It’s All Greek to UsNow he compares Greece and California
In very un-Icelandic fashion, last week protestors in Athens tried to blow up a downtown courthouse. Over a year after the Hellenic meltdown, the Greek newspapers still reflect the popular fury—protests, strikes, senseless violence—at the mandatory cutbacks, the public sector layoffs, and the high-interest needed to attract investors to shaky Greek bonds. And yet amid the furor, 60% of the public still polls in favor of the European Union. How are we to diagnose the drowning non-swimmer who eagerly grasps—and yet hates—the life preserver?
You get the picture:1970s Greece reflected a small southern Balkan population wedded to a siesta lifestyle, on a rocky peninsula in which there was little wealth other than tourism, a poorly developed agriculture, some shipping, and remittances from Greek expatriates in the United States and Germany.
Fast forward to the post-Olympics Greece: five star hotels, 20,000 plus private swimming pools (most of them unreported for tax purposes), half the work force ensconced in cushy government or government-related jobs, Attica dotted with Riviera-like second homes, BMWs more common than Mercedeses, billions of euros worth of new highways, and a new airport and subway system.
Now? Oz is over with and the Greeks are furious at “them.” Furious in the sense that everyone must be blamed except themselves. So they protest and demonstrate that they do not wish to stop borrowing money to sustain a lifestyle that they have not earned—but do not wish to cut ties either with their EU beneficiaries and go it alone as in the 1970s. So they rage against reality.
California Got What It WantedYou will want to real it all. What happens in California usually travels all across the United States in a slow pace. Please don't let it happen here.
The same is true of California. Our elites liked the idea of stopping new gas and oil extraction, shutting down the nuclear power industry, freezing state east-west freeways, strangling the mining and timber industries, cutting off water to agriculture in the Central Valley, diverting revenues from fixing roads and bridges to redistributive entitlements, and praising the new multicultural state that would welcome in half the nation’s 11-15 million illegal aliens. Better yet, the red-state-minded “they” (the nasty upper one-percent who stole from the rest of us due to their grasping but superfluous businesses) began to leave at the rate of 3,000 a week, ensuring the state a Senator Barbara Boxer into her nineties.
And now we are broke. Our infrastructure is crumbling and an embarrassment. My environs is known as “Zimbabwe” or “Appalachia” for its new third-world look that followed from about the highest unemployment and lowest per capita income in the nation. Again, thanks to the deep South, our schools are not quite last in reading and math. So of course, like the Greeks, we are mad at somebody other than ourselves. Californians are desperate for a “them” fix. But who is them? “Them” either left, is leaving, or has been shut down.