Saturday, November 22, 2008

Waltzing on the Titanic

By Larrey Anderson

America's young people helped elect Barack Obama. Way to go kids! This article is for you. Let's take a look at your future.

We won't need a time machine. We will just need to visit Europe and talk to the youth of France, Italy, and Greece. Don't worry. They won't mind. They have plenty of time to talk. They don't have jobs.

Young people in Western Europe tend to sit around, smoke Marlboro cigarettes, drink espresso (and Coca Cola), and (at least until this election) bitch about America.

They have been taught, since their first day in school, that capitalism is evil -- that the government can, and should, provide health care, employment, and eventually, guaranteed retirement benefits for everyone.

In their leisurely conversations when they have finished condemning capitalism, they go on to praise the idea of socialism. They do not praise their own countries. They are not stupid. The health care stinks. (Young people don't care much about that.) There are no jobs. (But there are unemployment benefits.) And the retirement systems are bankrupt. (But old age is way, way, way in the future.)

So, they argue, in the next election they are going to replace the loser socialists who currently run their countries with some real socialists -- politicians who will finally keep their promises. I heard this discussion in France thirty years ago. I heard it the last time I was in Italy. It is taking place in Greece right now.

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