3 May 2013

AUSTERITY CAUSES SUICIDE

The CDC says the suicide rate among middle-aged Americans rose by 28 percent between 1999 and 2010, the largest increase among any age group. Suicides started accelerating in 2008, and by 2009 they outpaced deaths from auto accidents. And while car-related deaths have dropped in every year since 2005, suicides have continued to rise. The suicide rate among women rose at a faster clip than that for men, but men were still far more likely to kill themselves.

http://theweek.com/article/index/243682/the-alarming-rise-in-the-suicide-rate-5-shocking-facts

harvard_economists

FAUX “BACKLASH” IN EUROPE

The ultra-right-wing Economist magazine says there is a “backlash against austerity” in Europe.

Translation: euro-zone politicians don’t call austerity “prosperity” anymore, but there is no “backlash,” since the politicians keep defending the euro currency, so they can stay on the Troika / German payroll.

economist

The Economist author then worries that the peasants will start to question the austerity they deserve…

“The big danger is that, in the clamor for relief from self-destructive policies, countries will give up on the painful structural reforms they need.”

Yes, that is a huge danger (to the rich and to corrupt politicians), but don’t worry. Austerity is safe, because the euro currency is safe.

“For all the hopeful signs of “rebalancing” within the euro zone, the economies of southern Europe are still shrinking.

What a surprise. (Not.)

According to the article, Italy’s new PM, Enrico Letta, says, “Budget consolidation alone will kill Italy.”

Mr. Letta is correct. In addition to “budget consolidation” (i.e. austerity), Italy also needs more tax increases and spending cuts, so its wealth gap can widen.

The article says euro-zone countries need more austerity (always more) because without it, they will have to pay even higher interest rates, and ask for even bigger loans. Of course, that will happen no matter what.

“Nobody seriously suggests fiscal stimulus: the only question is how far deficit-cutting should be slowed.”

Whew! For a moment I was scared!

The rest of the article says the Troika will give the other nations more time to pay back their debts. A lot of web sites repeat this. They call it an “easing of austerity.” It’s another media lie. Austerity will continue to accelerate as long as nations keep using the euro. Average Europeans will continue to starve, while politicians will continue to grow fat on the Troika payroll.

Then, toward the end, the article suddenly blasphemes! It mentions the EVIL ONE HIMSELF!

“Keynes’s dictum is that the time for austerity is during a boom, not a bust. But crisis is often needed to force change. The case for relaxing austerity should not hide the need for big reform.”

Agreed. The devastation caused by austerity should not hide the need for more austerity.

http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21577084-backlash-against-europes-austerity-intensifying-after-austerity-what

keynes

debt_ceiling

Congress is preparing to stage its routine “debt ceiling” charade. The tiresome farce used to be held only once a year, but now the ritual is enacted every quarter, as a part of austerity mania.

Republicans and Democrats will pretend to be “deeply divided,” even though they both push austerity on behalf of the 1%.  Each politician will accuse all the others of theatrics. Republicans will threaten to “shut down the government” if they don’t get a “balanced budget.” The ratings agencies will threaten to “downgrade” Treasury securities. The corporate media will threaten that the US government will “run out of money” if an agreement is not reached by May 18, and will treat that date as a “ticking bomb.” The media will say (as always) that a “default” would be catastrophic for the global economy, shaking confidence in U.S. Treasuries.

The deadline will be ignored, and the bomb will be a dud, since the Treasury will keep things going by using “extraordinary measures” (i.e. continue to create money on its keyboard like always).

The public will bite its nails and continue to believe that the US government has a “debt crisis.” Tea Party morons will use the show to justify austerity, because “China owns us,” even though China holds only 7% of all outstanding Treasuries. The Chinese will placate US politicians (in order to get the puppet show over with) by confirming that the USA must “get its fiscal house in order.”

fatcat

Finally the politicians will reach a “last minute agreement,” thereby “averting disaster.” Republicans and Democrats will both get what they want (more austerity) while both claim to have “sacrificed their positions for the sake of getting an agreement.” Then both sides will play golf together, while janitors sweep the floor and turn out the lights.

Three months later the exact same farce will be repeated, as always.

dog_and_pony

On 25 Feb 2013, California Republican Tom McClintock introduced H.R. 807, the “Full Faith and Credit Act,” which would eliminate the “debt ceiling” for paying interest on Treasuries. McClintock’s bill has 106 co-sponsors, all of them Republican, and it passed the House Ways and Means Committee, but it has little chance of passing the main floor, since everyone wants his debt ceiling charade. Democrats call it the “pay China first act,” meaning that foreign banks get top billing over U.S. veterans, soldiers, and seniors.

Republicans want to cut a dollar in spending for every dollar that the “debt ceiling” is raised. That is, they want a dollar’s reduction in Social Security benefits for every dollar’s worth of Treasuries sold.

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paul_ryan_austerity

WHO PAYS PAUL RYAN?

Politicians impose austerity because the rich pay them to do it. Paul Ryan, for example, is paid by Michael Grebe, who is head of the Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee. The Bradley Foundation is one of the biggest in the USA, and it gives more money to right-wing causes than even the Koch brothers of Kansas.  Indeed, the Koch brothers ask them for money. Paul Ryan calls Mr. Grebe his “political godfather.” Right-wing ideologues like George Will are on Grebe’s payroll. The Republican National Committee chose Reinhold Priebus as its chair, on orders from Michael Grebe. Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate, on orders from Michael Grebe.

golden_age

Just as the Pritzkers boosted Obama for the White House, in order to enhance the Pritzkers’ power, so we can expect Michael Grebe to boost Governor Scott Walker for US President in 2016. Mr.Grebe is already Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair (i.e. he is Scott Walker’s bank).

The influence of Mr. Grebe and his Bradley Foundation has helped turn Wisconsin, despite its progressive history, into an incubator for rightwing politics nationwide. Mr. Grebe is particularly focused on privatizing schools.

In 2010 it was Grebe who paid for billboards in Wisconsin that falsely warned people of criminal penalties for voters who turned out to be “ineligible” to cast ballots.

Read more…

http://www.progressive.org/bradley-foundation-spearheading-assault-on-public-schools

four_horsemen

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