by Ed Farnan –
Spain and many of its European neighbors are coming face to face with the realities of paying for a utopian nanny state, aka: socialism.
With 190 billion in staggering debt, Spain is being forced to make economic decisions that make sense in order to continue on without suffering economic collapse. One of those decisions is to start to privatize their government-run healthcare system. Madrid proposes selling off the management of six of 20 public hospitals and 27 of 268 health centers. Of course this has sparked outrage from the unionized government workforce, who sees a threat to their lifestyle.
Spain, like many similar socialized countries, has a heavily unionized public sector which drives much of its economic policy. Spain’s unemployment rate is around 25%, yet last year, civil servants earned 30 percent more, on average, than the rest of Spain’s workers…. Those wage disparities are similar to the US ratio.
For instance, according to figures released by the transport ministry, 135 air traffic controllers earned $830,000 per year while 713 earned between $476,000 and $715,000. In addition, the controllers can retire at the age of 52.
But the new right of center government is trying to crack down on this abuse and bring some fiscal sanity to Spain.
Other economic problems facing Spain are their heavy investment in “green energy” or renewables, which were made by the previous Socialist government. This has not only proved to be an economic blunder, but a job killer as well, with every green job wiping out 2.2 jobs in conventional industries.
The new Spanish government decided to cut all green subsidies for new renewable’s projects, a move that has effectively killed green energy in Spain. The government will also start to tax renewable energy.
Even Germany, a far stronger economic engine than Spain, is buckling under its investments in “renewables.”
They say a smart man learns from his mistakes, but a brilliant man learns from others mistakes. Does that axiom translate to countries as well?
As we can see from Spain and other European countries in debt and teetering on bankruptcy, their economic model doesn’t work, it is right there in our face.
Yet for the past 4 years our government seems intent on following this path.
A frequent visitor to the White House has been Richard Trumka, head of the powerful AFL/CIO. Trumka has bragged repeatedly in the past he is in touch with the White House every day. Trumka along with the leaders of the SEIU/AFSCME unions have focused on recruiting ever-growing numbers of government workers who benefit from higher taxes and bigger government.
The administration has been highly partisan in its support for organized labor and has appointed members to the NLRB who are fiercely pro union and very anti-business.
The provisions in Obamacare heavily favor unionization of the healthcare industry, which does not bode well for containing medical costs. As a side note, Obamacare did nothing to curb the multi-billion dollar medical lawsuit industry. Some say lawsuit abuse adds as much as 40% to the cost of healthcare.
America under this administration has “invested” billions of dollars in renewable energy/green energy, with spectacular failure as a result. We have read about the 26 dollar a gallon bio fuel the navy has been forced to purchase. We have also become familiar with green company names like: Fisker-Solyndra-A 123 Systems- Tester and Ener 1 who are synonymous with bankruptcy. This does not count billions in grants and subsidies that are put on the backs of utility rate payers who pick up the tab of subsidized wind and solar expenses in the states.
President Obama was just elected to another 4 years as President. We are speeding towards government-run healthcare as Obamacare kicks in. The President seems to have a fixation on converting the country to green energy, so it seems the spending in that area will continue unabated, even though there are no breakthroughs in the underlying failed technology..
Will America learn from the European model?