Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said yesterday that the European Union had "no reason to exist" if its members were not ready to help a crisis-hit Euro zone country. And how did Italy get in that shape -- free retirements and free health care. The same tune that played in Greece, plays in Italy. Greece debt-to-GDP ratio is projected at 120 percent this year. What about Italy? 117 percent. Spain is next.
Greece, Italy and Spain are clammering for Germany to fund the extravagant lifestyle of Greeks, Italians and Spaniards. German citizens say no.
A similar scenario is soon to play out in the US. California and New York have surrendered their government to the public employee unions whose retirement and health care packages are completely absurd and unaffordable for taxpayers. So, what is the solution? Ask the federal government for a bailout? Typical. Make the taxpayers of other states, who have lived within their means, fund the absurd nonsense and profligacy of California and New York.
All of this is in keeping with the idea that people that make bad decisions should be rewarded and that people that make good decisions should foot the bill for their wayward brethren. This changes everyday incentives, so that no one will have any interest in taking responsibility for themselves. This is the message from Greece, Italy, Spain, California and New York.
The beat goes on.