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Austerity

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Austerity

Postby erzats » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:24 am

This should get the neo-cons fired up. What do y'all think of the austerity plans in Europe? Are they good, strict fiscal policy in a time that needs it, or is it a way for the wealthy to tip the scales more in their favour toward a less social, more free market system like the US has? Are the French just acting le-tired by not being retired at 60? Or should people protect the erosion of a system that arguably leads to an excellent lifestyle for the broadest economic swath of people?

My feelings run to the left. Toward protecting the social programs in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, even Greece. It seems to me that much of the movement toward austerity is faddish and is resulting in the wealthy viewing this as an opportunity to trim down their taxes and eliminate services for people who can not afford the loss of such things. Is it no surprise that the austerity measured in the UK are being put through by a conservative government bent on protecting the interests of the wealthiest people? Furthermore, all of this fits in perfectly with Naomi Klein's view of historical economic policy. This is the so-called Shock Doctrine in which after military, environmental, or economic stress populations are most apt to agree to radical change in their economic systems because they are confused by the chaos caused by the shock. These tactics have been employed for 5 decades, and most recently the bush administration actually deigned to put "shock" in the name of the mission. Europe is rioting over this, or at least segments of Europe's population are. This is an interesting time because the US and Europe are actually moving toward each other economically -- we by adding social services despite very low tax revenues and the great costs of doing so and Europe by eroding a more extensive system. In the US people are mad, but no one is in the streets. People just complain over AM radio, twitter, and facebook, and maybe by electing tea party candidates in a few weeks.

Who else has thought about this stuff? What do you think?
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Re: Austerity

Postby Ceedog » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:40 pm

Keeping tabs on all this stuff is what I do instead of tv. It has been known for a very long time that people can only handle 1-2 crisis at a time. After that they will submit to anything as long as it promises to make them safer, ie patriot act, wars, vaccines. Everything we're seeing now is been part of a long term agenda passed down through generations of oligarchs. Manipulation of our food, skies, medicines, foreign policies, monetary systems, legislative processes, and any other matter of our society is all meant to herd us into a society that can be easily managed and controlled.
I won't put much stock into the Tea party until I see integrity from any of their candidates. The RNC scrambled to corrupt them as soon as they saw the momentum building. Hopefully, they won't completely succeed in poisoning the well of the original tea party.
As far as Austerity, something should have happened before we reached such a critical place. The Fed held rates low when they shouldn't have. They supplied the air to fill the bubble. And since the dems and repubs removed the restrictions from wall street in the '90s they were free to create all these derivatives and financial instruments that are bringing down the markets. When really they are nothing more than a sea of Ponzi schemes. Here's a good interview which talks about some of the fraud behind the mortgage scandal (6 parts):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm_qmqwigyI&feature=player_embedded
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Re: Austerity

Postby brdsurf » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:10 am

erzats wrote:This should get the neo-cons fired up. What do y'all think of the austerity plans in Europe? Are they good, strict fiscal policy in a time that needs it, or is it a way for the wealthy to tip the scales more in their favour toward a less social, more free market system like the US has? Are the French just acting le-tired by not being retired at 60? Or should people protect the erosion of a system that arguably leads to an excellent lifestyle for the broadest economic swath of people?

Who else has thought about this stuff? What do you think?


Hmmm, hard question to answer really. I think most Americans perspective of whats happening in Europe is a bit off or skewed by media. As far as the rioting, that is nothing new and has less to do with the austerity plans than individual groups of people trying to protect their own lifestyles or sectors. One of the reasons why it is hard to claim that it is just a way for the wealthy to tip scales is that for many of the EU countries there is a huge difference between the economical-social status groups compared to the USA. Yeah, there are some stinky filthy rich but the gap between wealthy and middle class is small. But then again you have to compared it at a more level than is often the common Americans thinking. Compare middle class in France vs Greece and it will not be close. Compare again Italy vs Denmark. Middle class isnt the same. In the USA it is less different. There are poor masses nestled right up next to the middle class and the rich. LA, NY and so forth are great examples of that. Hell even PDX.
The main issue that is going to be a strain to the individual EU states is that of retirement pensions. The average states population is falling. Be it due to emigration or whatever, there is less people to pay for the social benefits of those not working. It has less to do with the raising of the retirement age as a whole, at least EU wide, than it does with protecting what the taxes actually pay for. I mean if you had basically free health care, free education, guaranteed paid vacation every year during the best times of the year AND the ability to vote wether or not changes come, who represents you and other matters (just like in the USA) wouldnt you stand up and try to let your voice be heard?
Another issue that is also at play in this that Americans dont hear so much about (maybe it is a guilty conscience or something considering many Americans current view of immigrants) is that of refugees legal and otherwise. Many Americans think Hispanics that are illegally in the USA and do nothing but drain the economy and run down the system it seems. If you think that Hispanics and such are worthless, look up the Roma problem in the EU states, or Somalis, or Persians, or well, any number of African (mostly northern) peoples. Once they have one member get in then they try to take the laws to the extreme and invite everyone they know in. If they are lucky enough to get in, usually through Greece via Turkey (applying for EU member status) or to a lesser extent through Spain via Morocco, Tunisia or Libya, they find groups of their own to protect themselves and often sick or whatever receive treatment for basically no cost. Any of you ever become sick in Europe? Its cheap for the most part, even if you pay more than someone from Europe. If these people make it far enough north though away from the frontier states, they get deported on the tax payers bill. The tax payers of the individual state. Not from a EU wide general fund or protection unit.
With that it is important when discussing how different things are in the USA vs EU, the EU doesnt even have a formal agreed Constitution. In that sense they see how apart America has become with how the different regional interests are unique and offer their own set of challenges and problems/solutions. What is important to someone in Oregon economically, socially, mentally and whatever is not the same as those in Florida, Maine or Kansas. Same with Europe. Think those in the UK worry about subsidies to Italian farmers? Or that Spanish people want to pay for Estonian harbor upgrades to be able to keep shipping alive on the Baltic?
Its an amusing thing, this Austerity for sure. But just as Europeans look at the USA and its politics and problems and just say why is it so hard and crap, there is just so much involved and so much they dont see with the USA. In many ways the actual amount of Austerity being discussed is small and somewhat in limited number of states. It in some ways could be compared to the Oregon Health Plan of years gone by. Under the protection or under the system the Federal Govt had, Oregon took matters into its own hands. Its the same thing in the EU. If France somehow implements some form of Austerity, or Greece it is not going to change the overall picture and social climate of other member states that much. The interest of the other states is only to see how they can help. I think Germany is taking a good stance on alot of this by saying to states like Greece, hey you are waaaay over the accept spending levels so before you get y you need to fix x.
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Re: Austerity

Postby pra_ggresion » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:33 pm

I've got to give props to the french peoples. They aren't taking this infringement lying down. They're making us look like the surrender monkeys now.
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Re: Austerity

Postby Gazsurf » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:34 pm

pra_ggresion wrote:I've got to give props to the french peoples. They aren't taking this infringement lying down. They're making us look like the surrender monkeys now.


:lol: :lol: Good one.
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Re: Austerity

Postby Ceedog » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:03 pm

Maybe its because France doesn't fluoridate their water... I wouldn't say we've surrendered, we're just too distracted by bread and circuses to notice our own demise.
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Re: Austerity

Postby pra_ggresion » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:58 pm

Monkey say what?
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Re: Austerity

Postby wanty » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:57 pm

erzats wrote: It seems to me that much of the movement toward austerity is faddish and is resulting in the wealthy viewing this as an opportunity to trim down their taxes and eliminate services for people who can not afford the loss of such things.


I might go for this if the deficits weren't as bad as they are over there. Its hard to say how much a free(er) market would fill that void if the gov. slashed services but good things can come out of it.
Is the U.S moving in that direction? We certainly aren't reducing spending in most states and probably not federally either. I'm sick of the political ads but its seems to me that they're all bickering over who will "cut spending" and reduce deficits. Its a worldwide problem.
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Re: Austerity

Postby dogfur » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:25 am

The rise of deficits in this country can be seen to parallel the cutting of taxes on the super wealthy. What we have is not a spending problem, it's a revenue problem. Let's return to the tax levels of the 70's and watch the deficits disappear.
(To say nothing of our 10 year wars and insane trade policies.)
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Re: Austerity

Postby Ceedog » Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:34 pm

Taxing the rich more would do absolutely nothing to help cover our deficit. Ending three wars may provide more of an answer.

As far as austerity here, it will be a slashing of services and tax hikes. And probably followed by privatization of infrastructure as states/counties/cities lose their bond ratings and won't be able to borrow so cheaply, or maybe at all.
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Re: Austerity

Postby dogfur » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:06 pm

I believe deficits are caused by spending more than you take in. Two ways to reduce deficits would then be either to reduce spending - say "austerity", or increase revenue. (In the case of government, raising taxes) The top income tax rates and corporate tax rates have been slashed over the past 30 years, and at the same time deficits have grown. (with the exception of a short period of time after Clinton raised taxes, which resulted in a "projected surplus") It seems obvious that rolling back these tax cuts would result in increased revenue, thereby reducing the size of the deficit. Now I'm not saying that's the only solution, but if we're going to cut wasteful spending, we should begin with our colossal, ridiculous military budget, an option almost never mentioned. In the 60's, tax rates on incomes over what today would be about $3mil. were 90%! (On every dollar over 3mil.) I am not a rich person by any measure, but I am proud to be able to work and pay taxes, however, I resent the fact the by his own admission, billionaire Warren Buffet pays an effective tax rate that is about half of what I pay. That just ain't right. Until that's fixed, I can't agree with cutting any social services.
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Re: Austerity

Postby smithgrind » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:33 pm

Time for class war?
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Re: Austerity

Postby bluesilver » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:57 pm

Let Texas have their own little country full of angry white supremacists.
And no longer fund them as well.
Let's see what they have to offer (nothing)
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