Disappearing in a cloud of Athenian tear gas
They’re rioting in Greece because decades of welfarism has proved unaffordable.
They thought the post-war experiment with the welfare state guaranteed every Greek a living at every other Greek’s expense. Now they’re learning otherwise.
They thought their membership in the EU’s monetary union guaranteed Greece a living at Germany’s expense. Now they’re learning that was never possible.
They thought that a policy of borrow and spend would work forever—spending based not on necessities of production but on the siren-song of “need,” and borrowing based on an ever-expanding pyramid plan of debt.
It won’t. It can’t. It isn’t. The bill is finally being presented, and the post-war welfare-state experiment that supposedly guaranteed everyone a living at everyone else’s expense is revealed for what it is: as unaffordable as cancer, and as destructive. For Greece as for every other welfare state.
“The state,” as Bastiat once said, “is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at everyone else’s expense.” The fiction is now disappearing in a cloud of Athenian tear gas.
The biggest clusterfuck in modern European history was as unavoidable as the collapse of welfarism will be in every other place—and a first taste of what it will be like when the reality hits home in every place, either with or without riots, that the welfare state experiment is unaffordable. That borrow and spend is over. That mortgaging your grandchildren’s future to pay for your welfare state today will impoverish their generation, and eventually bankrupt this one too.
And that lesson goes for us as well.
How long do you think we can continue borrowing a third-of-a-billion a week to fund middle-class welfare, especially when bond yields start turning—as they can do overnight.