The European road to perdition

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By John Barnhart

    The pictures from London and several other British cities this month, with buildings ablaze, made me think of the World War II Blitz. Of course, the extent of the damage was nowhere near as great and, in this case the British were doing it to themselves. Gangs of teens and young adults roamed through certain neighborhoods setting fires, attacking people and pillaging shops.

    This was not a race riot. The mobs were racially mixed.
    This was not a riot by hungry masses. The mobs didn’t raid grocery stores to steal food. They looted stores selling luxury goods. They raided department stores and carried off cool stuff.
    Some on the left blamed the violence on British government budget cuts. Britain's government made these cuts because their little island is sinking under the weight of the cost of big government social programs. The British have to do something. The impact of these budget cuts, however, wasn't the reason for the riots. The rioters just used them as an excuse for large scale thievery and thuggery.
    The real root cause for the riots is more than 60 years of socialism. Generations of Brits have grown up with the idea that they are entitled to this, that and the other at government expense. Now, Britain has reached the point where the country has masses of youth who believe that they are entitled not to just health care and a safety net to make sure they have food, clothing and shelter. They seem to think they are also entitled to cool stuff. It doesn’t matter if they are poorly educated and unskilled and therefore have trouble getting a job. Society owes them and, if society doesn’t give them what they want, then somebody is going to get hurt.
    What happens in Britain is Britain’s problem, but the riots should be a valuable object lesson for us. That’s because Britain has exactly the type of system that President Barack Obama and his fellow left-wing “Democrats” admire and would like to impose on us.
    In the first place, the cost of these massive European government social programs which our "Democrats" so love are drowning many European countries. A number of them, including Great Britain, are reaching the point where they can no longer continue doing what they have done for the past few generations. They have run up massive debts, or are in the process of doing so in spite of abusively high taxes, and that’s why the entire Euro zone is facing a financial crisis that has been roiling global markets for the past year. Greece has had two bailouts, Portugal has had one and Spain and Italy are headed in that direction.
    We still have the chance to avoid stumbling into the same quicksand pit in which the folks across the pond are sinking. We can see clearly what the dreams of Obama & Company ultimately lead to.
    We can also now clearly see the entitlement mindset that generations of socialism produces. “We don’t need no education,” as the old Pink Floyd song goes. We don’t need skills or a good work ethic either. The government owes it to us to make up the difference between what we can earn and what luxury goods cost. Obama won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz!
    Fortunately, the United States hasn’t gone quite as far down the European road to socialist perdition as Great Britain has. We can still turn around and go the other way before we hit the same brick wall.
    We can also turn President Obama into a one-term president, next year, if he’s too stubborn to see that the liberal agenda and its expensive entitlements ultimately lead to disaster.