1. News & Issues

Discuss in my forum

Europe's Sad Socialism Experiment & What America Can Learn From It

By May 25, 2010

Follow me on:

Government workers in Madrid wave a placard reading 'No Recorté Salarial' or 'No to the Pay Cut' as they demonstrate against Spain's new economic austerity policy on May 20, 2010.

Very often when discussing the issue of universal health care with liberals, they almost always resort to the argument that "we're the only nation in the free world that doesn't have universal health care. Other countries have figured out a way to pay for it, so why can't we?"

Well, now we know the answer to that question, thanks to a startling new article from the New York Times, entitled "Payback Time: Europeans Fear Crisis Threatens Liberal Benefits."

For years, liberals have turned green with envy at the European Union's 30-hour work week, its lengthy vacation packages, its wide-ranging early retirement benefits and its government-sponsored health care coverage. The European social model has been copied by countries outside the EU, and liberal American Democrats have put tremendous pressure on the federal government to adopt a similar framework for these government-backed spending sprees here at home. President Barack Obama has made great strides toward implementing the European Socialist form of government with passage of his recent health care reform plan, and his current push for amnesty is being described by liberal Democrats as an answer to America's illegal immigration problem.

It appears, however, that the European Union is finally waking up to the fact that nothing in life comes for free. The citizens of the European Union are becoming angry as they realize they will have to pay dearly if they want to continue to enjoy their existing lifestyle or make dramatic spending cuts if they want to maintain the little wealth they have left. Greece was the first to wake up to a debt crisis, but every country in the EU is facing a similar fate. Most recently, Spain has succumbed to a crisis of its own.

So what does all this mean for the U.S.? Why should we care what happens across the Atlantic?

Although the mainstream media has largely ignored the social issues angle raised in the Times' report, there are a number of reasons the European Union's woes should trouble the United States. First and foremost, after suffering through one of the worst recessions in U.S. history, America is finally beginning to emerge. Unless there is a dramatic shift in the way the European Union operates its collective economies, the crisis in Europe will set off another recession. If America fails to insulate itself from the impending implosion, it likely will be sucked into the vortex right along with the rest of the world. Secondly, President Barack Obama and Congress must take a hard look at the policies it's been pursuing since last year and take corrective measures to reduce America's long-term debt and eliminate as much deficit spending as possible.

There is an age-old problem that exists in politics. People want the government to provide them with everything, but they don't want to pay for anything. When the government does begin to provide its citizens with everything, it creates an unsustainable entitlement. Then, when future generations are forced to deal with the poor decisions of its predecessors, those who feel entitled to these "free" services are revolting because they are being taken away. That, folks, is a recipe for revolution.

How could anyone forget the woman who, after attending an Obama rally in 2008, believed that if she helped lift Obama to victory, she'd no longer have to "worry about putting gas in my car, I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage ..."

Imagine how disappointed that woman must be today after discovering that she did indeed have to pay for her own gas and she still has to pay her mortgage even though the candidate she supported became president.

Join Me on Facebook | Get My Twitter Updates

Photo © Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

Comments

May 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm
(1) RealTime53 says:

Hi Justin –

“If America fails to insulate itself from the impending implosion, it likely will be sucked into the vortex right along with the rest of the world.”

It’s a nice thought, however I can’t imagine what that insulation would look like. The Greek government is taking in only 91% of the money that it’s spending. Efforts to cut spending have been met with riots, strikes and dead people. The EU is scrambling just to cover the interest payments on the Greek debt. Portugal, Italy, and Spain are in similar straits. My own native country of Ireland is struggling with $2.5T national debt on a $340M GDP. Fortunately, they’ve made some fiscal changes.

These clowns are going under. They will be taking the American economy down with them. In economic terms, the world is flat.

“Secondly, President Barack Obama and Congress must take a hard look at the policies it’s been pursuing since last year and take corrective measures to reduce America’s long-term debt and eliminate as much deficit spending as possible.”

Again, a nice thought. However, neither Republican nor Democratic lawmakers are interested in spending cuts. Only one party is mildly interested in raising taxes. And they are easily dissuaded.

Possibly we might see some changes after the Republican tsunami in November. But I doubt it.

For years, I thought that the American national debt would sink us, eventually. I never thought that the Europeans would pull us down with them, before we reached that point.

May 25, 2010 at 9:25 pm
(2) usconservatives says:

“…neither Republican nor Democratic lawmakers are interested in spending cuts. Only one party is mildly interested in raising taxes. And they are easily dissuaded.”
I beg to disagree with you. Congressman Paul Ryan of Minnesota offered a conservative budget proposal in February that was largely ignored by Democrats … but not by Republicans. It makes some tough decisions, and isn’t politically popular, but it’s the right thing to do.

May 25, 2010 at 10:27 pm
(3) RealTime53 says:

Justin –

Paul Ryan deserves great credit for showing us exactly how big our economic problems are. His plan calls for slashing government spending to 1951 levels and balancing the budget and eliminating the national debt …. by 2080. Any chance that any part of his Social Security reforms will be enacted? Slim to none. Look at the fury that Republicans unleashed on Democrats for proposing the elimination of Medicare Advantage during the health care debate. Bill Clinton eviscerated Newt Gingrich when Newt proposed even more minor changes to Social Security. Paul Tsongas’ Presidential aspirations died when he proposed SS cuts.

Quite frankly, I doubt that Medicare Advantage will ever be eliminated. Our lawmakers don’t have the guts.

And Ryan wants to turn Medicare into a voucher system? It might get lip service, nothing more.

Today, we are all Greeks.

Besides, even if it was enacted at this minute, it wouldn’t protect us against a European economic meltdown. Heck, even if we had a balanced budget right this minute, it wouldn’t protect us against an European economic meltdown.

May 31, 2010 at 2:16 pm
(4) Roman42 says:

Greetings,

Yes, it’s about time those overly secure Europeans had to face the same insecurity, absence of or inadequate health insurance, and fear and uncertainty about the future that we Americans have to face each day. We feel better now, right? Misery needs company. . .

January 7, 2011 at 7:26 am
(5) Ben says:

EU socialists will in the end finish as all socialisms finish itself-badly.One can`t await of socialist Obama effective counter-crisis steps.
God save America from European and Obama`s socialism .

Leave a Comment


Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.