Two years of trickle-down austerity has The U.K. officially in a second recession

The U.K. is officially in a second recession as the British economy shrank for the second straight quarter. Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron whose government has been pushing trickle-down austerity for nearly the last two years called the new economic numbers, “very, very disappointing.” The U.K. joins the long list of other European nations that have pursued trickle-down austerity and watched their economies tank – like Greece, Italy, and Spain.

Meanwhile in France – Conservative President Nicholas Sarkozy is desperately trying to cling to his job against Socialist Francois Hollande who’s running on an anti-austerity platform. And in the Netherlands, the Dutch Government is in limbo after it caved to pressure and failed to pass its own austerity budget. Over the last year – we’ve seen the devastating consequences of trickle-down austerity – the job layoffs, the riots, and the suicides. And now – the politicians, banksters, and technocrats pushing trickle-down austerity in Europe are feeling the political backlash from their desperate populations.

Meanwhile – multi-millionaire Congressman Paul Ryan and the Republican Party here in the United States are pushing the same sort of trickle-down austerity – ignoring the economic consequences on full display across the Atlantic.


mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 8 weeks ago

I just heard in the top-of-the-hour news that the UK is planning to continue its austerity in response to its austerity-caused recession. Fools.

Uncle Geo's picture
Uncle Geo 12 years 8 weeks ago

Trickle down has never worked over the long term and it's never worked here. As the wealthy get ever wealthier they get rid of more rules with less and less transparency, eventually trashing the economy because no one knows the real extent of the risk -until it's too late.

The notion that the free market is somehow inherently benevolent is one of the stupidest ideas in history. And the GOP's insistence that we cure the disease with it's cause will doom the American economy and the world's. Unfortunately too many voters believe the BS -I simply cannot understand why. What does it take?

JohnLemessurier's picture
JohnLemessurier 12 years 8 weeks ago

Trickle-down Economics leads to a trickle-up (but not very far up) recession. This then calls for Trickle-Down austerity measures which lead to trickle-up social unrest? What then? Trickle-down police and military force to quiet the masses? If so, that could lead to trickle-up revolution.

I agree, they are fools!

MJohnW's picture
MJohnW 12 years 8 weeks ago

First lets get something straight. The US bankers and the ludicrous theories of Ayn Rand are the cause of the worlds financial problems and deficits have nothing to do with it. Europe is not the cause of the US problems that is just current US nonsense trying to transfer the blame from themselves.

The problems are getting worse because the economies are driven by consumers and consumers are having their spending ability severely reduce on a continuous basis. Banks are neither job creators nor producers. They produce nothing.

My favourite British historian wrote just after WW2 a brilliant comment on the 1929 depression:-

" The depression had little to do with the preceeding war,though men did not think so at the time. The depression was started by the collapse of a speculative boomin the US; and the unemployment which followed was swelled by the failure of purchasing power to keep pace with the increased resources of production. Everyone understands this now; just as they know the way out of a depression is to increase government spending. In 1929 hardly anyone knew it".

I find it startling that a comment in a history book should be so clear. The present situation is a carbon copy of the mistakes of the past.

If France turns to the socialism it might begin a real solution to Europes problems. Of Course, that would be no solution for the US. The US is determined to turn itself into the France of the 18th Century and is well on the way to succeeding.

sittinghare's picture
sittinghare 12 years 8 weeks ago

The tide will turn when these irresponsible politicians are democratically replaced or when money is removed from the electoral equation or when pigs fly.

SteveS's picture
SteveS 12 years 8 weeks ago

Paul Ryan will never learn, but independent and progressive Americans can learn or have learned that austerity causes deeper recessions. That's why I am volunteering with Rob Zerban's campaign in Wisconsin. Rob is running against Paul Ryan in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District. I'm also working at one of the recall offices to help in the recall effort to oust Scott Walker from the governorship. We have to get these crazies out of office!

historywriter's picture
historywriter 12 years 8 weeks ago

How many times do we have to prove that austerity and budget cutting DOES NOT WORK? We understand how it works. And we know why our "leaders" keep pushing it. But why doesn't the electorate understand it, especially if they've lived through a recession or two?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 12 years 8 weeks ago

"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." T.J.

The tide will turn when those who thirst for democracy figure out how to, "well inform," the electorate, more than big money and Fox, "well-misinform," them.

Also it might help if guys like the Kochs would take their damn medications!

delster's picture
delster 12 years 8 weeks ago

Austerity in broadcast news is also trickle down. The less informed or misinformed the citizens are the better for those implementing austerity. It goes hand in hand, the corporate influenced media is doing it's job for the top of the piramyd while the general public is busy with diversions from reality. Soon the diversions will be too expensive. Perhaps then people will finally pay attention and react.

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 12 years 7 weeks ago

Why do we have austerity everywhere?

Because they think this is what works?

Beliefs create behaviors our behaviors create our on the ground experience .

Sean.O's picture
Sean.O 12 years 7 weeks ago

This is not surprising. In fact, it is that "entitlements" that the government obviously cannot afford that will get any country in some serious financial trouble. It is amazing how so many people think that depending on a government to fill your needs instead of working for it yourself is a good thing.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 12 years 7 weeks ago

LOL, I have always been a continental mind -- historical home base Germany and France. Great Britain seemed always strange to me. I mean, we got a bunch of crazy heritages from U.K., above all the stuffy Protestantism of the Puritanical kind. And this Puritanism was all about work and money -- very materialistic. I think this stingy sparing attitude comes from there as well.

Part of the British attitude is to avoid change and overemphasizing tradition, and this makes them so stiff and inflexible. And it keeps them from learning. They're constantly punishing themselves for being stuffy, stingy and unteachable, although Keynes was one of them. As long as they don't get it, they're really supposed to fail and repeatedly feel the pain, until they might learn it.....

Our GOP shows that stuffy old British attitude too. Gingrich's claim, "We speak English in America", might have been an effort to define the U.S. British. But thanks God, America is built on several other European traditions as well -- above all France and Germany.

The British refusal to join the Euro is part of their unconvincable character. This always seemed very odd to me and was the reason why I concentrated on continental history, pretty much avoiding England. I strongly feel like this English heritage is an unhealthily foolish part of our American tradition.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 12 years 7 weeks ago
Quote Sean.O:This is not surprising. In fact, it is that "entitlements" that the government obviously cannot afford that will get any country in some serious financial trouble. It is amazing how so many people think that depending on a government to fill your needs instead of working for it yourself is a good thing.
See, here's one of those stingy austerian minds -- very intersting!

ENTITLEMENTS... ha, that make him suspicious. He wants to cut-cut-cut ENTITLEMENTS. How can anybody claim anything, eh? This is an austerity mind who would cut-cut-cut everything down..... and finally strangle the whole economy. This very much sounds like that neurotic Puritan austerity : work-work-work, but claim nothing. You have only duties and no rights. And then they rub their eyes and wonder where the depression comes from.....

Were your ancestors Puritan immigrants, Sean.O?

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 12 years 7 weeks ago
Quote Sean.O:obviously cannot afford
And look here, he strongly feels like we cannot afford entitlements. So if it comes to a depression, caused by austerity, he wouldn't come to the conclusion it was caused by austerity. No! He is still looking for entitlements he could still cut down. Like 18th century physician's blood-letting neurosis : killing countless patients, already weakened by their illness. Actually the patient cannot have enough blood to get over an illness. Though they take away more and more blood, until they can bury him. This is austerity. LOL

Sorry for having to analyze you, Sean O. -- you're just too interesting.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 12 years 7 weeks ago
Quote The Clarissa Smith Twitter Machine:Analyzing an austerian mind who dared to put in his 2 cents on a liberal blog. Is this funny or sad?…

— Clarissa Smith (@ClarissaSmith2) April 29, 2012

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall