Established wealth propaganda publication Time offers an unsigned editorial ‘analysis’ today, telling us that ‘austerity for all’ is unavoidable. As soon as the bankers are done with Greece and the ‘periphery’, they’re plannning to come after the rest of us (emphasis added):
Whatever happens as the crisis unfolds – whether Athens defaults or not, whether the country sticks with the euro or ditches it – years of painful reform and austerity measures to straighten out the nation’s finances are unavoidable. …
It’s a tragic end that most of the world’s richest countries may face as well. What’s happening in Greece is a window into the future of the West. True, the U.S., U.K. and other debt-heavy nations may never tumble into crises as severe as Greece’s. America, for a host of reasons, is not Greece. But the Americans, Brits, French, Italians and most other Westerners can’t avoid the budget cuts and potentially lower living standards the Greeks are suffering through today as governments across the developed world will inevitably be forced to restore order to their shattered finances. It’s the price of living beyond our means like the Greeks have done.
What means? What beyond? None of that last sentence is true — it was not overborrowing but mainly the collapse of the real estate bubble, the world financial crisis, the taxpayer rescue of the banks, and the recession that caused budget deficits in Europe and elsewhere — and austerity is absurd rather than inevitable with technology and worker productivity on a constant upswing. The only real question is whether the people being re-distributed away from by the banks and their wealthy clients, that means US, are gonna take it.
Briefly, though, get that bad establishment ‘analysis’ taste out of your mouth and get the true story from Michael Hudson‘s take:
Finance is a form of warfare. Like military conquest, its aim is to gain control of land, public infrastructure, and to impose tribute. This involves dictating laws to its subjects, and concentrating social as well as economic planning in centralized hands. …
This attack is being mounted not by nation states as such, but by a cosmopolitan financial class. Finance always has been cosmopolitan more than nationalistic – and always has sought to impose its priorities and lawmaking power over those of parliamentary democracies.
Like any monopoly or vested interest, the financial strategy seeks to block government power to regulate or tax it. From the financial vantage point, the ideal function of government is to enhance and protect finance capital and “the miracle of compound interest” that keeps fortunes multiplying exponentially, faster than the economy can grow, until they eat into the economic substance and do to the economy what predatory creditors and rentiers did to the Roman Empire.
This financial dynamic is what threatens to break up Europe today. But the financial class has gained sufficient power to turn the ideological tables and insist that what threatens European unity is national populations acting to resist the cosmopolitan claims of finance capital to impose austerity on labor. Debts that already have become unpayable are to be taken onto the public balance sheet – without a military struggle, needless to say.
The establishment parties, Democrats or Republicans, will not save us. The bought-and-paid-for ‘progressives’ (gathered now at Netroots Nation to ‘reluctantly’ cheer on the Democrats) and Tea Partiers, both in the tank for one or the other of the financier-owned parties, will not save us. Paul Krugman a few days ago:
Far from being ready to spend more on job creation, both parties agree that it’s time to slash spending — destroying jobs in the process — with the only difference being one of degree.
… policy makers are catering almost exclusively to the interests of rentiers — those who derive lots of income from assets, who lent large sums of money in the past, often unwisely, but are now being protected from loss at everyone else’s expense..
There’s no strategic, vote-getting reason for that. It’s all about money, who provides the money for campaign TV commercials. That’s all our real enemy is, the money spent on the cheesy advertising and lame p.r. the bad guys manipulate elections with. And with that, says Michael_Hudson again, here is what is ‘intended’ (whether the actual actors know it or not):
What is to be reversed is the “modern” agenda. The aim a century ago was to mobilize the Industrial Revolution’s soaring productivity and technology to raise living standards and use progressive taxation, public regulation, central banking and financial reform to distribute wealth fairly and make societies more equal. Today’s financial aim is the opposite: to concentrate wealth at the top of the economic pyramid and lower labor’s returns. High finance loves low wages.
In the European periphery, according to Mark Weibrot, what needs to happen is clear. Pray or ‘hope’ for a political movement that creates a new ‘no alternative’:
The governments of Greece, Portugal and Ireland need to tell the European authorities that they will not accept any “bailout” agreements that do not allow their economies to grow. That has to be the bottom line: help, not punishment. Spain has not yet entered into a loan agreement, but its situation is similar. These governments have a lot of unused bargaining power, since the European authorities are very much afraid of a default and/or exit from the euro by any one of them. And the European authorities have the money to help each and every one of these economies recover with expansionary macroeconomic policies. They just need to be told that “there is no alternative.”
As I’ve said before, let’s support the Greek people. If they stop the banks there that will inspire the rest of us to overthrow the financial class and get our economies back on the Keynesian policy path that worked very well (especially in retrospect!) before the banks and their clientele took over world economic policy. We can create the opposite ‘no alternative’ to the one propagated by the banks and Time magazine.