Now that Greece has passed its “austerity measures,” we here at Logipundit feel an obligation to wonder why austerity in Government is such a bad thing. We feel the need to explore the meaning of the word and wonder what all the fuss is about. So first, some definitions:
- Sternness or severity of manner or attitude
- he was noted for his austerity and his authoritarianism
- Extreme plainness and simplicity of style or appearance
- the room was decorated with a restraint bordering on austerity
- Conditions characterized by severity, sternness, or asceticism
- a simple life of prayer and personal austerity
- Difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce a budget deficit, esp. by reducing public expenditure
- a period of austerity
- austerity measures
Now the last is the modern definition as it relates to Government spending. The first example sentence seems to relate “sternness” with authoritarianism, which…OK, I guess that makes sense.
It’s the second definition (restraint and simplicity) that has me the most intrigued, especially when I read stories like this:
Thousands of Greeks demonstrated outside Parliament as lawmakers began a second day of debate on a €28 billion ($40 billion) program of spending cuts and tax increases the country has promised its international creditors. A vote on the measures is scheduled for Wednesday. The demonstrations began peacefully, but later turned violent, leaving more than 40 people injured—including 37 police officers.
OK…did anyone catch the math there? That’s a score of: protesters-37, police-3. Not a good situation.
The reason for the protests? The Government sought to, through its agreement with its EU creditors (and now has passed the resolutions required to) eliminate its control or ownership in:
• Ports and airports with long-term contracts
• Athens International Airport
• Public Gas Corporation
• Casino Mont Parnes
• State lotteries through concessions
• Hellenic Post
• OTE, Hellenic Defense Systems and Larko
• Renewal of OPAP’s licenses
• Licenses for online betting and “slots”
• Egnatia Odos
• Banks: Hellenic Postbank, ATEbank, Consignment and Loans Fund
• Water supply companies: EYDAP, EYATH
In other words, it took severe international pressure and billions of Euro’s to get the Government out of: virtually every little corner of the Greek economy.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we have the U.S. Budget fight, and thankfully, we have this:
What better illustration is there of blindness and ignorance in the U.S. Senate. Bernie Sanders makes the case that the rich are doing so very well that it’s not necessary to commit “cruel cuts” to the “most vulnerable” in our country. He argues that we need to stand with the majority of the American people (those that don’t pay taxes), whom he describes as “working families”–as if the upper class and upper middle class…really don’t work.
While Greece is paying the price for the NONSENSE of overreaching Government, Bernie Sanders can ONLY find wasteful spending where? At the Pentagon. He then threatens that our debts will not be paid if we don’t continue to spend ourselves into oblivion.
Now, I know that Bernie Sanders is a Socialist; everyone knows it. But when are those on the left going to realize that if we continue going the way we’re going…the “anarchists” will be protesting against them 20 years from now when the Government has to take away all the things that it is now giving away.
Some of the most laughable comments by Mr. Sanders have to do with the rich and powerful paying their “fair share” which is just…well…laughable. He apparently believes in austerity…for the private sector, but fails to take into account another category of the rich and powerful who need to pay “their fair share”.
Why is it, pray-tell, that some are too blind to see what another generation of dependence on Government largesse is going to do to those “working families” that Bernie purports to care so much about? What happens when the “anarchists” (yeah…I know…many of the Greek protestors call themselves “anarchists” weird, huh?) are the working families that are dependent on “programs”?
Indeed, THE most laughable part was when he said that it’s time for Americans to stand up and say, “Enough is Enough.” Well, we did that Bernie. We stood up to the THE MOST POWERFUL CORPORATION IN THE WORLD blameless and called on it to pay its “fair share” to get our economy back in good standing.
We stood up and said “enough is enough.” We stood up to the powerful: YOU! We gave you this:
You’re asking for this?
If we do not fight for austerity, now…OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN will be fighting against it. And it won’t look the same, and there might not be anyone there bailing us out for finally getting around to doing the right thing. Luckily, in a world of independent and sovereign (well mostly) nations, we can see the future and avoid it.