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Voting Out Austerity

France and Greece vote out austerity. We’ll look at what their elections mean for Europe’s debt crisis and the world.

Supporters of Socialist candidate Francois Hollande celebrate his victory in the second round of French presidential elections at Bastille Square in Paris, France, Sunday, May 6, 2012. (AP)

Supporters of Socialist candidate Francois Hollande celebrate his victory in the second round of French presidential elections at Bastille Square in Paris, France, Sunday, May 6, 2012. (AP)


They voted in France. They voted in Greece. And they voted against the pain of austerity that’s been raining down on Europe since economic crisis hit and the hammer came down. Sarkozy is out in France.

The first Socialist in years is in: Francoise Hollande. In Greece, deadlock and a big “no” to the mainstream parties that have led in the crunch. Now comes the face-off. Will it be the German call to take the pain? The cuts? The unemployment? Will it be, somehow, growth? Will Europe hold together? Melt down?

This hour, On Point: pushback politics, and the big “no” from Europe.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nicholas Kulish, Berlin bureau chief for the New York Times.

Dominique Moïsi, a founder and senior advisor at the Ilfri (the French Institute for International Relations) and author of “The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World.”

Scheherazade Rehman, is Director of the European Union Research Center and a professor of International Finance and Business at George Washington University.

From Tom’s Reading List

Project Syndicate “This year’s annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund made clear that Europe and the international community remain rudderless when it comes to economic policy. Financial leaders, from finance ministers to leaders of private financial institutions, reiterated the current mantra: the crisis countries have to get their houses in order, reduce their deficits, bring down their national debts, undertake structural reforms, and promote growth. Confidence, it was repeatedly said, needs to be restored.”

Der Spiegel “As concerns about Spanish banks grow, leading economists are warning that Europe’s banking system urgently need to be overhauled, otherwise the entire monetary union could be in jeopardy. The continent’s leaders missed their chance to reform the system in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and are now paying the price.”

BBC “Pro-bailout parties in Greece performed poorly, while Francois Hollande won the French presidency, promising to focus more on growth.”

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  • Lin

    Vive la France!

    It is about damn time! It’s about time the oligarchs and the plutocrats begin to see that people will stand up to cruel
    austerity policies. All the policies have done is to create incredible misery in Europe foisted on the backs of the people who did not cause the problem. The continent is deeper and deeper
    into a hole both economically and fiscally.

    Now take a look at Mitt “Severe Conservative” Romney and Paul Ryan who want to impose the exact same sort of cruel austerity on the American
    people. And for what? To finance trillions of more dollars of tax cuts for the wealthy and
    more military spending. They want the American people to give up Medicare, Medicaid,
    education and infrastructure, and a secure social safety
    net so the beast they call “the job creators” can be sated. Pfft on that crap already. We are living a version of that reality right now, have been for the past 30 years, and how’s that working for us?

    Paul Krugman, Joseph Stieglitz and others have been right, right, right all along. The failed policies are starting us in the face, we are living them, they continue to exact an incredible toll in our society, yet the Romney-Ryan contingent continue to bare-faced try to sell us that alternate, cruel reality as the road to prosperity.

    History has proven over and over again that NOW is the time for more stimulus, more government spending ala post-depression era. General Motors is now ranked 4th (I think) in fortune 500 companies. Call them Government Motors all you want. The “bail out” worked for them, it’s good for our country that they are back, and we need the kind of help for the rest for us.

    • margbi

       Haven’t the “job creators” had tax cuts for at least the last six years? Where are the jobs?

      • Kashby

        Didn’t NPR go looking for those high wage “creators” awhile ago…and couldn’t find any??? Anyone remember this story?

        • notafeminista

          They never intended to “find any.”  It doesn’t fit the narrative.

  • Ed

    Communism failed a few decades ago. It seems to me that the problems in Europe show that Socialism isn’t working. The Church has spoken against it for over 100 years. And now Europe has taken another step toward socialism.

    • Victor Vito

      Ed, I know you’ll probably never see this and definitely won’t respond, but…

      Communism and socialism aren’t the same thing.  How are Cuba and CHINA doing, by the way?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The same ‘Church’, that HYPOCRITICALLY preaches that homosexuality is an abomination, and that homosexuals are doomed to Hell, but PROTECTS and SUPPORTS Child-RAPING priests?
         The same ‘Church’, that has punished the VICTIMS of these CRIMINALS?
         What kind of person would follow such a ‘Church’?

    • Brett

      Of course, the Vatican’s economic structure is closer to Mafia money laundering, racketeering, extortion, and so forth. Maybe we should adopt those approaches in the US…no, wait, we already have. 

    • Prairie_W

       I don’t think we have proof that socialism doesn’t work.  When I lived in Italy, during one of those times (frequent!) when government wasn’t working in most areas, Bologna, had elected a communist local government and was the only area that was prospering and well administered and participatory.  That may have been a fluke, but it shouldn’t be overlooked or dismissed.

      The pressures on mid-and southern Europe from immigration and then, god help us, the pressures from steady, unremitting, irresponsible population growth world-wide are bound to send us, as here in America, towards authoritarianism.  Democratic socialism is, in my view, a much better option than (say) what we’ve had here in the US since the mid-’70′s:  a growing and dangerously authoritarian, corporatist right. We need to be a little more humble and take a look at growing democracies and social democracies that are working well.  Because ours isn’t.

      (PS:  The idea of using “The Church” as a model is pretty appalling and, even more, very funny!)

      • William

        The economic failure in all the Communist countries would indicate that Socalism has failed.

        • Prairie_W

          Like China.  Now there’s an example!!

          In truth,William, I don’t remember seeing any truly communist countries, just nations that played with communism and then swerved sharply into authoritarianism even as socialism became democratic socialism, successfully allied to one or another form of capitalism.  If you examine your own views, I think you’ll discover that what you don’t like isn’t communism (doesn’t exist) but authoritarian governments, of which both China and the USSR (and now Putin’s Russia) are good examples. 

          If you want to worry, you might want to turn honest eyes on our contemporary Republican party here at home — our own, homegrown, tea-stained and corporate-funded authoritarians — arrogant, blundering, and vicious.

      • Don_B1

        The problem in Europe (Greece being the “proving exception”) is that with the adoption of the euro the banks of Germany (and France) began lending gobs of money to the private banks of the GIPSIs, with the result that their economies boomed with inflation of wages and prices. This helped German exports and Germany GDP grew. Then the 2008 financial crisis hit and the (mostly) real estate boom crashed, ending workers’ jobs thus dropping the GIPSI tax revenues and increasing the safety net expenses, creating deficits even in economies nominally (debt/GDP, deficit and safety net programs) better than in Germany. See:

        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/european-crisis-realities/

        The way to recover is not to further decrease government spending further reducing GDP and thus increasing the deficits as more layoffs further reduce private spending and increase safety net costs. While the private sector will/can not spend, government must increase its spending until, as the economy builds strength, it can taper its spending back and reduce its deficits.

        But the conservatives have control of the public actors and we are fated to suffer more. Just as an example, senator David Vitter (R, LA), well known in homes of ill repute, has put a hold on Obama’s two nominees for the FED, where the difficult work of gathering and analyzing economic data is overwhelming 8 governors when 10 would have a better shot at understanding it and making better decisions on how to help reduce unemployment.

        The Republicans do NOT want the economy to improve for anyone but the 1%, and that is already happening.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Ed.  How come most of the “socialist” countries in Europe are also among the most prosperous. 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Austerity for the 95%, and WEALTH for the Wealthy?
       GREEDY rich Greeks pay little, or no taxes?
      
    NO rich person should pay a smaller percentage of taxes, on paycheck, OR ANY form of Investment Income, than wage-earners have to pay!
        Did politicians in these countries, take a PAY CUT, including perqs, double the percentage they DEMAND of lower workers?
        ‘Leaders are supposed to LEAD?

    • William

      But we have nearly 50 percent of wage earners not paying any federal income tax and they are paying the same rate on their investment returns as a very wealthy investor like Warren B. So the “rich” have met your requirement.

  • Ed

    With a declining birth rate, no matter how the economy is arranged, how can it do other than contract?

    • Brett

      Ah, yes, the old, “aborted fetuses could have grown up to become consumers, thus improving the economy.” You’ve been beating that out of tune drum for some time now; you’ve outdone yourself in oblique suggestions this morning, though! “Props” as one of our resident neocon commenters has a want to say! …Let’s see, what else, what else, aborted fetuses could have grown up to be tax payers, thus improving revenues? How about aborted fetuses could have grown up to be neocon voters? …Do I have it about right, there, Ed? 

      Why not go a little further and say aborted fetuses could have grown up to be the next generation of Einsteins? And what not. Of course, that aborted fetus could have grown up to be the next Charles Manson. Ever think about that? How about Ted Bundy? John Wayne Gacy? Better yet, how about the molesting priest? …Well, that last one, I’ll leave up to Triple T.

      • denis

        I am not an economist and I certainly do not support the right to life movement [or as I a catholic nun call it the right to birth - no effort by the movement to create a life after the birth].
        Having said that [coming from a career in retail] the question has to address the economic differences between a large increase in population and a stagnant or declining population.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Can a declining, or stagnant population NOT provide a sustaining, or even increasing economy?   NO way?   Has it NEVER happened?

        • Brett

          If it were a genuine question from Ed, as you reframe it, then I would consider it one for valid debate.

          That said, and considering your lens sees from a retail perspective, perhaps the paradigm of perpetual growth/incremental consumption is not as sustainable as once thought? 

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         The book, Freakonomics, makes the claim that our crime rate has fallen since the 90s because millions of unwanted children didn’t end up becoming delinquents.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Thanks Brett!  Ed, and William keep pushing the ‘ideals’, and ‘ideas’ of the Catholic ‘church’, while IGNORING this most prominent FACT about the Catholic ‘church’! 

    • Don_B1

      But the United States (and most/all European countries) have increasing populations! There ARE TWO components to population growth: birthrate and immigration. European countries like Italy make up for low birthrates by immigration.

      For the United States, its part of the population that is fully employable GROWS by 125,000 to 150,000 EACH MONTH.

      But Ed, you need some remedial education: even with a declining population, increasing productivity would allow fewer workers to produce more, thereby increasing GDP.

      Until you can show an understanding of the first lesson of Econ 101, don’t expect people to take you seriously.

  • Victor Vito

    I view it as a hopeful sign that people in these two nations aren’t ready to just roll over and “take it”.  Tough times ahead for both, fighting an uphill battle against the prescibed wealth paradigm.  I will be rooting for them both and hoping others follow the example.

  • Still Here

    Greece doesn’t have a choice, it can’t borrow.

    France will need to appease the bond market.  So far Hollande’s growth only seems to apply to tax rates.

    Why are Spain’s banks so fragile?  Because they own a ton of Spanish government debt.  French banks might be next. 

    Hard-working German taxpayers aren’t going to pay for spendthrift lifestyles for their neighbors, nor should they.

    • Victor Vito

      Germany doesn’t need anybody.  Their neighbors on all sides can collapse into ruin and it will have no effect on them whatsoever.

      • Still Here

        German exports prove you wrong, but Germany also can’t bailout everyone.  

        • Don_B1

          Germany has to agree to a higher level of inflation so that the wage/price imbalances that built up during the euro-enabled boom to equalize. And the ECB must enable the countries within the euro-zone to borrow at reasonable rates until this equalization is accomplished.

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Victor you’re wrong. Germany has been loaning money to many in the Euro zone so they’d be able to buy their exports. 

      • Don_B1

        Germany has entered a self-defeating policy. Its banks are holding notes from private banks in the GIPSIs which was used to generate a real estate boom (like in the U.S.) on which the repayment will require a return to economic growth in those countries.

        The German economy runs on exports, the majority of which go to other European countries; a steep drop in purchasing ability by the GIPSIs will cause a decline in the German economy. There are signs that may have already started.

        The German economic problems of a decade ago were solved by growing its export sector and a decline in that sector will be felt strongly.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    The world economy is on the brink of collapse again.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    No doubt Greece is a train wreck and probably needs to leave the EU and be firewalled.

    After thee years the austerity faerie’s magic fairy pixie dust has not relieved the “job creators” of there “uncertainty”. There is a vast sea of corporate and private capital looking for somewhere to go and it’s not spurring economic expansion in Europe.

    Rightwing economic theory has proven to the most radical and disastrous policy in my lifetime. 7 million middleclass jobs gone, poof, shipped overseas. Their “Lazy Fairy Free Market Theory” got us into this mess, so by what miracle will they get us out? The Right sold the masses a simplistic explanation of how to bring prosperity to everyone, but the only one prospering are the wealthy. All data bears this out.

    Cold hard facts speak louder than mythology. America under stimulus (watered down by the Right by tax cuts to the wealthy) is growing, albeit slowly but growing nonetheless while Europe (which has embraced the Right’s call for austerity) is floundering: England is entering a second recession. Spain’s unemployment is 24%. Ireland, Portugal, Italy are at 15%.

    This Voodoo Economic Deregulation nonsense has to stop… At least Reagan was willing to raise taxes on the wealthy because it was the right thing to do.

  • Hidan

    Listen to TOLN and didn’t know people against Globalization where extremist and people that wanted to deny elections in Greece where actually pro-democracy.

    So the Austerity only applied to the poor and middle class in these counties while there bankers were made almost whole. People attempted to do this in Iceland and bail out the Bankers and totally screw the rest and they refused. Ireland was the poster child of the Republicans due to there low Corp Taxes but had to be bailed out and are facing even more problems.

  • marion

    My question is: I believe that France and the rest of Europe should go into austerity as Germany asked for and I believe that the US should do more government spending to stimulate the economy. Is the a rationale explanation for this contradiction ?

    • Victor Vito

      Tequila.

  • Gregg

    Would returning to President Clinton’s spending levels be “Austerity”? It seemed like we were doing fine.

    • Victor Vito

      Would that include his top marginal tax rate?

      • Hidan

         of course not.

      • Gregg

        If the deal is to return to Clinton’s tax rates in exchange for returning to his spending levels then  a hearty “hell yea” to ya’.

        • Gregg

          Do we have a deal or not?

  • Worried for the country(MA)

     We are NOT living under austerity.  Not even close.

    $5T+ of deficit spending in 3 years is not austerity by ANY definition.

    Also, Paul Ryan’s budget is not austerity either.  Ryan’s budget  is an INCREASE in the current high levels of spending by 3% but it is still demonized by the left for political gain.

    • Still Here

      Exactly Democrats think austerity is slowing government spending because they are so tied to unsustainable growth in the size and role of government. 

    • Goodmanjl

      How do you define “we” you and I may not be living under austerity, but certainly millions of Americans are.  Record numbers of unemployed/underemployed, home foreclosures at record highs,  food stamp expenditures, 50 million without health insurance.  The list goes on and on!  What country do you live in?   Is your ideology trumping your compassion.  What don’t you understand about economics.  You take a hatchet to spending with little thought to what you are cutting.  A lot people get hurt and more people lose their jobs and the economy slides deeper into  a hole.  We are spiraling down, evenually all these drowning people will pull us, our families, and the economy down as well. Take offf  your blinders and get your head out of the sand before it’s too late.    

      • Don_B1

        Whatever they [Worried for the Country(MA) and Still Here] understand about economics, it does NOT include macroeconomics. When they see a good macroeconomic analysis, because they don’t like the result it predicts they ignore it, preferring to “shoot the messenger.” when the predicted results occur, they build some Rube Goldberg scheme to excuse themselves.

  • Ellen Dibble

    So does Hollande have enough of a mandate not to be thwarted by the parliament.  Or wait, I think that is decided in a few weeks.  I’m rooting for the French to have the clear shot at regrouping economically that the United States has not had thanks to the stonewalling in the legislature.  Then we can actually SEE what happens when liberte, egalite, fraternite is transacted.  And the sooner the better, since we ourselves have elections in 6 months.  So I’d like to know before then:  How’s that hope and change workin’ for ya’?

    • Still Here

      How many Democrat votes did Obama’s 2011 budget get in the Senate?  How many Democrat votes did Obama’s 2012 get in the House?  That’s not stonewalling, that’s bi-partisan rejection of Obama’s priorities pure and simple. 

      • Don_B1

        The “budget” voted down in the House was NOT Obama’s budget; it had been so twisted by amendments that it was unrecognizable. It deserved to be voted down.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I clicked the link to Moisi’s book about the Geopolitics of Emotion, and found a super comment about nationalism, identity, violence, manifest destiny, what have you, citing a half dozen books on the subject.  I’ll put a link but maybe excerpt it. It’s by Aldo Mateucci. I think it relates to how various cultures/nations respond to inflection points, challenges… Can they create realistic adaptations?  If not, why not? 
    http://www.amazon.com/review/RX9GVQAX6RQ8N/ref=cm_cr_rdpvoterdr#RX9GVQAX6RQ8N.2115.Helpful.Reviews

    • Ellen Dibble

      Here’s an excerpt of the Mateucci comment, focusing on identity, group identity, nationalism, and how the French route into the 21st century might come into being:  ”
      The author [Moisi]links emotions somehow to “identity” – which he never clearly defines or explores. Identity is the refuge of the perplexed nationalist: after immanent feelings in a group lost traction, identity is supposed to explain human behaviour. Again, there is a large literature on identity (see Amartya SEN Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny, which the author ignores. He could have also profited from the study field of nationalism (see GELLNER Nations and Nationalism (New Perspectives on the Past) and ANDERSONImagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (New Edition)).”

    • Don_B1

      A somewhat related subject is effectively discussed in the new book, “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty,” by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson:

      http://whynationsfail.com/

      There is much to read and learn here: from the overview at the link above to wide-ranging discussions on their blog. The blog covers areas related to the issues of the book, showing the factors facing the world today, and differentiating their ideas from those of others such as Jarrod Diamond. But the key to the book is the analysis of the following:

      “Key to our argument in Why Nations Fail is the idea that elites, when sufficiently political powerful, will often support economic institutions and policies inimical to sustained economic growth. Sometimes they will block new technologies; sometimes they will create a non-level playing field preventing the rest of society from realizing their economic potential; sometimes they will simply violate others’ rights destroying investment and innovation incentives.”

      They look for different forces that have saved America in the past such as from the corruption of Congress in the Civil War period or the power of elites in the Gilded Age.They look at the banking industry and its functioning as an extractive elite.They look at the positive and possible negative effects of unions and raise the issue of whether they will be a necessary force to oppose other extractive elites as they did in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    Wall Street is living the austerity life. Living la vida loca.

    • TomK in Boston

      Austerity, like every righty policy, is also class warfare. It’s austerity for the commoners, but party time for the 1%. Follow the money. It doesn’t go away, it flows, bottom to top.

      Next time you hear a ryan talking about “hard choices”, listen carefully for what hard choices he’s proposing for the wealthy. You’ll have a long wait….

      • notafeminista

        So class warfare means people who don’t or won’t agree with you?

        • TomK in Boston

          Huh? Where do you get that from what I said? Class warfare  is redistributing wealth from the bottom and the middle to the top, ie, what has been happening since we adopted voodoo economics.

          • notafeminista

            “Austerity, like every righty police, is also class warfare.”

            1)You aren’t a righty
            2)You don’t agree with righties.

            Marginalize policies you don’t agree with as class warfare.  Not a huge leap there.  Capitalism does not re-distribute anything.  If I have a pizza, you don’t have to eat the box. 

            (Credit to PJ O’Rourke)

  • Ellen Dibble

    What does Merkel mean by austerity?  In Germany, the response to the 2008 collapse seems to have been reasonable, carefully designed to use the strengths of the people and their skills, with a plan toward the future.  French thrift may take a different tack and consist of shooting themselves in the foot, because one only needs one foot.  Skip educating, skip nurturing, skip regulating, etc., etc.  Smaller government.  That’s what we mean in the USA.  In France?  Austerity may mean more government, not less.  It may mean higher taxes on people like me who go to Paris and buy something with a Value Added Tax.

    • Don_B1

      You pay the value added tax on items you “consume” there. At least sometimes it is worth having it shipped back from the POS to avoid the tax. But the value added tax is what largely pays for health care: if you fall and break a leg, get deathly sick (see story of Charlie Rose’s heart problem) your treatment is largely free in Europe, with some differences depending on country.

  • TomK in Boston

    Congratulations to the French and Greek people for finally waking up and throwing out their paul ryans.

     I see the whole austerity exercise as a psychology experiment. You hook a roomful of people up to electroshock machines with strength 1-10, and tell them that “the deficit” will get them if they don’t self-administer a #1 shock. So they all do it, even tho they have no idea what “the deficit” is. Then you tell them it wasn’t enough, “the deficit” is still coming, they need a #2 shock, etc etc. The question is, when will they stop hurting themselves to make an imaginary threat go away? Amazingly, some of them really hurt themselves before they realize that REAL torture to stop a concept is a bad idea.

     Funny thing is, it’s not even a question of taking the medicine now for better times ahead. Most economists think austerity will simply make worse times ahead.

     I hope it’s our turn next.

    • notafeminista

      Guess we’ll see 12-24 months from now.

    • William

      Did they actually decrease spending? Even Paul Ryan’s budget does not decrease spending and a balanced buget is years away. It is like almost everyone in the EU and USA live in some sort of dream world with no budgets and just keep borrowing until someone says no.

      • http://www.findingourdream.blogspot.com Hal Horvath

        Budgets, in every nation, *only can balance during* a period of significant economic growth.  There is a specific, precise economic reason.  Look up the “savings conundrum”

  • Ellen Dibble

    Does corruption among the movers and shakers figure into the fear of a “growth” agenda?  Feeding the fatted calf, letting the banks “play” us like a bunch of serfs?  I see Rehman has the following publication more or less addressing that:  ”
    Corruption And Its Manifestation In The Persian Gulf, Hossein Askari, Scheherazade S. Rehman and Noora Arfaa (Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd., 2010);”  Okay, that’s not in France, but people who have over a million euros a year (those to be taxed at 75% under Hollande, like that national hockey team, I believe it is, who are expected to move to Morocco) — but we know that the 1% have access to loopholes that have been basically bought by campaign contributions, and if France has a situation like that, doesn’t growth get thwarted by encouraging such behavior?  Here, the argument is that the reverse is true.  Too many loopholes for the rich gives them a non-capitalistic sort of advantage in the Darwinian world of business survival.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Has austerity ever worked for “fixing” a first world economy?  It will cut spending, but as far as restoring economic growth it sounds like lightening a car by getting rid of the gas and letting the air out of the tires.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    The only thing the US has in common with Europe is the anti-incumbent  mood.

  • Sean

    Europe is proof that Republicans have done NOTHING but muck up the U.S. recovery, both through their wrong-headed policies AND by blackmailing America, the President, and Dems in Congress into scaling back much needed recovery efforts.

    VOTE THE BUMS OUT IN 2012!!!

    • Sean

      … We ALL know the Fox lies and talking points, so don’t even bother with idiotic FAUX NEWS responses.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Huh?

      The Republicans are the only ones offering a budget while the President allows $5T in new debt with no budget.

      You can’t vote “present” as President.

      You have one thing right.  We will be voting Obama out in November. :)

      • Sean

        I guess you had to parrot Fox anyway… couldn’t help yourself, I guess.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Feel free to be a pretentious jerk.  It is a free country — for now.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Until the phone-hacking criminals at Fox take over?
               If they would lie about that?

          • Don_B1

            Yeah, it is “free” for the 1% but less free for the 99% and if Romney is elected, even less free for the 99%.

      • Sam Walowrth

        I would have agreed with you if UK would have had not fallen into recession following the severe austeriety measures and US would have had entered into double dip.

        However, sad to say, facts point to the evidence that we got recovery, however fragile it is, is much better than double dip.

        And we did it our Stimuluous spending.. do I like it, no, but that appears to be the fact.

        • Don_B1

          That is the difference between Republican ideologues and the rest of us: we are able, at least most of the time, to discard our “likes” when they do not work, instead of just doubling down and inventing ever more complex reasons that prevented our “likes” from happening.

          Our recovery is fragile because the stimulus was not big enough: the states cut their spending by about the same amount as the value of the stimulus which means that the only effect it had was while the federal spending was occurring before the state cuts took effect. Thankfully that was enough to halt the free-fall the economy was in as Obama took office.

  • Matt Wade

     Joe Wiesenthal says something that can’t be said enough:
    “The fact of the matter is that there’s no example in Europe, yet, where the bond market has rewarded austerity.”

    • Still Here

      Look at today’s Germany, Iceland, Norway in the 1990s.

      • Don_B1

        Germany is NOT doing “austerity” today and the 1990s are totally DIFFERENT conditions: for one thing, they had, and still have, their OWN CURRENCY. BIG difference!! The whole Euro crisis is difficult to resolve because of the common currency (which also led German and French banks to see a “privatize the gain, socialize the losses” mentality in making the loans to private banks in the GIPSIs which caused the crisis).

  • Matt Wade

    The Confidence Fairy never existed and the German model for economic success (heavy exports) does not work for the rest of Europe. 

  • ThisIsNotBritannica

    The idea that France has pushed back on austerity is ridiculous.

    Hollande is a devout Eurofederalist, whose campaign “promises” will never materialize.

    He will work out some meaningless side-agreement on “growth” with Merkel that will seem to satisfy his empty campaign promises, but that will allow austerity to proceed as demanded by Germany.

    Not only that, Hollande plans to accelerate GErmany’s take-over of Europe by introducing Eurobonds and furthering fiscal integration with Europe-wide financial taxes.

    In truth, nothing has changed in France at all.

  • Muriel

    From talking with family and friends in France it is clear to me that the French first and foremost rejected Sarkozi.  They did not like his style, his lack of compassion and his hectic behavior at times bordering on hysteria.

    The French people know that they will have to go through austerity measures but they want someone who will lead them through them with compassion, understanding and fairness.  It might take longer to reach a balanced budget, but it might hurt fewer people.  The French also want the more well-off to to do their fair share as far as taxes are concerned (sounds familiar?)  

  • Robbie

    Sarkozy is an arrogant, petulant little jerk. Plain & simple. Nobody in France could stand him. He is a narcissistic megalomaniac who would even curse at citizens in public.
    Add to that his failed policies and his willingness to promote xenophobia when it suited him, and you have nothing but an angry citizenry.
    Anyone who could hurl expletives at Diane Sawyer during an interview or attempt to anoint his 19 yr old son as the defacto mayor of Paris’ version of Wall Street was just too much to countenance.
    His behavior was unseemly and viewed as a national humiliation by the vast majority of the French.

  • Ellen Dibble

    So is Kulish thinking Merkel will have suggestions to Hollande as to where to reconfigure the economy?  He says easier to fire, easier to hire.  Are there certain industries that could be nurtured in France that Germany wouldn’t just think, hey, Germany would do that better…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Has austerity ever worked? Do we have an example of a successful use of austerity? This keeps getting pushed as the answer, but I’m not finding a situation where it was successfully used.

    • Still Here

      US 1921

      Moreover, there are plenty of examples where the opposite didn’t work.  Rome, GB, Netherlands, Spain …

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The national debt can be increased ad infinitum?  Is the caller insane?  More and more spending out of control will make the dollar worthless and will keep the government from being able to do anything but service debt.

    • jefe68

      That’s not what he was saying. What the caller was alluding to was that the US can borrow now for rates that are extremely low. We need jobs and we also need a lot of infrastructure work. In the short term, that is over the next 5 years you borrow to get these things done.
      It will create jobs which will create revenue, which will also create local spending. It’s amazing to me how people only want hear what they want without even trying to understand the economics of the situation.

      That’s not saying we should borrow like there is no tomorrow, but we have to do something. Doing nothing will be a disaster. We can see that in all the states that have been cutting teaching, police, fire and public jobs.
      That does not mean states, cities and towns should mismanage themselves, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that if they keep cutting and laying people off these folks are not adding to the tax base. All of this plays into the GOP plan to shrink government into oblivion, but then what? What do you do when the roads you drive on are beyond repair. What do you when you have fire and call the fire department and they it takes to long because the local firehouse was closed. There has to be a meeting ground here, austerity wont work in this case.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        The problem is that we’ve already borrowed too much.  What’s the guarantee that when times get better, we won’t continue borrowing?

        • jefe68

          Because that’s bad fiscal policy and if you were really listening to Robert Reich and Paul Krugman you would have read and heard them say that this was a better way to go. Borrow for the short turn, get the economy going and then deal with the debt.
          Increased revenue will bring down the deficit as well. I agree with you that there is a risk, but if we do nothing and cut and things get worse, then what?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Reich and Krugman aren’t gods.  They don’t speak from on high.  We have seen calls for borrowing now and taking care of debt later many times.  What happens?  Just more borrowing.

      • William

        The spending on infrastructure seems to be the never ending reason for more spending. Where is all the money going? We were sold a bill of goods with the slogan “shovel ready jobs”, then it becomes a joke with Obama himself.

        • TFRX

          Bill of goods?

          What, all those things are going to last forever because we need them to?

          Your jetpack must be the envy of all your neighbors.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    Maynard Keynes rules … austerity is voodoo economics.

  • Greyman

    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2012/05/how-savage-has-european-austerity-been.html

    Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus Center @ George Mason Univ., shows with these data that expenditures at all levels of government in Greece, Spain, the UK, Italy, and France were higher in 2011 than in 2002. Prof. Cowen reports further that OECD data show that no European country is spending below 2004 levels. The gist is NOT that austerity has bitten anyone in Europe, with the possible exception of Baltic countries (whose circumstances are not being discussed presently); rather, rates of nominal spending simply have not increased. Thus, most of the noise we hear being raised about the evils of austerity in Europe does not reflect the reality of government expenditures on the totality of programs those governments offer.

  • Scott B, NY

     Greece was clearly way too permissive in its fiscal policies, an example being it would literally be cheaper for the government to put everyone in cabs and send them to work than pay for the trains.  But it’s clear, socially and fiscally, that severe austerity isn’t working. It’ going to have to be a mix.

    There are going to be some bitter pills to swallow, like retirement ages, but slashing budgets to the quick always effects those that can least afford to lose the least, like the poor, elderly, and  ailing; and the educators and protectors of society, that get scapegoated by the Right for runaway costs.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Are there unions in France, in Europe?  Rehman is speaking more about freedom to fire.  Is that part of government’s fiat?  Or  is that standing up to unions?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The ‘right to fire’, is a False Flag!   Justified firings of union members happen every week!
         What the GREEDY rich want, is the right to CONSTANTLY threaten firing, to extort sexual favors, acceptance of abuse, lower wages, NO benefits, Safety violations, and a host of other abuses!

  • kph

    Here we go again, bankers want private profits and public losses.  Those bankers who bought all those Greek bonds took a risk, it was a bad bet, howver since they can never lose, Greek citizens have to pay the price. 

  • Maggie, IA

    We also have to remember, that with more social programs, the countries of Greece, France, and the U.S. for that matter attracted numerous (il)legal immigrants to their countries.  In Europe it was from the Middle East and Africans immigrating to Greece and France to provide better lives for their families.  These countries in Europe did not take into account this attraction to others outside their countries and the influx of people have also contributed to the countries’ downfall. More people, less taxes= problem we face today.

  • Sean

    U.S. social programs DON’T EVEN COME CLOSE to the extreme policies of the European countries who went overboard with their government giveaways.

    Proposed U.S. programs are VERY reasonable, just, and easily paid for, especially if we end “socialism” for corporations and the wealthy, as well as scaling down our absurd militarism.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Rehman is talking about Europe as a unified entity.  I am thinking there is a core, which I’ll call “Gaul,” following Julius Caesar, and I think it can cohere.  But I don’t think it can apply the same standards to, say, Greece.  Maybe a separate inner core could be constituted, and then a looser Euro-zone.

  • Lost Cat 00

    Excuse me, but the current economic crisis began in 2008 when financial capitalism messed up playing casino. I lived for several years in France when I was young in the 1970s, I was following events, and the issue of the social achievements the French workers obtained from capital, was never an issue.  Currently we are not only gong through a major econoic crisis due to the misnagement of global financiers, but the systematic and brutal assaults of social institutions maskerading as economic policy. Go tell that the Spanish state mismaneged its finances. If Spanish got in trouble is because the Spanish banks borrowed like crazy from German banks for developing the real estate sector.

    I don’t know what President Hollander has in his mind, but I am sure that the French left will take care of pushing him as the American left never did in the instance of President Obama.

    Ca suffit de la mystification politique!

  • Greyman

    “Austerity” is pure bogeyman in France if total govt. spending in 2011 was 1.1 trillion euros compared to 816 billion euros in 2002. “Austerity” is bogus fiction in Greece if total govt. spending in 2011 amounted to 108 billion euros compared to 70 billion euros in 2002. Again: govt. spending cuts have not occurred so much as the growth in spending has been very modestly curtailed. –but Ashbrook & Co. have already titled this show as “Voting Out Austerity” and hew to this informed editorial viewpoint regardless of what the data show. 

    • crt

      Don’t confuse them with the facts. They are talking among themselves.
      Austerity as not been tried yet but simply talking about it has the lefts panties in bunch.

  • Jaki Reis

    Underpaying our workers so they don’t have enough to live on and even less to spend on any extras in order to pay the owners and stockholders more money than they can spend has created this vortex in the middle, pushing everybody further apart.  It is an unsustainable system which can only be sustained by forcibly taking some from the inner core in order to keep the outer edge from dying and flying apart, taking the whole system with it.  We, on the outer edge, in overwhelming majority I assure you, would prefer to be paid a living wage and given affordable health care to keep us alive, over any amount of money from government programs.  This is why stimulus works.  Lets make it permanent, but pull the money from the profits of the businesses that all of us – not just the owners and brokers – work to make.

    • William

      But without risk takers or shareholders there won’t be very many companies. Certainly nobody is given medical insurance. They either pay for it, earn it or pay taxes to receive the service. Would it not be better for the employees to share a greater part of the risk and financial burdens a business has, but receive more rewards too?

      • TomK in Boston

        Our oligarchs do not take risks or even work hard. Romney’s leveraged buyouts are scams that make money for him whether he busts the company or not, and the bankers are collecting their bonuses a few short years after wrecking the economy. Where’s the risk? W was a drunk frat boy who got to be wealthy and POTUS simply because of awesome family connections. Redistributing even more $ to these elites doesn’t do a dam thing for job creation. 

        You have an amazingly naive view of what really goes on at the top.

        • William

          Are the wealty any different than our Congress? They all become wealthy while in office and accomplish little if any good. Obama has zero work experience and came from a wealthy background, most elite schools in the country and he is going to tell a working person anything? Nearly, 50 percent of working Americans don’t pay any federal income tax and that is something that needs to grow?

          • TomK in Boston

             Obama did not come from a wealthy background. He didn’t get into elite schools as a “legacy”.

             Follow the money. With the top 1% making 23% of the total income and paying the lowest rate since 1929, it’s rather curious that you would focus on a group that is suffering. I know it’s the current Official Response to any suggestion that the oligarchs should contribute more, but you don’t have to just parrot the Party Line.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            William keeps trying to deflect attention from Child-RAPING priests, too!

          • William

            Certainly he went to private school in Hawaii. Then his 1st college was very elite, followed by the next two. He has not suffered much in his life.

          • TomK in Boston

            I didn’t say he suffered. Growing up mixed race with 1 parent is not exactly nirvana in the USA, but I agree he didn’t suffer. 

            The point is that there’s a huge difference between “not suffering” and being an aristocrat with connections and wealth that are unimaginable to those who have not at least been on the fringes of that world. BHO is a normal upper-middle American, the Ws and Romneys might as well be martians for all they can relate to us.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        BONE-USes, for BANKRUPTING the company you were hired to LEAD to prosperity?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      EXCELLENT SYNOPSIS!

  • Tara

    What’s the real difference between emergency measures and the “bailout” that Germany and others in Europe have already given Greece and the short-term “stimulus” that are the campaign messages of of Hollande and the new Greek coalition? Isn’t the real question how this money will be used?

    Shouldn’t Germany or the pro-austerity camp, rather than criticize these countries for tying to placate home voters, be more concerned with where the money will be spent? It just seems to me the real meat of the disagreement between the pro-austerity and stimulus camps being HOW they try this revitalization.

  • Robbie

     One can’t blame the Greeks for being furious at what they have been forced to endure.
    Unfortunately the solution for the Greek depression is not so much the need for only austerity measures. There needs to be a change in the culture of corruption that is deeply entrenched in government and every other institution.
    Recently it was revealed that some 600 residents of a Greek Island were fraudulently collecting benefits by claiming they were blind! How did they manage to do so? The previous Mayor dispensed these “indulgences” in return for votes.
    Just one example of why Greece is in the mess in which it finds itself.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      And the culture of AVOIDING taxes, including bribing tax collector?

      • Greyman

        Don’t conflate “tax avoidance” with “tax evasion”: the former is prudent and perfectly legal, the latter is not, if Greek custom enjoys enough similarity to US practice. 

  • Lost Cat 00

    I should have said “but the systematic and brutal assault against social institutions by thugs maskerading as economic policy-makers.”

  • Robbie

     How can there be one currency (the Euro) when each country has different monetary and economic policies?? The Euro was a pie in the sky idea. Sooner or later, it will collapse.

    • TomK in Boston

      The euro has to go. Greece would be a hell of a lot better off if they went back to their own currency. It would help if they collected taxes from their aristocrats, too.

  • Doggypeg

    Tom Tom Tom Tom–Where’s your balance here? Couldn’t you find ANYONE who opposes “austerity?” Couldn’t you find ANYONE who believes that the markets should be subservient to the states, not determining who gets and who gives?
    Puh-lease!

    • Heaviest Cat

      Oh no, Doggy ,that would offend ‘BUR’s corporate underwriters.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        You tell ‘em, Kitty!

        • Heaviest Cat

          THank you, Terry : )

  • Ellen Dibble

    We’re hearing that we should not be distracted to think social spending is the root of the problem.  It was the financial crash.  Case in point:  the Nordic social spending.  
        But I thought the financial crash was about US policy subsidizing in many ways too many mortgages, with mortgage interest deductions and Fannie Mae and so on, such that those mortgages infiltrated all countries who had invested here.  
       So in the USA we can see exactly what tripped the crisis, but in Europe, if the problem was lower revenue streams because of the financial bubble — well, by the way, is there a 15% capital gains tax in France?  The way we have here?

    • TomK in Boston

      The financial crash arose from deregulation of the financial sector. US banksters made a big contribution to the Greek crash, too. Wherever there’s an economic crash, you’ll find a wall st con man.

      • Ellen Dibble

        That’s what I was afraid of.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    I have not heard anyone mention corruption and waste and spending without a purpose.

    And I have not heard anyone mention unresponsive and subversion of the democratic process.

    Neil

  • augluc

    Tom, please, who did you pick up as correspondent?
    Those journalist are just paying lip services to the German bankesters.  Is not populism is just that Euro has been
    created only to favor big power and this system will never work for we the
    people.  Why they don’t  talk about creating a real monetary system
    for Europe (we need a real central bank who can look behind stupid inflation
    fear, we need Eurobond, etc)?  Why
    entire nations have to be shaken by the market that have the power to bring
    down any country and the power to push undemocratic leaders and fake reforms
    that will bring benefits only to the same top guys?  We are not stupid! Germany has always been  the power that wanted to dominate
    Europe.  For two times during last
    century they tried with tanks and it went bad. 
    Now, with the Euro they have been able to reach their goal. 

    • TomK in Boston

      Ha ha. Yep, the germans finally heard what Woody said, 
        “Some will rob you with a six-gun, And some with a fountain pen.” and as the romneys of the world know, the pen works better. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Tanks robbing people, or banks robbing people?
        Lousy choice!
         So MANY have sold their souls, or their humanity, for the Lust for POWER!

  • Still Here

    A 52%-48% vote sounds like France is fairly divided on which way to go from here.  Parliamentary elections in June should be equally fascinating given the big showing by the Nationalists in the first round of the presidential elections.

    European sovereign entities have solvency issues.  That needs to be addressed.

    • Still Here

      I especially enjoyed how Tom disagrees with the French guy who lives in France about what the election of the French president meant.  Tom knows better.

      • Erka, in Paris

        This is exactly what I thought at first: “thanks he invited someone who actually KNOWS that Sarkozy just got what he deserved, and that basically that Hollande was in the same position as Obama 4 years ago: anybody with a socialist sticker would have won… it’s not about the economy, it’s about this extreme right craziness – nothing close to tea party though -”…
        I m quite confused to see how Tom convey his message about austerity… This is not what it was about for the vast majority of people.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Thank you, Erka!   If you haven’t, please explain your view of what happened in France?
            (I never bought into the ‘Freedom fries’)

      • mmaaaxx

        …as if any Frenchman knows better than any American about France.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    The Maya predicted economic depression and more natural disaster before 12/21/12.

  • Still Here

    Reality, a cruel pill to swallow for some.

    • Dainbug

      Cruel, when those forced to swallow it are not those responsible for it.

    • mmaaaxx

       Don’t worry, they won’t swallow it; they’ll vote for more big gov. and free money and hand that nasty little pill to their children and grandchildren who will all go to war like they have for hundreds of years!

      • Heaviest Cat

        who has been drowning America in a swamp of war for the last ten years? Not Karl marx, not ho chi minh.not Che Gueveara.

  • Dainbug

    First!!! lets stop blaming unions, workers, labor for a problem that was CAUSED by Banks!!!  High priced labor did NOT cause the global recession!!!

  • Kevin Egan

    Rehman says, “I’m very worried that this rejection of austerity will spook the markets and lead to a liquidity crisis!”

    Oh, the poor markets!  Help, I’m fainting!

    The purest example of cognitive capture I’ve heard in a while: these proponents of austerity are completely immune to news from the real world, i.e. that no economy has *ever* grown from simple austerity (German austerity worked because it exported into a worldwide bubble: obviously that can only work for some, and if they’re lucky in their timing to boot).  

    They are choosing to bail out their banks and make the taxpayers pay for the bad bets: end of story.  

    That is wrong, because social resources should be used to benefit the whole of society, not just an oligarchy: end of story.  

    They are lackeys for the banks: end of story.

  • Dhr75

    When you are stuck in a hole the FIRST thing you must do is to STOP DIGGING”

    If you cannot balance your budget and you screw your current lenders who do you expect to lend you the money to cover your budget deficits next year?

  • Heaviest Cat

    It would have been decent of Tom to invite a socialist on to the show given that a socialist won in France.

    • Still Here

      Tom’s there everyday.

      • Heaviest Cat

        HUh? if I read you right, Tom is a socialist like I’m the Pope.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          His Emminence, the God of the Child-RAPERS?

    • mmaaaxx

       Thankfully when they say “Socialist” in Europe it’s not quite the same as the openly Socialist movements in the US which are mostly Marxists or Communists. So bringing on an American Socialist would not have helped anything…ha, it’s funny even to think about it!

      • Heaviest Cat

        well , socialism is has historically been a wide spectrum. I’m not sure if I’ma  Marxist or not but I like alot of his ideas.

  • http://www.findingourdream.blogspot.com Hal Horvath

    What a moment at about 36 after the hour.  Tom directly asks, in repeated clarity — Isn’t the German experience of austerity in the 1990s entirely different because it was a period of growth, so that Germany could EXPORT its way out of trouble…..

    And the response == a complete inablity to hear or comprehend, or else a willful avoidance, likely the *former*.

    It’s this disconnect that is likely to doom the European Union.  The austerity side may well fail to *comprehend* the full picture, and perhaps fail to work together with those who realize a growth-strategy is the only hope for the union.

  • http://www.findingourdream.blogspot.com Hal Horvath

    Why Austerity is certain to be inadequte — search up the “savings conundrum”.

  • StopSpendingNow

    “Austerity? Spending has boomed in the EU over the last decade. During the 2000s, EU member nations collectively boosted government outlays by 62%. Average government spending by EU nations today stands at about 49.2% of GDP — vs. 44.8% in 2000.  On its own website, the EU itself ridicules the notion of government austerity as a “myth.”  ”

    from an Investor’s Business Daily article dated 5/07/2012
    http://news.investors.com/article/610596/201205071832/european-voters-swallow-media-myth-of-budget-austerity.htm

    • jefe68

      I don’t know if one can take the IBD seriously.
      They published an article on health care that was saying that the US health care system was superior than that of GB and used Stephen Hawkings as an example. For some reason they overlooked the fact that Stephen Hawkings lived in GB and has been supported by the NH system there. There a right wing media outlet and the fact is Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Great Britain have all been cutting a lot. Greece is a basket case and is not a good example of a nation in control of it’s fiscal policies nor have they a history of it. The other nations are not the same as Greece. Austerity is in full swing in GB and is a huge failure, no growth whatsoever. They are now officially in recession.

  • augluc

    A heterodox view already exists, and
    it’s well developed; I strongly believe that it is time that all the average
    Joe over the world start to push for a complete overhaul of this old,
    oligarchic monetary system.  Who better
    than nations that have a Sovereign currency can fight for this revolution? By
    the way a sovereign nation has its free floating non-convertible currency like
    the Dollar. The Euro system is a totally different story: is a stateless
    currency that any nation is forced to borrow. 
    The Euro system requires taxation to collect money before you can spend.
    Just read this extract from one of the most beautiful paper about monetary system
    I’ve ever found (http://neweconomicperspectives.org/author/dankervick/page/2).

     

    “European governments are all part of a currency union – the Eurosystem.   
    Each government issues its own bonds and each operates its own central
    bank.   All of these transactions occur in Euros,the common currency
    of the Eurosystem.  But those national central banks are subject to
    rigorous policy constraints set by the European Central Bank.  The
    individual countries themselves do not set their own monetary policies, and
    they borrow in a currency they do not themselves control.   In effect
    this makes each government a currency user rather than a
    monetary sovereign.   If we think of government bonds as the
    equivalent of bank savings accounts, then each of the governments is in effect
    the equivalent of a savings bank that competes with the other
    governments in the Euro system to offer attractive interest rates to
    savers.  This gives holders of Euros tremendous bargaining power to
    drive up bond yields and interest on government debt, because they can always
    take their money elsewhere to other governments if they don’t get the yields
    they want.  And since the individual governments do not control their own
    monetary policies, they cannot maintain spending during periods of low revenues
    by selling debt directly to their national central bank and drawing on the
    money-creating power of that national central bank.  Only the European
    Central Bank can alter those monetary policies, but the ECB is prohibited by
    treaty from buying government debt directly.  The ECB also lacks the
    capacity to carry out a fiscal policy of central bank financed spending
    operations in Europe.

    In effect, then, the technocratically-managed ECB runs Europe’s
    private banking system and the private banking system runs Europe’s governments.  
    The citizens of Europe have turned their capacity for economic
    self-determination over to an undemocratic, continent-wide banking
    conglomerate.  This is the worst kind of nightmare in the long struggle
    between democracy and private wealth.  It’s not as though the Europeans
    have surrendered their sovereignty to be part of a larger sovereign democratic government
    encompassing all of Europe.   Rather, sovereign democratic governments
    have been transformed in this instance into something like mere business
    enterprises that are dependent on private wealth and financing for their
    operations.  These governments now govern only at the pleasure of bankers.”

     

    Spent some time reading the above
    linked web-site. It provides IMHO one of the best free source about how a modern
    economic system should work. 

    http://neweconomicperspectives.org/

    http://neweconomicperspectives.org/p/about.html

    Finally, I think that also Mosler’s
    book is more than worth reading: He debunks most of the heated rhetoric paddled
    by the Romney’s people.

    http://moslereconomics.com/;  http://moslereconomics.com/wp-content/powerpoints/7DIF.pdf

     

  • http://www.findingourdream.blogspot.com Hal Horvath

    That moment in the podcast where N. Kulish simply can’t answer Tom — about 27 minutes through 28 minutes.

    Tom points out Germany was able to do an austerity due to European prosperity where Germany was able to export its way out of the hole (by selling to prosperous nations).

    Answer paraphrased: um….Germany didn’t have prosperity (when it did its own austerity), ergo, everyone else should do it.

    Implied: Everyone else should suffer austerity.  All at once, in a way that gurantees the effect of the “Savings Conundrum”

    German hopes are doomed by the savings conundrum, and ironically, Germany is primarily behind the whole disaster.

  • twenty-niner

    Greece should get out of the Euro by July, go back on the Drachma worth about half a Euro, and watch their moribund tourist industry take off. Spain and Portugal should follow suit. To hell with the ECB and the European banking cabal.

  • Xavier Mufraggi

    Agree with your French invitee. It was first a vote against sarkozy style not against it’s international and economical policy. Even people who decided in the end to vote for him cannot stand it anymore

    • Heaviest Cat

      I don’t buy this narrative; especially since no socialists were on teh show.

      • Lost Cat 00

        Cats are becoming fashionable in this forum. My vet is impressed by your efforts.

  • Jburton

    Austerity, at least in the form of actually reducing government spending, never arrived in France. Check the numbers folks. spending has never declined a DIME in the past 4 years. If “austerity” does not mean reducing overall government spending in an effort to balance budgets, I am not sure what it means.

  • Kelly

    The German sentiment that they’ve taken the high road through the recession, and that now the southern states must embrace austerity as a sort of moral punishment isn’t honest. The tremendous German growth of the last decade has been largely due to German exports to fellow EU countries. Germany’s refusal to allow for inflation now smacks of hypocrisy.

    That and the resulting European turmoil is what America should take away from the European debt crisis. For the sake of the EU project, the ECB should engage in the sort of quantitative easing the US has done, and stop fearing inflation. The US should do the same, and American politicians who continue to raise fears of inflation on this side of the Atlantic should step aside.

  • Wavre

    please, can someone talk about how France, germany and the Banks have lend money to Greece to buy useless arms in order to keep them safe from the “imminent Cypres’ invasion”

    The military-industrial lobby are holding the people of Greece hostage, with France and Germany as accomplices. It’s sad, Corporations are completely ruling the World. 

  • Joan

    Voting out austerity ……stating “enough” to the banks …
    no more,,,,they suffer now or go…..

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Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

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The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘The [Russian] Reset Worked’
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took time out of her global book tour to talk to us about Russia, the press and the global crises shaking the administration she left two years ago.

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