Sunday, March 7, 2021
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The Austerity Scam

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The key political word for 2011 is going to be Austerity. No, not Deficit, although some, including President Obama, have apparently been hoodwinked into thinking so. The public relations campaign manufacturing hysterical fear about the federal deficit is actually agitprop, whose purpose is not so much to reduce the deficit as to enforce austerity on an olympic scale.

Controlling the deficit is the rationale, actually the excuse, for imposing austerity, the austerity is the means to an end, and the end is the final transfer of almost all wealth and power into the hands of the financial and business oligarchs of Wall Street and the globalized elite. Remember, when the Wall Street meltdown occurred, Bear Stearns went under, and the world financial system teetered on the brink of the abyss (or so we were told), some of us said the whole affair bore a striking resemblance to what Naomi Klein called Disaster Capitalism in her book The Shock Doctrine.  We asked, Was it now the turn of the United States to suffer through the brutal "reforms" forced on third world countries, Chile, Argentina, even the former Soviet Union by Milton Friedman and the free market theorists of the World Bank and the IMF?  It seemed almost a silly question, since it was, after all, Americans themselves who had treated those other countries like lab rats in an economic and social experiment based on conservative Friedman economics. The answer, I fear, is Yes, it is our turn.

Will Austerity Create Prosperity?

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Listen! Hear the growing clamor about the "impossible" federal debt and demands to cut back on all government spending, slash services, even raise taxes (!) to bring our federal budget "under control," just as hard-pressed families have to cut back when their incomes go down.

Is this not remarkable: The very lenders and banks whose excesses created the great global economic meltdown of 2008, who were rescued by massive government bailouts, are now demanding guarantees that those loans, which enabled the bailouts, be repaid with interest------ and by guarantee they mean "austerity" on the part of the very government which saved them.  The threat is explicit, that until austerity is imposed on the citizens of the country through higher taxes and reduction of government services, there will, quite simply, never be adequate new loans made to finance a broader recovery, the government will have to pay higher interest on what it has borrowed (in order to bail out the banks in the first place).... Let's get this cycle straight: now that the banksters have been saved they suddenly want their saviors to tighten their belts in order to pay the banksters back for lending the banksters money to save the banksters---- they demand an austerity and frugality they themselves did not display. This is the ultimate chutzpah, do as I say, not as I do.