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Fiscal Cliff Scare Talk Follows Shock Doctrine Script

The “Fiscal Cliff” is not a cliff and the language itself is intended to scare people.

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(Note — Social Security by law can not and does not contribute to the deficit — they just threw it in because it is “in crisis.” The Social Security “crisis” is that under certain economic projections its funding might run a bit short many years down the road. Compare this possible future shortfall to the huge, vast, bloated, enormous military budget which, unlike Social Security, has no separate funding mechanism and runs 100% short  every year. But that is not a “crisis.”)

So a fix for a budget problem caused by cutting taxes, massively increasing military spending and crashing the economy will be “solved” by … not fixing  those things. Once again the income and wealth of the country will be shifted away from We, the People and upward to the same 1% who have been benefiting from everything in our economy since the election of Ronald Reagan and the disaster-capitalism formula: cut taxes, raise military spending, then use the resulting deficits to scare people into accepting extreme “solutions.” Rinse and repeat.

The Shock Doctrine

The Shock Doctrine is a book by Naomi Klein that describes a “disaster capitalism” strategy used by wealthy and powerful people to take advantage of crises — even  causing crises — to herd people into accepting “solutions” to those crises that really just enrich the 1% at the expense of the rest of us.

In times of crisis (real or perceived) the public is in a state of shock, distracted and ready to grasp at straws to get out of the panic. This is the perfect time for “serious people” to come in and offer pre-planned “solutions.” These solutions usually involve privatizing public institutions and wealth, cutting public services, cutting taxes on the rich, seizing property, lowering wages and pensions … well, just look at Europe’s “austerity” and you get the picture.

This shock-doctrine disaster capitalism model has become standard practice. We see this happening over and over again: crises occur or are manufactured, the media whips people into a panic, and then the “solution” is introduced. The solution involves a “reform” that transfers wealth or institutions into a few private hands.

The Real Problem And Real Solution

We have a jobs problem, not a deficit problem. The best way to deal with the deficit is to put Americans back to work. The real job creators are working people with money in their wallets. We can’t cut our way to growth. These are not just slogans, these are solutions to real problems.

We need to invest in our economy, restoring and modernizing our infrastructure, retrofitting our homes and buildings to be more energy efficient, upgrading our public schools and universities, and fighting to create the manufacturing ecosystems for the new industries of the future,. All of these investments create jobs while they are underway, and pay off by improving our economy for the long term.

Inoculate yourself by reading  The Shock Doctrine. Inoculate your friends by telling them about the book, and how this game works, over and over again.

“Nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes.” — Republican Majority Leader Tom Delay, 2003

Dave Johnson is a fellow at Campaign for America's Future and a senior fellow at Renew California.

 
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