Churchill, a giant in BB’s pantheon, made this comment after losing the election following leading Britain to victory in the Second World War.
His profound comment is worthy of consideration by the average man. Unfortunately most are uninterested in the perpetuity of prosperity for future generations and are only interested in their own lot.
'Pay me now' to the detriment of future generations who will have to pay later for ours and previous generations’ demands for social benefits is the hallmark of the modern western democracy. This creates debt, and mountains of it.
This week the Greeks, the architects of democracy, took to the streets in their thousands to protest the cutbacks in social benefits required by the government to secure IMF funding to avoid bankruptcy. Unfortunately, these occasions bring out the anarchists and the protests have led to violence and the deaths of innocent people, something very un-democratic.
Great Britain, the architect of parliamentary democracy after hundreds of years of serfdom, is still counting the ballots today in an election that will likely result in a hung parliament with no clear majority. This will just exacerbate the real problem – a public debt issue not too dissimilar to Greece’s and an inability for politicians to palate the level of public expenditure cutbacks required.
This situation arises as a result of successive governments promising voters a greater share of the public coffers in order to secure office and a mandate but not raising taxes accordingly to pay for it, most often resulting in huge debts. Like a pyramid scheme, it eventually collapses.
This is democracy in action. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas.
There is no free lunch. The maths simply do not work that way. Demanding greater government services and expecting that the government will take care of you is naive. You are the one that will have to pay for it in the end, one way or another, and most certainly at the expense of your children and grandchildren.
The next time you are complaining about your government and the benefits you are getting underpin it with some facts:
- Calculate the gross annual tax you pay, including VAT
- Compare this with what you take home, in your pocket
- Compare this with your rent or your mortgage payment
- Compare this with your car payment
- Compare this with how much money you spend on your children
- Compare this with how much money you spend on your holidays
If you work out a sensible and rational answer, please comment on this post because I would love to know.
P.S. Anarchists, the chronically unemployed and champagne socialists need not comment.