It has always felt as though the United States was behind the times.  We would get our fashion second hand from France and Italy.  Our cars were one step behind Germany and Britain.  But it is a strange twist that we are ten years behind Greece in economics.  That’s right, as the Greeks recover from one of their worst economic crises ever; we seem to be headed down the same street.  Our leaders have fooled us into believing that the check never comes due.

The Greeks lived life to the fullest before 2008, when the euro zone was rocked by the Greeks debt crisis.  They had high employment, large entitlements, government subsidized health care, and fat unsustainable pensions.  Most companies were owned and operated by the government and when they hit the wall there was massive layoffs, sky rocketing taxes, and massive pay cuts.  The Greeks took to the streets.  They thought that the bill would never come due; therefore let’s eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.

Three years later Greece and their conservative party has begun to take measures (forced on them by Germany and others), to recover.  These efforts are moving slowly but they are actually projecting some substance of reverse in the contraction of their economy.  The Finance Minister Yannis Sournaras is hoping to see a decline in the 26.8 percent unemployment, but has little hope in that since the contraction in the GDP is not expected to stop in 2013.  The Greek GDP is predicted to decline another 4.5 percent before making a rebound of 0.4 to end the year.  There is good news for Greece, which I detail here.  What can we learn from Greece?

Well, no matter what our politicians tell us, we cannot spend or even hire our way out of this crisis.  Adding government jobs which add no GDP will only enlarge our national debt and create another bubble.  Large entitlements and government buyouts of industry are not fiscally sound policy.  Printing massive amounts of money only serves to devalue that money.  All that we see Greece did and we are doing essentially is a means of wealth transfer; or as the Bible calls it, “theft.”  I hope we are paying attention.

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