Stop the Austerity Craze! Massive Budget Slashing Can Lead to Economic Disaster, Violence and Repression
Continued from previous page
But you don’t hear about that much, not outside of the subculture of anti-globalization protesters and fans of Naomi KIein's reporting. Thanks to inane but heavily funded propaganda, Hayek’s experiment in Chile is constantly called a success story. When a private mining firm was too inefficient and corrupt to rescue its own trapped miners last year, the private company got the state mining company to bail its trapped workers out. Nevertheless, the story we Americans got through the Wall Street Journal was that the rescue of the miners was somehow “proof” that Hayek and Friedman’s free-market experiments that Generalissimo Pinochet tested out on Chile were somehow responsible for saving those trapped miners. The logic goes like this: The private company got their miners trapped and couldn’t rescue them; the state mining company rescued them; therefore, free unfettered markets rescued the trapped miners. It’s the logic Hayek used to argue that phantom Big Government New Dealers brought about the Nazis, rather than Bruning’s austerity measures.
We Americans alone among the world are the only suckers who take it on faith that Pinochet performed an economic miracle in Chile.
Now, at last, the same austerity programs that have led to massacres, wars, pain and catastrophe all over the world are finally coming home to the very people and country they were intended to poison all along.
Why now, you ask? Why, after all the economic destruction and inequality that resulted from decades of deregulation, privatization, slashing taxes on the rich, and relentless bashing of evil big-government—why would we adopt a far more purified, radical version of the same disastrous free-market program? Why would we have to take more pain medicine from the same people who already poisoned us?
Simple: Because we’re weakened from having our wells poisoned by free-market, libertarian ideology over the past three decades. We’re weaker, poorer, we’ve turned against the unions and the government, the only two potential sources of counter-power to billionaires and corporations — what predator wouldn’t move in for the kill at this very moment? Now’s the perfect time to take everything that Austrian economics has to offer to its practitioners. Plundering the weak and shooting them in their heads when they resist — that’s the definition of courage to America’s degenerate ruling class.
Here's Mark Ames with MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan discussing austerity: