7 Disturbing Charts That Show the Impact of America's Warped Economic Priorities

  Just the other day, 50,000 people marched against austerity in London.
 Sam Fairburn, the group's national secretary, said: "Cuts are killing people and destroying cherished public services which have served generations."
 This should stand in stark contrast to America, which has had no marches against austerity of any significant size, but where austerity has been the rule for longer and has been much more brutal.

 You would never know it from watching the news, but the conservative austerity policies are hitting crushing levels. Consider infrastructure spending.

 States’ and localities’ spending on construction has fallen every year since its 2009 peak, declining $39 billion, or 13 percent, over the period, U.S. Commerce Department figures show. Their investments in roads, schools and office buildings account for the smallest share of the economy since at least 1947.
  In the first quarter, the expenditures accounted for 1.4 percent of the economy, less than a third of the 1967 level, according to data compiled by Moody’s Analytics.
 1. Despite borrowing costs for municipalities being at four-decade lows, local governments aren't borrowing, and thus aren't employing.
 2. So who was getting laid-off during the recovery from this latest depression?
 3. Yep, teachers, policemen, first-responders, air-traffic controllers. Just the sort of people this country could do without.
  Oh, wait. It's the other thing. These are just the sort of people the country can't do without.
attribution: None Specified
4. You would never know from watching Fox News that government employment as a percentage of total employment has been shrinking for years, and is now at multi-decade lows.
What do you think our sluggish, jobless recovery would look like if we haven't been doing austerity?

  5. Meanwhile the federal government is slashing payroll nearly every month.

 6. More and more America is looking like Europe, and not in the good way.
 With either a little more deficit trimming, a little more economic growth or a combination of the two, by one measure, the US will soon qualify to join the eurozone!i
 7. If you exclude the military and homeland security, then the trend becomes very obvious and goes back before Obama.
attribution: None Specified
 The costs of this austerity could last for decades.
  While many academic researchers thought of the costs of recessions as a rounding error a generation ago, the emerging view is that failing to lift an economy out of recession could permanently reduce its size. In the United States, this could reduce GDP by something on the order of $1 trillion each year.

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