By Anang Pal Malik
The Left, through its control of media, makes sure that destructive results of its policies are never traced back to its policies. What is happening in Greece is the result of socialism playing out in the city square. But you won’t know that by reading papers or watching TV.
Greece has enacted entitlements which assure the citizens a royal life just because they are born in Greece. For example everybody gets pension. Everybody, means everybody. At the age of 57, you as a private or self employed person retire with full State pension. But there is another catch. If you work in a hazardous profession, you can retire with full pension at the age of 50. There are about 450 professions classified as hazardous. One of them is hairdresser. Yep, you read that right, in Greece, hairdresser is a hazardous profession. So if you are a hairdresser, you can retire with full state pension at the age of 50.
All other entitlements- healthcare, education, unemployment benefits, housing, etc., of course are there. With these securities in place, Greeks did what all other Europeans have done: They stopped having babies. If government is there to take care of you from cradle to grave, why go to the trouble of maintaining families and having babies? Its fertility rate is just 1.41. (World Bank in fact put the figure at 1.29 in 2013.) So there are not enough Greek nephews to take care of the old age pensions and medical care of Greek uncles. Greeks are discovering the hard way two inescapable facts of life: 1. government doesn’t have infinite money. 2. Government has no money of its own. If there are no taxpayers around, government earns nothing.
But uncles say,”We don’t give a damn. We don’t care how you arrange the money. Just keep our Welfare cheques coming. Otherwise we will burn down our own cities.” The dispute right now is that Greeks want their entitlements to continue, to be paid by the rest of Europe, whereas rest of Europeans are not ready to pick up the tab. How cruel of them, those Europeans. They all profess to be socialists but are not ready to take care their poor brethren in Greece.
What is happening in Greece, and in the rest of Europe as well, is that the latest avatar of Socialism-the Welfare State- has also bombed big time. Socialists through their control of media may put any spin to it, but the fact is that their latest project of collectivising only incomes (and not means of production or property) has also ended up destroying some of the richest and most advanced countries on the planet- the Welfare States of Europe.
(To read an earlier article of Anang Pal Malik on the subject, click here.)