"When people don't believe in God, they don't begin to believe in nothing: they begin to believe in anything." -GK Chesterton
"The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen." -Dennis Prager
The nation of Greece has issues. It is a secular society. It has a socialist form of government. It is broke. It has one of the lowest birthrates in the Western world. And now, as a result of all these factors (which are the result of their own decisions over the past 50 years), their nation is falling apart in front of our very eyes.
"A largely peaceful protest Wednesday by tens of thousands of Greeks against new government austerity measures was marred by violence in central Athens late in the day, when hundreds of youths wearing ski masks hurled water bottles, firecrackers and other objects at police who responded with tear gas and pepper spray...Throughout the day, public services across Greece ground to a halt as civil servants, teachers and hospital staff walked off the job, in one of the biggest demonstrations in months. Central and local government offices were closed, hospitals and ambulance services were operating on skeleton staffs, and schools and universities were shut for the day.
Transport services also were disrupted, with ferry and rail services suspended after dockworkers joined the strike. Public transport around the capital, Athens, operated on a reduced schedule, and flight operations were hit by a four-hour walkout by air-traffic controllers. Journalists also joined in the strike, leading to a blackout of all radio and television news programs."
When enough of a society is employed by the federal government, that society can shut down anytime the union bosses that control those government workers decide they don't like the government's policies.
The story continues:
The strike, the second to be called this year by the country's two main umbrella unions, comes just days before the government is due to present Parliament with €26 billion ($37.4 billion) in further spending cuts and tax increases to slash the budget deficit over the next five years.
"These neoliberal and barbarous policies, which are driving workers and society into poverty for the benefit of creditors and bankers, are taking us back to the last century," said public sector umbrella union Adedy in a statement. "They must not pass!"
Tell me what recent events in the mid-western United States sound eerily familiar to these in Greece? Tell me if there is any difference between the nonsense we hear from union chiefs here in America and the nonsense uttered by these fools in Greece?
Probably the most disturbing and illuminating quote from this WSJ article comes from a candid dental technician:
Vassilis Theodorakopoulos, a 53-year old dental technician who works for the country's main public health-care fund, said he was protesting a 20% cut in his salary, as well as a plan to expand the working week for public servants to 40 hours—in line with the private sector—from 37.5 currently.
"Personally, I don't think there should be a difference between the public and private sector," he said. "What we are fighting for is a reduction in private-sector working hours."
People are shutting down their government not only because they would possibly have to work 2.5 more hours per week, but because they also want the law of the land to be such that private sector workers can't work more than 37.5 hours per week. This is madness! As I've reported before on this blog, in various socialist European states there are actually laws in place that disallow private businesses from staying open later than their competition. This race to mediocrity is chilling.
But, even more chilling, is the break-neck speed with which we are heading in Greece's (and Europe's) general direction. When you grow the size and scope of the federal government - even in the name of compassion, fairness, and equality - the individual, private citizen grows less and less significant. The entrepreneurial activity of society's most productive members is squelched and discouraged. Religious life dwindles. Culture decays.
At our core, mankind was made to work. To create. To innovate. And ultimately, to worship their Maker. Take away, disrupt, or distort any of these things and your civilization is on the path to ruin.
It's not too late to change, America. We don't have to hate our political enemies, but we must start to take offense at the Left's ideas/policies, and take action every 2, 4, and 6 years at the voting booth.
According to a poll published in the center-left Ethnos newspaper earlier this month, 67.7% of Greeks think the government should proceed with economic reforms, and 63.7% supported the need for privatization or other measures to exploit state-owned assets. A further 59.7% said they supported abolishing the current life-time job guarantee for public servants.
We must not allow for a tyranny of the minority. Unions comprise less than 10% of the workforce in this country. Enough is enough.
The basic ideas, ideals, and values that generally define and characterize the central tenets of what today might be termed "modern conservative thought."
We believe that a proper understanding of history, economics, and theology leads to certain conclusions. Many of these are the same conclusions our Founding Fathers arrived at in constructing a "more perfect union."
All ideas and opinions are welcome; not all are correct.