to Spain is something quite different – which he calls holidaymaking. A tourist wants to see foreign cultures, a holidaymaker wants a break from work, with their family or friends, and they go to Spain fundamentally because the weather is nicer than at home.

And now I have kids I can really see the attraction of it.

70 JJ January 31, 2015 at 10:24 am

Question for Tyler and Alex, and for the commenters (I guess):

I have to bring myself up to speed on fiscal policy theory very quickly. The goal is to get to the level of someone that just graduated undergrad and knows non-monetary policy macro as well as an undergrad can. Public choice and behavioral political econ are fun, but they’re not the basic theory that I’m looking for (i.e. something I can be expected to know in an interview). Where should I turn? Are there good textbook treatments? I’m used to monetary econ, which is so much more clear cut — I swear I don’t even know where to turn.

71 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 11:01 am

Greece needs some Very Serious People in charge! Right now it doesn’t have them. And as you know, one thing worse than the Very Serious People is…the Not Very Serious People.

Luckily, we’re not as far gone in this country, so our need for Very Serious People is not as acute. Given that we’re governed by the likes of Barack Obama, Eric Holder, John Koskinen, and Jen Psaki, give us another decade.

72 Dave Barnes January 31, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Barack is against all-inclusive resorts? I did not know that. I would expect a Kenyan Marxist to be in favor of them as it makes oversight of the “inmates” easier.

73 FC January 31, 2015 at 4:16 pm

It’s because he’s a Kenyan Marxist. He remembers that the British defeated the Mau Mau by sending them to all-inclusive resorts.

74 Putin January 31, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Haven’t seen a twist this bad in Tyler’s panties since the Scottish Election. Must all the exertion pushing for the “end of history”…

75 Ian Maitland January 31, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Oh, Tyler! This is why I keep coming back.

76 Yancey Ward January 31, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Unfortunately, things have to get much worse in Greece before there is a chance of it getting better. Syriza is what is needed for that. Maybe things get much worse and never improve- that is the risk.

77 Barkley Rosser January 31, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Oh gosh. Pollyanna Rosser is back. Needless to say, whatever the PM may have once said, it is indeed clear that the new Greek government is not going to ban all-inclusive resorts. We are still in a period where such players as Varoufakis continue to drop more unpleasantnesses, and it is unclear how many are still there toThe Greek markets were going up until Varoufakis did his dump number on negotiating with the troika yesterday. However, for those saying the only question is whether the Grexit will be noisy or orderly are clearly jumping too far ahead to what still to me looks like an unlikely future. Varoufakis and the rest of them have been very clearly saying they do not want to leave the euro, and despite some noises out of Germany of “let them go,” others are not saying that (see France), and the ECB has in place mechanisms to support the Greek banking system, the most vulnerable part of their economy right now. Fine to say that the EU leaders “will not” do this or that, but history says that they have, a long history of muddling through, although they tend to muffle it all over when they do.

So, it looks like Varoufakis is laying down terms and conditions for the real first round of negotiations. They are unpleasant and upset people when they first see them. But, the Greeks are in for the long haul, despite the hardline sounding nature of their demands. The markets will absorb this latest shock, and soon enough they will have dropped all their unpleasant balls (no, I recognize the negotiations may still go off the rails, but the probability of that is much lower than many here are forecasting).

As for this business about “Very Serious People” (or VSPs), this is kind of funny. This is terminology that has nearly universally been used in the last few years by people, Krugman prominent among them but not the only one, who have been mocking these inside-the-Beltway pundits for making incorrect forecast after incorrect forecast, but who somehow barely notice that they have been wrong wrong wrong because they hang out in the same clubs and think tanks with their fellow VSPs who all assure each other of their own wise wonderfulness and VSPness. We had all that nonsense about the 90% debt/GDP cliff from Reinhart and Rogoff, which turned out to be a total fraud, but this past week we had VSP Ruth Marcus at WaPo talking about how “ugly” it is that the debt/GDP ratio in the US is 74% and might go to 79% by 2025. We have had the repeated and failed forecasts of hyperinfation, any minute now, here it comes, with the rate of inflation in fact declining, not rising. These are the VSPs, hysterical ninnies who spend much of their time trying to cut social security benefits, because, well, because they all know that this must be done!

Thus, I find it weirdly ironical that the generally astute Tyler Cowen is suddenly seriously talking about VSPs as people that really should be taken serioualy and should be in charge here or there. Really, Tyler? Did you just run off secretly to Davos and lose your mind recently? Too much fondue? In fact it looks to me like the new gang has some pretty genuinely serious people in it, even if they may yet mess things up. They are playing a hardball game that much of the rest of Europe does not like, much less investors in the Greek markets when the hardballs get pulled out and thrown. But they are not going to ban all-inclusive resorts, they probably will soft pedal their friendly impulses towards Russia, they have loudly declared they do not intend to leave the euro. That they are scaring some of their interlocuters by and saying things their loser predecessors did not who oversaw a multi-year declining economy with well over a 20% unemployment rate? These people look pretty darned serious to me, although I would hope that they avoid become “Very Serious People,” which would turn them into pathetic jokes to be lampooned and tossed aside sooner rather than later.

78 Bill January 31, 2015 at 3:37 pm

+1 Best of the comments.

79 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 3:50 pm

No, its Barkley being Barkley.

80 Barkley Rosser January 31, 2015 at 5:13 pm

AD,

I may just be being me, but my track record is not too bad. I am one of those few who actually called the crash shortly before it happened without having been doing so for years on end previously.

Oh, and of course I am joking about Tyler going mad. But I am wondering if he is actually being sneakily sarcastic and ironic when he refers to “Very Serious People,” or whether he really thinks that describing some group who might be hoped to take control in Greece is a compliment.

81 Barkley Rosser January 31, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Oh, and AD, at least people know who I am. I have a public record out there for one and all to see, even if they think it is not worth much. But, who are you? What does it mean to be being Art Deco?

I know, it is just fine for people to use phoney monikers in internet discourse, but I am a bit old fashioned and ultimately do not respect it, frankly, unless you are holding some sort of sensitive position that you could lose for using your real name.

82 Adrian Turcu January 31, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Greece is in deep shit and on a collision track, despite every single little thing you wrote. So spare me your moderation.

83 Art Deco January 31, 2015 at 7:33 pm

but I am a bit old fashioned and ultimately do not respect it,

Doesn’t interest me.

84 Barkley Rosser January 31, 2015 at 8:44 pm

So, tell us, “Art Deco,” why do you prefer your title over “Art Nouveau”? At least it was new. You are merely decorative, and that applies to your comments as well,as near as I can tell.

85 FC January 31, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Stand with Syriza against vacation gentrification!

86 Ian Leslie January 31, 2015 at 5:25 pm

I think Tyler has this the wrong way around, and if anything this makes me think of Syriza as more serious than we might fear. The key point here is that they are *not* going to implement a populist policy despite having said or indicated they would. It’s an early indication that there’s a gap between Syriza rhetoric and Syriza governance.

87 Ano nymous January 31, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Greeks also famously don’t pay taxes, so it’s easy to imagine that any stated amount of tourism is an underestimate, with family B&Bs, private tour operators, etc., making lots of business that don’t make it on the books until they spend it somewhere that puts it on the books.

88 Moreno Klaus February 1, 2015 at 7:12 am

Not only in Greece loool …

89 Trumps February 2, 2015 at 6:48 am

These are very unfortunate things and it affects the market big time so we have be very careful when trading with such major happenings. I am very lucky to have a calm head broker like OctaFX who have built special system for newbies like me. It’s their news and analysis section which gives us a clear and close picture of the market so we can perform according to our ability and survive the difficult phase in Forex trading so we can enjoy better time.

90 Hazel Meade February 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm

As everyone knows, the way to generate more tourism revenue is to make tourists spend as much as possible in your country.
Because, as everyone knows, consumers do not respond to incentives and there are no marginal effects.

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