Not that I don’t love Greece. Or even Greeks for that matter.
Greece is a beautiful country populated by wonderful people, with a rich history and a storied past.
The Greek bailout package is a big one. It represents the first bailout since the forming of the European Union and it highlights the risks of socialized retirement in my opinion. The package totals 120 BILLION euros. Yes, I capitalized billion. We don’t think of that as a lot in our country, where we are looking at trillions of dollars at use in our budget. But for the small country of Greece, it’s quite a bit.
The country is required to reduce it’s deficit by 30 billion euros a year. In order to do this, they are going to have to institute an “austerity” plan. And what is wrong with that? From a country where the word “spartan” was a badge of honor, and it’s warriors were forced to endure great hardships. However, protests are erupting all over the country, highlighting a sense of entitlement that the Greek people and indeed, the entirety of Western Europe has.
Civil servants are allowed to receive their pensions in their 40’s. Pensions can be passed to their daughters, resulting in a whole generation that has never needed to work to pay their bills. The retirement age has been raised, but likely needs to be raised further. With the mortality tables getting longer and longer, it is no wonder that countries around the world are feeling the pinch.
I hope that this is a wake-up call to Europe and the rest of the world. We can no longer operate like this is the 1950’s. Even the United States, with it’s social security age comfortably at 66, will be experiencing a crisis in coming years. And who has the cash to bailout the United States? Will it be China?
As we move more and more to dependence on the state, who will the state depend on?