So there was a lot of wild stuff coming out of the grapevines yesterday. Al Qaeda’s number three man was KO’d. Good riddance. Al Gore and Tipper Gore are now divorced. The Obama administration will now pursue criminal charges against BP if laws were broken. Oil is continuing to spew out from the depths of the gulf. Israel is once again being condemned by the world for defending itself (whoulda thunk it). “Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!” – Bill Murray. But there were some other things that caught my attention I’d like to dwell upon.
First, we have another headliner from FL Democrat Alan Grayson. You may not remember him, but this is the same guy who on the floor of the Capital building claimed Republicans wanted people to “just die” because they were opposed to Obama Care. So obviously, this man has some serious credibility. CBS was covering a news story about paid vacation in the United States, or according to CBS, its lack thereof. In this interview, European countries were cited as having an average of almost 20 days paid vacation for all workers. So, Alan Grayson cites Europe’s current strong economy, stable currency, low unemployment, and zero civilian unrest as reasons for America to adopt a similar program (please note the sarcasm). He wants a law that will allow the government to force companies of employees exceeding 100 to give each employee one week paid vacation.
Ok, on the surface, and especially someone at my age, that sounds like a pretty great deal. “Alright! I automatically qualify for something I haven’t earned yet! Vacation!” Yet there is a reason why Americans for the longest time have been the most productive people on the planet. We choose to be. The American dream is that if you work hard and you work smart, you will become successful. The European dream, so it seams, is that if you find a job, you can just coast through it without fear of losing your job. Take Italy for example. This is transcript from an article in The Journal Record:
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Italy has the toughest restrictions on firing workers. The country’s labor laws allow that after a minor probationary period of employment, a worker fired from a company with 15 or more employees can bring a lawsuit challenging the firing.That’s not the worst part: If the lawsuit is successful, which is often the case, the company is required to rehire the worker as well as pay back wages and social insurance fees in addition to a substantial government fine.
But wait, there’s more! This same article goes on detailing the average unemployment benefits between the U.S. and some of its European counterparts. (Note however, that this article was written in 6 B.O. (6 years Before Obama).
Italy is not the only EU member facing challenging employment issues. While the United States pays 48 percent of the average wage for eligible unemployed workers (only one-third of out-of-work employees qualify for benefits), these benefits stop after six months. Compare U.S. figures to the following industrialized leaders of the EU. Germany pays 35 percent of the average pay to unemployed workers for five years; France pays 58 percent for two years; and Great Britain pays 21 percent for up to five years. The employment environment in Europe is creating a generation of workers with a deficient work ethic, according to the National Center for Policy Analysis experts. Where in the United States, unemployment can bring with it unpleasant stigmas, younger Europeans feel less guilt and shame about admitting to being unemployed.
This right here folks is a shining example of the European welfare state and why it is in such shambles right now. These entitlement states have created a huge population of people who feel like they are owed everything under the sun for simply being alive. This dangerous state-of-mind has crept into America: example being “affordable housing”. This phony concept really took off towards the end of the Clinton administration when Fannie/Freddie became big time players in the sub-prime mortgage market. Then George Bush and his “compassionate conservatism”, aka liberalism, kept the ball rolling. Owning a home was no longer a dream, but a right. We saw the same thing with Obama and health care. Liberals ran around claiming that health care is a “right”, not a privilege.
Well, we are seeing first hand what eventually happens to a welfare state. Greece is hanging by a thread. Spain is right behind them. These countries have a cradle-to-grave entitlement state. How are these programs paid for? Governments don’t make money. They must tax their citizens to generate revenue. Well, where is the tax money going to come from when you run out of people to tax due to a lazy, entitled citizenry? Borrow, borrow, borrow (Hey, liberalism in the US starting to sound familiar?)
But to be fair, our own economy isn’t a bed of roses. But, traditional American capitalism is not to blame. How on earth are we nearly $13 Trillion in debt, annual budget deficits projected at nearly $1.6 Trillion, and unfunded liabilities nearing $100 Trillion? Social Security is not a product of capitalism and it is now, for the first time since its conception, paying out more in benefits than it receives in taxes with no sign of reversal. Medicare is not a product of capitalism and it is completely broke (how else can you explain doctors refusing Medicare patients?). Governments are inherently inefficient because the threat of going insolvent (at least in the US) is small due to the ability to print more money. In the last 20 years, America has slowly turned from its capitalist roots and turned towards a more European style system. Our similarities in both debt and social program issues are only the proof in the puddin’.