January 11, 2012

CAUSE AND EFFECT: In Greece, every job is a hazardous one, as Mark Steyn noted when he discussed After America with Hugh Hewitt this past summer:

I’m wondering if you think, because you brought this to my attention on Page 109, I’ve been broadcasting for 20 years. I am at this moment an inch away from a microphone. Do you think if I went to Greece, I can get two decades worth of credit for exposure to microphone bacteria?MS: Well, I love that, because people wonder how Greece ended up in the hellhole it’s in. And this is a very good example of how government metastasizes, because Greece introduced a law that if you worked in a hazardous profession, you could retire at 50. And initially, hazardous professions included things like bomb disposal, which is, you know…

HH: Genuinely hazardous.

MS: Yeah, I don’t know how often you’ve ever disposed of a bomb, but you know, you have to say is it the red wire? Do I take the red wire away from, which one is it? And it’s quite tricky stuff. I can understand. So you get to retire at 50. Then of course, they extended it until eventually, it embraced hairdressing. You know, hairdressing is now regarded as a hazardous profession in Greece, because you have to work with all this hair color. So you know, you can be doing, you can be at the salon and doing somebody’s hair, and that takes a toll. And then they moved it to TV and radio hosts.

HH: Yes.

MS: Because of the risk of microphone bacteria. Now you’re a Salem Radio host, and you said you’ve just been doing this for 20 years, Hugh.

HH: Yes.

MS: You, and you mentioned Dennis Prager earlier.

HH: Yes.

MS: You and Dennis Prager and Bill Bennett and Michael Medved, you are going to have…

HH: Mike Gallagher.

MS: …greatest class action suit against Salem for exposing you to this dangerous microphone bacteria, and for shortening your life. It’s going to be like the tobacco companies all over again. They’re going to be, Salem is going to want to give you a billion dollar out of court settlement for this microphone bacteria. So as a result of that, you know, it’s very hard to find a non-hazardous profession in Greece now. And of course the reality is that when you eventually declare, you know, radio hosts and hairdressers hazardous professions, what you’re doing is really creating a hazardous employment market.

And one in which all of the Greeks who’ve made themselves victims by way of their self-described hazardous jobs can’t medicate. Bloomberg News reports this week that “Greek Crisis Has Pharmacists Pleading for Aspirin as Drug Supply Dries Up.”

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