At Christmas I bought myself a subscription to Audible, which has helped me get back into “reading” books.
I’ve used this subscription to find more out about economics. Not personal economics, but economics at the state level. This is something I’ve wanted to learn more about, although of course unless you’re prepared to study it academically, the scope is quite limited.
So I’ve read several of Yanis Varoufakis’s books. He was the Finance Minister of the 2015 Greek Government, which famously pushed back against the EU. I’ve mentioned him before on the blog and must admit I’m also quite sympathetic to his left-of-centre analysis of things, which helps the ease of the read, but would, I’m sure, be different from a right-wing commentator. But obviously it is a subject which has evolved many layers over the years. Peel them back, and its not rocket science. I’m sure that in the real world, these things are for more complex, but his books wil be specifically aimed at the general public so I’m assuming are dumbed-down to an extent.
I think Varoufakis is an interesting character. In his books – some of them are almost purely about the politics of his tenure – he talks about his dealings with the EU. To put it mildly, the stories are quite a turn-off. But these days, Varoufakis campaigns to be a part of the EU, but to reform it into something more fair. I must admit, when I read the stories, my gut feel is to distance myself as much as possible from this organisation. I’ve held my own views on the EU for many years, but Varoufakis is a useful confirmation to me.
But I think he is arguing the wrong thing. Rather than just arguing that the EU is in a poor way and needs to be improved, he should subtly change focus and argue “the EU might well be less than perfect, but this is why we need to reform it from within“. As I have said already, right now I can go along with his analysis but my conclusion is different.
But maybe that’s the book he’s writing at the moment?