The Meaning of “Austerity”

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DrKrbyLuv's picture
DrKrbyLuv
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The Meaning of “Austerity”

The Corbett Report  - complete article link

Partial transcript: It's an old trick to couch a painful reality inside of a flowery platitude. We hear it all the time in our daily lives, and for the most part we know how to read between the lines when someone tries to do it to us.

When your doctor tells you that "This will only hurt a bit," you know enough to brace yourself for a painful procedure. When your boss tells you he has an exciting new project for you to work on, you know you're about to get saddled with the job that no one else wants to do. When a salesman tells you a used car is a fixer-upper, you know you're looking at a lemon.

Similarly, when the IMF tells a nation that they need to implement "austerity" in order to get themselves out of a financial crisis, here, too, lies a gaping chasm between the language and the reality.

"Austerity" is one of those Orwellian terms that has been injected into our political discourse precisely because it is a nice-sounding word for a very painful reality. "Austerity" implies discipline, self-restraint, even nobility. "Austerity" is prudent. "Austerity" is modest. "Austerity" is a virtue. It is an end in itself.

If the IMF or the European Central Bank come to the people of a collapsing European nation and tell them to sacrifice their pensions and their savings and their very standard of living all for a debt that their government has fraudulently racked up in their name, no one would go for it, and rightly so.

But tell those same people that they need to implement "austerity measures" in order to "get back on their feet" economically, and many will be willing to live in the harshest of conditions, content to put up with the dismantling of their nation itself in the vain hope that by giving more power to the international financial institutions they can somehow avoid economic collapse.

Just ask anyone in the third world. They should know. They've been going through these "austerity" plans for decades.

Ask the people of Ethiopia if the IMF/World Bank "economic therapy" of the 1990s worked in their nation's favour. Ask them about the firesale of state assets, public utilities, farms and factories for pennies on the dollar to multinational corporations. Ask them how USAID helped to dump surplus genetically engineered crops that couldn't be sold in Europe on poor African nations as charitable food aid.

The banksters weren't content to carve the country into pieces and sell the scraps to their big business cronies. They then had the audacity to steal the very food off the poor farmers' tables and replace it with GM frankenfoods that the rest of the world wouldn't even touch.

This is the real face of "austerity." It is nothing less than economic slavery to an elite group of banksters who have created their own fiat wealth out of thin air.

In Brazil, IMF reforms actually altered the nature of the Brazilian constitution, halting transfers of federal funds to state governments so that those funds could be used to pay the bankers their pound of flesh.

The IMF structural adjustment program in Peru devestated the local agricultural economy and made illegal coca production the only viable way for many farmers to make a living. From the first IMF-sponsored "economic reform" package in Peru in 1978 to the second round of IMF reform in the early 1990s, coca production increased over 400%.

A 4.8 billion dollar IMF loan to Russia in the late 1990s never even made it into Russian coffers, with billions being deposited directly into offshore bank accounts connected to mobsters, politicians and banksters. Despite the fact that the Russian people did not see a single Ruble of this siphoned money, they were still responsible for paying it back to the international bankers who were kind enough to lend it to them, at interest.

Time and time and time again in country after country in every corner of the globe, IMF loans spell disaster for the people who are left holding the bag.  The crux of the entire issue is that none of this is unexpected. In fact, it is part of the design of the IMF austerity programs themselves.

As revealed by Joseph Stiglitz, the former chief economist of the World Bank, the IMF's modus operandi is to conduct economic raids of debtor nations, dismantling and selling off infrasturcture for the benefit of foreign corporations, and making sure that all public money is used to pay off the bankers.

Can the peoples of Europe learn from the examples of Iceland? That tiny North Atlantic island nation, too, found itself facing complete bankruptcy as the derivatives-fuelled bubble of the Icelandic financial sector burst in the wake of Lehman Bros. The people were once again left holding the bag for billions of dollars in debts owed to foreign banks and the quiet streets of sleepy Reykjavik were erupting in violence.

But in Iceland, the people did not fight the government. They became the government. A populist people's movement forced the early collapse of Iceland's government and non-politicians were swept into power.

They held a referendum in which the people overwhelmingly rejected the idea that they were going to pay billions of dollars to foreign banksters for a debt that was not theirs. It was fraudulent. They will not pay it.

We stand at a crossroads, where the people can rise up in mass against the financial oligarchs who are puppeteering this downfall and get rid of the political puppets of both the left and the right who fall into lockstep with the vultures of Wall Street no matter who sits in the White House...or, not understanding what is happening or who is really behind it, the people can be led into senseless acts of violence against black-suited policemen in battles that will not address the root of the problem but will lead to pain and suffering.

The first step is to nurture the understanding that the "austerity" offered by the banksters is not the solution to our problems, but the beginning of them. Then we will know what it means when the IMF tells us "this will only hurt a bit."

We gave a monopoly to private banks to control and create our money in the form of debt.  Under such a system the government will always be subservient to the banks who ultimately control all commerce and markets.  We are client states of the international banking cartel only because we allow the insanity to continue. 

Larry

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John99
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Re: The Meaning of “Austerity”

Another excellent video. Thanks Larry, this is going out to my Toronto email contacts who are wondering what all the barbed wire is about up there. J

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Subprime JD
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Re: The Meaning of “Austerity”

Austerity comes from the greek word, αυστηρότητα, which means "strictness". Austiros, another base word, means strict.

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The Evolutionary Ape
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Re: The Meaning of “Austerity”
Quote:

We gave a monopoly to private banks to control and create our money in the form of debt.  Under such a system the government will always be subservient to the banks who ultimately control all commerce and markets.  We are client states of the international banking cartel only because we allow the insanity to continue. 

Larry

As long as we use the bank's Monopoly money we will continue this BS.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Re: The Meaning of “Austerity”

No one ever rioted for austerity......

investorzzo's picture
investorzzo
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Re: The Meaning of “Austerity”

I find it interesting that England and other European countries are now taking on the Austerity that the US just can’t seem to bring them-selfs to. Then the Fed comes out today and looks to blame Europe if our economy here comes apart. They want everyone to fight this deflation with more money printing. Perhaps the Fed will be buying it’s own treasuries soon. Since everyone else is giving us the finger.

Remember the Cinderella Economy?

http://jsmineset.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/clip_image00137.jpg

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Damnthematrix
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Re: The Meaning of “Austerity”

http://www.countercurrents.org/mcpherson220610.htm

The Coming Dark Age

By Guy R McPherson

22 June, 2010
Guymcpherson.com

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. (Arthur Schopenhauer, one of my philosophical heroes)
______________________

Based on recent comments in this space, and also in my email in-box, I am compelled to provide an updated overview of my proposed agenda in light of the ongoing collapse of the world’s industrial economy. There’s nothing new here, but plenty of people don’t have the time to read what I’ve written in the past so, in spasms of foolish ignorance, they keep asking me to stop driving my car (trust me, I’d love to … and I go for weeks at a time without doing so) or cease speaking and writing about economic collapse because it is not happening (and, in a related issue, there’s an invisible man in the sky who loves us and wants us to be happy).

The other primary topic of conversation, real and virtual, begins with “Okay, but what can I do?” As if I’ve ignored that particular question. “No, but I mean me. Here in Phoenix. With no money and no spare time.”

Sigh. If you’re unwilling to change, you’ll simply have to let change happen to you. And Bill Clinton was correct about this issue: People like change in general, but not in particular. Nobody who is unwilling to change is liable to appreciate the change headed their way.

If you’re willing to change, perhaps you’ll seek ideas and inspiration from sources other than me. Perhaps you’ll test your courage, creativity, and compassion. You’re going to need those attributes soon enough anyway, so you might as well drag them out now.

I think the ongoing economic collapse is driven by declining energy supply at the world level: We passed the world peak of conventional crude oil in 2005. Considering the primacy of oil to the industrial economy and therefore to our way of living, it’s no surprise the industrial economy is unraveling. Fortunately, it’s taking disaster capitalism with it, albeit far too slowly to suit me.

DrKrbyLuv's picture
DrKrbyLuv
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Posts: 1995
Re: The Meaning of “Austerity”

Austerity and a lavish war budget to occupy and destroy Muslim nations:

Sooner or later people need to wake up and challenge the military budget before anything else is cut.  War is the most inhumane racket and it is destroying our nation as we simply can't afford it.  

Now we seem to be funding both sides to keep the perpetual wars going:

Some of US taxpayers’ money leaks to Taliban — report

US taxpayer dollars are finding their way to the pockets of the Taliban, according to a new 75-page congressional report about the military's use of Afghan security firms.

The firms are used to ensure the safe passage of supply convoys. If the US doesn’t pay up, almost without fail the convoy gets attacked.

The American military hires trucking companies to deliver supplies to their bases in Afghanistan and leaves it up to the companies to protect themselves. The truckers then pay local security companies or warlords to escort their trucks.

Some of the trucking companies believe the gunmen they hired for protection may have been paying to Taliban not to attack them.

James Denselow, a writer on Middle East politics, believes that the Americans are trapped in Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan is a logistical nightmare for the Americans, it's a landlocked country and 80 percent of American supplies have to go in by land in trucks. And the need for it is huge, they have about a 100,000 soldiers who consume a vast amount of fuel and ammunition each day,” Denselow told RT.

Larry

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