Author Topic: Austerity Measures  (Read 13116 times)

Toedancer

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Austerity Measures
« on: August 06, 2010, 02:30:24 PM »
Since Greece seems to be the testing ground......

IMF and the EU are so impressed of Greece's vigorous implementation of cuts, Greece can now borrow another  €9bn  :o

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"Spain, Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Italy still need to show further   progress on deficit reduction and the quid pro quo will be a longer   recession and higher unemployment."
Which is a pleasanter way of saying, suck more money from the working poor, they don't give a flying monkey, their job is to protect the country's capitalism and capitalism is not democracy.

But at what cost to the people who are doing the suffering?

The Lorry driver strikes ended a few days ago, under threat of criminal prosecution and by the military. Monday last, 33,000 licensed truck drivers walked off the job in protest at   government plans to open up the freight industry, one of many   'closed–shop' professions blamed for keeping the Greek economy isolated   and uncompetitive.

Only 3 days into the strike Greece used an 'emergency' order to force them back to work.

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prime minister George Papandreou resorted to emergency legislation,   more usually used at times of war or great natural disaster, to end the   walk-out.
Oh and they had no support from their unions, which is one reason they had no choice but to defy the orders even under criminal threats of going to jail.   Greek Finance and Transport Minister George Papaconstantinou told the   press: "No special interest group could be allowed to paralyse the   country,"  :o Lorry drivers who deliver gas/oil/perishable goods to the country are a 'special interest' group now? Working people are a threat to national security too I suppose.

The militancy is a sign of broader struggles to come and the gov't knows it, so they brought out the military fast. Except what will happen when even the military won't do the gov'ts dirty work against their own people? They have suppressed all independent struggle by the working class against the government, the EU, and the banks. This   betrayal of the working class allowed the Papandreou government to   proceed with its cuts, with a devastating impact on the population. For time line articles about this capitalist-made mess see Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/greece

Greece is a testing ground, I've said before, but there is no 'recovery', just more job losses, more big gov't spending on whatever TF they want (I mean all countries proposing austerity measures for the people), and the frightening beginnings of a class conflict that the Greeks will not shy away from, they will confront it, so far, they are the only ones who have so far and kudos to them!

What kind of government threatens their own people for striking? People   don’t strike for fun they strike out of desperation. It is anybody’s   right to say NO. It is anybody’s right to simply say to their governing   bodies.. raise food/gas/oil prices as much as you want but my wages must go up likewise! Get it?

To me it’s quite clear that those posing as governments have declared   war on their own people. They are waging it now in the USA, Australia,   Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and of course Greece et al.

Viva le revolucion!







 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 02:31:00 PM by Toedancer »
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

Antonia

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 05:20:23 PM »
While I agree with what you say Toe, again, I have to make the point that, in Greece, tax evasion is a national sport. It's kinda like the underground economy in Quebec.
It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity. It is when we all play safe that fatality will lead us to our doom. It is in the "dark shade of courage" alone that the spell can be broken.
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Croghan27

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 05:54:34 PM »
While I agree with what you say Toe, again, I have to make the point that, in Greece, tax evasion is a national sport. It's kinda like the underground economy in Quebec.

Knew a fellow that swore to the maxim that "if your accountant tells you that you are paying too much in taxes, fire your accountant - you should not be paying any taxes."

Some do it under the table .. some do it in yer face - there is a difference?
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Toedancer

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 09:10:05 PM »
While I agree with what you say Toe, again, I have to make the point that, in Greece, tax evasion is a national sport. It's kinda like the underground economy in Quebec.

Eggactly A. There was definite method to the madness in picking Greece. I believe Greece was targeted for economic destruction. Those who think that organized gov interests would never engage in   such a greasy business as plundering nations of their wealth need a   reality check. Who is next? The good news is that we know it can be done, the bad news is that   they can do this anytime they want, and more than likely   WILL if we don’t “get with the program”. The only way for Greeks (and many others) is to bite the hand that feeds him.   Anything less is a declaration of surrender and a consignment to a   lifetime of enslavement. The truck drivers did not deserve the Greek gov't military nor the courts to criminalize them. That is just way off base and it is a *warning* to the rest of the world. Who was behind it? I don't know, I'm no banker or Bernancke or whoever, I just see
patterns, but I can make a good guess who was/is responsible.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

Herr Magoo

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2010, 09:27:13 AM »
Why don't the Greeks just say "screw it all" and leave the EU?
 
Seems to me that's the only thing tying them to austerity measures.  What's so super about the EU, anyway?  They could withdraw, reintroduce the Drachma, and go right back to a bribe/fraud based economy.  It's their choice, yes?
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Toedancer

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2010, 01:06:31 PM »
Why don't the Greeks just say "screw it all" and leave the EU?

Because it won't get the next payout.  Subsidies to Greece were directly attached to saving measures and attacks on social gains. Now the Scottish political elite are intent on using the global financial   crisis to roll back social spending. Such spending that remains is to be   reorganised in the interests of corporate profit. This is following Jean Claude Trichet's plan for austerity measures He is the European Central Bank President and follows Greenspan, not Krugman.
 17 days ago he said: behind sub wall unfortunately.                  Stimulate no more – it is now time for all to tighten

(IMF) and the (EU) have tightened the screws on Hungary, they're next. Hungary is fighting back tho, so the EU shut down talks about their emergency funding.

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After starting what the government and some commentators referred to   as the “fight for freedom” against the International Monetary Fund,   Hungary’s leaders have now stood up against the European Union, which   opposes against the government’s plan of taking private pension funds   under the state umbrella to cut budget deficit, on paper.
Required by foreign lenders to cut its budget deficits to   earlier-agreed targets after Hungary had to seek a bailout amid the   global financial crisis, the Hungarian government sees making the   private funds part of the state system as a way that could bring the   deficit down significantly. But the EU opposes the plan.
The Hungarian government will not tolerate international lenders   telling it what to do, the government’s State Secretary Mihaly Varga   said on right-leaning television Hir TV over the weekend.
“My straightforward opinion is that the European Union cannot ban the   Hungarian government from making an independent decision on the issue   of private pension funds,” Mr. Varga said.
http://blogs.wsj.com/new-europe/2010/08/09/hungary-takes-feisty-tone-with-eu/

No question the IMF/EU is taking a hard line with any country that doesn't fall in lockstep with austerity measures. Countries where elections are upcoming can't sell it to the public, they know they will be punished by voters. The IMF is trapping countries into debt, it is merely a tool for enforcing the interests of the financial elite. That is extortion as far as I'm concerned.The IMF's assertion that they have to do this to the countries who refuse to is total myth and grift. No doubt Hungary will be punished for their defiance.







"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

Herr Magoo

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 01:23:25 PM »
Quote
Because it won't get the next payout.

I see.
 
So Greece is entitled to receive payouts, but without any specific strings attached?
 
As I see it, if Greece wants the investment then it should be ready to do what investors demand, and if it doesn't want to do that it's free, as any sovereign country is, to go its own way.  But it's not clear to me why they should have their cake and eat it too. 
 
I mean, I'm just as heartsick as anyone that they might have to start paying taxes and other draconian measures, but it looks like they want into a club.  A club that has rules.
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Toedancer

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2010, 03:55:38 PM »
Quote
Because it won't get the next payout.

I see.
 
So Greece is entitled to receive payouts, but without any specific strings attached?

No there will be strings. Greece must pay back the IMF first, because the U.S. provides 40% (I think?) of the money. They must restructure ev. monetary/taxes etc., but don't forget Germany isn't happy with the IMF bailing them out (could set a precedent), but they don't want EU countries bailing them out either, when isn't the EU responsible for each other?

Check out this page, it is the U.S. National Debt Clock, your eyes will start to cross in just a few seconds. Look at the debt for each individual and taxpayer.
http://www.usdebtclock.org/

This Neither Corp article is chock full of links to FT/Bloomberg/Marketwatch/Reuters etc., some of this is of course doom/gloom/scare mongering, but some of it is cold hard reality as well. Since I'm not in any way, shape or form a money person, it is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. I am enjoying learning tho.

"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

Herr Magoo

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 05:04:12 PM »
 I guess that's kind of my thinking:  of course there will be strings.
 
Doesn't Greece have the option of NOT taking loans from the IMF and NOT restructuring accordingly, at the cost of membership in the EU?
 
Or, they can take the loans, keep their EU status, but with strings.
 
So I guess I'm having trouble seeing why there's so much weeping and gnashing of teeth going on regarding the austerity measures.  It's not like Greece doesn't have options.  It just doesn't have the option of loans plus EU membership, but with no strings attached (ie: no austerity measures). 
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Toedancer

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2010, 01:45:17 PM »
Have you guys seen the recent headlines about a market crash? I don't know nuthing about this stuff, but man the headlines are blazing.

Gerald Celente Greatest Depression coming

The Star - The Hindenburg Omen - Coming Market Crash

And then German mag interviews Max Stein, which I find so delishly amusing

Some excerpts:

Quote
With regard to the U.S. economy,   would you agree with Paul Krugman, who wrote not a long time ago that   the lights in the U.S. are about to go out?[1] Paul Krugman is a salon monkey. You can quote me on that.
Okay, no problem (laughs).
He   is a tool of the New York Times. If it wasn’t for the New York Times,   no one would read Paul Krugman. He has absolutely nothing credible to   say. He is merely a mouthpiece for neo-liberal clap-trap. Any minute you   spend reading Paul Krugman is a minute of your life that you’ll never   get back.
Quote
Okay, then let’s change the   subject. What is your opinion on BP’s so called “oil spill”? Do we   really get the information that we would need in order to assess the   true magnitude of the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico?
The most revealing aspect of the BP oil spill was that it showed to the world that America currently has no President.
In the sense that Mr. Obama is something like a doppelganger of Mr. Bush during Katrina?
Much   worse. At least with Bush you knew where he stood. I believe with Obama   there is nobody home. He is a ghost. He doesn’t do anything. He is a   Manshurian Candidate, he is a robot, he is nothing. He has done nothing,   he is doing nothing, he will never do anything. Obama is just waiting   to get a job at Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan in three or four years time   and that’s it. The White House is a way to improve his resume. The BP   oil spill revealed that America is running with no leadership at all.   There is nobody at the helm of the ship. It’s running wild with no   leadership whatsoever.
Woo, such a hate-on.
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Paul Craig Roberts wrote in an   essay called “The Ecstacy of Empire: How close is America’s Demise?”,   that was published this week, the following:
“The   United States and the welfare of its 300 million people cannot be   restored unless the neocons, Wall Street, the corporations, and their   servile slaves in Congress and the White House can be defeated.
Without a revolution, Americans are history.”[6]
Do   you share my opinion that the United States belongs to the least places   in the world, where a revolution has to be expected right now?
America   died two years ago. It’s a walking dead-zombie country, and anybody who   still lives in that country should get re-familiarize themselves with   cotton-picking, because once the dollar crashes, the only crop that   America will be able to export, is cotton. It will be King Cotton again.   It will be 1840 again. The only job available will be as a   cotton-picker working on a Wal Mart or Goldman Sachs plantation. This is   the reality of the situation. There is no turning back at this point.   The die has been cast. The American experience lasted from 1776 to 2008.   Those were the years it was kicking ass and taking names. But the   second Obama took office, who took Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner   with him – it   died. That was the end. Every day since then has been   Post-America.
At the end of   this interview I would like to know what you think about this PR-event   by some of the most prominent billionaires in the U.S., who announced   that they will donate a large portion of their wealth in order to   disguise them as a noble bunch of philanthropists, I assume.
I   think it would be better if those guys just paid their taxes. What   percentage of the Fortune-500 companies pay tax? Something like only 10   per cent. How about just pay your taxes and shut up!
  :))
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

Toedancer

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2010, 12:38:19 PM »
The shit is hitting the fan in Europe over austerity measures.

In pictures, Spain's PM with a Dart under his eye

Silobreaker with all the links to general strikes in Spain/Brussels

Cement truck blocks Irish parliament

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Public hostility to the government is running high amid surging   debts, a series of emergency budgets and a soaring bill for propping up   the nation's debt-crippled banks.
Those tensions were writ large   on the truck itself. It displayed the slogans "All politicians should be   sacked" and, in huge capitalized red letters, "TOXIC BANK," alongside   the corporate logo of government-owned Anglo Irish Bank.
The   Dublin lender — which borrowed tens of billions from foreign banks to   invest in property markets in Ireland, Britain and the United States —   was nationalized last year and now looks likely to cost Irish taxpayers   more than euro25 billion ($33.6 billion) driving up Ireland's EU-leading   budget deficit.
It took three hours to remove the truck from the   parliament entrance because its brake lines were also cut to make the   move difficult.

Ireland's double dip recession/saves the bank

This is a first that I'm aware of. Iceland's PM faces trial over bank collapse

Meantime U.K. furious not getting enuf money for their wars and the U.S. wants more money from Congress for their expanding wars. When will sanity ever return? What a wasted decade.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

lagatta

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2010, 01:23:28 PM »
My friend/co-op neighbour M flew to Brussels yesterday - if all went well he managed to get to the big demo and would be either still at the demo as it winds up or enjoying a Belgian beer with friends there at a pub we know... No, it isn't "demo-hopping tourism", he had planned this trip months before and didn't even know about the Eurodemo at the time.

Le Soir is the francophone Belgian newspaper of record (just be glad I'm not posting in Flemish)...  Euromanif: http://www.lesoir.be/actualite/belgique/2010-09-29/euromanif-une-grande-reussite-selon-les-syndicats-795621.php  Over 100,000 people from all over Europe.

Photo gallery from Le Soir: http://portfolio.lesoir.be/v/belgique/29-09-2010/361452_PhoDoc5_124738_YL108_jpg_0L9IE51B.JPG.html

Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/29/european-protests-strikes-budget-cuts
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Toedancer

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2010, 01:46:01 PM »
I'll be interested in what he has to say about the atmosphere, when he returns Lagatta. I quite liked the protest where many dressed in all black, wore black facemasks and carried black briefcases to represent the banksters and their poli pals.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

lagatta

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2010, 02:44:08 PM »
There is no doubt some street theatre and music, but what I've seen so far looks very standard-issue trade-union demo. Will definitely report back when he returns or sends news.

The European Trade Union Confederation site (very official and all that) with more background info: http://www.etuc.org/ I'm trying to find more alternative media - Bruxelles indymedia Brussel doesn't look very useful and has nothing about this movement or demo.

" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Toedancer

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Re: Austerity Measures
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2010, 10:39:18 AM »
Because Harper is going to try to listen to the people (I honestly don't think he can, he is not an active listener) and because afterwards the wee Elf is going to dump on our heads a very austere budget, what it's going to look like is anyone's guess, we should look at the predictable and dismal failure of the latest G20 meeting in Seoul

The Guardian asks if the student fightback will continue

Oh yeah they will, especially when the article points out 2 things, the deepest reductions since the 1920's will not be reversed when economic circs improve and when people realize Barclays annual executive bonuses total 1.6bn pounds or about a third of what their gov currently spends each year on U teaching, not to mention the cabinet is stacked with millionaires whose own kids will never be affected.

At the G20 Canada and Australia supported Obama's harebrained federal reserve’s $600-billion bond purchasing plan – known as quantitative easing, but they are alone, no other country does. The worst part is Rescue America has proposed $3.8 trillion (yeah, with a ‘t’) in spending cuts. It would hack payments to those useless old people (seniors) and the unproductive slackers in society (called the sick), as   well as ending mortgage-interest deductibility – guaranteed to make the   housing crisis last forever.

And the U.S. is going to raise the retirement age and lower social security, working longer just to retire on less SS. They haven't decided which jobs will be affected by that yet, the lawyers or the roofers?

They all lie, all of them, British/Canadian/American/Australian politicians. We just got HST'ed, deflation is here and so I think the next delivered budget will most definitely trigger an election and whoever wins won't make a lick of difference, they'll choose different words to deliver the same brunt force austerity measures onto the middle class. The opposition is in cahoots with the Cons, on this and on most other big issues, it should be a time for people to jump to the NDP, but I think that's even too optimistic in this dumbed down, sneaky tactics world. Meantime the wealthy will no doubt get very defensive in their own financial lives, which means Canadians won't be indulging in all for one and one for all. But I wonder how that is going to play out.

Clegg after signing on the dotted line promised he would not raise U tuition fees, then he did, hugely, he betrayed the people who voted him in on that promise. And of course he and the other millionaires in gov't are heaping scorn on the handful who broke ranks with the mostly peaceful demonstrators, and got destructive. They can demonize that handful but that handful is going to grow and grow and I wouldn't be surprised if the Irish join them and teach them how it's really done. Scary times.

"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

 

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