Sep 08

I Know I Cheated On You, But I Still Want the Goodies You Promised

I Know I Cheated On You, but I Still Want the Goodies You Promised

Andrew Genesius

having both on a benchMy friend is not a wise man. He is a sensual soul who often follows his heart, rather than his head. This has recently led him into a very compromising position when he broke his vow to be faithful. Suffice it to say, the other vow holder was not amused by his amusements.

Most men being caught in blatant violation of their promise, would beg for forgiveness, throw themselves on the floor, and promise it would never happen again. My friend decided to take a different approach. He said he enjoyed what he was doing, had no intention to stop cheating, and expected his partner to continue to faithfully give him all the goodies that were originally promised to him. The unfaithful cad expected fidelity from his partner while he engaged in infidelity.

Most readers would be appalled by such cavalier and brazen behavior, which is exactly how Germany felt when my friend Greece demanded that more money be loaned to them; even though, Greece had not followed their previous commitments with the European Union (EU) to make necessary spending cuts and loan repayments. Greece wanted to be unfaithful to their vow of paying back Germany and the rest of the EU; while at the same time, they requested the EU to lend them more money. Greece wants to eat their cake and the EU’s cake too.

After being spurned by Greece, Germany, the primary lender to Greece in the EU, is a bit bitter, but they are willing to put the past behind them and work on their relationship with Greece. All Germany asks is that Greece stop spending money they do not have; do not buy a Lamborghini when one cannot afford a Fiat.

The majority of Greek citizens respond to Germany’s request with a resounding no and a little bit of rioting. Most Greeks refuse to make any significant spending cuts. They claim Germany is being unfair and mean. Such austerity is simply too much, cry the people of Greece, but is their claim of cruelty credible?  Is Germany being heartless with their demands, are they seeking revenge as a jilted lover, or is Germany just being honest with a friend who has a serious self-control issue?

A simple look at Greece’s checkbook allows one to see that Greece does have a few problems with fiscal restraint. The Greek retirement age is one such example. People are entering into the retirement pension system too early and leaving too late. In Greece, worker can retire at age 45, and over 200,000 deceased Greeks continue to receive pensions after their death. This is a significant problem with Greece’s aging population, because there are now only four workers for every three pensioners. This has resulted in over half of the pension coming directly from the state budget. Such a system is completely unsustainable. Cuts in spending have to be made if Greece is ever to recover, but the Greek people, living and dead, prefer to continue digging a deeper hole by maintaining their generous benefits.

Greece’s plan is to continue to spend, continue to borrow, and not repay Germany, which is an incredibly stupid plan. First, Germany and the rest of the EU will not provide them with money indefinitely. When the loan money runs out, Greece is going to be in an even bigger hole than when they started if they do not stop their out of control spending. Second, stiffing Germany with the bill is not a wise move. Germany started World War I and II and could easily crush Greece without batting an eye. If you are not going to pay a country back, pick Switzerland, but not Germany. If the Swiss are mad at you, your country goes without chocolates and watches. If Germany is mad at you, they invade your country.

Greece is asking for the moon and offering bubkis in return. Greek politicians are starting to come around to the reality that austerity must occur, but many of the Greek people need to come to this realization as well. The socialist policies in Greece have led to debt and despair. The Greek people need to spend less or at least start paying their taxes.


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