Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Conservative View: Déjà Vu

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Déjà Vu

Déjà vu is the feeling that we have been somewhere before. One of our greatest abilities is to learn from our mistakes. If we are smart, we will learn from the mistakes of other people that have had the same problem. Sadly we know this, but far too often we choose to ignore common sense and go down the path that will ultimately lead to problems that could have been avoided. Over the past few days there have been financial troubles that are causing ripples across the world.

Those problems have originated in the nation of Greece. No longer are investors just losing boatloads of money, people are starting to lose their lives! I have found that we humans love our material possessions, and whenever anything or anyone threatens those possessions chaos isn’t very far behind. Everyone from air traffic controllers to teachers left their posts. Tens of thousands of protestors hit the streets, hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails. There were several deaths reported due to the unrest in Athens alone. The European Union and the International Monetary Fund have pledged 143 billion dollars to bailout Greece but they are demanding concessions such as slashing public sector wages, freezing pensions and boosting taxes.

The Greeks don't want to see their wages, salaries, and standard of living collapse. And they're stark raving mad; especially because the measures are being crammed down their throats at a time when unemployment is already running at a six-year high of 11.3 percent. The problems in Greece stem from a simple fact: The country lived way beyond its means for far too long! Politicians borrowed and spent like mad, assuming the day of reckoning would never come. The major cause of the problem in Greece was caused by interest rates taking huge jumps.

Our government has manipulated interests for a long time in this country to keep them low; with all of the deficits in our national budget we could be facing similar problems in this country. If Greece had tried to get its house in order before interest rates surged, it probably would have avoided the disaster unfolding before our eyes.

The path that the Greeks took sounds a whole lot like the path that our leaders have taken. I hope that we can avoid the feeling of Déjà vu and the problems the Greeks are experiencing. We Americans are not that much different than the people of Greece. I do not want to see riots in our cities because of a government failing to put common sense ahead of deficit spending.
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