I listened to “All Things Considered” on February 9th, and a number of topics were discussed, among which were George Clooney’s acting career, a new deal for potential foreclosure victims, and the Greek austerity crisis.
Clooney talked for a while about his new movie, “The Descendents”, for which he is nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor. But more interestingly he discussed his career and why he chooses certain roles. “You can’t force yourself into roles that you would’ve played ten years ago,” said Clooney. “Just as you change as a person, the roles you choose have to change also.” He also talked about how mobile recording devices are taking away from experiencing life. “I see people recording more and experiencing less,” said Clooney. He brings up a great point. There is something more gratifying about seeing something actually happen than experiencing it through a lens. “I’ll go to shake someone’s hand and they’ll be looking at me through the lens of a camera,” Clooney added.
A new $26 billion settlement is set to help homes that are under water. Negotiations have been going on for over a year. The settlement is between over 26 banks and hundreds of legislators. The biggest parts of the bill require the banks to make $20 billion in loan modifications and correct foreclosures that may have been unwarranted. Many critics have said that this only fixes about 5% of homes that are under water; for homeowners that owe more than their home is worth. This would help to absolve the debt exceeding value of the home. One critic stated that it essentially was a “winning lottery ticket” for a few homeowners, and did nothing for the rest.
Greek politicians agreed to meet austerity measures. European banks made many demands of the Greeks in order for them to receive financial help: lowering the minimum wage by 20% and cutting many public sector jobs. Many of the measures caused an uproar in Greece, with protesters throwing firebombs at police officers and setting buildings aflame. Across internet forums, such as Reddit, many are echoing sentiments that something similar can happen in the U.S., sooner than later. It seems as though those who caused the debt crisis aren’t really suffering as much as those who are innocent bystanders. Lowering the minimum wage by 20% is essentially punishing those who had very little to do with the crisis and can least afford to suffer from the crisis. I feel incredibly uneasy about the whole situation, and I see Europe as a sort-of powder keg. If these austerity measures don’t work out and Greece does go into bankruptcy, I can see the outrage and violent protests spreading across Europe.