Paul A. Ibbetson
America and Greece: beware the path of the black cat
By Paul A. Ibbetson
May 14, 2010

In you live in America, Europe, or many other places on the planet, then you probably have heard the tales of bad fortune that befalls unprepared souls who allow a black cat to cross their paths. In this realm of superstition the most capable and blessed black cat path-crossers find themselves with bad fortune, and heaps of it. In an ironic twist of fate, it is said that even the unluckiest people who test this taboo find out that their low lot in life can and will get lower. That's sad.

Some would question the strolling power of the black cat even in the face of undoubtedly real catastrophes that take place among people who believe they have triggered this unstoppable bad luck. Could it be that when Mr. Whiskers crosses a person's path people act in ways that increase their risk of misfortune? Possibly they may believe, at least subconsciously, that with bad fortune on the horizon, who needs to worry about well-thought out decisions? The skeptic in me sees the black cat as the perfect scapegoat. A matter of fact a person doesn't have to face the real cause of their misfortune when it can be laid at the furry dark paws of the bad luck giver.

When it comes to tangible misfortune, Greece has the current spotlight with the country's bankruptcy and the $146 billion IMF bailout, which most likely will be only the beginning of the loans that the country will require for survival. Despite the limited impact of Greece on the European markets, they have a powerful story regarding what awaits America if we continue to follow the socialistic blueprint of limiting the free market and expanding governmental control.

For Greece, the conversion from the drachma to the euro was the only excuse needed to engage in unlimited spending that went to the unions, social programs, and government double-dealing, which are always part of the quest for the socialistic utopia. Sound like America? More than you know. America has followed Greece's fast track to ruin by electing a socialist president who barely screamed above the fanfare his intentions to fundamentally transform the nation and begin redistributing wealth. It is easy to see what America is allowing to cross its path.

America is poised to assist with the Greek bailout through donations to the IMF. I would say that we are paying for the right to compare America's and Greece's fates, and we should not waste the opportunity. First socialism failed in Greece, and other countries will soon fail in Europe from the same system. Second, and comparable to America, Greece will soon learn that without the capitalistic free market, no amount of borrowing will fix their financial problems. Lastly, the deaths in Greece at the hands of union protesters and others should be a wake-up call to all Americans of the consequences of the mentality that goes with government entitlement, as well as the dangers that come with attempting to remove those entitlements.

There will be more violence and turmoil in Greece as they are pushed by the IMF to face their poor decisions as a country and what has brought them to the brink of economic destruction. Will they embrace the truth that it was socialism that brought their bad fortune, or will they blame it on the winds of fate? Possibly a black cat passing their country's path?

In the end, countries must break free from the excuses found in convenient myths and superstitions like the kinds that make certain colored kitties so unpopular. All of us must stand on the truth that our fate is the product of the decisions we make, and the decisions we allow our governments to make on our behalf.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


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Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


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