Greek citizens are angry because their government spent and promised too much, is broke, and has had to reduce wages, benefits, and pensions. Ironically, one of the requirements of the proposed EU and IMF bailout of Greece is that it privatize its single payer health care system!
Based on concerns that this situation could spread to several other European countries, the Euro is weakening and stock markets are falling. With the massive debt being rung up by our own government, could the dollar be next on the list?
In the US; local, county, state, and federal governments have vastly expanded regulation and ladled on layer upon layer of additional “services”. They have hired too many, promised too much, and spent themselves into a descending spiral of debt. High wages, big benefits packages, and generous pensions are quickly threatening to bankrupt many cities and states. Huge entitlement programs are fast approaching insolvency at the federal level.
What will the American people do when the rubber hits the road and all these promises cannot be kept? They were promised these programs and benefits in good faith, and are bound to be extremely angry when they find out their “services”, wages, and benefits will be reduced.
United Airlines pensions were trashed a few years ago. GM and Chrysler pensions are still paying out only because the US government is supporting the firms with TARP money. Social Security went into the red this year. Many states’ pension liabilities are underfunded and approaching critical breakdowns. College students are demonstrating against tuition increases. What will happen when California defaults on its pension liabilities? Will LA become “Athens West”?
If we do not address these looming problems immediately, we may be seeing serious unrest in our own cities. We must elect LEADERS with the principles, backbone, and ability to start adjusting these situations before the ax drops suddenly. We need office holders with the guts to look the American people in the eye and say “Enough!” If these unrealistic and underfunded programs are not scaled back, they will fail, and there will be the devil to pay.
The Greek government made the Faustian bargain of buying loyalty and labor peace by spending future revenues that would never materialize. The citizens are now being told they will get less free stuff, and they are violently reacting. Are the millions of Americans who are dependent on or expecting free stuff going to behave any differently when the gravy train grinds to a halt?
If you have children you care for in your life, now is the time to think of their future. Political business as usual should go into the dustbin of history. It depends on you and your vote to determine whether it will be a peaceful readjustment over time or a blind plunge over a fiscal cliff into conditions that will make the Great Depression look like a cakewalk. Preventing such a future will require most Americans to sacrifice some of the future benefits they are expecting – that goes for you and me. Can you face and handle the truth?
Don’t wake up some morning and see scenes like the above playing out in our major cities. Your country needs your attention, your love, and your vote at this approaching crossroads of history.