Austerity

is the world bank’s way of making rich people richer, poor people poorer, and ensuring the disappearance of the middle class. Every country in the euro zone, the US, and now Canada too are taking part in some way, with slightly different program names, but the same general idea of “fiscal responsibility”. The financial crisis was a perfect Naomi Klein-esque “shock” that’s being exploited by the rich to entrench the pathways that direct wealth to themselves. The right has done such a good job of controlling the media message that any political attempt to stimulate the economy with deficit spending would be political suicide even though it is the only way to haul the economy out of recession. They have framed it such that “fiscal responsibility” means zero deficit spending even though the most fiscally responsible policy would be to stimulate the economy to the tune of close to a trillion dollars. However, the long recession fits perfectly into a model in which labor is reorganized to the benefit of the “owners of capital”. Eventually people will be desperate enough to take any job even if it means giving up unionized labor protections or any kind of decent wage. Meanwhile countries are working hard to enact free trade agreements that will further suppress wage growth until all workers in the free trade regions are making equitable wages. In some ways, a globally sustainable economy will demand lower wages for all so this could be acceptable if everyone was taking an equal hit. Instead, the poor are bearing all of the cutbacks while the wealthy continue to experience growth. Brutal.

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