Saturday, June 05, 2010

Is Greece a Mirror for the Fate of America?

Arthur Brooks hit it on the head with his article of "Slouching Towards Athens - The Obama Agenda and the Europeanization of America". I had been thinking about the American can do and stick to it spirit being eroded by a bloated, overreaching, hypocritic, paternalistic government ever since Obama became President. This article by Brooks says it all. Will our children have the American spirit when they grow up? Will America become another European birth to cradle welfare state? Are we for all intents and purpose already there? Can we reverse this creeping socialism which Obama is rapidly now forcing down our throats? Only time, which we don't have anymore, will tell. But as Americans we must fight this insidious socialism which is nothing but slavery to the state.

...Why are citizens rioting and striking in Greece? Despite the worst economic crisis in decades, labor unions and state functionaries demand that others pay for the early retirements, lifetime benefits and state pensions to which they feel entitled. In America, however, the tea partiers demonstrate not to get more from others, but rather against government growth, public debt, bailouts and a budget-busting government overhaul of the health-care industry.

In other words, the tea partiers are protesting against exactly what the Greeks are demanding. It is an example of American exceptionalism if there ever was one.

Instead of celebrating this ethical populism, however, many political leaders here denounced the legitimacy of the tea party protesters. "It's not really a grass-roots movement," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed after the tax day tea party protests in April 2009. "It's 'astroturf' by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich."...

...The increasing size of the federal work force is an early indication of what lies ahead. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in the last year the federal government added 86,000 permanent (non-Census) jobs to the rolls. And high-paying jobs at that: The number of federal salaries over $100,000 per year has increased by nearly 50% since the beginning of the recession.

Today, the average federal worker earns 77% more than the average private-sector worker, according to a USA Today analysis of data from the federal Office of Personnel Management. To pay for bigger government, the private sector will bear a heavier tax burden far into the future, suppressing the innovation and entrepreneurship that creates growth and real opportunity, not to mention the revenue that pays for everything else in the first place.

If these trends are not reversed, it is hard to see how our culture of free enterprise will not change. More and more Americans, especially younger Americans, will grow accustomed to a system in which the government pays better wages, offers the best job protection, allows the earliest retirement, and guarantees the most lavish pensions. Against such competition, more and more young, would-be entrepreneurs will inevitably choose the safety and comfort of government employment—and do so with all the drive that is generally thought to be "good enough" for that kind of work.
Read "Slouching Toward Athens" at the Wall Street Journal

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