Austerity

It is perhaps not surprising given the power and reach of the Neoliberal uber-rich that in the UK, the EU and USA Austerity has become the orthodoxy.  In the UK it is taking on an extreme form in our political life.  So much so that the neoliberal Tories are regarded by many voters as a centre party. They have been bamboozled by the idea that the finances of a country are best managed like a household budget. Margaret Thatcher famously started the idea but George Osborne and Cameron are the real practitioners. Prof Steve Keen in an interview explains the absurdity of such theories. It is not surprising that his views and similar views of other serious economists are hidden under a blizzard of spin and invective by the powerful uber-rich who stand to lose if austerity is abandoned.

This has resulted in Labour becoming a right of centre party also enamoured of austerity which they dare not refute. That is the case with all their leadership nominees apart from Jeremy Corbyn. He is being taken apart by the neoliberal main stream media, not surprising in view of who owns them, and there is a desperate campaign to stop his bid for the labour Party leadership.

However, there are growing signs of at least some of the electorate realising the fact that they have been hoodwinked. Jeremy Corbyn is the popular candidate of the grassroots of the party, Greece elected a left wing party, Syriza, and there are movements in Spain and Italy.

Prof Steen mentioned the economic policy of the SNP in Scotland as going in the right direction.

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Cretan Austerity

Crete 28/06/2012

As you see above this was first written in Crete in June last year but it appears just as relevant today with the Greek people no nearer the end of the austerity than two years ago. Politicians everywhere are kicking the toxic ball down the road in the hpoes that they will never actually have to deal with any real problems.
The austerity package in Greece is far more severe than in the UK. Pensions and wages have been reduced, retirement packages slashed. Beggars are haunting supermarket car parks and garbage bins are searched for food items. Tensions in some villages have resurfaced bringing added violence.
 Britain’s austerity measures should be as severe if we are to eliminate our own deficit, in other words the annual increase in the nation’s debt, any time soon. Total removal of the lump sum payable to public servants on retirement would never be contemplated in the UK so why should the Greeks accept it? A 30% reduction the the Old Age Pension would bring down a government but the Greeks are expected to take it on the chin.
As always it is the weak and poor who bear the brunt but what is worse in Greece is the exemptions from tax enjoyed by many Greek companies, granted years ago for bringing in jobs. Itv is not all the fault of government and many Greeks have enjoyed the good times living beyond their means  so it is reasonable to expect cutbacks but the rich and powerful should not be quarantined.