My reading has slowed to a crawl and I’m trying to stop it from grinding to a complete halt.
The book that has slowed things down is Yanis Varoufakis’s The Global Minotaur a book about the global economy and in particular the effects of America’s involvement within it.
Varoufakis was for a short time the Finance Minister of Greece during recent discussions between Greece and Europe over the economic crisis in his country. His argument at the time was that the austerity measures imposed upon Greece were making the problem worse and not bringing any hope of improvement.
I’ve seen that term “austerity” being used a lot recently relating to Government programmes to bring their economies back under control after the 2008 crash.
An English friend of mine has said that her retirement plans may have to be delayed for another ten years because of cuts related to “austerity” measures.
Through my recent “research” (including reading) I’ve come to understand that “austerity” measures are conditions being imposed upon society’s less well off, to pay for the failed ventures of its richest.
In other words, post-2008 bail out packages for the banks and big business are being financed through cuts to welfare and community services.
But back to my reading problems.
While The Global Minotaur contains some fascinating observations, a lot of its content goes well above my head. Maybe it’s something I’d more easily grasp if I could devote more time to long blocks of reading, instead of being restricted to half an hour here and there. Overall, while I’m having trouble understanding some of the specifics, this book explains and confirms some of the things I’d already observed: that the world’s economic systems are deeply flawed and are skewed to favour the super-wealthy.
I’m now about halfway through the book, so based on earlier experience I’m hoping the rest will be easier going.
It will be good to move on to something else but I’m not sure what it should be. I have a few other “political” books I’d like to start on but maybe I should take a break and get back to some fiction. I have novels by Zadie Smith, David Mitchell and a few others that I’m looking forward to reading, but who do I put first in line?