Gather round and listen up. You need to THINK about this. It’s IMPORTANT. The Squirrels are running a long con and you’re the patsy. The LEAST you could DO is give it some THOUGHT.
All over the Western World we’re being told that ‘austerity’ is the order of the day. European and American workers need to tighten their belts and lower their expectations. The ‘system’ is ‘broken’ and ‘unsustainable’. Sacrifices are called for in order to save the poor unborn grandchildren from mountains of debt. Oh, the humanity.
Okay, stop right there. Before you sign up for that world view there are four questions you need to consider: Is the austerity equal, is the system being fixed through that austerity, is what I’m being asked to give up reasonable, and is this really fair and right? Well, let’s find out, shall we…
Is the mandated austerity equal? In a word, NO. Not at all. We’re being asked to make huge sacrifices while the rich among us lose nothing. In fact they’re going to get richer. Lower capital gains taxes, lower inheritance taxes, fewer restrictions on wealth. How can an austerity plan be fair if an entire class is exempted from the pain? Doesn’t it seem a little obscene that the people preaching austerity are the same ones who won’t be asked to sacrifice?
Will austerity fix the system and save us from future crashes? Again, NO. The current global economic clusterfuck was caused by unregulated speculation by the world’s largest banks and richest people. A Draconian austerity program won’t change anything, it’ll just put us back where we were before. The same people will be in charge of the same system and will be encouraged to do it all over again. Financial institutions must be re-regulated but their current control over the levers of power make that impossible. Austerity solidifies a broken system rather than improving it.
Is what I’m being asked to give up reasonable? Enough ‘No’s’. I’ll let you be the judge. Here are the things that you’ll need to lose in the name of austerity; health care, public education, workplace protections, collective bargaining, a pension, the ability to retire, and maybe your house. You know, some of us hippies think that those things are kind of important. And remember, not everyone is going to give up those things, just you are. Does that qualify as reasonable?
What about fair? Again, you be the judge. Pretend you’re a student in a classroom with one bad kid in it. Now imagine that each time that kid misbehaves he gets rewarded while every other kid is punished. When he throws a spit ball he gets recess and all the other kids sit in detention for spit ball throwing. If he blows off a homework assignment he gets an ‘A’ and you all get an ‘F’. At the end of the year you’re all left back because of his behavior while he gets promoted two grades. That’s about what’s happened here. The wealthy and their banks screwed around with the world’s economy and lost a bunch of money. The governments they control decided to cover their losses and now they need you to accept austerity so that they can do it again. They did wrong so you get punished and they get rewarded. Think I’m exaggerating? Then answer me this: If the root economic problem was defaulting mortgages and the government passed a trillion dollar fix, why did that money go to the banks and not to just pay off the mortgages? Wouldn’t that have saved us a recession or two? Is that fair?
If a thief steals the car out of your garage it shouldn’t mean that you’re a bad driver and need to lose your license. The ‘system’ isn’t ‘broken’ or ‘unsustainable’, it’s been robbed. Now the robbers want you to be punished for their crimes through austerity. And guess what? Most of you will vote their minions right back into office. Okay, that’s your right. But don’t pretend that any of this bullshit is actually necessary or inevitable. It isn’t.
Let me close with a simple question. If someone breaks into your house, threatens you and your children, and destroys your property it’s totally reasonable and proper to shoot them. How many houses, rights, and lives must a bank CEO take before that rule applies? And wouldn’t that be fairer and more constructive than austerity for the rest of us? As the kids say, I’m not sayin, I’m just sayin. Vaya con Dios and Viva la Revolucion.