Shifting

Aug 07, 2011 | By: Mr_Blue | Tags: capitalism, new economy, debt crisis

News reports indicate that G7 and central banks will be holding emergency meetings to address ANOTHER crisis.

What can they possibly be discussing and do you think your interests will be represented at these emergency meeting? Hell no, but the oligarchs will certainly be represented.

We are witnessing an economic system that generated the Global Financial Crisis simply shifting crisis from one sector to another sector. Never really fixing the problems - just avoiding pain for those with money and power. And the problems we see in Europe are not the same as those in U.S but the resulting policies will be.

The problems in Europe, while instigated by the Global Financial Crisis, are systemic and inherent to their monetary system. Essentially, with the Euro or European Monetary Union there are countries issuing debt in a currency (Euro) that they don’t control. It becomes incredibly burdensome over time, and particularly in a recession, for a country to pay its debt obligations in currency it doesn’t control. But what is happening is not at all different to what happened in Wall Street bailout. Big European banks that hold the debt of countries like Spain, Greece and Italy don’t want to take ‘haircuts’ on the debt. Instead, what we are seeing is that people of these indebted countries are paying the price in the form of austerity - severe cuts to social programs and pension programs.

The problem in U.S. is a different one. Right now, we have a political crisis. We have a political system hell bent on addressing issues, such as deficit and federal debt, that are not crises. The real crisis is a jobs crisis. The debt/deficit fiasco is manufactured crisis but the results will be same as what many Europeans are experiencing now - DEEP AUSTERITY. Yes, this means cuts to many programs that help poor and working class Americans including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

But this deep austerity will be sold as ‘shared sacrifice’ by politicians. ‘Shared sacrifice’ is a campaign slogan or a lie to cover up what is really happening. There will never be ‘shared sacrifice’ when we have millions of foreclosures, millions of home mortgages underwater, 25 MILLION people either unemployed or underemployed and 44 MILLION on food stamps. And nothing in Washington being discussed to address these problems. However, there is more talk of cutting programs. Some would argue but there are tax increases for top tax brackets. Yeah, so!  Impact of cuts to programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the like will be far more painful to those affected than a small tax increase on top incomes - in other words this NOT ‘shared sacrifice’.

This DEEP AUSTERITY is really a symptom of our economic system. Our political system is really a reflection of our economic system. An economic system characterized by huge income inequality and little to no economic mobility. The consequences of this are what we see in our political system - a plutocracy where polices are determined by what is best for those with money (consider the piece of propaganda - top incomes are the ‘job creators’) and big corporations. This is also a major reason why we see the shift of crisis from one sector to another - the global financial crisis was instigated by financial sector and was quickly moved to government sector via $13 TRILLION bailout. Now, a manufactured debt/deficit crisis is being used to eliminate help for those who need it or move much of the government sector functions to the private sector through privatization. Bottom line is that political system and the economic system behind it are not working for poor and working class families.

It’s time to change that. Since our political system is a reflection of our economic system. The place to start is our economic system. Time to start creating new economic institutions that will support the challenge to and the eventual down fall of our current economic system. Economic institutions that encourage increased community wealth, increased democracy and increased economic opportunity for people. There are plenty of ideas/visions for this New Economy - just look up people like Gar Alperovitz, David Korten, David Schweickart. There are others. Don’t be fooled - there are alternatives.

Good luck.

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