Today I ask for readers’ indulgence as I rant. Reading headlines today simply got to me, so I’ll unload here and let you pick out the bones.
There is much confusion regarding what “austerity” actually means. Often people hear this word and think it means that pressures in their own lives will be lifted. This is understandable, in light of the fact that austerity measures demand cuts in spending.
After all, if the government is more “austere” in spending, then there should be fewer demands placed upon the populace. Of course, from the perspective of many, these cuts should be made in such a way that they protect whatever welfare or social support they’re receiving personally. The thought process continues in a downward spiral, until those with much should practice a more austere existence so that those with few can enjoy more, period.
Austerity comes from the word, “austere,” meaning strict, unadorned, ascetic, somber or stern. It’s not so much malevolent as firm and unyielding in its rigid lack of luster, flamboyance or frivolity.
What kind of austerity would neglect to cut back in social programs as well? The answer is simple: One that relies on the votes of the very people who have become addicted to social programs. While the lifeblood of the nation comes from the more affluent already, the voting blood comes from the growing poverty-class and shrinking middle-class sectors of the country.
The country soon finds itself caught between a rock and a hard place, pursuing a path that inevitably squeezes the life out of the lower-class sectors, developing greater disparity in wealth and power. Resentment grows under such a situation, to the point where the have-nots begin turning on the haves even as the haves begin looking down upon the have-nots. The haves grow closer to the ruling class in this, striving to protect themselves from becoming victims of the growing social state, even while joining them in milking the lower-class citizens of whatever they can squeeze from their drying husks.
Does this sound too hard or cynical? Consider the evidence. What is the Occupy Wall Street movement about? They cry out against capitalism, the rich, etc. Is this not class warfare? Meanwhile, tax dollars are used to bail out irresponsible financial institutions.
What about the individuals who lost a great deal due to this very irresponsibility? Now they’re getting taxed for the privilege of being raked across the coals by the banks? Wouldn’t a more responsible “bail out” package move to help the individuals who are in trouble, rather than padding the pockets of the upper-class elite who caused the mess in the first place?
To be clear, capitalism in its true form hardly exists in America today. What passes for capitalism today is cronyism, a form of fascism or neosocialism that relies on austerity in its most insidious form to destroy the framework of the country; as though it’s sucking the very marrow from the bones of the people.
Here’s what it looks like. Cuts in expenditures are offered as a sort of token in certain areas. However, since so many are lobbying and in bed with our ruling class, their support through grants, contracts and favorable legislation continues unabated. And the welfare state continues to receive support, of course, in order to keep voters happy. Taxes are then raised, because all of this “austerity” must be paid for. And, in order to enforce the added legislature more three and four letter branches of the government must be implemented to track and record all that’s going on. And all of this is for your own good, by the way.
It’s getting more expensive to get out of debt though, so we’ll need to borrow more in order to pay off what we owe. That’s okay though, because it’s at a good interest rate and the terms are longer. So, instead of owing $50 trillion in the next 20 years, we only own $75 trillion over the next 30. But you don’t have to worry about that either, because inflation means that such great quantities of cash will actually be worth less (if not worthless) by the time they’re due. So, we’ll just keep on printing until we’ve finally reached the point where we’ve printed enough to pay off our debt.
Like I said, it’s a rant. Thanks for letting me get it off my chest.