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Message Subject THE ECONOMY & YOU # (Daily Updated Videos & Articles)
Poster Handle RoXY
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The Politics of Austerity in America
by Solidarity
July 5, 2012

In view of the 2008-09 economic meltdown, some on the left felt that the global and neoliberal agenda dominant since the 1979-81 economic crisis would be jettisoned in order to stabilize global capitalism. Yet the age of austerity proclaimed as a necessity by the Toronto G20 summit is clearly a continuation of ‘there is no alternative’ to brutal and restructuring capitalism. What's now emerged in the United States is the role of the right-wing state governments (more than the federal government) in imposing a really brutal economic austerity as well as a reactionary social agenda. The Midwest states are the model (WI, OH, IN, MI), although certainly attacks in CA and NY are a part of this drive. The budget-slashing agenda is a bipartisan one, although to be sure it is most viciously imposed by Republicans (and in this country unlike Europe, the elites don't openly call it ‘austerity’).

This is not to minimize the role of the federal government. After all, it is the federal budget that is spending roughly 50 per cent of all federal dollars on the military and ‘war on terror.’ Unlike most states, the federal government can run a deficit in order to create jobs or save homes from foreclosure. Instead of saving people, it has been estimated that federal institutions bailed out Wall Street and corporations to the tune of $20- to $30-trillion.

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