Monday, June 20, 2011

From Molehill to Mountain

Greece is a small country with an estimated 11.3 million in population. It's total GDP was about $ 320 billion in 2010. So, why all the hubub. Why can't Greece default on its nearly $ 400 billion national debt? It is not going to be able to pay it and it's debt is growing currently at nearly $ 50 billion annually. With these numbers, why are France and Germany so intent on stepping in and turning a molehill into a mountain.

Politicians are obsessed with fixing things and so long as disaster is unlikely on their watch, they proceed. Obama doesn't have to worry. The US is not likely to go bankrupt within the next four years. Within the next ten years, that's a different story. But, he won't be there then, so what does he care?

Sarcozy and Merkel are obsessed with the same mindset. They don't want disaster on their watch. So, kick the can down the road and set the stage for a far bigger disaster on the next guy's watch. Such statesmanship!

Democracy is a tough game (for the electorate). It is easy to promise and hard to deliver. But you can get elected on a promise and by the time folks find out that you didn't deliver, you've bought your own island somewhere and what do you care. That is the kind of cynicism that permeates the folks who think government can solve all problems. They are not there when disaster strikes.

So, the European Union pushes the car closer to the cliff's edge, thinking it is doing something worthwhile. Only the car is now a bus and has many more passengers and the size of the bus and the number of passengers are growing every day. It is obvious that the bus is headed over the cliff. The only thing we don't know is how big the bus will be when it goes over and how many passengers are going to go with it.