Just as many had predicted, austerity during a declining economy doesn’t fix anything. It only makes the problem worse, by cutting off critical finances and services when they’re needed the most. It’s much cheaper for governments to borrow the money and keep money moving during soft economic periods like this. Conservatives laughed off criticism of austerity, but it’s clear they were wrong.
Joe Stiglitz previously compared austerity to “medieval medicine.”
Paul Krugman said it was a recipe for ten more years of a depression.
The IMF reported that it was costing tens of billions in the UK alone. The UK deficit has increased despite claims of the opposite and austerity already triggered a double dip in the UK. Again, outside of the right wing fantasy-land, this was all predicted from the beginning.
The next time any Republican, or center-right Democrat, calls for austerity, wake them up and tell them to read the news beyond their home town or inside the Beltway. The end result of austerity is ugly, especially in these economic times, and we have plenty of examples of how destructive and costly it is. When they’re done looking at the failures in the UK, they can turn to Spain and Greece for more.
The economic update in the UK is not pretty and it just gets worse. What fool would want to inflict this kind of damage in the US? From the Guardian:
Fitch expressed concern at Osborne’s decision to put back by a year to 2016-17 the date by which Britain’s national debt will start to fall as a proportion of gross domestic product. “In our view, missing the target weakens the credibility of the UK’s fiscal framework, which is one of the factors supporting the [AAA] rating,” the ratings agency said.
Although two years of zero growth will mean that the government’s budget deficit next year will be almost double the £60bn predicted in Osborne’s first budget in June 2010, the chancellor said progress was being made. By including the expected £3.5bn proceeds of the auction of the 4G spectrum he was able to say that the deficit was coming down in each year of the current parliament.
More promises and more failures. Each time the right wing finance minister plays around with the economy, the worse it gets. Growth was talked about, never materialized, and now here come cuts to the social system (sound familiar?). But of course, that’s what all of this was about from the beginning – conservatives forcing budget crises that then force cuts in social programs.
Just as Republicans want to hack the social system to pieces in the US, that’s what the Tories have wanted to do in the UK from the start. In the case of the UK, they are raising taxes on the rich, but they’re also dismembering the social system. There will be a cost to the middle class as well as to the overall economy. The system is there to help people and without it, something has to give.
Perhaps it's time for a little nostalgia, back to the 70's, when the austerity of Thatcherism was responsible for some of the best music of our lives....remember, the shittiest realities always produce the best fucking music and The Sex Pistols were the perfect soundtrack for the economic class warfare of the 70's :
Once again, it’s an austerity bomb and you are the target. The only ones who gain are the wealthiest in the short term. That’s the point of these policies.