Want to know what we as Americans are facing in our near future? All you need to do is follow the news out of Greece.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Rioting over harsh austerity measures left three people dead in a torched Athens bank and clouds of tear gas drifting past parliament, in an outburst of anger that underlined the long and difficult struggle Greece faces to stick with painful cutbacks that come with an international bailout.
The deaths were the first during a protest in Greece in nearly 20 years.
Fear that the bailout won’t stop the debt crisis from spreading to other financially troubled EU countries like Portugal and Spain intensified amid the violence Wednesday, as credit ratings agency Moody’s put Portugal on watch for a possible downgrade.
The euro sank, dipping below $1.29 for the first time in over a year, on fears of crisis contagion and concerns that political upheaval might keep Greece from keeping its end of the bailout bargain.
Greece faces a May 19 due date on debt it says it can’t repay without the help. The new government cutbacks, which slash salaries and pensions for civil servants and hike consumer taxes, are being imposed as condition of getting a euro110 billion ($142.16 billion) package of rescue loans from the International Monetary Fund and the other 15 European Union countries that use the euro as their currency.
Many Greeks realize some cutbacks are necessary to pull their country, which has a massive debt of euro300 billion ($387.72 billion), back from the brink of default, and reaction until now had been relatively muted by Greece’s volatile standards. But with people beginning to feel the pain of austerity measures, anger boiled over.
Greece and the entire EU are at a dangerous tipping point and I sincerely believe the bottom is about to drop out of the world economy in a way that will make 2008 look like an economic boom. Mark my words.
The United States Government has enabled the public sector to the point that its salaries and benefits dwarf the private sector. That is dangerous. Our peaceful and classy public sector unions, like SEIU, will take to the streets in a heartbeat if a dime is dared to be taken from them.
Mark my words. My friends, we are witnessing The Fourth Turning.