Ambrose: For American left, Greece tumult is development it can appreciate 

At last the world has demonstrators the American left can applaud — not people like those tea party types.

Now, we have had those Greek demonstrators who instead want to keep a welfare state going, who are absolutely astonished at a four-year austerity program entailing wage cuts for public workers, pension freezes and eventually — five years down the road — an increase from 61 to 63 to qualify for old-age benefits.

So upset were some Greeks, especially the Greek Communist Party, that there was a general strike and an Athens riot in which some set fire to buildings where people were not heeding the strike — they were actually working!

The demonstrators obviously want to maintain a goodies-giveaway system that so far exceeds the government’s ability to pay that the Greek budget deficit is 13.6 percent of gross domestic product and its debt is 115 percent of GDP.

Things are so bad that the European Union is endangered and Greece — already suffering — would be looking at a major depression without the $145 billion loans it’s receiving from other nations.

What exactly do these demonstrators want, then? Continuing gifts of billions from other lands? Economic catastrophe? Actually, some of us might think they deserve the catastrophe — except that it could mean economic mayhem for the rest of the world too.

As I said, American liberals must love all this because they absolutely hate the tea party demonstrators who are pointing to our own growing deficits and debts, and the growth of spending through such devices as a health care entitlement.

The liberals say tea party people are uninformed, even though most economists would agree with their central assessment about spending.

And, the liberals want you to know the tea party members are mainly white, as if the reason is exclusion. It isn’t, of course, and in fact some of the movement’s most eloquent and convincing activists are black.

But didn’t three or four of these millions of people once use racial epithets? The allegations seem dubious, and, at any rate, it’s sheer bigotry to tar a whole group because of the actions of a few.

We do know at least some of the Greek demonstrators are murderers, and while I don’t maintain our leftists think that’s OK, I do maintain that the most violent demonstrations in this country in recent decades have been leftist-led and leftist-excused.

Examiner columnist Jay Ambrose is a former Washington opinion writer and editor of two dailies. He can be reached at


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