Monday, February 20, 2012

The Greek Example

20 February 2012

Here’s a little something to consider as you get your Monday started! Has anyone been following the events in Greece these days? Having spent time in Greece and in particular the island of Crete, I follow the events almost like one would follow the events of one’s hometown news while away from it.

It’s not recent news and has been ongoing for some time now. The Greek government is near default and is requiring immediate assistance, in the form of bailout money (they refer to it as “debt swap”), from the European Union. The European Union is demanding that Greece install a budget that will drastically cut spending and will have far reaching effects on the way of life for every citizen in the country. As a result, the Greeks are forwarding a budget they hope will satisfy the European Union and the people are rallying against that budget and its effects on them. It’s sad to see riots anywhere but it’s unfortunate that the press centers on the newsworthy violence of a political process or event.

Greece has gotten to the point where it can do no more to cure or even maintain its current economic crisis and its government had been unwilling to do anything about it except increase spending and extend its own debt. Does that sound familiar? Greece can no longer do that and its present government is now forced to implement drastic austerity measures to help right its own ship. Cuts in minimum wage, government staffing and spending, cuts to defense and other programs. These are major cuts and the impact is that people are going to be out of work, those that do work will make less money and the government is offering less in services and benefits. Pensions are being cut and the EU is mandating that certain professions (primary healthcare, real estate broker) be opened to competition. I’m thinking that means foreign competition.

Keeping your house in financial order goes for governments as well as everyday people.  The sad thing here beyond the violence is the fact that Greece, in accepting this money, will lose some of its sovereignty. They are now allowing other countries, in particular Germany, to have a say into its own affairs and they are making changes based on the edict of its fellow European Union members. Greece will be indebted to others and in so doing, loses a bit of itself. John Adams, in an address to Congress in 1797 said “The consequences arising from the continual accumulation of public debts in other countries ought to admonish us to be careful to prevent their growth in our own.” I think we should see what the future holds for Greece if they are actually given this money. We should learn from their example.

How does this apply to us and our national debt? Well, like Greece, our debt has been created by our own hands but we are blessed with more resources that we can mortgage our future against. But at some point I think we are going to find ourselves in that same situation. Where we can no longer manage our own financial portfolio and require assistance. I fear we may be closer than we think. Thought should be given to what government reform and/or balancing the budget would mean to our country. If you read what some of the austerity measures are for Greece, apply them to our country, would you be willing to accept that> Can you take a pension cut? How about a wage cut with a tax increase? Can you handle the loss or scaling back of government services you are currently provided? Can you accept Germany telling us what we need to do?

Do we understand what budget reform means? If we are to balance the budget, get this burden of debt off our backs, it will take some tough measures to make it happen. Take a look at what Congressman Ron Paul says about budget and government spending. Look at his philosophy on big government. He is all for a small but strong and solvent federal government. He has never voted for any budget before Congress that was not balanced. If you look at what his solution is, you should keep in mind the impact that will have on this country. His ideas would drastically cut spending but it’s also going to mean a lot of people out of jobs. I personally like a lot of what Ron Paul says and I am a supporter however, there is no quick and easy solution and I do not agree with everything he says. However, he is the only candidate that advocates the changes I feel our country needs to right our own ship. We need real change not just cutting down of government. We need to examine ways to create solutions that will work for our country and we need to do this on our own. We need to look at what is happening now in Greece and learn from their example.

Have a Blessed Day!!

Today’s “Did Ya Know” It’s Love Your Pet Day!! You should always love your pet but today do some extra lovin of your pet today. Get them a special treat!!! Let them know you love them. I see a lot of posts and graphic pictures of animal abuse, support the cause for stopping animal abuse through donations and pledges! It’s Presidents Day so go buy your president a special treat too!

Related Links:

Greek Austerity Measures article written by Harry Papachristou of Reuters

Yahoo News Article on Greek austerity measures, and reaction thereto, written by George Georgiopoulos of Reuters

Ron Paul website

Wikipedia article on Ron Paul “Platform”

Love Your Pet Day

1 comment:

  1. A little scary, that it could happen to us, but hopefully the government will not let the mess get that far.