Austerity is Coming to the USA

SUBHEAD: This misery is always transferred to the future, so while the documents are signed, nobody notices.  

By Raul Meijer Ilargi on 26 July 2011 for the Automatic Earth -
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I've left the American debt ceiling debate be for the most part so far because I’m not that interested in people jockeying for election time positions while engaging in kindergarten level "fights". Now that the August 2 deadline is just one week away, we’ll look at the specifics a bit more over the course of the coming days. But not with a focus on what the Washington elite is actually saying; that stuff just bores me. Instead, I want to shift towards what the inevitable last-minute agreement will mean for the people on the ground.

And that will not be pretty. It will be harsh austerity, even if US politicians -and likely media too- will shy away from using the term. Let them. Let them reserve it for what happens in Greece and Ireland if that makes them feel better.

A rose by whatever name and all that. Just don't let that fool you. Today it's the US Postal Service closing down 3700 additional offices. Tomorrow it will be Social Security, Medicare and so on and so forth. Last week we saw that the Federal Reserve has spent $16 trillion on bailouts thus far this crisis. The debt ceiling debate is being used as we speak as the first tool to make ordinary Americans pay for this.

It's no different from what's going on in Athens and Dublin, and soon Lisbon, Madrid and Rome. The MO of the political/financial system that holds all the levers in our societies is based on a wealth transfer going one way, and a debt transfer going the other.

This is the essence of the Greek rescue operation set in motion last week in Europe, and it's the essence of the debt ceiling debate. A lot of preliminary talk about the terrible outcome if things are not done the proper way, followed by agreements that make the financial markets happy, however shortlived, and put populations into ever deeper misery.

The trick is that this misery is always transferred to the future, so while the documents are signed, nobody notices right away. But then that future arrives, and sooner than anticipated by most; the insatiable markets will from now on go after anyone who shows a weakness. And demand more money. This is how entire societies are being gutted.


1 comment :

Mauibrad said...

I think it interesting that this piece is written as if austerity in the U.S. is inevitable. These type of events have not always been inevitable...

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