Greece: Spoiled by debt

Europe is bracing for a Greek default as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stubbornly demands that Greece be allowed to keep doing what it's doing.

Xerxes, 300: Rise of an Empire, Warner Brothers Pictures.

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2015 — When the spoiled 30-year-old son of millionaire hedge-fund founder Thomas Gilbert Sr. allegedly shot his father in the head with a .40-caliber Glock semi-automatic handgun, New York authorities said it was over money. Gilbert Sr. cut Junior’s $3,000-a-month allowance by $200.

Some people have an over-developed sense of entitlement.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is like one of those perpetual adolescents, the kind who would see the world burned to a crisp rather than have one penny cut from what they believe is their due. Tsipras’s negotiating antics with his nation’s creditors have roiled international markets of late.

“It is not a matter of ideological stubbornness,” the Euro-leftist insisted to Reuters, “It has to do with democracy.”

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The fig leaf of democracy is insufficient to hide the flaccid inadequacies of collectivist economics. You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip. And Greece can’t seem to squeeze more bailout cash from the Germans or her creditors.

On July 1, Greece will default on its $352.7 billion foreign debt. Some speculate the “cradle of democracy” will impose, as Cyprus did in 2013, capital controls limiting the outflow of cash overseas and the amount Greeks may withdraw from banks to postpone a financial collapse.

With European newspapers playing up the possibility of such capital restrictions, there is likely to be a run on Greek banks, which hold around $46.7 billion in foreign deposits.

Germany’s European Union commissioner said Brussels should “prepare for a state of emergency in Greece, including social unrest and absence of medical supplies in the absence of a deal,” according to Reuters.

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Unable to shoot its creditors in the head, the spoiled Greek government is poised to turn the gun on itself.

“I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” President Obama once said. At the very least, he had the good sense to qualify that rather broad and absurd statement by limiting it to the confines of his mind: “I think …”

This summer, Americans should steal a few moments from the political speeches of politicians vying for their votes with promises of “investments” in bloated government programs or denunciations of opponents railing against the size of our runaway national debt to keep their eyes on Greece. It represents the future return on your “investments.”

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