Expectations

It is a cool night in early spring, and throngs of protesters have been marching for hours. They want change and the government won’t listen. Not long ago, new leaders pledged to fight corruption, yet the civic machinery is still corrupt. Sustained unemployment is the economy’s ball and chain. Worse yet, the government has cut critical healthcare and education programs. Regardless of the government’s rational, the protestors are certain of one thing: essential programs must be fully funded once again. So now the protestors are speaking out. Unfortunately a few protestors are violent; police and protestors are injured in the melee.

Madrid is sadly familiar with the foregoing scenario: it happened last night. Luckily the United States has time to learn a simple lesson: many voters will demand the benefits they have come to expect, even if the cuts are financially essential. But how will the President and members of congress respond when throngs of angry Americans fill Washington DC to protest spending cuts? Not well I’m afraid. A few leaders will apologize for the prodigal decisions that made cuts necessary, but many leaders will dodge responsibility and appease the protestors. Thereafter national finances will deteriorate further, taxpaying Americans will be asked to bear a heavier burden, and American society will change forever. When things turn sour in a free country voters have no one to blame but themselves.

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