Folks, see above link. This is a brilliant (if a tad long) article showing the first steps to becoming Greece—-please read the article first and understand that this is not a condemnation of the baby boomers, but i would like you all to think about some difficult issues. If you don’t have time to read the link above, the commentary below may not make much sense.
have you read it? good, read below the fold.
Ask yourself who is to blame in this equation—-the boomer generation who is going to cash out all these benefits, or the politicians who offered these sops to them over the years in order to secure votes and maintain their positions of power and prestige? After all, both parties were acting in their own self interests (politicians kept their cushy jobs and boomers got as much as they could to secure a comfortable retirement).
Along the same vein, who is to blame in the Euro crisis? The profligate Greeks who borrowed WAY more than they ever could pay back in order to finance a lazy Mediterranean lifestyle, or the Germans who lent those fools more money than they ever should have? After all, both parties were acting in THEIR own self interests (Greeks got 6 hour work days, 3 hour breaks, and retirement at 55, Germans saw a sweet rate of return on their loans).
The answer isn’t simple, but here’s my take. No matter how many government agencies are created to prevent things like this from happening (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, European Financial Stability Facility, etc), screw ups persist. Step one, we see a problem; so naturally, we create a bureaucracy to address it, but the problem persists—–Now, we not only STILL HAVE THE ORIGINAL PROBLEM, but an unwieldy bureaucracy on top of it pretending to look like it’s doing something.
Bottom line, no amount of official oversight will ever eliminate what is in essence, an individual responsibility and subsequent decision. That politician individually makes a conscious choice to vote “yes” on free stuff for his constituency. The beneficiary of that stuff individually makes the choice to vote for the guy promising him the world. The German lender at some point in the equation individually made the choice to offer the loan to the Greek sap who obviously didn’t understand math. The Greek sap made the individual choice to sign on the dotted line.
Further, the bigger any bureaucracy gets, the more responsibility is diffused throughout. This results in a system in which no one person is at fault, and fingers can be pointed every which way but inward. Remember though, if you are not responsible, you are by definition irresponsible. Until we understand this as a society, I fear we are headed for some troubled times. I guess my point is toward those that would insist that official authoritative oversight of the highest magnitude is always necessary to prevent moral hazard and societal calamity. I think I just showed the fallacy of that argument.