Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Eventually, even the New York Times figures it out.

It would be difficult, at this point, to express my disgust with the New York Times, but I’m going to try.

I should preface this yet again. I am a political independent. As I have said in the early incarnation of this blog, most conventional political issues don’t interest me. My primary interests are philosophical, and all revolve around the fight to uphold standards of objective truth and ethics in the post-modern world. The fact that this has made me a “default conservative” is something that I’m willing and able to fully explain another time, but this post will do for now.

Let me get to the point. This week, the New York Times, to my knowledge for the very first time, realized the obvious: that the European social welfare model is failing.

This really should never have been a political argument; it's simply a mathematic and demographic reality. Why on earth the folks at the "Paper of Record" couldn’t notice this before they spent months cheer-leading Obamacare, I don’t really know (actually, I do really know, they are more loyal to their utopian fantasies than they are to reality).

Now, suddenly, the NYT runs an article titled “Europeans Fear Crisis Threatens Liberal Benefits”. I quote:

“With low growth, low birthrates and longer life expectancies, Europe can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle, at least not without a period of austerity and significant changes.”

Well, I guess no one can sleepwalk forever. And yet even that statement is wishful thinking. Let’s put the emphasis on the “no longer afford” half of that quote, because the prospects for "austerity”, and “significant changes”, aren't very good. Merely the suggestion has already caused mass riots in Greece, and even the crowd-murder of three bank employees.

Greece is only the vanguard, because as even the New York Times admits in this article, this is not a Greek problem, it’s a European one; and with American political elites now hellbent on Europeanizing America, it is our problem too. This situation isn't going away. Let me go back to my credit theme from earlier posts. Do you want to make a long term bet on an aging society that will soon have a 1 to 1 ratio between workers and retirees? Do you want to buy their government bonds? And if you are from the ambitious half of European society that still has a work ethic, do you want to pay the taxes that support this situation?

Incidentally, this says volumes to me about which side, in our great bipolar political debates, I should believe. Conservatives have been saying this was going to happen for the past half-century and longer. For all that time, political liberals have called them stupid, heartless, and greedy for saying so.

Now finally the (pallorous) Gray Lady admits the same problem. Well, they say so in the news section at least, their editorialists still ignore the elephant in the room. And that elephant retired early with no children and wants a taxpayer funded pension.

Here’s an idea: since it was the conservatives who said all this in the first place, perhaps you just should have believed them. And perhaps you should start now.* And maybe, just maybe, what was truly stupid, greedy, and heartless, was your having thought that you could relax and let the labor of immigrants and someone else's 1.3 children support you for the non-working half your life.


* notice that I said "conservatives", not Republicans. When it comes to economics, the Republicans have pretty much been just the party that spent the same deficits on different things. That doesn't change this fact that the bad economic theories all originated on the left!


wearegovernment said...

Liked your commentary. I wonder where the NY Times was on the issue of European debt when they were shoving Obamacare at us daily.

Nice blog you have here!

mom of fab five said...

wow--took me awhile to catch up on reading blogs--glad i saw this one. I have been saying this for awhile and then i get the argument that it is our responsibility to take care of all--pyramid schemes don't work--in the end someone always loses and it is only a matter of time with the health care for people to figure out we got scammed. Great thoughts can't wait to see you this summer--when are you guys coming again?