Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Gold Price Crash Through Key Support, Crude Oil in Freefall - Clive_Maund
2.Marc Faber Warns Japan's Bond-Buying Program is a Ponzi Scheme - Bloomberg
3.Silver Price and Powerful Forces - DeviantInvestor
4.Stocks Bear Market Catastrophe as Stocks Flash Crash to New All Time Highs - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Marc Faber Warns Not to Hold Any Gold in the U.S. - GoldCore
6.U.S. Housing Market San Francisco at Critical Mass - Harry_Dent
7.Global Scramble For Silver - Coins “Hard To Get,” “Premiums Likely To Jump” - GoldCore
8.Major World Stock Market Indices Analysis: SPY, QQQ, DAX, FTSE, CAC, HSI - Michael_Noonan
9.Japan's kaput?! - Axel_Merk
10.Tesco Empire Strikes Back, £5 off £40 Discount Voucher Spend Explained, Exclusions Warning! - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 5 days
Manipulated Stock Market Short Squeezes to Another All Time High - The China Syndrome - 23rd Nov 14
Gold Price 2015 - 22nd Nov 14
Stock Market Medium Term Top? - 22nd Nov 14
Is the Gold And Silver Golden Rule Broken? - 22nd Nov 14
Malaysia's Subsidy and Budget Deficit Conundrum - 22nd Nov 14
Investors Hated Gold at Precisely the Wrong Time: What About Now? - 22nd Nov 14
Gold and GLD ETF Selloff - 22nd Nov 14
Currency Wars, the Ruble and Keynes - 21st Nov 14
Stock Market Investor Sentiment in The Balance - 21st Nov 14
Two Biotech Stocks Set to Double on One Powerful Catalyst - 21st Nov 14
Swiss Gold Poll Likely Tighter Than Polls Suggest - 21st Nov 14
Gold's Volatility and Other Things to Watch - 21st Nov 14
Australia Stock Market and AUD Dollar Analysis (ASX200 and AUDUSD) - 21st Nov 14
New Algae Research May Have Uncovered an “Energy Forest” Under the Sea - 21st Nov 14
The Cultural and Political Consequences of Fiat Money - 20th Nov 14
United States Social Crisis - No One Told You When to Run, You Missed the Starting Gun! - 20th Nov 14
Euro-Zone Tooth Fairy Economics, Spain Needs to leave the Euro - 20th Nov 14
Ebola Threat Remains a Risk - New Deaths in Nebraska and New York - 20th Nov 14
Stock Market and the Jaws of Life or Death? - 20th Nov 14
Putin’s World: Why Russia’s Showdown with the West Will Worsen - 20th Nov 14
Making Money While The World Burns - 20th Nov 14
Why This "Quiet Zone" Is Now Tech Stocks Biggest Profit Sector - 20th Nov 14
My Favorite Stock McDonalds Just Got Kicked Off My “Buy” List - 19th Nov 14
European Economies in Perpetual State of Shock, What's Scarier Than Deflation? - 19th Nov 14
Breakfast with a Lord of War and Nuclear Weapons - 19th Nov 14
The U.S. Economy’s Ebb and Flow - 19th Nov 14
What You Need to Know Before Investing in Alibaba - 19th Nov 14
Forget About Crude Oil Price Testing 2009 Low - 19th Nov 14
What Blows Up First? Part 5: Shale Oil Junk Bonds - 19th Nov 14
Bitcoin Price Did We Just See an Important Slump? - 18th Nov 14
How to Profit From Oversold Crude Oil Price - 18th Nov 14
Stock Valuations Outrunning Profits Growth - And the Band Played On - 18th Nov 14
ECB Buy Gold Bullion? Japan's Monetary Policy Dubbed "Ponzi Scheme" - 18th Nov 14
Gold, Silver, Crude and S&P Ending Wedge Patterns - 18th Nov 14
How High Could USD/JPY Go? - 18th Nov 14
On Obama and the Nature of Failed Presidencies - 18th Nov 14
Globalism Free Trade Immigration Connection - 18th Nov 14
An Epiphany From Hell - Buy Gold and Silver - 18th Nov 14
Too Difficult to Get a U.S. Home Loan - 18th Nov 14
Has the Gold Bear Trap Been Set - 18th Nov 14
Gold Price and Miners Soar on Huge Volume - 17th Nov 14
Cameron Says Second Global Economic Crash is Loomin, Japan in Recession - 17th Nov 14
How to Play the Stock Market 2014 Year-End Rally - 17th Nov 14
What The Fed Has Wrought, Who Needs Wage Earners Anyway? - 17th Nov 14
Stock Market Indexes Fluctuate Along Record Levels - Will Uptrend Continue? - 17th Nov 14
Stock Market Trend Deceleration Tends To Precede Corrections - 17th Nov 14
Stocks Bull Market Set to Continue After Consolidation - 17th Nov 14
The World Is Run By Fools, And We Let Them - 17th Nov 14
Gold Price Golden Bottom? - 17th Nov 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Gold Report 2015

U.S. Economic Austerity May Result in Unrest on America's Streets

Politics / Economic Austerity Dec 16, 2010 - 10:56 AM GMT

By: Danny_Schechter

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleWilliam Shakespeare put a key question this way; “To Be Or Not To Be?” Today’s economists and policy makers pose a different choice: to spend or not to spend.

Governments throughout the west are in a panic as debt mounts and economies contract.



Their solution is cut, cut, cut, in the name of a doctrine called austerity. They are slashing budgets, trimming public payrolls and arguing fatalistically in the spirit of Margaret Thatcher’s philosophy, “There Is No alternative.” (TINA.)

Austerity is the other name for it, Confronting massive deficits fearful of losing investor confidence. European governments are pulverizing budgets and shutting down public services. The plan by England’s new Tory government is considered among the most painful, if not draconian. It is justified as absolutely necessary.

This view is being challenged in the realm of the ideas and with a growing spasm of street protests rocking European cities.

You have probably seen the pictures: A bloodied former Minister in Athens as rioters denounce the IMF which is demanding concessions from their government. Strikes in France, Spain, Portugal, The Czech Republic and Italy had the SWAT teams out in force. A meeting this week in Germany by Eurozone Ministers is unlikely to please anyone.

At time when most people are saying the path out of the financial crisis and European debt problem is for individuals and governments around the world to cut back, the American economist Paul Krugman wants us to spend, spend, spend.

What’s behind the fervor for austerity, he asks?

“The answer is” he writes, is “to reassure the markets — because the markets supposedly won't believe in the willingness of governments to engage in long-run fiscal reform unless they inflict pointless pain right now. To repeat: the whole argument rests on the presumption that markets will turn on us unless we demonstrate a willingness to suffer, even though that suffering serves no purpose.”

This argument has moved off the op-ed pages and into the streets. These protests conjuring up a revival of the class war confrontations of the 1930’s are erupting in many countries.

The marches are becoming more militant and bitter, as clashes between the police and angry protesters grow in intensity marked by scattered violence.

Symbolically, the one incident that received massive coverage was a student attack on British Royalty when Prince Charles car was attacked with some protesters chanting, “off with their heads.”

Reported the Telegraph,

“Demonstrators kicked the Rolls-Royce as it traveled to the Royal  Variety Performance in central London. White paint and bottles were thrown over the car and a window shattered.

The Prince and Duchess (Camilla Parker-Bowles) were “unharmed” and continued with their engagement at the London Palladium, a Clarence House spokesman said.

The attack, caught on amateur video showed a how startled the Royal couple was even though afterwards “the Duchess, later laughed off the attack, When asked how she was as she left the London Palladium, the Duchess said: ''I'm fine thanks – first time for everything.''

It may have been the first time but as more austerity measures are expected, it is unlikely to be the last.

These protests reflect more that dissatisfaction with a single issue but seem to be a reflection of growing public disenchantment with unresponsive government, an untrustworthy media and a failing economy.

So far, conservative governments are ignoring the criticisms and moving forward with their slashing of worker and unemployment benefits and the social safety net. In England, the Parliament voted to raise tuitions -- cap is set to rise to $14,500 by 2012, higher than the current average of $7,605 at U.S. state universities-- but the student protests are surprising officials by their tenacity.

Just watch the passion of this 15 year old speaking at a rally the University of London:



Student activists like this are becoming radicalized and can become contagious, argues Gary Younge in Guardian:

“As these protests intensify - as they are bound to – we can expect them to be routinely disparaged on the right as either privileged kids acting out or innocents led astray by revolutionaries

…That students and youth in Europe have erupted at this moment, however, should come as no surprise. More than one in five people under the age of 25 in the EU is unemployed. In Spain the figure is 43%; in Greece 30%; in Italy 26%. Meanwhile the principle that education is a public good, to which all are entitled, all contribute, and all benefit through a more competitive economy, is in its death throes.”

In the United States, A Republican-dominated Congress, swept into power on the backs of right wing Tea Party activism spurred by Fox News and other fear-driven conservative media, promises to roll back government programs even as it “compromises” with Dems to keep tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

So far, there has been little street activism in the United States. Perhaps it’s because of the Christmas shopping season, the inundation of entertainment shows and sporting events or just so little oppositional leadership, especially among Democrats unwilling to challenge a Democratic President who has just negotiated a compromise deal with Republican tax cutters.

Only one Senator, Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont had the guts to take on Barack Obama  in an 8 hour and 37 minute near filibuster speech that drove up the ratings of CSPAN, the congressional TV channel. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/10/bernie-sanders-filibuster_n_795087.html

Commented blogger David Seth Michaels: “it was the most important political speech-- by far-- of the past two years. Seldom, if ever, has anyone seized the spotlight to discuss and examine so thoroughly the plundering of the nation by its wealthiest citizens. And to demand so clearly that the government provide genuine relief for the millions of Americans who are now suffering the consequences of the plunder.”

But his supporters did not pour into the streets, at least not yet. Sanders has been challenging what he calls his: “progressive friends” on these very issues, “I have long been concerned that some progressive activists do not stand up and fight effectively or pay enough attention to the needs of ordinary Americans.”

When they do speak out, many prefer sending emails or organizing Facebook pages. Where is the outrage and sense of solidarity or militancy? The unions are quiescent, most pols seem incapable of inspiring anyone. Has this generation been seduced by their Ipads and smartphones? 

Has everyone forgotten that call to get involved? Remember the dicta, “It’s not the ship that makes the waves, it’s the motion on the ocean.” It may take time, but it is likely in the not too distant future that American activists will emulate the movements now emerging in Europe.

Governments have the power to impose their austerity measures, but not without a fight. As things get worse, Bob Dylan’s pithy blast from the past may be back to characterize the times ahead: “A Hard Rain Is Going To Fall?”

News Dissector Danny Schechters film and book Disinformation. For more information, Http://www.plunderhecrimeofourtime.com.

    News Dissector Danny Schechter has made a film and written a book on the “Crime Of Our Time.” (News Dissector.com/plunder.) Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org

    © 2010 Copyright Danny Schechter - All Rights Reserved

    Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Rick
16 Dec 10, 15:31
Prescription For Disaster: Cut Off The Aid!

You can bet your bottom dollar that just as soon as the money runs out (unemployment benefits, food stamps, welfare, medicaid, etc. etc.), then you will have the unrest. It's no small wonder then why the politicians just prefer to keep the unfortunates on the public tether; the political cost of severing that cord would be deemed too catastrophic.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014