Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
09.23 MARYLAND GOVERNOR REBUFFS CALL FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO BRETT KAVANAUGH ATTEMPTED RAPE ALLEGATIONS [Republicans above the law...]
09.19 'Killing a generation': one million more children at risk from famine in Yemen [Does America's government have empathy? Does it understand the concept of morality? The Saudi Air Force would be ineffective without U.S. military assistance...]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
International & Futurism
09.18 Racist rioting in Chemnitz has reopened Germany’s east-west split [After 10,000 generations, we are all mixed-race. So let's become friends with our cousins instead!]
Destructive Neoliberal Austerity
Snake oil peddled as an economic elixir has corrupted morals/thinking of politicians and central bankers who fight to enact harmful policies that will enrich the super-rich and impoverish the rest of us.
Monday, 22 November 2010
In the 1980s, it was called Reaganomics, trickle down, and Thatcherism. Today it's destructive "shock therapy" called austerity, the same scheme pitting capital against people.
Instead of vitally needed stimulus, Washington and European governments dictate austerity. The pretext of deficit reduction is being used to transfer more wealth to those already with too much, plus the usual canard over the urgency to save national banking systems.
In other words, make ordinary people bear the burden of bailing out banking giants responsible for the severest economic crisis since the Great Depression. How? The usual IMF solution, involving preservation of capital at the expense of workers - a package including wage and benefit cuts, less social spending, privatization of state resources, mass layoffs, deregulation, lower "onerous" taxes, maintaining corporate debt service, and harsh crackdowns against resisters.
In the 1980s, it was called Reaganomics, trickle down, and Thatcherism. Today it's destructive "shock therapy" called austerity, the same scheme pitting capital against people - disposable workers tossed out for big money's gain.
It's how predatory capitalism works, destructively for so many to enrich an elite few - snake oil peddled as an economic elixir, corrupted politicians and central bankers forcing harmful policies that, in fact, don't work.
Three years of failure showed imposed measures have hurt, not helped, and the longer they continue, the more sickness will spread and deepen, causing imposed poverty. It's why independent experts see long-term depression, rising unemployment, human deprivation, and bigger than ever bonuses for bankers until the inevitable house of cards collapses. Welcome to the new world order, phase two.
In America, the Fed furiously monitized debt. First QE I, now II, likely III and IV coming that could have worked the first time if constructively, not destructively used, an earlier article explained.
Swapping credit for toxic assets helps banks, not the economy. However, using it for productive investment works. In her September 8 Webofdebt.com article titled, "How to Reverse A Deflation: Helicopter Ben Needs to Drop Some Money on Main Street," Ellen Brown explained that:
Why not ailing America and European ones today. Central bank money creation (credit) for public projects and other productive investments stimulates economic growth, creates jobs, and turns depression into prosperity - inflation free by keeping credit and productive investment in balance. Whenever and wherever it's been tried, it worked when done right.
Instead, sweeping austerity measures are dictated for America and Europe. Last spring, an EU summit announced a Greece bailout package, dependent on "budgetary discipline" and imposed poverty, the same IMF prescription for Latvia, Iceland, Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine. Now eurozone shock therapy, what economist Michael Hudson calls a:
Throughout the West, neoliberals are empowered. "From Brussels to Latvia, (they) aim to shrink their economies (by) roll(ing) back wage levels by 30 percent or more - depression-style levels," making Europe and America banana republics.
In late September, EU countries, led by Germany, increased pressure on member states to cut deficits by lower public spending, Chancellor Angela Merkel, in fact, demanding sanctions on offenders and suspending their voting rights for continued policy breaches. At the same time, corporate taxes have been cut, continuing a burden shift to workers. Since 2000, 12 of the 27 EU countries raised VAT rates, Hungary, Denmark and Sweden now charging 25% for commodity purchases while wages and benefits are being slashed. Some new world.
Across the continent, painful worker hammering continues, Ireland the latest troubled country making headlines. On November 13, Wall Street Journal writers Neil Shah and Marcus Walker wrote: "Ireland Stirs Specter of EU Default," saying:
Workers, of course, are most affected, spending cuts and high unemployment taking a punishing toll. More are coming, assuring greater deprivation and added impetus for increased emigration. Monthly, 1,250 students leave Ireland as well as thousands of young workers, seeing no future at home. Those remaining face growing burdens, including homeowners to avoid forclosure. One in eight mortgages is underwater. The worst is yet to come, and similar trouble affects Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Britain, and elsewhere across the continent, yet policy fixes assure worse ahead, not better.
Also in America, planned austerity the wrong solution for a sick economy, yet bipartisan support and two deficit cutting commissions back it, an earlier article explained.
It covered Obama's proposed social spending cuts, while leaving defense, banker bailouts, and other corporate subsidies intact, a prescription from hell promising harder than ever hard times for millions. On November 10, Obama's deficit cutting commission outlined its plan. The above link discussed it, a thinly veiled scheme to serve capital, not people when they most need it.
The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) was also mentioned, a lesser known group for the same purpose, its proposal imminent at the time. Now it's out with draconian measures as destructive as Obama's commission - proposing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other social benefit cuts, harming working households most, the way elitists always cheat ordinary people for themselves.
Co-chaired by former Senator Pete Domenici and Alice Rivlin, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office, it's called "Restoring America's Future," saying:
Typical elitist boilerplate, then proposing punishing measures on working households for greater enrichment for themselves. They include:
More boilerplate, disguising a scheme to enrich the few while denying equal opportunity to growing millions, especially the poor, disadvantaged, needy dependents, disabled and retirees, leaving them more than ever on their own and out of luck, the "future America" none of them want or deserve.
Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on November 22, 2010.