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What Do We Expect Greece To Do?

05/24/2011

Austerity is a safe, clinical-sounding word that doesn’t describe what is really being asked of the Greek citizens.  Imagine yourself being told such things as:

I know you’ve been planning to retire next year, but you’ll have to work another five years!
I know you’ve been retired for several years, but we must cut your monthly check by 20%!
I know you were expecting a knee transplant soon, but you’ll have to keep the painful knee!
I know the prices of food and gas are already high, but they must go higher . . . much higher!
I know you want your kids to get an education, but we must increase their tuition by 20%!
And, did I mention we’re increasing your taxes as well, but only 20%?
(You should also know the IRS is really cracking down on cheats!!)
Gee, I’m really sorry your employer laid you off!
Have a nice day!

When it happens to other people in other nations, it is austerity.  When it happens to you, it is a life-altering disaster.  Is it any wonder the people are taking to the streets in protest?

With all sympathy to and respect for the Greek people, these measures are nonetheless necessary for Greece to deal with their mountain of debt.  Shame on them for borrowing so much.  Shame on their leaders for lacking the courage to stop over-consumption.  Shame on the lenders for supplying the narcotics that debt becomes.  There is no shortage of blame, but now is the time for the Greek people to deal with their disaster.

Imagine what would happen in the U.S. if we are asked to embrace this “austerity”?  Are we asking the Greeks to do more than we would do?  (Years from now, the Greeks will describe this period of time like the Greatest Generation describes the Great Depression in this country.)

Don’t think it cannot happen here.  In fact, it WILL happen here, if the Congressional children fail us again!

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