The Greek Parliament passed legislation today that will allow the country to receive funds necessary for the country to avoid default on their existing debt. The legislation is designed to enact certain austerity measures that were required by the European Union as part of the bailout deal that consists of another installment of the 110 billion euro loan.
As has been shown on a number of news outlets, this historic measure sparked continued violent protests across Greece. Some of the most unpopular provisions include spending cuts and tax increases, although the legislation also includes planned sales of state-owned assets.
The leaders in our country should take note of the fast-paced downward spiral Greece has experienced since hitting “financial bottom” and being forced by debt markets to get serious about financial responsibility. While there are a number of differences between the U.S. and Greece, the basic money issues are very similar. This leads to the question- “what should we do today to prevent these types of conditions from occurring here in the U.S.?”
One ongoing issue we face here (and one that Greece shares) is a general unwillingness to share in sacrifices needed to get on the right path. Many times individuals see decisions as a zero-sum game. Take from my neighbor, not from me, to find fiscal solvency. Only a belief in shared sacrifice will allow us to return to a healthy fiscal path. We hope that our leaders recognize this before debt markets force them to.