Sunday, May 9, 2010

Against my better judgement

Politics is something that shouldn't be discussed in polite company. I have spent the last couple of hours reading from the website: It's a website full of articles from different writers, all thoughtful and thought provoking. I enjoyed several articles by Thomas Sowell and Cal Thomas, I consider them wise and rational. Then I read an article by Mona Charen, about Greece's economic problems.

Greece is a small country, 11.3 million people. Seems that one in three Greeks works for their government. There were riots last week in Athens, Greece, over government austerity programs. The people rioting, government employees. Three are dead from the rioting. Greece is a nation on the brink of chaos and disaster. Why were they rioting? Because they don't want to sacrifice any of their benefits. The Greek government employee has a higher wage, better benefits and an earlier retirement than their private sector counterparts. It's impossible for a civil servant to get fired, even in light of gross incompetence.

All this news didn't much bother me, that's all Greece's problems, and we have enough of our own to worry about. Then the article moved on to problems much closer to home.

More than 50 percent of union members in the United States are public sector employees. There is a quote of an economic historian that points out, "Federal workers now earn, in wages and benefits, about twice what their private-sector equivalents get paid. State workers often have better health plans and retirement benefits than the private-sector average: 80 percent of public-sector workers have pension benefits, only 50 percent in the private sector." Then this article makes a statement that brings everything into acute focus (this is a copy and paste quote from the article, my apologies to Mona Charen if this offends her).

"It's no coincidence that the states with the most powerful public sector unions — New Jersey, California, and New York — are facing the most severe budget crises."

Oops! I only thought I was reading about Greece's problems! But these should be considered Spain's or Italy's or, yes, the good old USA's problems. We are facing a crisis that has been a hundred years in the making, our economic and government models are at odds, and our current political system appears inadequate (or impotent, you can chose the adjective). Mr. Obama and his administration seem to feel that growing our government is the answer to our economic problems. He is doing this at a time when industry and service sectors are struggling. This being the only portion of our economy that actually provides wealth, and therefore tax revenue, to pay for governmental services. This appears like the same approach that FDR used during the depression of the 1930's. It didn't work then, it's unlikely to work 80 years later in a larger and much more complex economic/politically diverse world.

Now we get to the really depressing stuff. Mr. Roosevelt's economic policies didn't fix the depression, know what did? Mr. Obama's economic policies aren't looking to good either, know what's gonna happen? Do a Google search on: What is Chaostan? You will find an article by Richard Mayberry. A pre 9/11, twelve year old article that is eerily accurate.
A wise man once said, "the worst time to be a parent is 18 years before a war". I have a nephew in the Marines, I wish he's get out, right now!

But I have a plan, a way to fix this problem. I need to be benevolent dictator of the world! Well, maybe just the USA for right now. Once I get the USA straightened out I can move on to Chaostan and the rest of the world. Be of good cheer! All I need is everyone's complete cooperation for the next 5-10 years....


  1. Scary, huh? I love Cal Thomas, though I haven't read him in a while. has a lot of good essays as well.

  2. OK, I know Bev reads Lew, I'll check him out. Now then, lets talk about worry...