WSJ: Europe Goes on Strike

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Wednesday, a union-backed general strike shut down Greece. Roughly a million workers protested their government's plans to bring its 12.7% budget deficit under some semblance of control. Shipping, air traffic, trains, schools, and numerous private industries ground to halt. In the one country that can least afford to put an economic gun to its own head, the unions have decided to pull the trigger.

Nor were Greek workers alone. In Spain, tens of thousands of union members and fellow-travelers rallied in the streets. In France, air-traffic controllers and refinery workers have walked off the job. In Germany, a brief strike by Lufthansa pilots has left Europe's airports even more clogged than usual. Only in the U.K. do British Airways' cabin-crew members remain coy as to when exactly they will bring operations to a grinding halt.

What accounts for this Continent-wide outbreak of unrest at a time when Europe's economies can so ill-afford it? Call it the welfare-state mentality coming home to roost....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryEurope

Posted February 25, 2010 at 8:51 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Don R wrote:

What seems like a fairly predictable result actually was predicted by some.  It will be interesting to see whether people (and politicians, unions, etc.) ever come to terms with their own complicity in the crisis.  Much like here, where we fail to recognize that many of the things we get from the government (e.g., so-called middle-class entitlements) are the result of the government’s ability to borrow far larger sums than citizens ever could, and that those sums come not only from willing creditors, but also from future generations.

In searching for the post I linked to above, I ran across a brief anecdote that illustrates the corrosive moral effects of socialism: Is Greece Our Future?

February 25, 12:49 pm | [comment link]
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