Tag Archives: Greedy

Real greed is when adults force children to give them a bailout from debt

This is a must-read by Mark Steyn.


While President Obama was making his latest pitch for a brand new, even more unsustainable entitlement at the health care “summit,” thousands of Greeks took to the streets to riot. An enterprising cable network might have shown the two scenes on a continuous split screen – because they’re part of the same story. It’s just that Greece is a little further along in the plot: They’re at the point where the canoe is about to plunge over the falls. America is further upstream and can still pull for shore, but has decided instead that what it needs to do is catch up with the Greek canoe. Chapter One (the introduction of unsustainable entitlements) leads eventually to Chapter 20 (total societal collapse): The Greeks are at Chapter 17 or 18.

What’s happening in the developed world today isn’t so very hard to understand: The 20th century Bismarckian welfare state has run out of people to stick it to. In America, the feckless insatiable boobs in Washington, Sacramento, Albany and elsewhere are screwing over our kids and grandkids. In Europe, they’ve reached the next stage in social democratic evolution: There are no kids or grandkids to screw over. The United States has a fertility rate of around 2.1, or just over two kids per couple. Greece has a fertility rate of about 1.3: 10 grandparents have six kids have four grandkids – i.e., the family tree is upside down. Demographers call 1.3 “lowest-low” fertility – the point from which no society has ever recovered. And compared to Spain and Italy, Greece has the least worst fertility rate in Mediterranean Europe.

So you can’t borrow against the future because, in the most basic sense, you don’t have one. Greeks in the public sector retire at 58, which sounds great. But, when 10 grandparents have four grandchildren, who pays for you to spend the last third of your adult life loafing around?

By the way, you don’t have to go to Greece to experience Greek-style retirement: The Athenian “public service” of California has been metaphorically face-down in the ouzo for a generation. Still, America as a whole is not yet Greece. A couple of years ago, when I wrote my book “America Alone,” I put the Social Security debate in a bit of perspective: On 2005 figures, projected public pensions liabilities were expected to rise by 2040 to about 6.8 percent of GDP. In Greece, the figure was 25 percent. In other words, head for the hills, Armageddon, outta here, The End. Since then, the situation has worsened in both countries. And really the comparison is academic: Whereas America still has a choice, Greece isn’t going to have a 2040 – not without a massive shot of Reality Juice.

Is that likely to happen? At such moments, I like to modify Gerald Ford. When seeking to ingratiate himself with conservative audiences, President Ford liked to say: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” Which is true enough. But there’s an intermediate stage: A government big enough to give you everything you want isn’t big enough to get you to give any of it back. That’s the point Greece is at. Its socialist government has been forced into supporting a package of austerity measures. The Greek people’s response is: Nuts to that. Public sector workers have succeeded in redefining time itself: Every year, they receive 14 monthly payments. You do the math. And for about seven months’ work – for many of them the workday ends at 2:30 p.m. When they retire, they get 14 monthly pension payments. In other words: Economic reality is not my problem. I want my benefits. And, if it bankrupts the entire state a generation from now, who cares as long as they keep the checks coming until I croak?

We hard-hearted, small-government guys are often damned as selfish types who care nothing for the general welfare. But, as the Greek protests make plain, nothing makes an individual more selfish than the socially equitable communitarianism of big government. Once a chap’s enjoying the fruits of government health care, government-paid vacation, government-funded early retirement, and all the rest, he couldn’t give a hoot about the general societal interest. He’s got his, and to hell with everyone else. People’s sense of entitlement endures long after the entitlement has ceased to make sense.

The perfect spokesman for the entitlement mentality is the deputy prime minister of Greece. The European Union has concluded that the Greek government’s austerity measures are insufficient and, as a condition of bailout, has demanded something more robust. Greece is no longer a sovereign state: It’s General Motors, and the EU is Washington, and the Greek electorate is happy to play the part of the United Auto Workers – everything’s on the table except anything that would actually make a difference. In practice, because Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland are also on the brink of the abyss, a “European” bailout will be paid for by Germany. So the aforementioned Greek deputy prime minister, Theodoros Pangalos, has denounced the conditions of the EU deal on the grounds that the Germans stole all the bullion from the Bank of Greece during the Second World War. Welfare always breeds contempt, in nations as much as inner-city housing projects. How dare you tell us how to live! Just give us your money and push off.

This is the real character of people who avoid having to care about producing goods and services to please customers – people who join public sector unions and work for the government. They elect candidates who will provide them with a standard of living much higher than what they can produce by their own efforts, and pass the bill down to real workers in the private sector, or worse, workers who are not even born. It’s a shame. It’s a shame that parasites should enslave children who are not yet born so that they can have a standard of living they haven’t paid for. And it’s laughable that they impugn the character of productive private sector workers and business owners by talking about “Greed”. The parasites in the public sector unions are the greedy ones. What could be more greedy than intergenerational theft?

What causes rich Democrats to lay off Americans and ship jobs overseas?

First off, I spotted this American Spectator story by Robert Stacy McCain on The Other McCain.


California Democrat Rep. Jane Harman’s family business is laying off American workers – including engineering employees in California – and shifting jobs overseas.

A letter from the human resources director of one Harman company, obtained exclusively by The American Spectator, describes a “permanent” layoff of dozens of California workers that went into effect last week.

[…]Harman is the third-richest member of Congress, and her net worth increased last year $40 million, according to a study of Federal Election Commission records conducted by The Hill newspaper. Her husband, Sidney Harman, founded Harman International Industries, which was valued in 2007 at about $8 billion.

[…]By May 2009, the company had already slashed its U.S. workforce by 900 and expected to make more than a thousand more layoffs by mid-2010, according to a Saturday Evening Post article that noted: “[W]hile shutting down U.S. facilities, Harman was simultaneously opening factories in China and India, as well as massive multimedia outlets in Dubai and New Delhi.”

She’s a rich Democrat… and she is shipping American jobs overseas? Why???

Well, California is an anti-business state and it’s run by socialist Democrats who hate businesses and capitalism. (H/T ECM)

But what about other countries? Why do they ship jobs overseas?

Look what is happening in New Zealand with the new Hobbit movie. (H/T Anon)


At least half a dozen countries, including Australia, are lobbying to win the right to film The Hobbit and Hollywood accountants are now doing the numbers of rival offers, the movie’s co-producer and co-writer Phillipa Boyens says.

The $US150 million Sir Peter Jackson blockbuster has been mired in an industrial dispute in recent weeks, following complaints from a group of international labour unions over poor on-set working conditions for actors.

Jackson, who strenuously denies the claims, has accused the Australian-based Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance of bullying to gain control over the production, which he says may be forced out of New Zealand.

Boyens told New Zealand’s National Radio’s Nine to Noon programme the movie was ready to begin filming in January but has now been thrown in turmoil by the actors’ boycott.

She said New Zealand Actors’ Equity seemed to believe the whole thing was a bluff.

“I am concerned over some of the statements made… by New Zealand Equity that there is still a misunderstanding on the seriousness of what is involved here and what is at stake,” she said.

“That is very real and that has put at risk the livelihood of countless thousand New Zealand industry workers,” she said.

Scotland, Ireland, Canada and Eastern European countries had entered the negotiations in a “feeding frenzy” inspired by the threat of union action.

And it’s not just left-wing anti-capitalist governments and unions that cause outsourcing and shipping jobs overseas.

It’s the uncertainty caused by massive spending, constant interventions, anti-business regulations, the appointment of radical anti-capitalists and judicial activists to positions of power.

Here’s a story from Reuters.


Tough budget measures to keep its international bailout on track have helped prompt thousands of Romanian companies to relocate to neighboring Bulgaria, where lower taxes and more stable regulations offer an easier place to do business.

Bulgaria has corporate and income tax on profits of just 10 percent, compared with Romania’s 16 percent, and now also has lower value added tax after Bucharest hiked its rate as part of efforts to meet the conditions of a 20 billion euro EU/IMF bailout.

Sofia has also cut red tape and initial capital for setting up a company is now 2 levs ($1.39), compared with a previous 5,000 levs and 200 lei ($63.55) in Romania. It takes less than a week, almost half the time needed in Romania.

That may seem like small beer, but business people say the speed of the changes forced by the bailout and uncertainty over future cuts in Romania have encouraged them to move base.

Bulgarian authorities have not released precise data, but local media report up to 2,500 Romanian companies have set up there already and another two are registering daily in the border city of Ruse alone.

“Romanian legislation and taxation are changing from one day to another. So how can I have any guarantee, any certainty if I open a company here?” said 23-year-old Bogdan Popescu from Bucharest, who wants to open an online television business.

“I could as well wake up with a 40 percent income tax tomorrow (instead of 16 at present),” said Popescu, who plans to put his headquarters in Bulgaria. “The present fiscal legislation is in no way a stimulus.”

The two Balkan countries share a long border and though links can be complicated — only one bridge connects the states along a 470 kilometer (294 miles) stretch of the Danube — companies can set up a paper headquarters but still effectively run operations from Romania.

Both suffered deep and painful recession after 2008’s financial crisis, but while Romania is having to cut spending and raise taxes, Bulgaria previously ran large fiscal surpluses and has enough reserves to keep taxes low despite dwindling revenues.

Whenever government and their union supporters make life difficult for businesses, the businesses leave. Governments and unions ship jobs overseas. Governments and unions outsource jobs to other countries. Businesses just dance the the tune that governments and unions play. It’s no use complaining about big corporations and rich greedy executives. If you want a job then you promote the conditions that will attract businesses. Left-wing unions, left-wing political parties, left-wing news media and left-wing judges attack businesses, and that’s why unemployment goes higher.

And businesses know that massive government spending is going to require higher taxes or printing more money to that will devalue savings. They are not going to expand in banana republic economies like the United States until we vote a large enough number of Democrats out of all three branches of the federal government.

What I resent is when rich Democrats create the legal conditions that require companies to outsource and then complaining about outsourcing while engaging in outsourcing themselves. That’s hypocrisy.