U.S. Austerity - An Imitation of Greece?

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"The plot: A society is being pushed to its limits. The denouement is not yet determined, but survival is at stake and prospects are precarious. Greece is at the sharp end of a radical and risky experiment in how far accumulation by dispossession can go, how much expropriation can be endured, how far the state can be subordinated to the market. It is a global narrative, but the story is a few episodes ahead here."

"Greece is the crucible.1 It is a caldron where concentrated forces are colliding in a process that will bring forth either a reconfiguration of capitalism or the dawn of its demise."

"I also walked the streets and squares of the contemporary city, seeing the homeless carrying all their possessions everywhere they went, people searching bins for food, immigrants scrambling to sell things to passers by, junkies shooting up, rats scurrying across my path. Sometimes I averted my eyes and walked on quickly, because I didn’t really know what to do."

"Perhaps the most striking of what I saw was in English in gigantic red letters on the wall of the Academy of Athens, near the presiding statutes of Socrates and Plato. It read: “Capitalism is killing you. Fascism won’t save you.”

"One in three shops in Athens is boarded up or burnt out"

"The atmosphere in Athens is being compared to that of Berlin during the Weimar Republic.11 The high unemployment, fascist threat, street fighting, political paralysis,"

"Desperation surrounds food. People are asked to put stale bread and other still edible food in bags hanging on the outside of bins to save scavenging and contamination. The bags disappear quickly."

"Greece is a crucible, where the best and worst of our civilisation are in high energy collision with each other. This is not some local battle. These cuts to pay, pensions and public services, this privatisation of public property, this redistribution of wealth from below to above: these are not temporary contingent measures. These are integral to a systemic restructuring of capitalism. It has advanced through Europe already from east to west. - Helena Sheehan is professor emeritus at Dublin City University. Full article here:


http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/23/an-irish-engagement-with-the-greek-crisis-and-the-greek-left/


Do we really want to go the route of austerity...more redistribution of wealth from below to above when the results are so obvious?

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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I'm not sure that the descriptive passages about the carnage in Greece are helpful for any more than an emotional impact. This is all well known. The message of Greece is that "this is what happens when people, especially rich people don't pay nearly enough taxes."

Art's picture
Art
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

It's also what happens when nations give their monetary sovereignty to international bankers.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Art:

I'm not sure that the descriptive passages about the carnage in Greece are helpful for any more than an emotional impact. This is all well known. The message of Greece is that "this is what happens when people, especially rich people don't pay nearly enough taxes."

Nations with a balanced budget don't have these problems.

Mauiman2's picture
Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am

Really? Spain had balaanced budgets. And you are aware, right, that no doctors, dentists or small business owners in Greece pay taxes? See, by conservative logic, Greece should have the bestest economic growth in the history of unicorn loving economies. Low taxes, business owning job cremators pay almost no taxes! Growth baby! Yeah!

And yet, their economy is stuck in a deep depression?

I guess conservatives don't know jack about economics.

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Phaedrus76
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