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Socialists rarely adopt their beliefs on the job. They usually inherit them from their parents or learn them in school. In the case of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, he came to socialism, or rather socialism came to him, through both routes. Greece suffers the consequences.
George Papandreou’s father and grandfather were both socialists and prime ministers of Greece. One who never questioned the ideas of his socialist parents or his socialist professors isn’t going to question why he’s attending an expensive college far from home when he could be attending a school on the state’s drachma in the original seat of Western learning.
Universities are free in socialist Greece. They have been since the year of Papandreou’s graduation from Amherst College in 1975. Despite the guarantee of free schooling in Greece’s 36-year-old Constitution, Papandreou received his master’s in sociology at the London School of Economics in 1977. Tuition alone there today costs about $17,000 a year. If socialism works so well, why pay abroad for what they are giving away at home?
In Greece, higher education that is not state subsidized is forbidden. Private colleges, like the one Greece’s prime minister attended in Amherst, Massachusetts, are illegal. Wealthy Greeks like the country’s socialist leader evade the law by studying abroad. But his subjects are stuck in the higher education monopoly run by the same government that has run Greece into the ground.
The leader of Greece’s Panhellenic Socialist Movement and the president of the Socialist International can’t renounce a society based on freebies and remain in good stead with his fellow socialists. So, instead of genuine austerity measures, he asks for money from neighboring states that will be never paid back. And the neighbors keep giving. The troika—the European Commission, International Monetary Fund, and European Central Bank—is expected to approve an $8 billion loan for November that will allow Greece to fend off default for now. And for when Greece inevitably bails on the bankers, European leaders have discussed a bailout for the bankers following their bailout of Greece. Who will bailout European taxpayers after the deadbeat debtors and discredited creditors get paid?
Greece is to the EU what its citizens are to it: dependents. Greece is addicted to borrowing the way the Greek people are addicted to government spending. One bad habit feeds the other. Despite melodramatic protests over “austerity” measures, government spending is up 7 percent this year. They just can’t give up the socialism, even in the face of the economy-killing debt it has created.
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