What is Austerity?

How should society be organised, if at all?

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Pluto
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Re: What is Austerity?

Post by Pluto » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:48 pm

Skip wrote:
Pluto --- Austerity is a political program of containment...... its sweeping generality it uncovers core motives. I hope I'm wrong.
I wish you were! No, you're quite right. What's more, the military elites all have contingency plans for several end-of-civilization scenarios. Mainly, it's the shortage of water that will drive masses of desperate people to migrate, and the water cartels http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-new-wa ... er/5383274 won't be able to protect 'their property'. The present refugee crisis around the Mediterranean is only the most preliminary harbinger of what's to come - and nobody seems to be coping well, even with this trickle. Between climatic and political upheavals, food and monetary crises, international frontiers drawn by blind-drunk European war lords and gun-drunk American oil barons, bigotry of every kind everywhere set on fire by zealots and cynical exploiters, what's to come ....
Well, let's just say 'containment' measures will prove insufficient.
Not good at all is it. Half of me believes that all the end of civilization stories and movies are just that. But perhaps they are a kind of warning. Either way, people have got to come together again and stop listening to the pain that comes from above.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: What is Austerity?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:28 pm

bobevenson wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
bobevenson wrote:Austerity is when governments are forced by reality to stop spending money they don't have or have fraudulently produced.
Governments make all the money that exists.
Quite true, but since money is a medium of exchange, if that money is not backed up 100% by the property it supposedly represents, the government has committed fraud, and the responsible officials should be indicted, tried, convicted and shipped to Australia.
You are wrong as usual.
IN what way to you mean "back up".
Were we to print money without respecting this, what do you think would be the result?
Last edited by Hobbes' Choice on Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bobevenson
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Re: What is Austerity?

Post by bobevenson » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:18 pm

God says I'm right, and that's all that counts.

Dubious
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Re: What is Austerity?

Post by Dubious » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:59 pm

bobevenson wrote:God says I'm right, and that's all that counts.
That may be but perhaps the one half of your brain is merely and gratuitously confirming the other half. I mean since you own it, your due for a credibility loan. We invariably depend on those loans to confirm opinions which in fact are counterfactual. We constantly short circuit in this manner.

Obvious Leo
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Re: What is Austerity?

Post by Obvious Leo » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:23 am

Pluto wrote: money is being moved from the majority into the hands of the minority rich. Why is this happening now.
This is happening now because that's the way it's always happened throughout human history. Wealth and power have been synonymous constructs in the social contract since humans first abandoned their hunter-gatherer lifestyles to share in the benefits of agriculture. Once it became possible to store food resources against the possibility of future need it became possible for the few to threaten the well-being of the many by seizing control of these resources by force. What we're witnessing now is merely a refinement of an ancient story being buttressed by an endless cascade of blatantly false propaganda. Wealth does NOT trickle down. Wealth defies gravity by always flowing UP and the only means of stopping this inevitable trend is by the rule of law. It is "we the people" who have allowed this blatantly unjust distribution of resources to happen and we have done so by allowing the beatification of greed. We equate wealth and power with success and worthiness and tug the forelock to our "betters" just as we've always done while secretly striving to become one of them. That's the beautiful thing about democracy. We get to live in exactly the society we deserve.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: What is Austerity?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:35 am

Obvious Leo wrote:
Pluto wrote: money is being moved from the majority into the hands of the minority rich. Why is this happening now.
This is happening now because that's the way it's always happened throughout human history. .
If that were an unbroken and unchallenged relationship, we'd be overlorded by a single fat god, and all would be enslaved. The economy would be broken as there would be no demand and thus no reason to supply.
So, although capitalism is a mechanism of wealth polarisation. there are elements of individual action and instruments of public policy that mitigate this tendency. Unbridled capitalism is a destructive process that leads to Pharaonic leadership, but social democracy is capable of maintaining a healthy economy by drawing off the top to provide services and resources to the bottom. In fact without this we'd have utter disaster with an uneducated, impoverished population chasing ever more complex jobs that end up being offered in countries that are willing to educate their people.

Were we to compare the strategies of the US and the UK since 2008 we can see that Obama's stimulus package has led to significant improvements in the baseline stats of the US economy, whilst in the UK which has practiced austerity the deficit has increased and the tax receipt have declined. Austerity seems to choke off growth. We are now looking at negative interest.

Obvious Leo
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Re: What is Austerity?

Post by Obvious Leo » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:29 am

Australia chose the stimulus path after the GFC and this successfully prevented a slide into recession. However QE is not a serious option for such a minor economy and thus the stimulus had to be fuelled by foreign debt. Ordinarily this wouldn't have been a problem because Australia has a very low debt/GDP ratio and at the time was in the middle of a commodity exports boom. However now commodity prices have collapsed under the weight of reduced Chinese demand and we now have a government more driven by ideological concerns than by economic ones. Austerity measures have gradually been adopted and now a sluggish economy seems to be grinding to halt.
Hobbes' Choice wrote:an uneducated, impoverished population chasing ever more complex jobs that end up being offered in countries that are willing to educate their people.
It's already happening, mate, if we allow a due tolerance for hyperbole. The Chinese are educating their people to steal the rug out from under the countries that aren't, just as Japan, Taiwan and South Korea did before them. As an old mate of mine was always fond of saying "there's no such thing as a stupid Chinaman". I'm sure he's wrong but I get what he means.

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