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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

austerity politics « Previous | |Next »
January 2, 2011

The politics of austerity in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and recession leading to a new round of cutting expenditures policies that will almost surely lead to weaker national and global economies and a marked slowdown in the pace of recovery. This austerity also involves stripping away ihe safety net for people (the welfare state), whilst strengthening the safety net for firm (corporate welfare).

The aim of austerity politics is to benefit those at the top, or the corporate and other special interests that have come to dominate the policymaking of liberal democracies.

RowsonM9Pied Piper.jpg Martin Rowson Pied Piper

As Jeffrey D. Sachs points out in the US this slashing of public spending in order to begin reducing the deficit by the Republican Party leaves defence spending untouched.They don't even want to reduce spending by ending the useless war in Afghanistan

He says:

The US budget deficit is enormous and unsustainable. The poor are squeezed by cuts in social programs and a weak job market. One in eight Americans depends on Food Stamps to eat. Yet, despite these circumstances, one political party wants to gut tax revenues altogether, and the other is easily dragged along, against its better instincts, out of concern for keeping its rich contributors happy.

What is not on the agenda is closing the budget deficit in part by raising taxes on the rich. The Republicans are out to prevent that by any means.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:53 AM | | Comments (3)


I saw the changes in US budget spending - tax cuts for the rich, direct or not, being perhaps the most significant change.

It shows either plutocratic clout, or the continued uncritical belief in trickle-down economics, either simple short-sighted greed, or poor thinking.

The problem with "rising tide raises sll boats" theory in so many policy implementations is when the worst-off people are anchored to the sea floor.

The politics, in my view, can be largely correlated (causation direction hard to discern) with a recent paper showing empathy in the US is an at all-time low, and narcissism at an all-time high, with dramatic changes for the worst in the last decade (see for details of this depressing change.) With such a psychological landscape, noblesse oblige disappears, the selfishness of all can only be exercised by the powerfully rich.

Is it any different here in Oz?

Is it not obvious WHO controls the media???

It's not called "socialism" or "welfare" when it benefits the rich. Yet, according to the meeja, we should still be outraged (OUTRAGED!!! I TELLS YA) when the expose a couple of dole bludgers or pregnant teens scamming some taxpayer funds.

Oh... and let's not forget all those lazy indigenous Australians living to good life on public handouts!!!

Why don't the great mass of Australians direct their anger towards those who really deserve it?

Murdoch--and his press--- yearns for a steely and tough assault on domestic welfare to restore the glories of Thatcher. The cult of Thatcher is alive and well. A core issue in media policy is News Ltd’s dominant position in national newspapers and TV news and its habitual use of its newspapers to push its political preferences (be they issues, parties or individuals).

The threat to Murdoch's newspapers is that once advertising moves online then moving newsprint around can never make a profit. So we have the slow death or protracted decline. They---particularly Murdoch-- see tablets and paywalls as offering the traditional media an escape route into the digital world. They look to paywalls to slow their circulation losses and generate some incremental revenue,

On the other hand tablet applications may work to undermine Murdoch's online presence and accelerate the decline of the underlying legacy businesses, since customers paying monthly subscriptions for an app are unlikely to pay multiples of that amount for the traditional product.