No doubt you are all aware of the events currently transpiring in Greece, the birthplace of democracy as well as my ancestors. It deeply saddens me to see a beautiful nation unravel in such a humiliating fashion and to a once proud people. Was it necessary and how did they get to this point. Equally important is the question, “Can America avoid this inevitable problem coming to our shores”.
Prior to assigning blame for this debacle let us look at what the people are struggling through. Forced austerity by leaders other than their own if they are to receive the funds currently needed for the bare necessities. Think about that for a moment. Suppose the countries who finance our massive debt stated and implemented a policy of not another nickel lent to us until we cut Social Security spending by 10% annually and lay offs of 20% of our civil servants. I need not tell you how that would play out. But this is what the Greeks have been forced to endure for almost two years and it is at a breaking point.
The anger and pain felt by the average citizen is palpable. It is now turning to a flat out rage. I pray it ends well but regardless it will be no cake walk. Wage cuts, pension cuts, complete lack of medicines as no supplier dare ship to Greece as they question it’s ability to pay. Not easy to watch let alone know I have family suffering this unfolding mess. As to the rioting and building burnings in Athens one would think they are at war.
This is not intended to excuse Greece from the behavior that got them here. No that is the same old story and I have witnessed it first hand many a time. It is simply put a socialist welfare state. Believe me I hate to state this but it is fact. The politicians promised and delivered free health, education, benes galore and all in exchange for a vote. What they did not bother to tell the citizens is they have been putting it on the Amex card for the past 40 years. Now the bill has come due.
But try to explain that to an 80 year old pensioner. Or a minimum wage worker whose income is being mandated by some other country to be cut in half. Very difficult indeed. But this is what politicians worldwide do. They buy votes with other peoples money. It might have been a President from 20 years ago who is long gone and not concerned with the effects of legislation he signed which scored for him/her at the time and theoretically had some merits or good intentions behind it but failed as a long term policy.
Redistribution just never seems to work does it? I suppose if it did many now defunct regimes would be world powers and less the afterthought they truly are.
So imagine my surprise when President Obama unveiled his $3.8 Trillion budget for next year. He knows the treasury will likely collect $2.5 trillion at best so what is he thinking? Is he that oblivious to the goings on in Europe or the fact that he is smashing deficit records in this country bigger than any Barry Bonds records ever imagined. That puts us at four years running with trillion dollar deficits. At this rate we will be in the hole well over $20 trillion if he is reelected and nothing changes in his second term which seems highly likely.
I only point out the latter as something to consider when you go to the polls this year. My friends we simply can’t survive at this current pace of spending. I guess at my age why should I care. That is a scary thought as I care deeply but am sure many do not. Try to think of how posterity will treat us. Use that vote wisely for the betterment of our nation and please say a pray for my Greek brethren. We the people can overcome. But it must be we the people, not some strangers in D.C.
Article first published as <a href=’http://technorati.com/politics/article/the-united-states-ofgreece-can-it/’>The United States of…..Greece? Can It Happen Here?</a> on Technorati.