Monday, May 10, 2010

Greece Fire Singes All

Robert Samuelson writes of The Welfare State's Death Spiral:

"Greece illustrates the bind. To gain loans from other European countries and the International Monetary Fund, it embraced budget austerity. Average pension benefits will be cut 11 percent; wages for government workers will be cut 14 percent; the basic rate for the value added tax will rise from 21 percent to 23 percent. These measures will plunge Greece into a deep recession. In 2009, unemployment was about 9 percent; some economists expect it to peak near 19 percent.

If only a few countries faced these problems, the solution would be easy. Unlucky countries would trim budgets and resume growth by exporting to healthier nations. But developed countries represent about half the world economy; most have overcommitted welfare states. They might defuse the dangers by gradually trimming future benefits in a way that reassured financial markets. In practice, they haven't done that; indeed, President Obama's health program expands benefits. What happens if all these countries are thrust into Greece's situation? One answer -- another worldwide economic collapse -- explains why dawdling is so risky."

So, what do the Obama lovin' mental midgets at the NY Times advise? Common sense, actually. Conservative economic common sense. NYT Tells Greece to Abandon Socialized Medicine.

I wonder what advice the NY Times has for America's most bankrupt state?

Or are we not entitled to that much common sense?
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