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  1. 28 May '10 20:08
    http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?articleId=be1f78b0-b1ef-45bc-981a-01cc8c4fa08e&headline=Pat+Buchanan%3a+End+of+La+Dolce+Vita

    Pat Buchanan: End of La Dolce Vita

    By PAT BUCHANAN

    Tuesday, May. 11, 2010

    Are Europe and America headed to where Athens is today?

    To answer the question, consider what brought Greece to where she is -- running a deficit of 14 percent of gross domestic product with a debt approaching 100 percent, with Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Great Britain not that far behind.

    How did this happen?

    Protected by the United States through a half-century of Cold War, Europe cut back on defense and ratcheted up spending for La Dolce Vita. All of Europe adopted universal health care. All voted in a shorter workweek, a higher minimum wage, greater job security, earlier retirements and munificent pensions.

    As the cradle-to-grave welfare states rose, an ever-increasing share of the labor force left the private sector for the security of the public sector.

    Tax-consumers, the beneficiaries of the welfare states and the bureaucrats that ran them, grew in number, as taxpayers declined as a share of the labor force. Though Greece was far from the most productive nation in Europe, Athens led the parade.

    After the baby boom ended, the pill arrived in the 1960s. Then came abortion on demand in the 1970s.

    The fertility rate of Greece and every European nation fell below the 2.1 births per woman needed to replace an existing population. Greece's birth rate has been below zero population growth for three decades.

    Result: In year 2000, Greece had just under 11 million people and a median age of 38. In 2050, Greece is projected to have just under 11 million people, but the median age will be 50.

    Were Greece a company, the solution would be bankruptcy. But Greece is a country. And a bailout of $141 billion is being put together by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

    Why? Because should Greece decide not to take a chain saw to her welfare state, but walk away from her debts and default, she would blow a hole in the balance sheets of the biggest banks in Europe.

    Then the banks would have to be bailed out.

    ...
  2. 28 May '10 20:08
    oops, wrong forum.
  3. 28 May '10 22:08
    ...

    And America is not all that far behind.

    While the federal deficit is not 14 percent of GDP, it was 10 percent in 2009 and may reach 11 percent in 2010. Trillion-dollar deficits are projected through the decade, bringing the public debt -- held by citizens, companies, foreign governments and sovereign wealth funds -- close to 100 percent of GDP.

    And the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and federal pensions rival those of Western Europe.

    States like California and New York, larger than Greece, look a lot like Greece. Were it not for the scores of billions dished out to them by Obama's stimulus, some of these states would have come close to the brink New York City went over in 1975.

    Many of these states are today laying off teachers, letting felons out of prison and looking hard at the salaries and pensions of civil servants. While the temptation is great for Washington to bail them out again, the United States government itself has begun to attract the concerned notice of holders of U.S. debt.

    That we are witnessing Oswald Spengler's "Decline of the West" seems undeniable.

    ...
  4. 28 May '10 22:09
    i'm sure from the rear Pat B. looks like a babe. he's not likely to have frequented nude beaches much.
  5. 28 May '10 22:12
    The day of the safe, secure government worker is in perilous shape. Welfare Reform in the 90's was the beginning of bringing in entitlements.

    Hopefully we will see the light once again and bring down henious wealth so that the government can provide a lifestyle that all Americans can expect and deserve.

    I'm with you on that one Z-man.
  6. 29 May '10 02:45 / 1 edit
    the market's doing fine with that on it's own!

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crash-is-dead-ahead-sell-get-liquid-now-2010-05-25

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crash-is-dead-ahead-sell-get-liquid-now-2010-05-25/comments
  7. 29 May '10 08:04
    Actually, the southern European economies tend to have a fairly limited welfare state. Their main problem has been that they wanted to live like the Northern Europeans, but without the taxes.
  8. 29 May '10 12:01
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?articleId=be1f78b0-b1ef-45bc-981a-01cc8c4fa08e&headline=Pat+Buchanan%3a+End+of+La+Dolce+Vita

    Pat Buchanan: End of La Dolce Vita

    By PAT BUCHANAN

    Tuesday, May. 11, 2010

    Are Europe and America headed to where Athens is today?

    To answer the question, consider what brought Greece to where she is -- running ...[text shortened]... ce sheets of the biggest banks in Europe.

    Then the banks would have to be bailed out.

    ...
    Well Greece led the way for the formation of Western Civilization and now they led the charge for her decline. Brilliant!!
  9. 29 May '10 12:03
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    ...

    And America is not all that far behind.

    While the federal deficit is not 14 percent of GDP, it was 10 percent in 2009 and may reach 11 percent in 2010. Trillion-dollar deficits are projected through the decade, bringing the public debt -- held by citizens, companies, foreign governments and sovereign wealth funds -- close to 100 percent of GDP.
    ...[text shortened]... .

    That we are witnessing Oswald Spengler's "Decline of the West" seems undeniable.

    ...
    I cry foul. If my country is going to follow the path of Greece they can at least give me shorter work weeks and a higher salary in the interim. I feel as though I have been short changed by my country in its path to financial ruin.
  10. 29 May '10 12:08
    Why do y'all want things to go bad so badly?
  11. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    29 May '10 12:20
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Why do y'all want things to go bad so badly?
    You're asking yourself that? You're the big guvamint fan.
  12. 29 May '10 12:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Why do y'all want things to go bad so badly?
    So you think we all "willed" this crisis to occur? We simply have a pulse and take a look around from time to time.
  13. 29 May '10 14:19
    Originally posted by whodey
    So you think we all "willed" this crisis to occur? We simply have a pulse and take a look around from time to time.
    If it wasn't for tax evasion, Greece wouldn't have a deficit. We could sustain European welfare provision quite easily if it wasn't for citizens cheating on their taxes.

    Regarding the OP, I do think the demographic issue is important; basically, we can afford the welfare state more easily if we replace our population. And if you ask European women how many children they want, the answer is substantially above replacement level. So I'd like to see all European countries pursuing policies to encourage childbearing - high family allowances, strong nursery provision, support for women who want to pursue a career and motherhood at the same time. It's what the countries need, and what their citizens want. France and the Nordic countries have implemented such policies, and their fertility rates are close to replacement rate again.
  14. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    30 May '10 06:17
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    If it wasn't for tax evasion, Greece wouldn't have a deficit. We could sustain European welfare provision quite easily if it wasn't for citizens cheating on their taxes.

    Regarding the OP, I do think the demographic issue is important; basically, we can afford the welfare state more easily if we replace our population. And if you ask European women how m ...[text shortened]... e implemented such policies, and their fertility rates are close to replacement rate again.
    Higher taxes lead to higher tax evasion. While the tax rate in Greece is bad enough they like to make out social security contributions are something besides tax - they're not.

    The black market is something to be cultivated and grown, I use cash only and make a point of telling tradesmen and the like a receipt is not necessary.
  15. 30 May '10 08:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    Higher taxes lead to higher tax evasion. While the tax rate in Greece is bad enough they like to make out social security contributions are something besides tax - they're not.

    The black market is something to be cultivated and grown, I use cash only and make a point of telling tradesmen and the like a receipt is not necessary.
    Tax evasion in Greece is a lot higher than in e.g. Sweden. Obviously, tax evasion is determined mostly by how easily one can dodge taxes, not how high taxes are. If no one checks whether or not you pay a 1% tax, no one will pay it.

    It's very revealing how you are now promoting fraud.