Tuesday, July 24, 2012

They hear the song, we play the piper

I think there was a bit of theme in the news in the last 24-hours:
Spain's economy sank deeper into recession in the second quarter, its central bank said on Monday, as investors spooked by a funding crisis in its regions pushed the country ever closer to a full bailout.

Economic output shrank by 0.4 percent in the three months from April to June having slumped by 0.3 percent in the first quarter, the Bank of Spain said in its monthly report.
And to think just last month they got $100 billion while the common Spaniard got screwed -- and this is the thanks they get.

But as I said a theme:
The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a more modest gain, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.
Things suck, let's make them suckier:
Steven Pearlstein at the Washington Post wrote approvingly over the weekend of an effort by the nation’s leading CEOs to install a deficit regime that would demolish the social safety net.
It is almost as if there was an alternative agenda here...
...the austerity game also has winners. Cutting or eliminating government programs that benefit the less advantaged has long been an ideological goal of conservatives. Doing so also generates a tidy windfall for the corporate class, as government services are privatized and savings from austerity pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens.
And I have to give some credit to Mitt Romney, people like him ARE building this.

And after the election when it comes to both candidates and social security they may be disparate members of the same team.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]


Montag said...

A lot of people seem to think this is just unplanned meanness (and, yes, surely, some of it is), but I keep coming back to Andrew Mellon: "It is during depressions that assets return to their rightful owners."

We damned sure know who Mellon thought were the rightful owners. The longer the economy stays bad, the more desperate people become and the cheaper those assets become when one is forced to sell them. That has an analog in the employment market, too. You'll work a shit job for less if you're desperate, and continually nibbling away at safety net programs ensures desperation.

But, the big prize is privatizing SS and Medicare, not just because there are big management fees to be collected by Wall Street, but if they succeed in privatizing them, they'll also be able to make the employers' share of those taxes go away. That's instant profit without doing a thing but lobbying a corrupt Congress.

pansypoo said...

more cutting is clearly needed. they survuived the dark ages. rite? RITE?!?