Greece Is the Way
I’d been intending to highlight Ed Achorn’s column from last week, anyway, but it’s got special significance for me, after Saturday’s vote in Tiverton:
See if any of this sounds familiar.
In Greece, politicians have duped voters into believing that it is compassionate to run up massive debts, fund unsustainable social programs, punish the work ethic and job creation, and give away the store to public-employee unions (with higher wages, better benefits and earlier, more generous retirements than those available to most in the private sector). …
Still, thanks to a sufficient number of voters who pay little in taxes, get handouts, and/or have friends or relatives in government to protect, its politicians have gotten away with this behavior for quite some time.
Ed’s focus is on Rhode Island, as a state, but the same characteristic philosophy resides in the cities and towns, to varying degrees. Some of the people who voted for a 7.88% minimum tax increase, in Tiverton, were parents riled by the threats of the School Committee, but most were teachers themselves or the family and friends of union members. Fill in the remainder with residents who enjoy what they perceive as free services and others who just resent having people who’ve lived here for only a decade or two deign to offer suggestions.
It’s difficult to see what could turn the ship around.