Thursday, May 6, 2010

Storm in a glass of water?

Greece and the EU are on everybody’s mind right now. Greece seems to be the spoiled kid of Europe who never saved, always borrowed from the older ‘kids’ and then doesn’t pay back. The Greek people are angry and demonstrating refusing to cut back their too generous social system. How would you feel if you were a Greek Senior who saw his/her pension payments cut back? How would you feel if you’re a retired GM worker and your pension is about to go down the drain?
Of course you would be angry. Of course you would put city hall on fire or go after whomever else you could possibly blame but yourself. We are the ones that elect our governments - at least when you live in a ‘democracy’ which is by the way a Greek invention. Whom do we elect? The ones who are competent and tell us the way things are? Are you kidding me?

We elect the ones who promise us to do what we want. We of course never want to pay more taxes, we always blame the other political parties for what is wrong with our country; we’re cynical about our leaders and system and call everybody else corrupt. Then we vote for the lowest taxes, we blame the rich and tax them out our country, we want the best social system no money of ours can buy and when all is said and done, it is the darn banks that foreclose on our houses and the damn capitalists who caused the financial crises and we blame everone for all the trouble we caused by our own choices. But it is not our fault. It is the greedy banker, big oil, and corrupt government, the Russians, Rasputin and Santa Clause who are the cause of our problems. Personally, I do not blame anyone other than of course Arnold Schwarzenegger. We all know he is the real cause!

So now that Greece is in trouble, we’re getting scared and point also at Spain and Italy and... the Queen in the U.K. Gosh maybe the whole of Europe will default – them and their juicy social welfare programs! We in North America would never do that! Well... other than universal health care (the system where you get everything for fee while waiting... and waiting) and Canada Pension (which nobody can afford and is like an eternal Ponzi Scheme) and E.I. whose surplus was used by the Liberals to whitewash our deficit. And after having gloated about our wise banking system which for a change did not collapse in 2008, we can look south to the ruins of U.S. real estate and their enormous government debt – God are those Americans dumb!

Reality is, that if we do not learn to manage our personal finances; if we do not learn to rely on our own first rather than expecting a bail out from the nanny state; if we do not think about the consequences of our voting behaviour, we will stay stuck in this world of problems and misery. We end up blaming others for problems we ourselves have created and blaming will not solve our problems. In fact, we are so similar to our immature teenage kids, it is shocking. But aren’t we the grown-ups?

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