Sunday, May 02, 2010

This little piggy went to market

It seems the Greeks, heirs to an ancient culture that celebrated freedom and individual expression both in politics and art, are reacting with the same outrage as any young child, hell, as even most people of any age who, being used to living the good life and consuming more of anything than they actually earned by the sweat of their brow, including metaphorically speaking, the seed corn for the next generation, will express.

MAY DAY protests in Greece turned violent yesterday as youths in gas masks and hoods set fire to vehicles, smashed shop fronts and threw molotov cocktails and rocks at police in an explosion of fury over austerity measures they claim will hurt only the poor.

Did the poor, the less productive, the less disciplined, the less entrepreneurial, the less inclined to live within, or below, their means, ever complain when the party was rocking along at full steam?

“I cannot help but blame my parents a little for what’s happened,” said Achilles Zacharoulis, a 36-year-old cardiologist. “They were here all that time,” he added, referring to the past three decades of mismanagement and fiscal insanity. “But what did they do to stop it?”

Vaggelis Gettos, 24, is just as alarmed at the burden being heaped on the young by austerity measures expected to be announced today, and has pledged to resist them in more protests this week against what he sees as a plot to impoverish Greece.

“We will live much worse than our parents,” he said. “Why should we be made to pay for their mistakes?”

You're 36 years old big boy. In the last 18 or so years did you speak out about the excesses, the freebies? Did you cry a warning and refuse your share of them in protest? I doubt it.
I'll wager that if you look at some of the old timers in the small villages who lived plain and simple lives, you'll be able to see many who saw the insanity, perhaps spoke out within their small circle of friend, yet realized the futility of stepping in front of the rushing freight train the gimme crowd were riding high on.

Economists regard the bloated civil service with its jobs for life and generous pensions as a cancer consuming the country’s resources. The older generation, the experts grimly concur, turned the state into a giant cash machine to be plundered at will.

Does that sound vaguely like our own country where the government sector earns more than most of the private sector? With no new jobs being created other than within expanded federal agencies grasping ever new and greater influence and power, is it any wonder that young people are applying in droves to those same agencies?

The unfortunate thing is that unless we are able to halt the growth of Leviathan within our own country the same outrage, riots, clashes, upheaval will soon burst forth in our own neighborhoods.

Perhaps not this summer, maybe not the next, but if we don't recognize and stop the same problems within our culture, one oppressively hot day soon the flames of ........what?.. will be fanned by an errant puff of wind into a conflagration that will make the wildfires in Yellowstone and the west a few years ago seem like only the spark from a lighter out of fuel.

And this little piggy cried, "wee, wee, wee all the way home".

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