“Greece is the Word, is the Word, is the Word…”

Some of us, here on BHB and elsewhere, have been arguing that a collapse is coming.  A financial collapse due to the almost incomprehensibly fraudulent practices of the local, state and federal governments.  A fraud so immense that most of us can’t even begin to wrap our minds around it.  In my home state of California, just to give one example, people still discuss the budget deficit of $19,000,000,000 to $25,000,000,000 depending on who’s talking.  (Yes, those numbers are in billions.)  They do that to avoid discussing the unfunded liabilities that are now well over $500,000,000,000.  Yes, that is $500 billion.  No, no other state is even within a factor of that.  Yes, that means the state of California is completely lost; there is no possible way back to solvency.  This ends with a massive federal bailout and/or bankruptcy.

My point here is not California, because California’s problems are dwarfed by the massive theft and malfeasance that has happended on the federal watch.  I mention them only by way of example, and in that California best portends what’s happening.  What’s interesting, but not at all surprising, is that California does not portend what’s to come.  For a glimpse through that window we can look to Wisconsin.  Today.  Why there?  Why not California?  Simple: there’s no pain in the Golden State… yet.  The good people here continue to elect politicians based on the size of their promises.  So, while the 8th largest economy in the world burns to the ground, no one seems to notice because nothing is being done about it.  In Wisconsin, on the other hand, (where the budget deficit is only $3.1 billion) the Governor has set out to make some changes and all hell is breaking loose.  Chief among these changes is to rid the state of the absurd concept of collective bargaining for state workers, which is nothing more than institutionalized bribery. Imagine a situation where the owners of a company – those in charge of employee pay and benefits – owe their position to the workers of the company!

Union Rep: “What we want is a pay raise and greater benefits.  If you give us those, we will support your legislation to pass the costs on to future generations 20 or 30 years hence AND, more importantly, we’ll support you for re-election.”

State Government Rep: “Boy, it sure makes sense that you guys are union.  Please make my re-election campaign check out to…”

Take a look at the footage coming out of these Wisconsin protests.  Lots of Hitler and Mubarak comparisons to the Governor.  But that’s not the comparison I see.  I’m thinking Greece.  You remember Greece, right?  The riots, the murders, the moral outrage by unionized workers who might actually have to shoulder some responsibility for a crashing economy?  Didn’t think that would happen here?  Too civilized?  Too democratic?  Too …?  What?  It’s coming here.  Wisconsin is just a little precurser.  Wait until California begins its death slide.  Worse yet, wait until the dollar collapses…. (Oh yeah, that’s coming too.  I’m certainly not the first person here to say that, and I won’t be the last. But the dollar will collapse.  Our debt levels aren’t recoverable and even still they’re spending.  The fed has not only monetized the whole shootin’ match, but they’ve been spending dollars they printed on their own, without even telling anyone.  What other alternative is even remotely possible?)

Look at the numbers at the top of this article.  Click on the links and do your own research.  Then come back and suggest a rational path out… I’ll just wait here, watching the protestors in Wisconsin go 3-alarm nuts because they might, over the long term, stop being paid more than they could ever possibly earn in the private sector doing the same work.

“Greece is the word, is the word, is the word… ” or maybe I’m thinking of the wrong song.  Maybe it should be – progressive to free marketeer – “It’s your money I want (your money I want), ooh, ooh, ooh…”

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