The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 1000 points this afternoon as fears of debt default by Greece continues. And what may be the cause of Greece's debt problems? Apparently Greece is a country of tax evaders. It has been calculated that tax cheaters cost the Greek government $30 billion a year in lost revenue. Many blame the doctors of the country for not paying their taxes. It is common practice there for patients to pay their doctors in cash, a term called fakelaki. Of course none of this is reported.
In a tax audit of 150 physicians in an upscale neighborhood, more than half claimed an income of less than $40,000 and 34 returns claimed an income of less than $13,300. That means they did not have to pay any taxes at all. The doctor's union defends the physicians by claiming that the low incomes reported may be the result of new doctors just opening up their practices.
I say more power to the Greek physicians and their union. If American doctors' reimbursements continue to trend downwards to oblivion, we may have our own version of fakelaki here. No access to health care? No problem if you just slip a little envelope under the secretary's mousepad. You can have your appointment in next week, tomorrow if the envelope is just a wee bit bigger.