The continental rejection of austerity continues in Europe

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In the Netherlands – the Dutch government coalition collapsed on Monday – after lawmakers failed to agree upon a series of austerity measures. And in Ireland – the nation’s largest trade unions are pressuring the government to vote against more austerity measures being pushed by Germany.

These latest protests – coupled with the early electoral defeat of French President Nicholas Sarkozy, demonstrations against austerity in the Czech Republic, and growing unrest in places like Greece, Italy, and Spain where austerity is in full-effect – show that Europe is fed up with forced budget cuts. Stay tuned – the backlash against austerity could be severe.

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Thom Hartmann A...
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Quote Thom Hartmann Administrator: ...the backlash against austerity could be severe.

As it should be....

What is more important? Human life....or the retention of money & power for a few sociopathic people who apparently either made some bad judgements for themselves, or else made some "white collar" criminal moves to help bring down the world population without being accused of any genocidal intentions?

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 6:45 pm

Austerity measures are the mother of invention:

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Guillotine

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Choco
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Choco, I don't understand why you put this post here? Are you talking about the angry French revolution or just general public executions?

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 6:45 pm
Quote Karolina:

Choco, I don't understand why you put this post here? Are you talking about the angry French revolution or just general public executions?

Mostly a joke: Austerity measures are like the precursor to the French Revolution when the ruling class had an obscene abundance while the peasants had crumbs, or as Queen Marie Antoinette allegedly said Let them Eat Cake.

After the royal family's flight to Varennes, Louis XVI was deposed and the monarchy abolished on 21 September 1792; the royal family was subsequently imprisoned at the Temple Prison. Nine months after her husband's execution, Marie Antoinette was herself tried, convicted of treason, and executed by guillotine on 16 October 1793.

Even after her death, Marie Antoinette is often considered to be a part of popular culture and a major historical figure,[4] being the subject of several books, films and other forms of media. Some academics and scholars have deemed her frivolous and superficial, and have attributed the start of the French Revolution to her;

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Choco
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Decapitation seems so macabre, doesn't it? Especially when done on particularly animated people, like Marie Antoinette, or Mary Queen of Scots!

Those historic repressed people forced to live in austrity always seemed so pleased when their repressors were gruesomely executed, like during the French Revolution or the hanging of Mussolini. Macabre again.

I was in the ER with a sick relative yesterday when I opened your post around midnight. Guess the word describing how seeing that guillotine made me feel? LOL.

My post was me struggling for some kind of emotional disconnect & mental connect.

BTW, my elderly relative is fine and back at home. :-)

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 6:45 pm

Unfortunately, the reason Sarkozy is in trouble is that the far-right faction has made gains, taking votes from him. The socialist and other left candidates who argue against austerity have not made gains, numerically at least. Sarkozy is now courting voters who place the blame on immigrants and want to ditch the euro.

nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote nimblecivet:Sarkozy is now courting voters who place the blame on immigrants and want to ditch the euro.

Kind of pathetic on Sarkozy's side? Or kind of smart?

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 6:45 pm

Expect the same here as economic, resource and environmental collapse converge. Blame will be attributed to everyone and everything except where it belongs...the ruling oligarchy and the enrichment of themselves at the expense of everyone and everything else.

"Tis a repetition throughout history, isn't it? Finding scapegoats and pointing fingers away from oneself becomes the norm. It's usually done in such a manner that people buy it. The Germans who were presented scapegoats by Hitler weren't the first suckers. They won't be the last.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote polycarp2: Expect the same here as economic, resource and environmental collapse converge. Blame will be attributed to everyone and everything except where it belongs...the ruling oligarchy and the enrichment of themselves at the expense of everyone and everything else.

As frightened as I am about the collapse, I will continue hoping & believing that no one but the oligarchs who created it will feel the collapse.

In real life, I am constantly searching for ideas about ways to build or rebuild the strength of all people in a democratic world, as presented in our US Constitution. In my heart, though, I just believe that God (or whatever one believes in one's heart) will always protect me (all of us).

Quote polycarp2: Finding scapegoats and pointing fingers away from oneself becomes the norm. It's usually done in such a manner that people buy it. The Germans who were presented scapegoats by Hitler weren't the first suckers. They won't be the last.

Yes, people who are afraid of fear grab onto whatever keeps them in denial. Blaming somebody else is an idiot's way to accomplish nothing.

Quote polycarp2:"Tis a repetition throughout history, isn't it?

Yes it has been so.

Although I don't believe that 2012 is the effing "end times" because the Aztec calander says blah-blah-blah, I DO hope that maybe this year will be the beginning of a new era, where our human species has risen to a more brilliant and higher moral, intellectual and spiritual level.

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 6:45 pm

I have room for optimism too. I don't necessarily feel we are headed for doom we might be headed for a mass awakening. Other things are converging too. The realization that institutionalized religion has been largely self-serving and used to manipulate the masses. The realization that our money system is not based on assets but on alchemy, turning nothing into money, the realization that our ecosystem is straining and that farmed salmon tastes like shit. That chickens in pens and intensive production and economies of scale when it comes to food is giving us all inferior bland products and causing myriad health problems is becoming obvious to most. We are slowly waking up. Those way ahead of the curve suffer the most because they've been aware for a long time of the problems. I suggest beer, good, handcrafted micro brew beer until the masses wake up. Then it will be time to celebrate . . . with more beer.

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Choco
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Hopefully, if some of the people who have been identifying "austerity" for a long time are listened to instead of being dismissed as quacks.

nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

From a WSJ editorial. As you can guess, they have a different opinion:
http://www.realclear...ate_278417.html

Excerpts:

Growth or austerity? That's the choice facing Europe these days—or so the Keynesian consensus keeps saying. According to this view, which has dominated world economic councils since the 2008 crisis began, "growth" is mainly a function of government spending.

Spend more and you're for growth, even if a country raises taxes to pay for the spending. But dare to cut spending as the Germans suggest, and you're for austerity and thus opposed to growth.

This is a nonsense debate that misconstrues the real sources of economic prosperity and helps explain Europe's current mess. The real debate ought to be over which policies best produce growth.

In the 1980s, the world learned (or so we thought) that the way out of the malaise of the 1970s were reforms that encourage private investment and risk-taking, labor mobility and flexibility, an end to price controls, tax rates that encouraged capital formation, and what the World Bank now broadly calls "the ease of doing business." Amid this crisis, Europe has tried everything except these policies.

If Reagan or Margaret Thatcher are too déclassé for Europeans to invoke, how about Germany? Throughout the 1990s and the first years of the last decade, Germany was Europe's hobbled giant, with consistently subpar growth rates and unemployment that in 2005 hit 11.3%, nearly at the top of the OECD chart.

Then-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, a Social Democrat, surprised the world, to say nothing of his own voters, by pushing through the labor-market reforms that paved the way for the current relative prosperity. The changes cut welfare benefits and gave employers more flexibility in reaching agreement with their employees on working time and pay.

The Schröder government, and later the coalition under Angela Merkel, also cut federal corporate income taxes to 15% from 45% in 1998. Include state taxes, and the effective corporate rate today is close to 30%, down from 50% or more in the 1990s. These reforms made Germany more competitive, attracted investment and jobs, and paved the way for the country's economic resurgence and an unemployment rate currently at 5.7%.

Mrs. Merkel's government did the world an additional favor in 2009, amid the financial crisis, by rejecting calls from the International Monetary Fund, then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President Obama, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and the same dominant Keynesian consensus to join the global spending party.

Germany's resurgence might have been even stronger if Mrs. Merkel and her coalition partners hadn't reneged on their tax-cutting campaign promises and raised VAT and other taxes in a bid to stay close to budget balance. Still, Europe is lucky that its largest economy remains strong and creditworthy.

Yet now Mrs. Merkel is widely berated for avoiding the policy errors that led to the debt crisis and for having the nerve to encourage other countries to emulate the reforms that worked in Germany. The Keynesians will never forgive the Germans for being right.

Coalage1
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Mar. 14, 2012 7:11 am

Nonsense from Reagan on. We are talking about a larger crisis than Germany alone. We are talking about social impacts of bad debts from financialism, and it is folly to conclude that saving the stronger economy where it is strong largely because it has a social safety network, and letting the bad debts be enforced where they are lacking will work out because the victims will pay for it. Again.

One would expect Rupert's writers to take this line. What we cannot forgive is the banksters of our own Wall St. for being so terribly wrong and not even knowing it yet.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am

Some seem to forget that before FDR's policies (Keynes based) there was no middle class! Masses of the poor and a few super rich were the norm. in the U.S. and.globally.

We seem to be returning to that. A shrinking middle class and further enrichment of the elite at their expense is on-going.

Germans are highly paid. highly educated, and out-produce even China in export value. Their technologically advanced society produces what the world demands. When nations look to high speed rail, rapid transist systems, machine tools for their factories, etc., they look to Germany (same as we do).

I found it amazing that an instant coffee at my supermarket was produced in highly paid Germany and sold .at a cost of half its nearest U.S. brand. Could it be that German CEO's aren't predatory...raking in enough for themselves to live the lives of a potentate?

High wage Germany competes. Low wage (by comparison) uneducated Americans don't..

The starting wage for a German auto worker is $60 an hour. In the US., it's $14.

Germany, having control of the Euro, isn't a whole lot different that the U.S. having control of the world's primary international currency. Perks come from that.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Das ist wahr!

nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

five-economic-lessons-from-sweden-the-rock-star-of-the-recovery There are other countries in Europe, and some are quite successful.

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douglaslee
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