Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Can The Western Democracies Survive?

Western Democracies from Greece to the United States are suffering from the “wants;” they are screaming “Gimme, gimme—more and more money!” (When there is no more money.) In the United States, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, Ireland, and eventually, France, workers are calling for more and more government handouts in the form of entitlements. Even corporations in these countries are demanding to be on the government dole. None of this is news; we have heard it for years!

Greeks are demonstrating in their streets against government austerity programs. Ohioans voted yesterday to keep public employees on the government handout programs with health insurance and pension benefits. Nobody seems able to understand that THE MONEY IS GONE! All these demonstrations and votes for more entitlements are saying that they want everyone else to foot the bills for their benefits. This includes union members as well as corporations.

An unhappy byproduct of a welfare state is that it creates powerful interests that will fight to the last to preserve their free lunch, no matter the cost to the country. America’s federal debt was 35.7% of GDP in 2007, but it was 61.3% last year and is predicted to reach 90% by 2020 according to the Congressional Budget Office. These figures were arrived at based on President Obama’s 2011 budget submitted by the White House Office of Management and Budget in February 2011. For countries with debt-to-GDP ratios “above 90 percent, median growth rates fall by 1 percent, and average growth falls considerably more,” according to a recent research paper by economists Kenneth S. Rogoff of Harvard and Carmen M. Reinhart of the University of Maryland.

Democracies fall when the people finally realize that they can vote themselves financial benefits to be paid for by other people. Unless Americans begin to understand that they must sacrifice some of their affluence to the general good of the nation, as they did during World War II, our country is doomed.

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