A victory for one is a victory for all


Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium and even G-8 member Italy all have deficit and debt crises.  Greece owes $350 billion to Big Capital.

And Big Capital's representatives, the "troika" of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank, are demanding payment through "austerity budgets" - cutting wages, privatizing public enterprises, dismantling pensions and social services.

The financial crises in Europe are directly related to the U.S. 2008 Wall Street meltdown.

When the parasitic financial sector went into crisis mode, taxpayers in Europe and the United States bailed them out.

However, the banks and brokerage houses were not satisfied with the billions in bailout cash. As is the law of capitalism, maximizing the rate of profit and maximum accumulation of capital rule the day. In short, they want more. They are going after public resources to get it.

While the players and language may be different in Europe than the United States, certainly the American people recognize a similar struggle here. We are experiencing the same "austerity" drive by the representatives of Big Capital - the relentless attacks on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unions, Pell grants, teachers, Head Start, public education, minimum wage, civil rights, environmental regulations, fair tax structures and any other program or institution that attempts to serve the public or democratize economic relations.

Before the economic crisis hit the more developed capitalist countries of Europe and North America, there were other victims of debt crises in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The "Arab Spring" are in part a reaction to the havoc wreaked by the global predatory lending/borrowing system, as are the elections of left-center governments throughout Latin America.

If the people of  Greece, Ireland, Spain and elsewhere succeed in their struggles, it will send a big message to the economic royalists: The people did not cause this debt crisis, and it should not be used to further enrich any bank or billionaire.

Why should the debt and deficits be put on the backs of firefighters, students, teachers and others who had nothing to do with it? Get the money where infamous robber Willie Sutton said it was - the big bankers! Plus, cut the bloated military budget, end the three U.S. wars, and tax those titans of trillions.

A victory for one makes possible a victory for all.

Photo: John Bachtell/PW

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  • Agreed. But.....

    The question is, what specifically to do? The immediate challenge is the debt-ceiling crisis in which R's are demanding it not be raised, go ahead and pay interest to bond holders (capital), and cut as much social security and medicare as needed to balance budget with no increase in debt ceiling.

    The president is taking a tit for tat position: i.e. -- cut a program, but also raise taxes by a comparable amount, in the effort to raise the debt ceiling (to avoid another global financial panic) while making some kind of credible effort on debt management. R's walked out of negotiations on the demand for a tax increase on the rich.

    Campaigning on the tit for tat position (a kind of half-hearted austerity agenda) but not on the dangers of sustained high unemployment, is, IMHO, playing with fire. Perhaps Obama feels he is in a political box -- but if you do not break out of the box, KABAM -- like portugal and spain--the voters may likely punish the incumbents! Perhaps O will be saved by the stupidity and infantile character of his likely opponents, but I doubt it. On the other hand we may not have the strength to reverse this on a national level.

    So, how about on state by state agendas. Saying NO to austerity here is, in a sense, not even an option. Unemployment robs almost all states of any ability to raise funds except through increased taxation. The only people who can afford it are the rich. Economically, this is a straightforward class question in almost every instance. Viva Wisconsin. The entrenched power and prerogatives of the rich in almost every state has made it possible for them to nearly put democracy out of business. So, working people have no alternative but to generate a political crisis in each state of sufficient magnitude that the whole thing grinds to a crawl, maybe even a halt. Doing this will likely INCREASE the economic crisis in the short run -- but there is no other way, it seems to me, to abort the national train wreck now in progress.

    God help us.

    Posted by John Case, 06/27/2011 4:19pm (4 years ago)

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