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Archives by Tag 'austerity'
The Age of Austerity
SHAMUS COOKE
The Great Recession has quietly devastated public services on a state-by-state basis, with Republican and Democratic governors taking turns leading the charge. Public education has been decimated, as well as health care, welfare, and the wages and benefits of public secto...
Obama and Europe’s Meltdown
CONN HALLINAN
Back in the 1960s, the U.S. peace movement came up with a catchy phrase: “What if the schools got all the money they needed and the Navy had to hold a bake sale to buy an aircraft carrier?”  Well, the Italian Navy has a line of clothing, and is taking a cut from a so...
The New Specter Haunting Europe
HA-JOON CHANG
“A spectre is haunting Europe.” Thus began the famous opening passages of The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Today, once again, Europe is haunted by a spectre. But, unlike back in 1848 when Marx and Engels wrote those passages,...
The Importance of Revenue
ANDREW FIELDHOUSE
Via Ezra Klein comes a ...
French Austerity and the New Les Misérables
TOM GILL
French employers have called for ...
The Real Obama Emerges (Again)
JILL STEIN
If you’re having political déjà vu as Obama’s second term in the White House gets underway, you’re not alone. The supposedly populist candidate — who won re-election promising to tax the rich, protect Social Security, and make the econom...
In Praise of Deficits
MARSHALL AUERBACK
From the Guardian: ‘[Senator Jeff] Sessions appea...
The Errors of Austerity
BINOY KAMPMARK
They were created and feted to make witchdoctors respectable.  The harm and extent that economists can produce, while still not quite in the vicinity of those of doctors, can be extensive.  Errors are tolerated, fictions propagated.  Dangerous doctrines become impenetr...
Saving Social Security
JP SOTTILE
Few things in American life are as reliable as the perpetual “crisis” facing Social Security. Although it has been artfully re-branded as “the problem of entitlements”—a change that couples it with spiraling Medicare costs and implies that the “entitled...
When Wall Street Pulls the Strings
DAVE LINDORFF
The all-out assault on Social Security has begun. The set-up for the big battle was the Fiscal Cliff charade. That hyped drama in the last days of December was a moment of truth for the Democratic Party and for President Barack Obama to make it clear whether they w...
Japan and the Fiscal Cliff
DEAN BAKER
An event that has received far too little attention in the United States was the election of a new prime minister in Japan. Last month the people of Japan voted overwhelmingly to throw out the governing party and to support the return of the Liberal Democrats headed by Sh...
Deficit, Debt and Decline
MICHAEL BRENNER
Washington’s foreign policy establishment is wringing its hands over the deficit. They voice fears that America’s dominant position in the world will be jeopardized by tight budgets and lingering austerity that lowers its influence on all manner of global economic mat...
Latvia’s Economic Disaster as a Neoliberal Success Story
JEFFREY SOMMERS and MICHAEL HUDSON
A generation ago the Chicago Boys and their financial supporters applauded General Pinochet’s anti-labor Chile as a success story, thanks mainly to its transformation of their Social Security into Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) that almost universally were...
Why the Fiscal Squeeze Imposes Needless Austerity
MICHAEL HUDSON
The financial sector promises that privatizing roads and ports, water and sewer systems, bus and railroad lines (on credit, of course) is more efficient and will lower the prices charged for their services. The reality is that the new buyers put up rent-extracting toll...
Fiscal Cliff Averted, Now the Attack on People Begins
KEVIN ZEESE
Last night, Congress passed a watered down fiscal cliff package that will raise taxes on everyone, but the worst is yet to come, and this “deficit cutting” measure contains some surprises. Economist Jack Rasmus highlights Obama’s comments after passage which ...
America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff
MICHAEL HUDSON
When World War I broke out in August 1914, economists on both sides forecast that hostilities could not last more than about six months. Wars had grown so expensive that governments quickly would run out of money. It seemed that if...
Free Trade in Medicare
DEAN BAKER
Washington policy debates are chock full of rich people telling poor and middle-class people that they will have to tighten their belts. In fact, in the crazy upside down world of Washington this passes for “courage.” Cutting back Medicare is one of the favorit...
Ireland Under Austerity
CAOIMHGHIN Ó CROIDHEÁIN
Dublin. Targeting young families, the elderly and the sick, as the government slashes child benefits, triples prescription charges and rubber-stamps controversial property tax. Another political party is selflessly sacrificing itself to the ‘preyi...
The Plutocrats and the Placeholder President
ROB URIE
In Quentin Tarantino’s movie ‘Jackie Brown’ the illegal arms dealer played by Samuel L. Jackson laughs as he recounts the sales slogan used by the manufacturer of the ‘Tech Nine’ semi-automatic weapon—“the most popular gun in American crime, like they p...
A Roadmap to the New Economy
ROBIN BROAD and JOHN CAVANAGH
Most progressives have long embraced a clear alternative to the conservative story that prosperity flows best from a “free market” unfettered by government regulation and taxes. The standard progressive response: government incentives and spending are essenti...
Austerity — the Battle Cry of the 1%
MARK VORPAHL
Whether we are left with the Fiscal Cliff or a Grand Bargain, workers in the U.S. face massive cuts to programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment insurance, Food Stamp assistance and other needed social safety nets. This is an example of “aus...
The Fate of Keynesian Faith in Joseph’s Countercyclical Moral
DOUGLAS GROTE
Into the fifth year of the Great Recession our nation’s scarcity of jobs continues to condemn tens of millions of us to suffer a hard life of involuntary unemployment, underemployment, and insufficient wages. One would hope that any future political agreements made to m...
Fear of the Cliff
DEAN BAKER
Washington elites have spent much of the last three decades getting hysterical about budget deficits; however they are outdoing themselves in the current budget standoff which they labeled as “the fiscal cliff.” Their story is that scheduled increases in taxes at the ...
The Grand Bargain Meets the Bank Bailouts
ROB URIE
Two storylines long in the making are converging in a manner that would be hilarious were they not so radically egregious. In the first, President re-elect Barack Obama is joining his supporters in urging that they, his supporters, ‘make’ him do right by their expecta...
Saving the Planet or Fixing the “Debt”?
DEAN BAKER
Imagine Japan attacked at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 and our political leaders responded by debating the best way to deal with the deficits projected for 1960. This is pretty much the way that Washington works these days. The political leadership, including t...