Failed States Refuse the Cure
What do Detroit, Michigan and Greece have in common? Both are failed governments. Both persist as empty shells because their political special interests continue to be fed by the dying political machine. These dead governments can only fund themselves by massive debt. They feed off of the next generation. Private lenders know these government debts can’t be repaid or will be repaid in inflated currency in the case of Greece. Now, near the end of their political lives, much of their debt is funded by fraudulent self-funding schemes. They have the state pension fund buy state debt so the state has money to pay state pensions. Only a politician could stomach that fraud, and they do.
A few hundred years ago, these failed governments would have been invaded and replaced. Their culture of corruption would have served as another smoldering reminder of failure on the ash heap of history. That was then. Now, in our era of peaceful self governance (sarcasm), our failed governments have found a way to linger and feed their dying political apparatus. Only the well being of their political donors is important to these politicians. That is, after all, the nuts and bolts business of government. It is more important that the political contributions continue than that the citizens prosper. Winning elections is a politician’s bottom line. The business of governance is a side job.
Read here where Greek labor unions go on strike to protest government “austerity” programs. (The Greek budget continues to run a massive deficit.)
Detroit and Greece are only the most prominent examples. Add Chicago, Illinois to the list. If we know one thing about public assistance to the poor, we know that basic public health pays enormous dividends. We know it is better to immunize than to treat the ill. We know it is better to provide dental care than to treat the many complications of malnutrition that follows loosing your teeth. The problem is that government is really about profiting politicians, not about helping the public. Chicago can pay the powerful teacher’s lobby so that each teacher is paid almost as much as a dentist, but that means Chicago no longer has money for dental care for the poor. Sooner or later you run out of other people’s money, and the teachers’ union makes larger political donation than the Illinois Dental Association.
I agree there are worse examples of corruption than rotten teeth. I chose these examples because they are clear, not because they are severe. Please remember these examples the next time you hear that government is the solution. Government is a toothless tiger with bad breath.
All this came to mind when a headhunter asked me if I’d apply for a job in Southern Illinois. I was able to resist the temptation.. easily.
Rob, please give me some feedback.