Another Lesson from the European Model

Here’s the present situation in Greece—it really is this apocalyptic.  Children are street-begging for food, and adults are dumpster-diving for food as soup kitchens close their doors on people because the kitchens have run out.  Professional talent is leaving the country for foreign work, and others are squirreling their money away in foreign bank accounts.  Medecins Sans Frontieres is reporting a return of malaria—and so the exposure of Europe generally to this once-eradicated disease.

University of Athens economist, Panagiotis Petrakis, describes other aspects of the economic failure:

…standard of living down, by as much as 30 per cent; bank deposits that have not been spirited out of the country are dwindling; almost 70,000 businesses folded in 2010 and bankruptcy is stalking more than 53,000 of the remaining 300,000; unemployment, 25 per cent – but youth joblessness is 47 per cent and rising; a quarter of the population living in poverty; homelessness, up 25 per cent, with well-educated youngsters accounting for much of the rise.  Petty crime, doubled.

Greece—and Portugal, Spain, and Italy; although Greece is the farthest down the path—is demonstrating the results of a welfare state running out of other people’s money.  The stimulus money is fully expended, and there are no positive results; only failure: competitiveness has disappeared into an overwhelming national debt, and with the loss of prosperity from that competitive fire, any ability to heal the economy—to repay that debt—is sorely constrained.  Corruption—crony capitalism—is becoming rampant.

Greece, like Detroit, and the US, like Greece, are gravely wounded by the policies of welfarism, however disguised by pretty words of “everyone gets a fair shot.”  Yet our own political elite still want to double down on their failed spending, taxing, borrowing—wealth redistribution—policies by imposing yet higher taxes, increasing spending even more, and expanding our debt explosively beyond its current already unsustainable levels.

Though Europe’s economies are dying, the collective mind of its political elite is still gripped patterns of thought and modes of analysis that were hatched in another era.  And so it is here, where Progressive policies, born in the failed New Deal, continue to hold sway and continue to fail today.

h/t to Belmont Club

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