GREECE IS THE WORD!

FRANK CAMP

Do you want to know the future? Well, most of the time thats impossible. But join me as I look into my crystal ball, and I’ll take you on a whimsical journey to the America of the future, through the always fascinating lens of government spending.

If you’ve been watching or reading the news over the past few days, you have undoubtedly noticed the riots in Greece and Spain. These riots are in reaction to deep austerity cuts in government spending. Thousands of Greeks and Spaniards are up in arms over cuts in healthcare, pensions and wages.

Now, there are allegations coming from the Greek people that their politicians are corrupt, and that they are stealing the taxpayers money. According to The Independent, some of the protesters are making statements like this: “We don’t owe [money] to anyone, bring back what’s stolen!”

Firstly, I am sure that their governments are corrupt in some ways (every government is). Secondly, however, I know there is not just a single issue creating this problem. Greece’s 24% unemployment, collapsing economy, the deep cuts in pensions, etc, are the result of something. There is an origin to this story, and it started long ago. Greece has spending problems.

Greece has a universal healthcare system, which stands at about 10% of their national GDP. Due to overspending by the government, and an overly burdensome healthcare system, their government is going bankrupt. This new debt crisis has caused healthcare rationing and increasingly poor medical care. This has caused the Greek government to make deep and necessary cuts to spending. If they do not make these cuts, not only will Greece not receive aid, their country will collapse inward.

In case you’re wondering why I’m writing about Greece, I DO have a point. Greece is currently careening down the economic slide, and the United States is next up.

Universal healthcare simply doesn’t work. For evidence, just look to the UK and Canada. It is inefficient, and creates a massive bureaucracy that costs taxpayers enormous amounts of money. There are numerous other ways to dramatically decrease the cost of healthcare, such as cross-state insurance sales, Tort reform and means testing. In addition to that, our increasing dependency on government handouts during the Obama administration is driving us toward a Greek crisis.

For an example, look right in front of you. Welfare and food stamp usage is higher than it has ever been (45 million on food stamps), our debt has increased by more than $5 trillion during Obama’s tenure, and the numbers of those relying on the government are ever increasing. According to Alabama Senator Jess Sessions:

“This legislation [Senate Farm Bill] will spend $82 billion on food stamps next year, and an estimated $770 billion over the next ten years. To put these figures in perspective, we will spend $40 billion federal dollars next year on roads and bridges.”

Obama promised to cut the deficit by half; instead, he has increased it more than any other president in history. Obama claimed that his universal healthcare plan was “budget neutral”, it is certainly not, as has been demonstrated multiple times (google it). His presidency has increased our dependency culture substantially, and will only continue to make it worse.

Those who support Obama need only look to Greece to know the future of our country under this president. So, if you look to Greece, and you KNOW the policies that have driven them off the cliff, how on earth could you support a president who has implemented, and has designs to implement those very same (or very similar) policies? How could you support a president who continues to spend money like he’s printing it in the basement? It defies logic. And who wants to defy something as nice as logic? Obama does.

COPYRIGHT © 2012 FRANK CAMP

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7 Responses to GREECE IS THE WORD!

  1. You cite Canada and the UK. Canada has a single-payer system, while the UK has true socialized medicine (the doctors are government employees and the government owns the hospitals). Obamacare (like Romneycare) is neither. We still have private health insurance companies, and they insisted on the individual mandate (originally an idea from conservative think tanks) in order to insure those with pre-existing conditions.
    As for Greece, there is no analogy between their financial situation and ours. Having joined the Euro, Greece has neither a central bank nor its own currency. We of course have both. Greece should have a currency that floats against countries like Germany, just as the dollar floats. Germany has benefited all these years from having a currency that was artificially low because of Euro partners like Greece and Italy. Europe’s economic integration was doomed to fail without further political integration. Here, for example, we direct money to states that need more without complaining because we are one political unit, but Germans won’t pay for Greeks the way New Yorkers pay for Mississippians.
    The Greece thing is just a political scare tactic the GOP is using this election cycle, it has no basis in economics.

    • The Greek healthcare system relates to the US one in Obamacare because although we still have private insurance, the goal is to eventually eliminate it entirely. Whether you believe it or not. As far as comparisons go, Canada and the UK, though their systems differ in ways, are still failing. My point is that any kind of socialized medicine fails because it demands too much from the tax payer and the doctors. And it also encourages laziness, because doctors aren’t paid for quality, only quantity. Third, my main point still stands. Greece overspent like crazy; their corrupt government lived well beyond their means, up to and including healthcare, and now they are paying for it.

    • more soylent green! says:

      You really don’t seem to understand the issue at all. Greece taxes too much and spends too much. The fact that they can’t manipulate their own currency while the USA can doesn’t diminish the problem.

      Sure, the USA can print money, but that just means each dollar we have is decreased in value. What happens to our national credit rating when that happens? What happens to your savings and my savings? Our wages don’t keep up with the devalued money, either. Every time to value of a dollar goes down, my pay doesn’t go up.

  2. Lancealittle says:

    While using the healthcare issue to illustrate your point, the real issue is who can vote for this empty suit in the White House, and it doesn’t take a genius to see that creating a federal bureaucracy as overlord to 1/3 of the American economy is a fatal mistake .. bureaucracy’s are prone to all manner of corruption, and inefficiencies. The bureaucrats have no skin in the game, and government staff is prone to the lowest forms of meddling and suspender stretching by underlings and petty posturing. This would be a disaster. Doctors are already opting out on the idea of having their businesses (and therefor their lives) regulated by cost fixing bureaucrats – WHO HAVE NO SKIN IN THE GAME.

    Obama wants power and he’ll lie, cheat and steal to get it – if he can!

    I’m praying against it.

  3. Frank, congrats on all the traffic to your site. Well done! I’d love to get that kind of traffic some day.

    Anyway, I think the issue with a healthcare systems failure is not whether a system is universal or not, its how efficiently it delivers services to the most amount of people for the least cost. No one would ever set out to create the American health system. When Taiwan created their system (typically ranked best in the world) they looked to the US for what not to do.

    On one side, I could never support single payer or socialized medicine. You are correct that those systems are overly bureaucratic and inefficient. On the other, I would not support a completely free market approach either.

    As a middle of the road approach, I do tend to like the idea of the individual mandate coupled with subsidies for lower earners. Its a conservative plan, thought up by the Heritage Foundation, and brought to the national scene by Newt Gingrich to combat HillaryCare in the 1990’s.

    That being said, ObamaCare has a lot wrong with it. It doesn’t slow healthcare inflation and it doesn’t spread the tax burden inappropriately.

    When it comes to issues like this, I’d like to see you write with a but more nuance about the pros and cons of your ideas. You seem like a smart fellow, and the world is not black and white.

    Cheers!

    Josh

  4. Bill Cushing says:

    Some peripheral thoughts on Greece: I was shocked when first hearing about Greece’s financial/political problems especially as it relates to the end results of the massive socialization that the country had morphed into. This is largely because I have always had the highest regard for the Greeks in terms of their work ethic and self-reliance–two aspects that are antithetical to the results of socialism or any of its offshoots.
    My opinion of Greek workers is because back in the 80s, when I was working as a marine electrician, I latched onto a Greek company out of New York. While we were based in the United States, we might as well have been in Europe since, of a crew of over 200 workers, only about 15 of us were American-born and every owner, supervisor, and foreman was Greek. This gave me a real insight into that nation’s culture, especially in the area of shipbuilding and repair (where they essentially made their national name). While there were some cultural “problems” I experienced (Greeks are extremely chauvanistic in every sense of the word), I always admired their work ethic. They were inventive, dedicated, fast, yet efficient. I have since always said two things: 1. if you want it done quickly and correctly, leave it to a Greek, and 2. a Greek worker never needs either fancy tools or excuses.
    Since seeing rioting in the streets and the subsequent resistance against “austerity” measures in that nation, I have become most disheartened because, simply put, if the Greek workers can become so dependent on government handouts and prizes, no one is immune.

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