Saturday, March 26, 2011

Challenging Reality

What do we want?
Everything we've got coming to us!
What have we earned?
Not much!
When do we want it?

Half a million Britons decided today would be a wonderful day to take a stroll through London and let the government know that they didn't appreciate it lessening its practice of taking money from the productive members of society and redistributing it to those who may or may not work for it.  Along the way, some of them thought it would be fun to vandalize businesses and make a nuisance of themselves.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber told the rally, "We are here to send a message to the government that we are strong and united. We will fight the savage cuts and we will not let them destroy peoples' services, jobs and lives."
While I'm not a British subject, and honestly I have no idea what the traditional role the British government has played in the lives of its subjects, I honestly believe that the amount of social intervention on the part of the government in Great Britain is unprecedented in the history of that ancient country, and cannot be sustained much longer.  My gut tells me that it's not really the government's job to provide services and jobs.  Maybe an argument can be made that the government bears some responsibility for protecting its subjects lives, but probably not in the manner that Mr. Barber means.

Over on our side of the big water, we're also seeing some of these rumblings, as evidenced by the raucous demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin, and other state capitols where governors are realizing that there just aren't enough drops left in the lemon to keep paying off the masses.  

The reality that there is a finite amount of money in a healthy economy, and even less in an unhealthy economy is starting to sink in.  Middle-class people who are having to tighten their belts in order to make sure the lights stay on and the mortgage gets paid are becoming less and less sympathetic towards those who don't think they should feel the same pain while taking money from the public coffers.  So while the ants try to shrink the public budget as much as they shrink their personal budgets, the grasshoppers will continue to complain shrilly and make a general nuisance of themselves.

My gut feeling is that there will be a lot of these stories over the summer.  Those who do not want to accept reality will continue to make it hard for the rest of us to get on with what must be done.

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