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  Friday September 19th, 2014    

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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
In November we should get back to being America (10/03/2010)
By John Edstrom


     
U.S. voters heading to the polls in November should pay particular attention to the news out of Europe contained in an AP article which the Thursday Minneapolis Tribune saw fit to headline, “Workers’ Strike Sweeps Europe.” What is referred to as “workers,” here, are the government unions which control, among other things, basic transportation. (In Greece, just bailed out from bankruptcy last summer, these unions apparently control the hospitals also, which were closed 24 hours by a doctors’ strike.)

Note well, that these are unions of government employees who have no real competition unlike, say, a roofers’ union in this country, which calculates that it can do better in the private economy organized, but must nevertheless contend with legitimate competition from independent labor.

The European countries, starting with the PIIGS, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, and Spain, are on the verge of bankruptcy, because they spend more money than they bring in on a welfare state which employs too many people at too high wages, who are able to retire at 60-62 years of age, with benefits stretching to the setting sun. One Emilio Marcella of Rome, was quoted: “We are protesting mainly for our children, because they are not here – they are out looking for jobs. He would be a 60-year-old retiree from government work on full, or nearly, pension. To a man these strikers blame the fiscal crisis on “reckless speculation that took place in financial markets,” “set off by bankers and traders.”

The logic of government cutting costs to balance budgets and avoid bankruptcy escapes them entirely. In Europe today, the governments are going on strike against the people.

Much the same is happening in the U.S., if you analyze it. Faced with a crippling recession which has sunk many a small (and large) business ship, the federal government under President Obama has seen fit to borrow nearly a trillion dollars to ensure that none of those working for government, whether local, state, or federal, should suffer layoffs or pay cuts like their private sector brethren. The bill for all of this has already landed on the desks of beleaguered businesses out in the real world driving the real economy, the only genuine source of wealth or employment. What is in doubt only, is when that bill is due.

As in Europe, greedy bankers and traders are scapegoated for an economic and banking collapse originating in worthless sub prime real estate mortgages instigated and backed by our federal government so that the “less fortunate” could own homes. When Republicans promise to return to low taxes, small government, and fiscal austerity and responsibility, (admittedly values many of them abandoned during the Bush years), Obama and the Democrats solemnly intone that those are the failed policies that got us into this mess. They do not go on to explain how meddling in mortgage banking so as to issue and guarantee worthless sub-prime loans squares with limited government and fiscal responsibility.

In the meantime these same people have passed a massive government invasion/takeover of medical care . They don’t – no one – seems to know what’s in the bill yet, although it is coming out that one of the ingenious mechanisms by which it will be financed will involve the forced issuance of 1099 forms by every business performing any $600 or over transaction with any other business — they are countless — a nightmare which will generate a blizzard of useless, expensive and time-consuming paperwork. Can we hardly wait for more of the Obama care details?

It used to be argued that socialized medicine is inevitable in the U.S. based on its ubiquity in the superior, humane European countries. Recently, though, the Europeans are embarrassing their liberal advocates here by their increasing indigence and insolvency, even though over the years since W.W.II they never contributed a nickel towards staving off the Red Menace to the east. Saving Britain, and to a much lesser extent France, Europe has not spent a dime on defense, mooching entirely off U.S. effort and expense while building their welfare states.

It is clear that Obama and his minions in Congress have set themselves to the task of transforming our country into something like the European model, which is repaying their admiration by collapsing in plain sight. We should get back to being America.

J.E. 

 

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