So the governments and banks are doing the exact same thing that didn’t work here. Freedom!

(Reuters) – While workers protest against austerity measures on the streets, cash-strapped Europeans are feeling the pain at home, struggling to pay for heating as winter approaches, reviving soup kitchens for the poorest and getting rid of costly pets.

The debt crisis now ravaging the euro zone has seen governments cut spending, including to welfare programs, and raise taxes. Unemployment is rising and many Europeans are planning for a bleaker future.

Romanian mayor Florin Cazacu staged a six-day hunger strike last week over cuts to heating subsidies which meant his town of Brad could not afford fuel oil and 10,000 of its residents, public institutions and hospital faced a bitter winter.

3 thoughts on “Austerity!

  1. We have a revenue problem in the United States. Not a spending problem. Which is ‘not’ to say that we don’t spend far too much money on the military and the war profiteers who run our military industrial complex. Because we do ($750 billion for FY 2012). Once we get the 15 million unemployed Americans back to work (jobs, jobs, jobs) the taxes that they will contribute to the treasury will go a long way in solving our short term deficit problem and our long term debt problem. The real question is, does the private sector ever have the capacity to put all of the unemployed back to work? If you look at the capitalist boom and bust cycle and the ever increasing unemployment that that cycle creates, the clear answer to that question is no.

  2. When elites are not affected by the problems most of their societies face, they seldom take the decisions which will benefit the whole. Rather, they take decisions which take care of them and their ilk.

    Banks facing severe, possibly destructive, results of bad decisions? If not “taking care” of the banks will adversely affect the well-being of the elites, they opt for lemon socialism: Society pays for the losses of the upper earners, the One Percenters; the upper earners keep their gains, whether ill-gotten or not. No matter the dire results for the society as a whole.

    What looks like stupidity to us, looking up at the actions of these elites, looks to them like self-preservation, like the “wise” choice. Even in so-called democracies, the leaders are not paying attention to the vast majority of their populace, but to the One Percenters, particularly the Tippy Top of the One Percenters (TTOTOP).

    Those of us looking at the UK and Ireland from afar, aware of the cuts and deprivations being heaped on those not in the TOP or their hangers on, are stunned that the Britiish and the Irish both are seemingly so incredibly patient with their leadership. How is it that Cameron with his Conserviative plurality and alliance with Lib Dems is still in power? How can the Lib Dem members still support him? Is being in power so intoxicating they are willing to swallow whatever the Conservatives do and take the blame, which may result in their party being destroyed?

    Looking at our own political situation, I guess the answer is they indeed are willing to do so. Short term gain, long term loss. As the US Democratic Party seems to be intent on doing….

    I gave thanks this Thanksgiving for the Occupy movement, but I do fear we cannot dislodge enough of those in power to prevent their doing the same as we see Cameron, the Irish leadership, the European leaders doing to their people. And we start with a far lesser social safety net than most of the Euro countries had.

  3. In 1946, having survived two wars brought on by the stupidity and greed of their leaders, the working people of Europe and America thought they should get something for themselves out of the process of reconstruction and recover from all the damage the elites had caused. Since they still had guns in their hands they were in a position to bargain and the elites grudgingly gave into their demands for income security and a share of the wealth, but they have been plotting their counter attack to push it all back since then. The have restored their power sufficiently and maneuvered the people into a position of dependence and debt that they are now able to launch their counter offensive on a world-wide front. Up to this point they are winning.

    Only a general uprising of the people will stop them, maybe. We are now seeing isolated battles breaking out here and there. Two months ago I was in total despair, but now I think I see some glimmers of light.

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