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Britain's Budget Slash: Lessons?

The U.K. Prime Minister flies business class to D.C. The Queen, all of Britain, in deep cutback mode. Could the U.S. take that much pain?

Pres. Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron arrive for a joint news conference at the White House, July 20, 2010. (AP)

The British prime minister came to the U.S. this week, and flew business class across the Atlantic. No Air Force One. No private jet. Just business class. He went to New York… and had a hot dog for lunch, on the street. 

While the U.S. debates stimulus versus cutbacks, the U.K. – under a new conservative government – has gone headlong for austerity. Britain’s giant public spending cutbacks are all over — the biggest since World War II. 

It could save their credit rating. It could croak their recovery.  

This Hour, On Point: we’re looking at Britain’s massive redirection toward austerity.

Guests:

Philip Coggan, columnist and capital markets editor for The Economist magazine. He writes the “Buttonwood” column.

David Blanchflower, professor of economics at Dartmouth College and member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England from 2006 to 2009.

Lord Meghnad Desai, professor emeritus of economics at the London School of Economics and founder of LSE’s Centre for the Study of Global Governance.

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  • Bob Wilson

    Obama and his czars desire to implement a European style social system in the USA. This system has failed throughout Europe.

    Businesses in the USA are sitting on 2 trillion dollars because they are concerned about the taxes and additional regulatory costs that are looming under Obama. They are not hiring. They are waiting until the government in Wash. DC changes.

  • CHRIS M

    Business & Banks are sitting on 2 trillion dollars because they want to turn the majority of American citizens into slave laborers. Captive workforce=low pay +low/no benefits for the working citizen. Considering most of these companies would be out of business if it weren’t for the average american consumer and the bailouts, you would think that they would value us more, but we mean nothing to them.

  • cory

    To answer the question posed in the intro above…

    No, not voluntarily.

  • JP

    CHRIS M,

    My employer is stockpiling cash and has been doing so since Obama was voted into office. The reason is the Typical American motives, to preserve the business and prevent the need to lay off employers.

    Anyone with an economics background knows that the recent policies of doubling the money supply and monetizing the debt have pushed the country towards a brief time of deflation followed by inflation, and very likely hyper inflation. When this occurs, any business that has loans will have the banks increase the interest rate on the loans by oppressive levels, driving the business to either layoff people or increase prices.

  • JP

    Correction I intended to say “prevent the need to lay off employees.”

  • JL

    Wow. I’m impressed PM David Cameron flew business class. Would Obama choose to do that? No. Because in America power is defined by having the shiniest, no-expense-spared tools/equipment for the job.

  • EIO Boston

    “My employer is stockpiling cash and has been doing so since Obama was voted into office. The reason is the Typical American motives, to preserve the business and prevent the need to lay off employers.”

    JP. I very much dout that your employer will reveal the motives of the company to you. This has nothing to do with who was voted into office, but to what has happened to our economy via wall street and the rest of us greedy ones.

    A little discretion and honesty will go a long way into informing how we need to fix our economy and country.

    Regards

  • CHRIS M

    Corporations policy to export jobs and lower workers pay/benefits has been going on for the last 2-3 decades. Businesses are in business to make a profit, but have used this as an excuse to send jobs overseas and decrease worker total compensation while increasing share holder and company profits. If you severely restrict the number of jobs available and create unnatural competition for the few jobs left behind, you set up the average worker to accept lower pay & benefits and willingness to do anything to keep a job, even one that treats you a less than a person. I have worked for companies that valued it’s workers and ones that didn’t value it’s workers. The ones who valued their employees always did better financially because it was a team effort.

  • peter nelson

    With 2 economists as guests I hope Tom will focus some of the discussion on the economic consequences of the UK, the EU, and the US all cutting public spending while the recovery is still trying to get some traction.

    I’ve heard more than a few economists, including at the LSE’s excellent public lecture series, suggest this will send us all into a double dip, if not an outright depression. What do the guests think?

    ( … And don’t let them get away saying “some think this and some think that” – What do THEY think?)

  • JP

    EIO Boston,

    For your information, I report directly to the president and owner of my company and it is a family run business with multi-million dollar annual revenue.

    You are right that his decision has nothing to do with Obama personally, but rather his policies and the direction he has given our country.

    When you refer to greed, you are only right if you consider it greedy to protect your business from bankruptcy through any thing possible. To me that is human nature and not only good for the owner but also every employee and customer.

  • jeffe

    Peter that’s what exactly what Robert Reich wrote about recently.
    We are not Europe and quite frankly I would rather have the safety net they have to trim off than ours, which is nothing really. Even if the president flew business class it would cost a fortune due to security. With all due respect to the British the security risk for the president is a tad higher. People need to use some common sense. The other thing I don’t see being mentioned is that waste of Britain’s treasury, the Royal family. Give me a break the Queen is one of the wealthiest people on the planet and she’s cutting back, nice of her to do so while the British tax payers fork over millions every year to a monarch. Instead of cutting social services to the people who need it now would be a good time to give the Royals the royal boot.

    http://robertreich.org/

  • august

    there are some important organizing questions for this topic.
    where does the UK stand relative to the US in terms of deficits and debt adjusted to GDP prior to the financial crisis, now, in the medium term, and in the long term?

    how much stimulus spending has been completed in both countries relative to GDP and what is the prevailing unemployment/underemployment rate and interest rate in both countries?

    how do the differences in domestic economic conditions account for differences in policy response, if at all?

    to what extent are the economic policies on the table in the UK the result of a conservative government persuing ideologically driven approaches to the situation?

    what are the downside risks to pursuing a policy of stimulus versus a policy of austerity in both countries, and how severe will the consequences be if policymakers get it wrong?

  • http://bruceguindon.com bruce guindon

    Some in this country has been suffering for some time and a great deal of the economic problems could be solved if industry was willing to invest in America instead of sitting on vast amounts of capital.
    My father was able to support six people with a stay at home mom,while working only forty hours a week without a high school education. There was so much industry in my home town (Springfield Ma.] that you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting one and if you are looking for blame you can look no further than yourself, a must have mentality, cheep goods and a lose of the craftsmanship, that made us all prosperous and the envy of the world
    although I did not support Obama until Clinton was Defeated I can not see this man as the blame for our economic problems it is after all an obstructionist Republican Party thats only concern is a political victory at any cost, even the utter destruction of country and our way of life. wake up before it’s to late

  • http://www.venturacommenter.org F. William Bracy

    People tend to parrot what they hear. When someone says “Obama and his czars desire to implement a European-style social system in the USA,” they are simply parroting Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. It should not require pointing out to anyone that Pres. Obama is not a dictator. What he or any of his czars might wish to see can in no way be called a plan of attack. In our system there is the little thing called “government by the people,” and much to the dismay of the “flighties,” the “loonies,” and right-wing fringe elements like Beck, government by the people is pretty much the standard in Europe just as it is everywhere in the free world.

    Get over it.

  • JP

    Tom,

    Can you and your guests speak to how a country’s pending bankruptcy is different than an individuals pending bankruptcy?

    It seams that our country has increased government spending to try to prevent our bankruptcy while the European countries have slowed down their government spending to prevent bankruptcy.

    The European method seems to be the only method that an individual would take to prevent bankruptcy.

  • Karen Looze

    Perhaps nancy Pelosi could give up some of her perks as a sign of helping the budget. Likewise Harry Reid

  • Nick

    Austerity measures don’t affect the wealthy. Such action will negatively impact the poor, elderly, + the majority “middle” class.

    The only way to really address national deficit is to increase taxation of the wealthy.

  • jeffe

    Interesting to note that Cameron’s cuts save the health service.
    So while these cuts are going to hurt, at least people can get health care.

  • Barbara (Gordon)

    Years ago, on Diana’s 21st birthday actually, I was at a Polo game where Prince Charles was playing in Cirencester. The Queen drove herself there in her LandRover…. parade of guards …. they just sat with the ‘folk’.

    We may need much more security because we muck in other countries business and ‘they’ don’t like it….

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    “Perhaps nancy Pelosi could give up some of her perks as a sign of helping the budget. Likewise Harry Reid”

    Likewise the entire Congress, certainly the Senate.

    I love the idea that Cameron flew business class (on BA no doubt) and Obama should force most of his staff to fly commercial (American carriers) as much as possible as well.

  • Brian

    The day ends in a “y” so it must be time for Tom Ashbrook to do another show about the deficits and tell us that we need to give up our social safety net to pay for tax cuts for rich people and buy expensive fighter planes to fight the Soviets.

  • JP

    With Confidence of Congress at a new low 11% you are right that our representatives probably need security. How can such bad representatives get such great press coverage?

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/141512/Congress-Ranks-Last-Confidence-Institutions.aspx

  • Rex Henry

    This is the most sensible and easy way to save money. It’s like stepping back 70 years and managing our finances in a responsible manner.

  • Terry Ad

    When FDR entered the White House he instituted a massive deficit spending program which started the U.S. out of the depression. Then fiscal conservatives came in complaining about the huge deficit being borne on the backs of their grandchildren. This resulted in reduction in spending by the government “to balance the budget” which resulted in the double dip. The double dip was only avoided by the massive government spending necessitated by the War (some would say that was the true purpose of the war–to end the depression.) Why won’t the current drum beat for a reduction in government spending “to balance the budget” result in the same double dip that was experienced by the U.S. back in FDR’s administration? And if it does result in the double dip, what do the conservatives propose to get out of the double dip?

  • john oleary

    What will Mr Cameron do about immigration into Britian?
    and what does he think the U S should do about same ..

  • yar

    A trillion dollar budget for Great Britain with a population of 61,414,062 is about 16 thousand per person. Is that anywhere near sustainable? I don’t thing so. And it will only work if energy remains relatively cheep. As we spend, inflation raises the costs of everything. We are in a spiral of spending, taxes and inflation that without hope for a better economic picture in the near future will lead to revolution. Where is that hope unless it is a new energy source? The baby boomers will lead the revolt once they figure out they can never stop working.

    The BP disaster in the gulf is going to raise energy prices for all.

  • Mike Labbe

    My family and I have to live within our means, so should the government. Its income is taxes, instead of giving itself a raise so frequently, why not work for the people? I think the UK is on to something by being proactive. Most American’s are likely thinking along the same lines.

  • Not a Chance

    Conservatives don’t have a clue about austerity.

    That is why spending always explodes whenever Republican legislators or Republican legislators get anywhere near the purse strings.

    How many times during the “drill, baby, drill” tripe did “informed American” harp about how pleased he is to drive a gas guzzling SUV and how he would make an effort to waste as much energy as possible because it’s his “right as a ‘Merican?”

    Here’s a line-up of debt under the last 5 presidents:

    Carter (D) – started debt/GDP 35.8% ended debt/GDP 32.6%

    Reagan (R) – started debt/GDP 32.6% ended debt/GDP 53.1%

    Bush I (R) – started debt/GDP 53.1% ended debt/GDP 66.2%

    Clinton (D) – started debt/GDP 66.2% ended debt/GDP 57.4%

    Bush II (R) – started debt/GDP 57.4% ended debt/GDP 75.5% !!!!

    This makes clear that

    DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTS ARE FAR MORE FISCALLY RESPONSBLE THAN REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS!!!!!!

    Obama is just one more Dem brought in to make the best of a huge mess left by a Republican.

  • Not a chance

    correction:

    “That is why spending always explodes whenever Republican presidents or Republican legislators get anywhere near the purse strings.”

  • Not a Chance

    As regards debt under the Obama presidency to date:

    If Obama never existed, and things had just continued right where BUSH left the debt (1.2 trillion/year), then the debt would be almost exactly where it is now!!!

    That means almost every penny of debt under Obama can still be attributed to BUSH!!!!

    … and even at that, Obama has managed to do all he has done to turn our economy around, and with REDUCED GOVERNMENT REVENUES!!!!

  • john in danvers

    I can’t get to a phone to call in…

    The unspoken issue here is that as we politically refuse to keep spending up to counteract the recessionary fall in spending/demand, businesses are scrapping plant and other investments, people are suffering gigantic hits to their net worths, and we become needlessly poorer.

    What do your guests say about the loss of wealth and well-being that is not accounted for in GDP stats or debt ratios, losses that we could prevent by good policy?

  • CHRIS M

    Hey fellow Springfield-ite Bruce, good to see you posting. I was just talking about Spfld w/ a friend from the area and saying what a great city in was to grow up in the 60-70′s. You are correct about how much industry there was and my Dad owned his own business and supported a family of eight. We weren’t rich but comfortable and happy! It is shame to see all those businesses shuttered now.
    You are right, our own greed for the cheapest junk will be our country’s downfall. We will not re-gain ground until we start producing American – buying American – supporting American goods again. They may cost more but you will be investing in your own country and fellow citizens.

  • jeffe

    Lord Meghnad Desai is an economist and he thinks Great Britain is like Greece? Give me a break.
    There is no comparison at all. Almost half the working population of Greece works for the government and nobody pays taxes!

    The corruption is a huge problem there as well.

    By the way the states are doing that right now. The states are all cutting and slashing. We are already doing austerity, we are laying off hundreds and thousands of teachers, firemen, police and other state workers. Not to mention services.

  • Sean

    Austerity without common sense will only lead to economic disaster and suffering of the common man. The U.S. shouldn’t ever pursue such a draconian policy, especially when the economic conditions are dire. The time to fight defecits is when the economy is much improved and tax revenues are way up.

  • Andrew

    There is no reason to worry about “financing” the deficit. If someone (China) doesn’t want to buy our bonds, then we just “print” money. That means that we can’t necessarily buy stuff from China, but it doesn’t stop us from producing the stuff ourselves, provided we have the natural resources to do so.

    It’s just money, and money is stuff that WE have made up.

  • JP

    Not a Chance,

    Obama has increased the US Debt to GDP from 75.5% to 94.2% in one year and that doesn’t include the upcoming $2 trillion bailout of Freddie and Fannie. You don’t have a good case for Obama’s fiscal responsibility!

  • Not a Chance

    Jeffe,

    Why do we need firemen and policemen?

    Remeber, We are being kept safe by spending trillions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and because we are paying tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to Blackwater (Xe).

  • David Henry

    Yes we can make drastic cuts – in 5 years after the economy has recovered. Paul Krugman is right – its simple math. In the mean time, as long as we are getting very low interest loans from China, we should make investments in our future. Massive spending on education and more efficient transportation infrastructure. We should be spending on projects that will promote the common good and will help American business be more competitive in the future. When we start cutting it needs to start at the pentagon.

  • Not a Chance

    Again:

    As regards debt under the Obama presidency to date:

    If Obama never existed, and things had just continued right where BUSH left the debt (1.2 trillion/year), then the debt would be almost exactly where it is now!!!

    That means almost every penny of debt under Obama can still be attributed to BUSH!!!!

    … and even at that, Obama has managed to do all he has done to turn our economy around, and with REDUCED GOVERNMENT REVENUES!!!!

  • JP

    Andrew,

    Printing money out of thin air causes inflation, and inflation causes interest rates to skyrocket, and skyrocketing interest rates will increase the US debt payments to a level that doesn’t allow the government to spend money on anything but interest payments.

    You should look at the history of country’s printing funny money!

  • JP

    If government takeover of 70% of the US economy is; “Obama has managed to do all he has done to turn our economy around”, I wonder how the economy will be when he has taken over 10% of the economy!

  • Not a Chance

    Correction:

    As regards debt under the Obama presidency to date:

    If Obama never existed, and things had just continued right where BUSH left the deficit (1.2 trillion/year), then the debt would be almost exactly where it is now!!!

    That means almost every penny of debt under Obama can still be attributed to BUSH!!!!

    … and even at that, Obama has managed to do all he has done to turn our economy around, and with REDUCED GOVERNMENT REVENUES!!!!

  • JP

    Not a Chance,

    So your argument sounds like Obama is continuing the failed Bush Policies and just going in the same direction faster! Where is the change we were promised?

  • Not a Chance

    Obama is getting the house back in order.

    … and he’s doing it despite where BUSH left the deficit (1.2 trillion/yr).

    … he’s doing it despite where BUSH left govt. revenues (down drastically)

    … he’s doing it despite where BUSH left monthly job losses (700,000/month)

    … he’s doing it despite where BUSH left the FED interest rate (ZERO!) – meaning Obama was robbed of any way to stimulate the ruined economy other than spending.

    … he’s doing it despite putting all war spending back in the budget, which BUSH NEVER DID!

  • Susan

    I haven’t heard the whole show, but has anyone talked about the underlying problem which is what the money is? If you want a consumptive society, use paper money because as its value depreciates, people will spend and the economy will seem to be humming along. But, if you want an investing society, a “society of savers” you have to use commodity money, something tangible, the value of which remains relatively stable over time (historically gold and silver have proven their worth in this regard). Needless to say, there’s a very good reason for the gold and silver coin clause in the US Constitution, the one we’ve been ignoring for years. And now we and the world are, sadly, seeing what fiat money brings. The US led the way into the 20th century experiment in paper money and perhaps it is she that must lead the way out.

    Hey Tom, how about having Peter Schiff and Ron Paul on the show to talk about this?

  • http://http//www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com AKILEZ

    I like the new British Prime Minister a very Humble guy.
    A real person not two face. Who speak like an ordinary person like Scott Brown.

    Not A Chance If Obama never existed the American be in Great Depression 2. We will be out in the streets begging.

  • ThresherK

    Obama’s whole intention is to bring his beloved marxist redistribution of wealth

    Informed (sic) American, you’re one lazy-a$$ parody troll.

    Man, I remember when this meant something to you. Now it’s like you’re not even trying. You don’t care anymore (*sob!*).

    You and OnPoint should go into couples’ counseling to find out if this relationship can be saved.

  • Sundog

    Cheers to Buttonwood for talking in terms of public spending as percent of GDP.

  • Steve V

    My respect for the “leadership” of President Obama is shrinking day by day. If anyone but Elizabeth Warren is appointed as head of the new Consumer Protection Agency it will evaporate. Considering all the people from Wall Street in his administration this appointment will tell us where he’s really coming from, Main Street or Wall Street.

  • AKILEZ

    Obama ACHIEVEMENTS in 1 year and 7 months is nothing compared to the Bush Administration THAT DID NOT do anything for 6 years.

    1. Child left behind project that didn’t really help.
    2. Invaded Iraq and forgot about Afghanistan.
    3. The start of 401k demise. When companies stole their employees retirement plan and investors money.
    4. Bush Vacation all the time.

    I can believe how people are so Blind of Obama’s achievements.

    He Inherited Bush’s Economic collapse and solved the problem of another great depression.

    How can you be so selfish.

  • AKILEZ

    One More Point

    President Barack Obama is respected all over the world.

    Never ever been called the stupidest President of America.

    Love by billions but only hated by thousands.

  • david

    Gallup’s 2010 Confidence in Institutions poll.
    Shows the office of the presidency, how people feel about the institution of the office of the presidency, not the person who is president.

    In one year, has dropped from 51% to 36%
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/141512/Congress-Ranks-Last-Confidence-Institutions.aspx
    The office of the Presidency is to be held in high honor, how is that for change.
    The nat’l debt is headed toward 14 Trillion.
    Government involvement into private sector increasing.
    Industry ran years ago, small business may be next.
    Britain is waking up to their mistake.
    America is running head long into the mistake.

    I have seen over the past decades this type of economic thinking ruin a county in my state.

    JP, hang in there, you are swimming in a sea of people intoxicated with the dream that BIG Government is the answer.

  • david

    Obama is growing the size of government and it’s bureaucracy, the newly signed reform bill by-passes the Constitutional authority of Congress and creates his own system of laws?????????? Could this be true??????
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Wall-Street-reform-that-isn_t-1001080-98624969.html
    I hope Britain has learned a lesson, they are reaping the whirlwind of spent, spent, spent..

  • Michael

    The “austerity” plan is the right way to go. Deficit spending shifts burdens to children, dampens the economy and in the end will bankrupt a nation. Inflationary monetary policy cannot create wealth – said plainly, the Fed cannot create money. It can only steal it from people who already have dollars. This is true of any central bank. Just as individual households must live inside their means, so must governments.

  • William

    @ AKILEZ – President Bush set free over 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan which is a pretty big accomplishment.

  • Carl

    Hi,
    I have an Idea, Is is possible to have the UK and the US try a what Barbados did many years ago. If everyone in the public sector took a voluntary 20 percent pay cut to help balance the budget. Could that help balance the budget with limited layoffs.

    Barbados did it why can’t we!

  • BrettG

    The US economy needs increased demand.

    There’s no need for investors to “invest” unless the good or service they’re peddling creates enough sales to force manufacture of more supply of goods and/or increased use of service(s).

    The “massive” stimulus was NOT! It was brought down by the GOP/Soviet-supply side Laffer mess that doubled the Federal debt in the 80s, de-regulation that spawned the S&L crisis.

    If you want to see private enterprise in the US fail. Without employed/consumers with enough cash to increase demand. Now we are facing deflation thanks to lack of demand.

  • Rob L

    Keynesian deficit stimulus is taxation by other means – except the tax hits savers, whether they’re rich or poor. Ask yourself how the typical senior is surviving on 1% CD rates. Not very well when they used to make 4% or 5%. What happened to the difference? It’s going to government contractors and the big banks.

    It’s time for America to grow a pair and start taxing the very rich at a higher level. At a certain level (and I’m talking $500K+/yr) people aren’t spending the money, they don’t need all the money, it’s just a number. So let’s tax it and put it to use. You say that will kill jobs? On the contrary, the best way for a business owner to avoid tax is to plow the profits back into the business and hire more people. An example I saw is that after WWII, the government imposed a 90% “excess war profits” tax. Boeing, then a medium sized company, would have paid $4.5 million in tax on $5 million of profits. So what did they do? They invested that money in a wind tunnel one of the best in the country, which effectively cost them 10 cents on the dollar. In that case, and many others, high taxes with suitable deductions for for investment create jobs – and not just for extra servants in the Hamptons.

  • Steve V

    AKILEZ – Are we “blind to Obama’s achievements”?. No, not to the watered down health care reform that doesn’t take affect until 2014. Or the increase in forces in Afganistan. Or the “financial reform” that was written by Wall Street and has more loopholes than a piece of swiss cheese. Most of us critics have never said Obama is stupid. I for one just feel he’s not up to the job. Having said that I don’t believe our political process fosters competent, dedicated, intelligent people who speak their minds and put party above the public good. It seems all we get is simply another politican serving his party and special interests. And we elect them over and over. Shame on us all.

  • Not a Chance

    Again:

    Obama is getting the house back in order.

    … and he’s doing it despite where BUSH left the deficit (1.2 trillion/yr).

    … he’s doing it despite where BUSH left govt. revenues (down drastically)

    … he’s doing it despite where BUSH left monthly job losses (700,000/month)

    … he’s doing it despite where BUSH left the FED interest rate (ZERO!) – meaning Obama was robbed of any way to stimulate the ruined economy other than spending.

    … he’s doing it despite putting all war spending back in the budget, which BUSH NEVER DID!

  • madeinamerica

    The nation is already bankrupt and that is why we are, where we are. We are bankrupt in our principles, our morals. Like so many societies we have become lazy in our comfort, have neglected the maintenance of our American dream. We closed our eyes after a gluttonous baby boomer feast and allowed the fox to enter the hen house. We are now waking up to find all the eggs gone. Horrible, sly fox. Such an old story. Like the Native Americans believed each new treaty would be the last and would be upheld, we believed our leaders were safeguarding our nation’s future. But alas, they were holding the door open for the fox. Now we are hungry. Do we have what it takes? Can we rebuild our nation to be what it was meant to be? A place of opportunity for all. Or will we let the thief continue to hide in the shadows, stealing our dream? I will not name him. He knows who he is. He is the one that does not have remorse that he has sent the child out to the street to eat garbage; and no one can make him feel remorse for this, for he only values abundance for himself and his. He is not capable of compassion. He has no desire to build and maintain a nation, only wealth. He is mentally ill with greed and incapable of working toward a nation for all.

  • zack

    Thank you On Point for bringing in a voice of reason in the form of Lord Meghnad Desai. He and the Conservatives in the UK are absolutely right as they demand that austerity be imposed. David Blanchflower is completely out of his mind when he begs for more borrowing and spending to address problems caused by over-borrowing and over-spending.

    Our company http://www.pathtoasia.com helps Americans move to Asia for jobs and prosperity. Visit our site and receive a free consultation and trial membership.

  • madeinamerica

    Economic hard times are easily resolved by a redistribution of wealth to re-establish monetary flow. Current remedies are being established to correct past wrongs. The truth worth, however, is revealed by non monetary principals in which this country excels. No amount of money, prosperity can make up for a lack of freedom, justice, or voice. We got off track; we will get back on track. There are many paths that lead to one point. Each nation has its own history, own character, own path. We are a country that proclaims the American dream for all, there are many here that will never give up on that as it is our foundation, always has been, always will be.

  • Gary

    The heard of elephants that is never discussed rationally is useless government bloat. I don’t really know how many Americans work for the government and directly or indirectly receive a paycheck from the remaining taxpayers, but I would guess its very close to 50 percent.

    Bloated government would be good if we had equal improvement in services, but we have the fat expensive government that does NOTHING but service its own needs and to hell with the NON-government citizenry. Everything is falling apart because of the corporate owned and operated government.

    When you add in the local, state, federal, and “corporate-government” manufacturing, consulting, contracting, etc., its frightening and hugely depressing to contemplate how many Americans are basically on taxpayer welfare. …and don’t forget all of the well known outright theft that the government must leave unregulated.

    If we had a thin effective representative government that would be be in service to the PEOPLE of America and not to the corporate oligarchy is the real fix.

    Second the economy failed solely due to the corporate plutocracy not in spite of it, as they would have us believe. The government says that unemployment is generally unimportant. Fat tax sucking millionaire government representatives debate if the unemployed should receive the unemployment funds that WORKING Americans EARNED…and then pass another trillion or so for the rebuilding of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

    The government we have now, and have had for the past 40 years is completely incapable if austerity in any form. Any austerity plan they come up with will be about taking more from the working poor… I guarantee it.

  • http://simplicityitk.blogspot.com/ TrevorG

    I’m a UK citizen living in England. Please don’t believe that Mr Cameron speaks for the 61 million people in the UK. He is only the Prime Minister because his Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrat Party formed a coalition to provide a majority in parliament. The two parties combined only had 36% of all votes cast in our recent General Election. This means 67% of the UK population did not vote for Mr Cameron and his policies. The proposed ‘cuts’ are in fact only ‘plans’ at this stage – we will see what the reaction is from the people as the results of these cuts begin to bite. The British public are not stupid and we recognise the need for austerity. What worry’s many of us in the UK (certainly me as a lifelong Socialist) is that these ‘cuts’ will have the most impact on the people least able to deal with the implications i.e. those who are poor; those who are frail; those who need support. I would rather see cuts targeted at the wealthiest people who can afford to have less. The reason our economy is in such a mess is to do with wealthy bankers and not to do with poor road sweepers. The rich who can afford it should pay more for the austerity – it’s a no brainer. And please do not be fooled by the image of Mr Cameron as an ‘ordinary’ guy. He is from a very privileged, very wealthy family background; he enjoyed a private education; he has been totally removed from everyday challenges of poverty; and he has an awful lot of work to do if he is to convince the vast majority of UK citizens of his authenticity.

  • jeffe

    Trevor I just read today that Cameron wants to decentralize the NH system. As for the extreme cuts I’m old enough to remember Thatcher and the huge amount of damage she did to GB. Do you think Cameron will get away with it as Thatcher did? She managed to be PM for over 10 years despite the huge cuts and the poll tax. Who can forget the poll tax.

  • http://simplicityitk.blogspot.com/ TrevorG

    Jeffe – Thatcher is regarded by some as a heroine. To me she is the cause of most of the problems we face today. She demolished society through her cuts. The people rebelled against the poll tax and it was overturned – we hear little about that from Thatcher supporters but it showed vividly how out of touch she was with people. I worked for 35 years in the National Health Service (NHS). I am worried about the future of the NHS under Cameron – I think he wants to see it privatized – interesting to see the US going in the opposite direction! All I ask of the US people is not to be conned by the nice guy image Mr Cameron is trying to peddle.

  • Will

    @TrevorG Conservatives alone got 36% of the vote, Liberals got 23% so combined they got 59% far more legitimacy than BrownBliar’s mid 30% government.

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