The Austerity Drive is About Using Deficit Panic to Dismantle Social Programs

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The Austerity Drive is About Using Deficit Panic to Dismantle Social Programs

Austerity is really about cutting social programs.

Quote Paul Krugman:The austerity drive in Britain isn’t really about debt and deficits at all; it’s about using deficit panic as an excuse to dismantle social programs. And this is, of course, exactly the same thing that has been happening in America.

In fairness to Britain’s conservatives, they aren’t quite as crude as their American counterparts. They don’t rail against the evils of deficits in one breath, then demand huge tax cuts for the wealthy in the next...And, in general, they seem less determined than America’s right to aid the rich and punish the poor. Still, the direction of policy is the same -- and so is the fundamental insincerity of the calls for austerity.

The big question here is whether the evident failure of austerity to produce an economic recovery will lead to a 'Plan B.' Maybe. But my guess is that even if such a plan is announced, it won’t amount to much. For economic recovery was never the point; the drive for austerity was about using the crisis, not solving it. And it still is.

The complete NYT article link.

Finally, Paul Krugman says what we've all been thinking. Or at least...what I've been thinking...?

Karolina's picture
Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

Paul is one of the few sort of Keynesian-oriented economists who have recognized that Plan A is at its end. (What's Plan A? Well, find out. Hint: it has something to do with infinite growth, jobs and every hot button pushed to kill any discussion about developing a very serious Plan B.)

Plan B (here's a link to open discussion on Plan B economics) is the notion of the need for a new direction we need to go with this public conversation, it has huge and far reaching ramifications on our future that go to the very roots of our survival potential with the current Plan A strategy. It's about recognizing we've reached our limits to growth. There's a global converstation arising about developing a Plan B and the U.S needs to join that conversation. Without that conversation the inevitable may be far more catastrophic than it needs to be. And short term-oriented private businesses, especially in the form of transnational corporations, are not in general going to contribute much to that discussion.

Paul Krugman, an influential voice on one of our most notable corporate media instruments labeled "liberal" (The NYTimes) has to choose his words carefully, always has had to. Our consent is ever being manufactured. Chris Hedges was once where Paul is. He could no longer compromise himself when they put the pressure on. But Paul is still important. We need Paul Krugmans too if we are to influence the big decision makers and get them to stop listening to the corporate propaganda machinery and listen to us.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Our economy is not unlike the foundation laid out in nature..... adapt of die.

Our current form of capitalism and the free market chanters need to step back and regroup. That's what the Founder did when they created the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

We are a country of thinkers and we can learn from our recent past and adapt to the new environment and re-create our country's economy.

delete jan in iowa
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Feb. 6, 2011 12:16 pm
Quote jan in iowa:Our economy is not unlike the foundation laid out in nature..... adapt of die.

BINGO!

Adapt or go the way of the dinosaurs!

That's why the attitude I am training myself to have about all of this, is constant optimism coupled with constant awareness—as opposed to the roller-coaster ride of fear, hope, reaction, fear, hope reaction......

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm
Quote .ren:Paul Krugman, an influential voice on one of our most notable corporate media instruments labeled "liberal" (The NYTimes) has to choose his words carefully, always has had to. Our consent is ever being manufactured. Chris Hedges was once where Paul is. He could no longer compromise himself when they put the pressure on. But Paul is still important. We need Paul Krugmans too if we are to influence the big decision makers and get them to stop listening to the corporate propaganda machinery and listen to us.

You are so right about Krugman. I saw him on Thom's last week, and then later that same evening on Bill Mahr. Clearly he knows that he must choose his words wisely, because it was clear to me that he was editing his thoughts before he replied to a question or made a statement — especially on Bill Mahr's crazy show.

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm
Quote Karolina:
Quote jan in iowa:Our economy is not unlike the foundation laid out in nature..... adapt of die.

BINGO!

Adapt or go the way of the dinosaurs!

That's why the attitude I am training myself to have about all of this, is constant optimism coupled with constant awareness—as opposed to the roller-coaster ride of fear, hope, reaction, fear, hope reaction......

If you can look at "time" as a continuing flow not in little snap shots..... that helps a ton.

As in nature, before a plant dies it will exhaust itself to reproduce.... this is similar to what the right wing is doing. Their ability to adapt has been compromised and they are in the death throws.... so they are trying to spew out their ideas (seeds), trying to get them to take root and spread. As hard as it is to not respond to their emotional stimulation (goodness know I have as hard time at this as anyone!) one has to keep the bigger perspective as much as possible.

Adapt or die...... that's it!

Look at some of the more emotional right wing/libertarian posters and you can see their ability to adapt is compromised.

delete jan in iowa
Joined:
Feb. 6, 2011 12:16 pm
Quote jan in iowa:Look at some of the more emotional right wing/libertarian posters and you can see their ability to adapt is compromised.

You're being so kind. LOL.

The banksters & the Kochs, etc. also have a small problem with adapting! They're the ones I'm not yet able to LOL about. Too much power in the oligarchy still.

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

It's about debt based enslavement to a bunch of banksters and population reduction with FEMA Camps.

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antikakistocrat
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Apr. 18, 2012 3:41 pm
Quote antikakistocrat:

It's about debt based enslavement to a bunch of banksters and population reduction with FEMA Camps.

BLAH BLAH BLAH.......

delete jan in iowa
Joined:
Feb. 6, 2011 12:16 pm

Senator Bernie Sanders on today's show said that deficit reduction will be on the future agenda of Congress and that it is likely that a version of the so-called Simpson-Bowles commission report will be considered, which, according to Bernie, will cut programs that the sick and the poor, as he put it, rely upon. Some of the Tea Party members of Congress I believe will be kicked out because they have gone too far, but some new ones will probably be elected. The point that is often overlooked is that the number of people who are retired, disabled, unemployed, or otherwise poor, and their relatives and friends, greatly outnumber the entire membership of Congress and the richest people who are attempting to manipulate governemnt and politics. The number of people who stand to be affected by possible budget cuts is so large that if they or advocates on their behalf spoke up, the politicians would not be able to completely ignore their existence. As it is, pressure from many in the public over the Stand Your Ground laws and other laws that were passed by states because of the actions of ALEC have been rather effective in getting corporations and some lawmakers cancel their membership in the organization. The effects of blaming social programs for the government's fiscal situation and wanting to use finances to harm people who have no other options, as opposed to non-financial means which have been used at other periods in history, is something that progressives will have to become more educated on, and issues of human worth, fairness, etc. will have to be raised more loudly than before.

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Robindell
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