We are hearing around the industrialized world that we have lived beyond our means, and we must balance the budget as we would our own households.
That austerity in the main really means cutting off social benefits to those who can least afford it, whilst the richest just get proportionately richer.
Watching Tony Hayward sail around and getting some ill deserved 'me time' merely highlighted the disconnection.
However the meme du jour is, we have been profligate with our wealth. Let's cut the social benefits we have worked so hard for a century to obtain, and go back to the good old days.
Rather than redistributing the wealth fairly, we must find a way that the masses pay, and for the rich to whom we all owe so much to get richer to finance our salvation.
1] Reduce public spending by cutting back.
2] Increase indirect taxes, such as sales tax and commodity taxes.
Neither of these will increase job creation, which is after all the real motor of our wealth.
In yesterday's NYT Krugman wrote
Right now, we have a severely depressed economy — and that depressed economy is inflicting long-run damage. Every year that goes by with extremely high unemployment increases the chance that many of the long-term unemployed will never come back to the work force, and become a permanent underclass. Every year that there are five times as many people seeking work as there are job openings means that hundreds of thousands of Americans graduating from school are denied the chance to get started on their working lives. And with each passing month we drift closer to a Japanese-style deflationary trap.
Its not only in the US that this reasoning has now become the political wisdom of the day, but across the developed world as a whole.
Not being an economist, I see the budgetary deficits as being virtual by the fact that all our economies are inextricably linked. The 'money' still circulates and accumulates according to movement of employment and its products.
Employ people in one area and the money flows in that direction, sell the goods produced and wealth is created.
However since our wealth is concentrated so few hands and managed by such large multinational feudal conglomerates, the benefits of such industry are limited.
When I look around as I cycle to the local market in Arradon I see:
1] The influence we have had on the land, in many cases the beauty we have wrought in the gentle rolling farms and replanted forests here in Bretagne.
2] The incredible industry we have shown in building our towns and villages.
3] The buzz of people going about their daily business, and the interactions that we have, a smile, a greeting and the smell of fresh coffee and croissants.
This is our wealth not some global virtual monopoly game played by a few. Yet we are all subject to its vicarious whims and politics.
Raise the sale tax those who spend most of their revenue just to survive will pay proportionately more and not one job will be created.
Reduce public spending and leave the most needy at the side of the road, and this will not create one single job.
The waste has not been in feeding and creating a society where even the least able can have a comfortable life.
The waste has been feeding the yawning maw of global financial pillage.
"Let them eat cake' has turned out to be true as our real wealth has been stripped from us all to stuff with champagne and caviar the few.
None of the feudal Lords and Ladies of the past could have imagined the ease with which this has been done, they would stand in awe of its efficiency.
Wealth is created by our industry and knowledge, it is robbed and handed over willingly to the few.
I understand the anger of some on the right, however their aim is faulty, its not the poor immigrant stealing your wealth, but the beautifully dressed executive being chauffeured around. In your dreams you are that executive, in reality you don't know the right people. You are like Tantalus standing in his pool reaching for the fruit that is forever beyond your grasp.
I'm a socialist because the wealth we create should not be concentrated in the hands of the few, we should not be picking up the crumbs from the vast buffets of their greed. We have rights and none of them include giving hand outs to the powerful when they fuck up.
Socialism for the rich and protection of their way of life is what this 'Austerity Program' is all about.
We paid for them on the way up, we paid for them when they failed, and now we will pay for the virtual debts they created.
We need to change the tune, a peaceful revolution is required we need to resist this feudal system and turn it around.
Capitalism is dead.
Socialism is looked at in horror.
Yet we willingly support this 'house of cards' created to benefit a few.
I'm a socialist, and a democrat, what the hell is wrong with wanting everyone to benefit from our creativity as a society?
Taxes reduced the wealth gap once, they can do it again, just stop asking those least able to pay one way or another for excesses of our Barons.
Have a great week, now to try an keep my business going.