What is happening to Greece, and soon to Spain, Portugal, and Italy is a snapshot of what we can look forward to right here in the United States unless we reverse the course of big government and expanded government control of our lives, higher taxes, and deficit spending amounting to generational theft, like the Obama administration has already done. And they have only just begun. The picture painted in this post, The State of the Welfare State, demonstrates how socialism with all its good intentions is not sustainable.
Now Greece, with a total population roughly equal to the combined populations of New York City and Chicago, is looking for $146.2 billion for a bailout. The fact is, no amount of money will bail out Greece. Not unless and until Greece dismantles the socialist utopia it has built for itself.
Their utopia is currently running a national debt that is 115% of GDP, and is expected to rise to 149% of GDP by 2013. By any measure, that is what bankrupt is. Pretty impressive debt, especially when you consider that Greece, like all of the EU, has a value added tax (VAT) in addition to all their other taxes.
Most European countries today operate under economic and labor policies crafted during the height of the post-war baby boom, featuring middle-class entitlements like generous pension systems that allow early retirement, liberal disability programs that exempt many laborers from work, and extended unemployment systems that make going on the dole and staying there easier than in the U.S.. Europeans designed these policies in an era when there were, in many European minds, too many people competing for jobs and a bulging work population to support those who were retired or on disability.
Now, this house of cards is falling down. The demographics are nothing today like they were 60 or 70 years ago. Now, not only are there less people working, but there are more people on the government dole collecting retirement pensions. Europe has their own baby boomers. Governments, like Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal, have no money to sustain this welfare state and they and other countries face riots in the streets at the very thought of trying to reform (take away) the unsustainable benefits they have put in place.
So where are we today? Hopefully, we a learning the lesson that the socialist economic system is not sustainable. Like Margaret Thatcher said, ‘the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money.’ Their socio-economic models need to change to a market driven capitalistic model. Much like the one Obama is trying to dismantle.
By trying to be more like Europe, actually way worse than Europe, Obama is heading the country southbound in the northbound lane. And is taking advice from people telling him to ‘speed up,’ instead of ‘turn around.’
And before too long, this great country will be in the same shape as Greece, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, and the rest of them.