Ellis Washington is a former staff editor of the Michigan Law Review and law clerk at the Rutherford Institute. He is a professor of Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, and Contracts at the National Paralegal College, a counselor at the American College of Education, and a founding board member of Salt and Light Global. Washington is a co-host of "Joshua's Trial," a radio show of Christian conservative thought. A graduate of JohnMore ↓Less ↑
Greece is doomed to a swift death now that its socialist cancer has reached critical mass. Socialism always kills. It just kills some countries faster than others.
Did socialism kill Greece? It’s an obvious question as the country that gave us Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Greek Septuagint and Western civilization teeters on the brink of economic catastrophe. Will Greece leave the European Union (EU) and forsake its globalist currency, the euro, and return to the drachma? Most experts think at this point there is a 50/50 chance Greece will. When Greece leaves the EU, will the inevitable economic collapse of the nation lead inexorably to the total collapse of the EU and all of Europe? As Americans, why should we care what happens in Europe? Will the fall of Europe precipitate the economic collapse of the United States since so much of our trade is with nations there?
Conventional wisdom holds that if Greece returns to their former currency, that radical austerity measures would soon follow plunging the Greek economy into a catatonic state. The Greeks’ nearly a month of “statutory holiday allowance” every year, the average retirement ages between 48-55 and their notoriously bloated pensions would almost immediately come to an abrupt end or reduced dramatically, because their currency will be worth about as much as the German mark was during the Weimar Republic (1919-33) – and we all know how that German tragedy turned out That’s right: hyperinflation, needing a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a stale loaf of bread, anarchy in the streets, the rise Hitler, the Nazis, Kristallnacht, the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, World War II and the Holocaust.
I believe that when Greece leaves the EU later this year it will spell the beginning of the end of that vaunted socialist Tower of Babel called European Socialism, and other countries on the brink will follow suit. Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Britain, France and, yes, the country that is keeping this Marxist coalition together, Germany, will eventually collapse, the latter under the weight of supporting the bloated pensions of all the freeloader countries inside the EU.
Greece is what happens eventually to all socialists countries – they run out of other peoples’ money, they collapse – first into ineffective public policy, then societal instability, democracy, socialism, totalitarianism, anarchy, nihilism and eventually death.
Although she put up a valiant effort, in the history of mankind no socialist country has ever had sustained economic growth. Would Greece be the first country to do so? From 1992-2008, Greece had 14 straight years of economic growth, but that is based on the published economic numbers of this corrupt socialist government. There is no independent agency like the U.S. Congressional Budget Office to verify the quality of the information coming out, which is completely dependent on the political party in power.
Here are the facts about Greece, which recently admitted to its primary benefactor, Germany, that for years they cooked the books in order to be admitted into the EU. Today, they have an unemployment rate of 21.8 percent. They spend 31.9 percent of their tax revenues on social programs. They go deeper in debt as the price they pay to borrow money is getting higher and higher. In Greece the tax rate isn’t nearly as progressive as the United States. The lowest income groups that earn less than 5,000 euros pay nothing. The top tax rate (100,000 euros or more) pay 45 percent of all taxes. In America the top 10 percent of income earners pay 71 percent of all federal taxes. The bottom 50 percent of all wage earners in America pay no federal income tax.
So why is Greece in such a financial crisis? Why do other EU nations have to bail Greece out? Socialists will cry that its non-wage-earning population doesn’t pay their “fair share” of taxes. Socialists constantly demagogue “the rich” to feign helping “the poor” while they rant and rave that the professional populations doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes. In Greece tax collectors are easily bought off. But it’s deeper than that. Winston Churchill called socialism the Big Lie of the 20th century. While it promised prosperity, equality and security, it delivered poverty, misery and tyranny. The only equality achieved was that everyone was equal in his or her misery.
In the same way a Ponzi scheme or a pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles, socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human nature and human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: It is a system that ignores natural incentives.
As Greece stands at the precipice of the abyss, democratic socialists throughout Europe and the Obama administration here in America are still screaming that the problem is that the wealthy refuse to pay their “fair share” in taxes. If we can learn anything from this Greek tragedy, it is that Greece demonstrates to the world the intractable hardness of the heart of mankind; that progressives and socialists are so arrogant and their hatred of God, rationalism, market capitalism and common sense so intractable, that all of the hundreds of billions of drachmas and now euros Greece has spent on social welfare programs for the poor, sick and needy since becoming a modern nation in 1947 has only hastened its descent into economic Tartarus.
So, did Marxism, socialism, and cradle-to-grave social welfare programs cause the Greek financial crisis? Absolutely! But socialists will crow that capitalism, tax fraud, corruption and the greedy rich did.
The May 23 headline on the Drudge Report said it all: “The 46-Hour Weekend” and “Greek Euro Exit Shows Hazards in 46-Hour Weekend,” meaning that Greece has about two days, from the end of trading on Wall Street Friday to Monday’s market opening in Wellington, New Zealand, to determine if it will leave the EU.
In a word, socialism did indeed kill the Greek economy and like a malignant cancer will kill the EU and all of Europe – and, if we keep following Obamanomics, socialism will eventually kill America.