OK, I'm fed up with this.
There's yet another front page diary pointing out that a Red State or county is a net money sink. (In this case, it's Wyoming, but that's kind of irrelevant. I've certainly inhabited enough red-tinged money sinks in my life to understand the joke.) Here's the problem with the laughter: Greece.
If you follow the recent diaries, you'll see a lot of them mocking the EU, and particularly mocking Germany, for its absurd stinginess with paying off the Greek debt. I don't happen to disagree that Germany ought to simply suck up the cost and move on, provided the EU can find a way to make sure that Greece's irresponsibility isn't rewarded again. (There's utterly no reason to not pay off the Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, or Irish debts. Seriously.)
Now you can ask why I feel that I have the right to make such a proclamation, seeing as how I live here in the US, far from European shores. The answer is simple: we've been dealing with this kind of problem for several hundred years, and we've been doing so quite effectively, thank you very much. We collect taxes nationally, and redistribute them equally nationally...and, while we're at it, we keep our little Greeces afloat, to say nothing of our Italies, our Portugals, and, yes, our Irelands.
That begs the question: why? What do we know that Germany and France have forgotten, or, perhaps, never learned? Follow me across the orange ball of twine, and I'll tell you my guess.
I want you to think about what would happen if we cut off transfer payments to those who currently receive them. We'd see an immediate drop in the standard of living in the poor, but we'd also see a sharp increase in the wealth of some regions. Seattle and San Francisco, for instance, would suddenly stop sending more to DC than they got back. So would Texas. Arkansas, North Carolina, and Georgia? Yeah, no, not so much; in fact, we'll be able to hear their economies crash on the Moon, interplanetary vacuum or no.
What happens then?
Well, I want you to think about who buys all those copies of Windows produced in Redmond, WA, or who clicks all those ads served up from Mountain View? Remember all those Red Staters who are sucking the Federal teat? Yeah...them. Money spent on the poor stimulates the economy more effectively than does money spent on the rich, in fact.
So why pump money to poor parts of the Union? Greed, pure and simple. That money will come back to the richer parts of the country, just as it always has. And that is what France and Germany have forgotten, or, perhaps, lacking our centuries of experience with moderna modern, unified economy, just never learned. And that's why Europe is in crisis.