Bail Out Europe? How About Stopping the Insanity?

by | Jun 17, 2012 | Europe, WORLD

Many are saying that the United States should bail out European economies. The rationale is self-interest. “If European economies go under, then the U.S. will go with them.” If the U.S. was not making the same kind of mistakes that European economies have been making, this wouldn’t be true. The U.S. would not have a […]

Many are saying that the United States should bail out European economies. The rationale is self-interest. “If European economies go under, then the U.S. will go with them.”

If the U.S. was not making the same kind of mistakes that European economies have been making, this wouldn’t be true. The U.S. would not have a multiple trillion-dollar debt, and it would not be heading towards the same kind of fiscal and currency collapse Europe is now facing.

In such a context, it would be proper and prudent for the U.S. to tell Europe, “Get your act together. We don’t have a bankrupt welfare state like you do. Get rid of your welfare-entitlement state, and stop letting one segment of the population live off the other.”

Of course, the U.S. cannot say this because it isn’t true. The U.S. is on the exact same course as Greece, Spain, the U.K. and other European nations being brought down by the fact of socialists running out of other people’s money. The United States was never as socialist as these other countries, but under Obama especially it has moved decisively in the socialist direction.

To pretend that the U.S. even COULD bail out Europe is to engage in a lie about a lot of things. The biggest lie is that we’re not going bankrupt ourselves. How can a nation 70 percent down the road of total bankruptcy and monetary collapse rescue another nation that is 85 percent down that road? Shouldn’t they be solving their own problems?

To “save” someone implies that you’re not in trouble yourself. A man having a heart attack doesn’t call another man having a heart attack; he calls 911. What incredible denial to even suggest that the U.S. can save anyone, at this point!

It’s a lot like dealing with an alcoholic or a drug addict. Countries like Greece are living on the economic equivalent of skid row. Countries like the United States are functioning, on the surface, but are losing their grip on reality and control over their lives. Countries like Italy and Spain are somewhere in between.

The “addiction” in the metaphor is the compulsion of politicians to spread wealth and debt from those who earn it to those who have the political clout to demand it. This is true whether we’re talking about social welfare programs or subsidies to businesses. It’s all the same:

Politicians stealing (under the pretense of legality) from one segment of society to pay off another.

To suggest that a “functional addict” like the United States should rescue a skid row bum like Greece—or indirectly help Greece by bailing out Spain or Italy, so Spain or Italy in turn can rescue the bum—is absurd. It would actually be humorous, if the very lifeblood of our economic civilization in all of the Western world, including our currencies, weren’t at stake.

Some economists and others will argue about the disaster to follow if the United States doesn’t bail out Europe, or if the U.K and Germany, for example, don’t bail out Greece. These arguments all evade the most important fact: WHY there is a crisis creating a need for a bailout in the first place.

The crisis in Europe, just like the gathering storm in America, is caused by two simple facts. One, the government spends more than the private sector produces, creating a need for unsustainable debt. Two, the private sector is either stagnant or growing too slowly to keep up with the demand required for more and more government welfare programs all the time.

Put simply: Economic growth is 0, 1 or maybe 2 percent a year; demand for more socialized medicine, more pension programs, more corporate and social welfare is quite literally unlimited. Why isn’t the private sector growing? Too many taxes, too many regulations, too much government in the way. Yet socialist and other left-leaning governments only increase their grip on the means of production.

To “bail out” someone without addressing or even acknowledging the cause of the problem would be like an alcoholic relative agreeing to pay the mortgage or groceries of a heroin-addicted relative. The alcoholic will say, “I have to pay his mortgage. Otherwise he’ll soon be homeless.” The drug addiction is ignored, or treated like something over which the person with the addiction has no control. The alcoholic likes it this way, because it means not facing up to his own problems.

The suppliers or “pimps” are the politicians who keep creating more debt and spreading all the remaining wealth around. They get none of the blame, other than for perhaps being not competent enough to keep the charade going indefinitely.

People don’t know who to blame, so they blame the remaining people who still have money. “You’re rich! It’s all your fault for being so greedy and selfish,” the majority scream, by electing socialists in places like Britain, France and Greece—and in 2008, in America as well. Obama’s entire reelection theme is class warfare. “You’re suffering and it’s all because some people are rich.”

If sophisticated aliens landed on earth today, they would scratch their extraterrestrial heads in amazement. “What’s with these people? Their technology is so advanced, but their social and economic relationships are barbaric. Can’t they see the numbers don’t add up? They’re expanding their debt exponentially, screaming for more instead of getting rid of the problem in the first place.”

The problem is that governments throughout the Western world are doing things they should not be doing, and no longer CAN do because they’re beyond bankrupt. For decades, governments violated individuals’ moral right not to have others live off of them. Moral bankruptcy eventually gave way to fiscal bankruptcy. That’s what the European — and American — debt crisis is really all about.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at:

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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