Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mark Steyn and math

But first, a related slice-of-life in England article for context:

MIDDLESBROUGH, England — It is by far the largest employer in town, accounting for one out of every two jobs. Its workers are teachers, doctors, museum curators and social workers whose salaries range from £21,000 to £210,000 a year.

The employer is the government, and the responsibility of its 17,000 employees here has been to work the levers of Britain’s expansive welfare state. Now, for the first time in a generation, this public colossus is shrinking — threatened by rising levels of government debt and the political bent of the Conservative Party government — and many of the jobs are being cut.

Throughout Britain, austerity will result in many thousands of lost public jobs, compounding the blow from reduced entitlements. But the cuts will be most keenly felt across the iron and steel belt of this country’s depressed northeast, in places like Middlesbrough, which in many ways is a British version of Detroit.

And now, Mark Steyn trying to clue in a person to the obvious:

Still, on balance I prefer the class-war thugs trashing the joint, who at least have the courage of their convictions. The “nice” people bussed in from the shires struck me as some of the most stupid people I’ve ever met anywhere on the planet. One elderly lady from Yorkshire told me she was there because her grandson’s university fees were likely to go up. I was in a cranky mood because I hadn’t had my coffee. “You can protest all you like,” I said. “But this country’s broke, so all you’re doing is postponing its reacquaintanceship with reality, and ensuring that your grandson and his contemporaries are going to be stuck with the tab because you guys spent their future.” I pointed out that in her part of the world – northern England – as in Wales and Northern Ireland, the state accounts for three-quarters of the economy. And it’s still not enough for the likes of her and her pals.

All the rioting in the world is not going to make budget deficits and unsustainable entitlement obligations disappear. The math will prevail in the end.

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