Greek Crisis, Occupy Movement: Pervasive Ignorance Will Cause Them to Linger
Benjamin Franklin said, “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has; the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.”
Money does not cause problems. Money, per se, does not solve problems. Money facilitates transactions between supplier and customer. It can quantify underlying symptoms affecting people and governments.
Generally, the basic problem is people’s decisions, including governments’. Folks decide to act a certain way, ignore the reality that money is the means to fulfill their wishes, they borrow to do what they want, and sink deep in debt.
Governments hire as many people as they choose, pay high wages, good pensions, sick and holiday pay, and other perks. During an economic boom, tax revenues rise and government escalates this irrational behavior. Then the inevitable downturn arrives and government scrambles to continue behaving as before--pay high wages, pensions, and benefits, to its expanded payroll.
Take Greece. The socialist government spent, and spent, and spent, and is deep in debt. It has no funds, and it realizes the only way to fix the country’s economic woes is to reduce, and end, some spending drivers. This means cutting, policies, programs, and people.
The European Union offered aid. The people want to continue present lifestyles. They want the money tap to remain open. Meanwhile, debt rises daily, conditions in the economy worsens, government talks, and talks, and talks, and wasteful spending continues unabated.
Like the Occupy movement, folks in Greece are ignorant. They believe taxing businesses and wealthy people will allow government to redistribute income and then all will be well. They don’t understand that business hates uncertainty, and society needs an expanding economic pie, which, over the long haul, business alone can provide.
The former Soviet Union and other communist states are classic examples of what happens when government tries to be the main force in an economy and focusses on wealth redistribution. It does not work. It failed wherever it has been tried.
The capitalist system has many flaws, but even with these flaws, it is the only proven economic system that over time, grows the economy consistently, and produces productive jobs.
To be sure, people are greedy. Greed pervades societies. Several greedy people ran the communist system. Many greedy folks work on Wall Street and on Main Street. Does this mean we should scrap the capitalist system for the failed socialist system, which attempts to distribute a dwindling economic pie that government manipulates?Continued on the next page