What Greece Means in the Bigger Picture

I haven’t had much time for long post lately, and today’s not an exception. Blogging is something that definitely comes in waves in my life. Anyway, today’s post at the Belmont Club was too good to pass up linking to and doing a quick cut-and-paste. He’s talking about what the Greek melt down means to Western social democracies. I’m 100% on board with his analysis. The best case scenario right now is a painful — but controlled — realignment of government priorities that will make a lot of people upset. The worse case scenario swerves into a conversation that most people don’t want to have.

But Portugal and Spain are suspect — as well as many of the larger EU economies too. Their problems can be fixed to be sure. But they cannot be fixed by any kind of bridging loan, “put” or ’shock and awe’ intervention. None of that will work in the long run. However things are stabilized in the short term, eventually a scaling down of the welfare state — and indeed the size of the Western state itself — will be necessary. There’s simply not enough money to sustain it. A wave of change, but not the kind of change that President Obama imagined, is following right behind the financial tsunamis. All of his ill-timed “investments”, like bloated Federal Health care, immigration “reform”, and cap-and-trade have come at a time when they simply can’t be borne. Institutions like featherbedded unions, monopolies and obsolete gatekeepers should view recent events in the same way that dinosaurs who looked up at an enormous descending meteor should. The enormous tower of quangos, EU commissions, massive agencies, vast entitlements is trembling beneath that most quotidian of assaults: lack of supply, “like a cut flower in a vase; fair to see yet doomed to die.”

So far our leaders — including most on the conservative side of the aisle — have shown absolutely no desire to address these issues. I don’t think they will unless they’re forced, either. There’s no way around it: in the end, it means them giving up a huge chunk of power. We haven’t had a politician like that in high office since George Washington.

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