3 June 2013

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[[ Apologies for the blurriness of some of the images on this blog. WordPress does that in its compression process. I have no control over it. The original images are always crystal clear. ]]

cinema

evidence

When nations surrender their Monetary Sovereignty, they suffer mandatory austerity, since they must borrow all their money.

When nations keep their Monetary Sovereignty, but cut federal spending and / or increase federal taxes, they suffer gratuitous austerity.

Both types of austerity widen the gap between the rich and the rest, and between the financial economy and the real economy. This is the sole purpose and function of austerity.

Hence, bankers and rich people pay politicians to impose gratuitous austerity outside the euro-zone, and to defend the euro inside the euro-zone (which causes mandatory austerity).

Both types of austerity reinforce each other. For example, the U.S. and U.K. do not use the euro currency, but their corporate meda defend it anyway. Also, the corporate media outlets pretend that nations which cannot create their own money are the same as nations which can – and so all nations need more austerity (always more).

Many people cannot face the reality that bankers and rich people pay politicians to impose austerity. The facts make people feel helpless and hopeless. Hence, many people withdraw into denial. They claim that austerity is simply a “mistake,” and that there is “no evidence” that the only purpose of austerity is to widen the wealth gap.

Of course, the evidence is readily available in public opinion polls. In all of them without exception, average people say their main concern is jobs, while rich people mainly want austerity for average people (i.e. deficit reduction).

Now comes more evidence in the UK Guardian blog:

Britain’s harsh austerity measures have produced a sharp decline in real income and quality of life for most people, but the number of people collecting more than £1m a year has almost doubled in the past two years, and is at an all-time high.

Official figures reveal that 18,000 people now earn at least £1m – the highest number recorded by HM Revenue & Customs. In 2010-11, 10,000 earned more than £1m, and in 1999-2000 there were only 4,000 earning such a salary.

The figures increase concerns the trends of the 1990s and early 2000s, with a growing disparity between the top-earning 1% (many of whom work in finance) and the rest of the workforce. In sectors such as manufacturing, construction and hospitality, salaries have been squeezed in recent years.

 Charles Shaker, a financial adviser and private wealth manager, was photographed last week spending £330,000 on a bottle of champagne at the Monaco grand prix.

There’s more in the article, but the point is that austerity destroys the middle class, and makes the rich richer than ever. That’s why the rich like it.

But remember: there is “no evidence” for this.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jun/01/top-earners-millionaires-inequality-city-finance

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loser

different-day

denier

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sweden

Since Sweden does not use the euro currency, its austerity is gratuitous  — which is one reason why there have lately been riots in Stockholm and elsewhere. One riot that began on 19 May continued for five consecutive nights. At least 100 cars were burned.

A Reuters article mentions austerity in Sweden, and calls the country a “welfare state that is among the most generous in the world.”

(The derogatory term “welfare state” means any nation whose people help each other, rather than help the rich get richer. A “generous welfare state” is one whose  elected officials create money from nothing, and distribute it for the benefit of society — which of course is “evil.”)

From Reuters:

 Sweden and other Nordic states face more reforms, a lite version of austerity forced on many European nations.

 “Austerity lite” is gratuitous austerity, which can be just as deadly as the euro-zone’s mandatory austerity. For example, Sweden and Denmark have very high rates of consumer debt (car loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc) such that even mild austerity has brutal compound effects. Denmark has already cut unemployment benefits from four years to two years, reduced student grants, and  eliminated early retirement. Why? So the rich can get richer. Austerity is everywhere.

Sweden is eyeing more cuts to pensions and sickness benefits. Denmark too is cutting benefits. Finland is under pressure to raise the pension age. Even oil rich Norway has concerns it is becoming uncompetitive.

“Uncompetitive” means rich people in Scandinavian countries have not been stealing at the same rate as rich people in other countries. The rich want to correct this via “reforms” (i.e. austerity and the destruction of social programs).  They want Sweden to remain “competitive” (i.e. so rich people in Sweden can steal as much as rich people in other nations).

Actually rich Swedes have already been doing so well that Sweden also has the fastest growing inequality of any OECD nation – so much so that last year one group offered “class war safaris” so Swedes could see how the rich live. And still they want more austerity. Much more.

Sweden faces political headwinds before a 2014 election. Cuts have pushed the Danish government to historic poll lows.

Evidently the citizenry does not like austerity. The current governments of France and Denmark are the most hated in many decades.

For a glimpse of a market-oriented culture that increasingly permeates Sweden’s state, look no further than St. Goran’s hospital, Stockholm’s only privately run emergency hospital.

“Market-oriented” means tyranny-by-a-financial-oligarchy.

The Nordics enjoy some of the world’s most generous welfare. Sweden has subsidized, universal child care with up to 480 days of parental leave per child. It spends 12 percent of GDP on family, housing, sickness and labor market policies, compared with an OECD average of under 9 percent. Denmark is at 14 percent.

Absolutely scandalous! Sweden and Denmark are state sponsors of terrorism!

The market model has been overshadowed by scandal, including reports that workers at homes for the elderly run by one private equity firm were told to weigh adult diapers, and not to change them until they were full, in order to keep costs down.

“Market- model” means tyranny-by-a-financial-oligarchy, and a world in which monetary profit trumps everything.

Poverty rates have risen in Sweden, being most pronounced among immigrants and single mothers.

It’s the wonderful “market model.”

In the town of Uppsala, Charlotte Bjornstrom says she was paid sick leave for 10 years while she suffered from a host of illnesses — before reforms introduced a two-year limit, forcing many to transfer to unemployment payments and look for a job.

Let the sick die! It’s the “market model.”

In Norway, worries have emerged that oil wealth and generous welfare means many can afford not to work and that competitiveness is suffering from rising wages.

There’s that word  “competitiveness” again. Norway sells oil. What is “uncompetitive” about that? And who  “worries” that “many can afford not to work”? What’s wrong with that? The rich don’t work anywhere.

 Norwegians have even added a new word to their vocabulary – “to nave”, or to get benefits from NAV, the labour and welfare agency. It was named word of the year for 2012 after it became popular shorthand among youngsters, as in: “I am going to ‘nave’ this year rather than work.”

Why not? Norway creates its money from thin air. And as long as Norway has oil to sell, Norway will be able to import whatever it needs.

What’s wrong with that?

Why should only the rich be allowed to not work?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/02/us-nordics-welfare-insight-idUSBRE95104U20130602

better

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Here’s a very long (3,100-word) article about the crisis in Europe that says very little.

(Over 99% of articles about economics simply repeat catch-phrases, couched in empty chatter.)

I mention it because the author is one of those who think that Greece might do well to dump the euro and return to the drachma, because Greece could “devalue” the drachma.

The author does not understand that the point of dumping the euro is not to “devalue” anything, but to regain the power to create money out of thin air, like most other nations do.

The author thinks that to dump the euro would be to default on sovereign debt. Nonsense of course. Greece can pay its debts in drachmas created from nothing, just like the US government pays its debts in dollars.

A default would lift the onerous burden of debt repayment, and would relieve Greece of complying with all the conditions placed on it by the Troika. However, it would likely make future borrowing by both the public and private sectors more difficult and expensive, and so force the government to engage in some sort of austerity of its own.

WRONG! If Greece dumped the euro, and once again became able to create its own money of out thin air, then why would Greece need to borrow?

The process of exit, however, could be quite painful, with capital flight, bank runs, black markets, significant inflation as the cost of imports rises, and the destruction of savings.

BULLSHIT! That’s what the Troika bankers and their puppet politicians claim. “If you end your slavery to us, the sky will fall, and the world will be destroyed!” Greece changed its currency to the euro, and can just as easily change it back again.

There had already been some capital flight—an estimated €72 billion left Greek banks between 2009 and 2012.

That was Greek millionaires stashing their money in offshore tax havens!

Furthermore, the threat of a Greek exit created fear of contagion, with the possibility of more countries leaving the euro and even the collapse of the euro-zone altogether.

And that would be bad because…why?

The collapse of the euro-zone would add more chaos to a region already in crisis.

No, Europe would simply go back to the way it was before the Troika and Germany launched their scam.

The author then discusses Keynesianism proposals for Europe in which the ECB gives (not lends) money to euro-zone states — which will never happen. The Troika and Germany are enjoying their supremacy, and they see no reason to give it up.

Then the author discusses socialist parties in Europe, treating them as though they actually favor socialism!

3,100 words about…nothing.

These “economists” love to hear themselves talk.

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2013/0513vanderveen.html

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gordon_gekko

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