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Twilight of the West
National Review ^ | 2 June 2012 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 06/04/2012 8:07:12 AM PDT by CharlesMartelsGhost

...One of the bizarre aspects of media coverage since 2008 is the complacent assumption that what’s happening is “cyclical” — a downturn that will eventually correct itself — rather than profoundly structural. Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, found herself skewered like souvlaki on a Thessaloniki grill for suggesting the other day that the Greeks are a race of tax evaders. She’s right. Compared to Germans, your average Athenian has a noticeable aversion to declaring income. But that’s easy for her to say: Mme. Lagarde’s half-million-dollar remuneration from the IMF is tax-free, just a routine perk of the new transnational governing class. And, in the end, whether your broke European state has reasonably efficient tax collectors like the French or incompetent ones like the Greeks is relatively peripheral.

In the twilight of the West, America and Europe are still different but only to this extent: They’ve wound up taking separate paths to the same destination. Whether you get there via an artificial common currency for an invented pseudo-jurisdiction or through quantitative easing and the global decline of the dollar, whether you spend your final years in the care of Medicare or the National Health Service death panels, whether higher education is just another stage of cradle-to-grave welfare or you have a trillion dollars’ worth of personal college debt, in 2012 the advanced Western social-democratic citizen looks pretty similar, whether viewed from Greece or Germany, California or Quebec.

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
That’s to say, the unsustainable “bubble” is not student debt or subprime mortgages or anything else. The bubble is us, and the assumptions of entitlement. Too many citizens of advanced Western democracies live a life they have not earned, and are not willing to earn. Indeed, much of our present fiscal woe derives from two phases of human existence that are entirely the invention of the modern world. Once upon a time, you were a kid till you were 13 or so; then you worked; then you died. That bit between childhood and death has been chewed away at both ends. We invented something called “adolescence” that now extends not merely through the teenage years but through a desultory half decade of Whatever Studies at Complacency U up till you’re 26 and no longer eligible for coverage on your parents’ health-insurance policy. At the other end of the spectrum, we introduced something called “retirement” that, in the space of two generations, has led to the presumption that able-bodied citizens are entitled to spend the last couple of decades, or one-third of their adult lives, as a long holiday weekend.
1 posted on 06/04/2012 8:07:15 AM PDT by CharlesMartelsGhost
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To: CharlesMartelsGhost

“One of the bizarre aspects of media coverage since 2008 is the complacent assumption that what’s happening is “cyclical””

Had a former boss do that in July, 2008, after I advused another coworker not to purchase a home because I had been predicting a housing crash and a bankrupt America since the first month of 2006.

And then August and September, 2008 came around.


2 posted on 06/04/2012 8:17:11 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: CharlesMartelsGhost

Excellent. You cannot have a functioning society in which everyone lives at the expense of everyone else.


3 posted on 06/04/2012 8:26:22 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: CharlesMartelsGhost; sickoflibs; blam
Europe itself is very much like an orchestra. The Greek fiddlers and the Italian wind players all sit together, playing cards in the dressing room,waiting for the German guy to show up with their checks.

ping

4 posted on 06/04/2012 9:20:17 AM PDT by GOPJ ( "A Dog In Every Pot" - freeper ETL)
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To: CharlesMartelsGhost

Gotterdamerung vor da vest! Ja ve are wery close meine fruends!


5 posted on 06/04/2012 9:28:32 AM PDT by crazydad
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To: CharlesMartelsGhost

econ bump for later.....


6 posted on 06/04/2012 9:30:14 AM PDT by indthkr
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To: GOPJ; CharlesMartelsGhost; blam

The Germans were part of the problem too because they wanted those countries in the EU so they could export to them and so they ignored how bad their finances were to let them in and loan them Euros, much like the banks and bad loans here. Now there is no good way out for any of them.


7 posted on 06/04/2012 9:36:00 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Romney is a liberal. Just watch him closely try to screw us.)
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To: sickoflibs

You’re right, sick - in the short run they were all getting something. All of ‘em. In the long run, they’ve earned a disaster... but that’s a future story...


8 posted on 06/04/2012 7:55:57 PM PDT by GOPJ ( "A Dog In Every Pot" - freeper ETL)
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