It really sunk in when I was sitting in the Prague airport. With wormwood toxins seizing at my muscles and a pounding headache from the 9 shots of absinthe the night before, I was staring at an indefinite flight delay. For hours I looked helplessly up at the screens, unable to rest or recline because the only surfaces not tile or metal were so densely fogged in cigarette smoke that I would asphyxiate in my sleep. Why was I stuck in this hellish condition? Because the fucking French decided to go on a strike and nobody was around to work air traffic control.
The reason for this strike is one of the most outrageous, mind-blowing facts of the 21st century. Young Parisian males were lighting shit on fire and workers shut the nation down because the government was raising the retirement age from 60 to 62; A move that was totally necessary to save their system from absolute BANKRUPTCY. Are you fucking kidding me? First of all, why these young lazy fucks even gave a shit about what was going to happen to them 30-40 years into the future is one absurdity. But beyond that, how entitled to hand-outs do you really have to be to strike over having to work at ages 60 and 61! Hell, Herschel Walker may be fighting Randy Couture at age 61.
These rioting, snail-sucking princesses already have a 35 hour work week, state provided benefits and more holidays than Holiday Inns along I-95. The little children (oui oui oui haw haw haw) already living off allowance money from their Daddy government, threw a temper tantrum because they may have to do their chores for a wittle bit longer. This is not to say that all people in France are in favor of the strikes (or suck snails), but when a whole nation gets shut down you have to figure that it is a fairly large segment of the population.
Sadly, the example set by the French is symptomatic of a growing worldwide malaise—A malaise that would have the great free market Libertarian, Milton Friedman, doing somersaults in his grave. Take an example from our country, arguably the most free-market capitalistic economy in the Western World:
Throughout the early middle of our past decade, banks and lenders started making extremely aggressive bets. And the bets were working. Derivatives, dangerous lending practices, and a slew of other unsound financial vehicles were juicing the system with fat cash, and the executives in charge were walking around with “knots so thick they couldn’t wear skinny jeans,” as Jay Z would say. And I’m fine with that. I sometimes make risky wagers too. But guess what, sometimes those aggressive bets lose. And lose they did at the end of the decade. But instead of standing up and taking what futures traders refer to as the “man’s ride”, they started whining to their Daddy. “Whoopsy, im sowwies Daddy, I made a boo-boo and lost all the monies. Can I have some trillions more so I can do it again?” And what did Daddy do? Gave them as much money as they asked for. Daddy didn’t care, because in the meantime, He was able to expand the nepotistic powers of beaurocracy by creating a multitude of ‘oversight’ positions. Just another excuse for beaurocracy to create more beaurocracy.
These may be the most blatant examples but this entitlement mentality has sadly become the norm. Some of the great thinkers of the past understood one of the main problems with democracy was that the populace would ultimately vote to raid the treasury and distribute the wealth until there was nothing left. This has happened all over the world, and it is happening here. People used to be tough. They used to understand that the benefits of the good life were not a birthright but a privelege to be earned with sweat and toil. From the pilgrims who sought refuge from religious persecution to the foreigners arriving in Ellis Island to claim their piece of the American dream, they were prepared to fight for their happiness.
In the great depression people had it real rough, but for the most part they just fucking took it on the chin and did the best they could. My grandma lived in the heart of the dustbowl (Des Moines, Iowa) and during the depression they scraped by working 16 hour days doing anything they could for a nickel. That’s half of a French work week in a day. Can you imagine now? We can’t even handle a mild recession without immediately putting the printing presses on overdrive and pushing the boulder of inflationary financial collapse farther up the hill.
Everyone understands that monopolies are inefficient, but somehow we’ve all become okay with socializing just about everything so we don’t have to pay for it. That way the innovators and the entrepreneurs can pay for it with THEIR tax money. What about the rest that gets wasted on the needless beaurocracy? Not our problem.
John Locke once had a vision of inalienable rights–Rights that promised every citizen the right to life, liberty, and PROPERTY. Let’s think about that. Does liberty mean that if we want to smoke a blunt in our bathtub that we should go to prison? Does life mean that if we decide to kill ourselves we are committing a criminal act? And does property mean that we should give up 40% of our hard earned money to support an inane beaurocracy whose only interest is self preservation and the generation of ineffective policy? Soon enough those sacred words will be all but forgotten, as we become more and more comfortable just being the little children who watch mind-numbing reality television, bitch when our mother asks us to take the trash out, and in the same whiny breath ask Daddy for more ice cream money so we can stuff our fat fucking faces.
*Much respect to the warriors, the freethinkers, the Professionals, the self-starters and the hustlers out there…in our nation, in France, and any other. You carry the mantle of humanity with you: never falter, and never waiver. If ever you feel overwhelmed by the ignorance around you, raise your banner high and brothers and sisters will rally to your side.