Once again, for reasons I don’t fully understand, I found myself watching FOX. Maybe in this era I like to see what the other side is talking about because it helps me cross-check my occasionally naive belief that things are going so well, but whatever the reason I was sitting around checking out the Murdochian News Network.
Topic du jour was the oil spill, and in the midst of discussing the federal government’s this-and-thats, some blonde woman whose name escapes me segued into the economic collapse in Greece, and started yammering on about how that situation is a warning sign about the dangers of European social democracy, that we need to get the public sector out of health care, etc.
It was at this point that blood shot out of my eyes.
Look, I’m a huge proponent of looking across the sea for either good ideas or reasons to avoid bad ones, but if that’s the plan then you’re going to have to apply it across the board. One of the worst parts of the whole Greek explosion (aside from the obvious) is that it gave Foxian talking heads years of ammunition whenever they feel like howling about how terrible European-style government works.
Of course, anyone who takes that tack isn’t going to look over at the few dozen other Euro nations that are doing just fine with a more heavily socialized system, or even straight up north to Canada where the guy that implemented universal health care was voted Most Kickass Dude in the Universe, no. It’s just the one where things happened to go wrong.
For that matter, they don’t even mention that it wasn’t simply “social democracy” that blew up Greece. Rather, completely unrestrained spending and false budget statistics helped build the economy into a house of cards that got knocked over when the global economic crisis wafted its way over there. Not only that, but if they want to point at Greece as a fine example of anything, they might want to note that in order to fix the economy, they’re raising taxes, a strategy that most of these Foxish heads would never endorse if they want to keep their careers.
Again, I have no problem with taking cues from the world, but if yer gonna do that, fucking do it. Don’t pick and choose. I’m more than happy to acknowledge that Greece can teach us some lessons, but that sure as hell doesn’t counterbalance the rest of the damn continent.