"The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." --Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, May 12

Souvlaki anyone?

Greece has become more than just a place to eat great food soaked in olive oil and enjoy the pungent smell of body odor. It has become the poster child for failed socialism. For decades, Greece has been governed by ultra-liberal socialistic ideals-during which a myriad of worker's unions have become the festering flesh wound upon the backside of any chance of a sound fiscal policy in Greece. The idea of workers coming together to improve benefits, pensions and workplace conditions does not sound like a bad idea-and it's not-so long as the unions realize that there is a point to which they slowly start cutting off the hand that feeds them. We have often seen that when concessions are made to unions, the unions look for more and more until the promises that business and government are forced to make to their workers' unions are unsustainable in the long term. Call it collective bargaining if you will, but taken to the extreme as in Greece, it is nothing more than extortion by the unions.

Take for example what we see happening in Greece. Public and private sector unions there are calling for a nationwide strike on May 20th in protest to the International Monetary Fund's bailout of their country. As a stipulation of this bailout to keep Greece afloat and not defaulting on bonds worth billions of Euros, union contacts and pensions will need to be rewritten and needfully reduced. How do the unions respond? Strike. This will definitely not help your situation my Mediterranean friends. The international community, of which you'll be happy to know the US is a part of in this case, doesn't love bailing you out with our taxpayers' money. Nowhere in our constitution does it say that we are required to bail out foreign governments-yet our President has committed over $50 Billion in loan guarantees as part of this package.

As rough as it might be for these workers to see a reduction in their pensions, they have to realize that their country HAS NO MORE MONEY!!! Even the countries that are bailing them out have no money. Do these people not have children? When a spoiled child doesn't get what he wants, he sits down and throws a tantrum. What is the difference here? Mom and Dad are broke kid. Your throwing a fit is not going to make the situation any better. Yet we see well-organized unions in Greece doing exactly what a spoiled kid would do. Instead of sitting down over a contract and talking about the options available to both sides, we see them run in their room and slam the door.

"The IMF will not stop thirsting for workers' blood," said Yannis Panagopoulos, chairman of Greece's main private sector labour union GSEE. "Its recipes are a disaster and the government must turn them down."

A disaster worse than the one you're in I assume Mr. Panagopoulos? Watch as your currency, your country's sovereignty and national identity fades away and tell me which you'd rather have-a smaller pension check or no pension check at all. A child could choose more wisely.

Why should I care here in America? Because we are following the same road of organized unions and socialism as Europe. This past month, we see protests at various state capitols organized by unions protesting pension and job cuts to try and help balance the state budgets. We are willing to watch everyone else get their job cut or retirement reduced until it affects us. Then the claws come out. I realize in my argument that no one would like their pension benefit cut. But we must realize that the premise of getting something for nothing or greater than earned, is the deadly trap of socialism. I hope that we can begin preparing now so that when the time comes, we can act like responsible adults. We have we been promised more than our country is able to pay. We enjoy things that might need to be eliminated in dire times. If we don't change our course and act like grown ups we will find ourselves eating a nice cold dish of souvlaki.