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Austerity Advances on Us Like a Shark


#1

Austerity Advances on Us Like a Shark

Heather Mallick

People don’t learn from economic hardship because looking back is too painful. They quietly put away memories of the last recession, the cold fear of missing a mortgage payment, the layoff, and then suddenly it’s back.


#2

Thanks, Ms. Mallick. That was depressingly refreshing. Ya' know, like the last swim of summer before they drain the city pool.


#3

Nice article... until that last paragraph repeated above. Sure Canadians have a few more choices than in the US, but the three big parties are all neoliberal. So much for voting.

And sure; read, be educated, generous, etc... but the most important thing is to ORGANIZE and RAISE HELL.

But unfortunately as all the liberal finger-wagging (including the fingers of Naomi Klein) at the vigorous G20 protests a few years ago showed, organizing and raising hell are dreadfully gauche to the wine-sipping Toronto liberal bourgeois chattering classes that Ms. Mallick represents.


#4

Ms. Mallick uses the quintessential WE frame which wipes out the class differences that allow those with power, $, and influence at the top of the fiscal pyramid to dictate the policies that recur.

These quotes, in my view, are a travesty. But it seems that using this frame gets writers/journalists published in the same way that the imbecilic press corps repeating the lie that Putin is the aggressor in Ukraine keeps them "in business."

"He’s right. Generations don’t learn from each other."

"Did we not learn from the past? The economic pain caused by ill-conceived austerity politics is so regular, it is practically seasonal."

What is PARTICULARLY galling about the above statements is the ignorance they convey for ALL of the following:

  1. The way Congress & The Senate just ran roughshod over the public's will in pushing for "Fast Track" and horrific new trade policies
  2. The way that Big Money has gotten a larger share of the global fiscal pie in recent years (see: Piketty Study)
  3. That Big Money and odious Supreme Court decisions like "Citizens United" turn Democracy into a hostile takeover style business enterprise.

As Chief Justice Brandeis once explained, "You can have extreme financial concentration or Democracy, but not both."

And to refresh the author's memory, presuming she bothers to read up on subjects at all, consider this... and what it MEANS:

"Previously our corrupt system had “our” Congress simply ignoring what the people want, and doing whatever The Money class wants. You might recall the study by Princeton’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern’s Benjamin Page showing that “business interests have substantial independent impacts” while “average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence” on our government’s policies. In other words, the Congress did what the rich and powerful want and ignores what the public wants." (From a Dave Johnson article.)

The problem of aristocracy/ruling class/kings/tyrants/dictators/pharaohs and that of sharing power--with ALL citizens--is age-old. Therefore, using the idiotic frame that WE didn't learn is completely ridiculous. The struggle for human rights is ongoing. At times strides are made and the tide turns AGAINST the oligarchs. Then, through their insidious methods of stealth and every form of corruption under the sun, they make strides in taking back any benefits granted to workers/citizens.

I find this article sad for its lack of insight, depth, scholarship, and intelligence.


#5

One way to meet an oncoming era of scarcities and deprivation that will never work: Acceptance of the leadership of snake-oil salesmen and their corporate sponsors.


#6

From Dr. Nick Gallaso (another C.D. article today):

"So who’s really calling the shots on US trade policy, and why is it on course to exacerbate inequality, which undermines economic growth? Well to start, there seems to be a gaping hole exposed in the democratic process. How else could the President and Congress dismiss historic numbers of Americans speaking out against the TPP, let alone commonsense economic advice from luminaries like Joseph Stiglitz and Jeffrey Sachs, among others?"

Note how much more HONEST and REALISTIC the above characterization is to the "we learned nothing" crappola that's about as accurate as pretending racism was not a driving force in the latest massacre of unarmed Black citizens.


#7

Pretty much like the stuff you get from The Nation, The New York Times and ( insert popular mainstream liberal publications here ) _____________________. Sort of like those, right?


#8

"Consider voting."

yawn. such drama from someone who is so obviously removed from current events we face today, and have been facing since those glorious years when america first chose a b-rate movie actor to become a d-rate president. yeah, ms. mallick, you. what, exactly, has voting given us since ronnie-boy brought his religious bullshit to the fore of the world joke known as u.s. politics?

and while i don't always agree with what sue rose posts, today she is spot on.


#9

Yes, she's very " on ", usually. Though, with all due respect to SR, it has been a very target rich environment lately. And, that's a very sad thing for the people who understand, or try to any way, to continue to experience. SR cites the Ukraine and the spin that gets from our MSM and gov't machine. Enough said; " and the poets down here don't write nothin' at all, they just stand back and let it all speak " The Boss on Jungleland.


#10

One correction to your comment.

Ms. Mallick writes for the Toronto Star, and her audience is Canadian. She is referring to the upcoming federal elections this October.


#11

Or more like last swim before they drain the city pool, never to be filled again, due to budget cuts - like they have done to most of the pools where I live.


#12

While I think you are an articulate, intelligent commentator, SR, and I often agree with your points, I will continue to struggle with the premise you consistently push as the only true perspective (every other narrative is "false" according to your claim), that humanity as a whole is never to be held in any way accountable for the nasty ugly mess it has created over the millenia, which is now coming to fruition as a possible slide into extinction. While the power structures that have been established over time have favored a small group of people--namely those who were ruthless and amoral, willing to do anything to satisfy their lust for power and material goods, their ability to impose this upon their fellows has been purely due to the support they have received from large sections of the population who either agreed with their agendas or found some way to fulfill their personal needs by endorsing these evils. History is not just the parade of a few politicians but the story of humanity, their choices, their practices, their beliefs, and the consequences of such. Scapegoating a few may be satisfying but it is unrealistic and a form of avoidance. The only solution to our problem is for us as a species to get together and change things. So far I am not seeing this, a sign of the continued reluctance to acknowledge the magnitude of the problem. So we continue to slip and slide down the slippery slope to perdition.


#13

thanks, yunzer.

maybe cd could forward her drivel to the national post. until then, i'll file it along beside rebecca solnit's words of wisdom.


#14

Please, lest anyone think otherwise-lots of people are utterly stupid about Reagan's legacy within the U.S. Despite that they are working at crappy jobs, can't afford anything other than electronics to play with, are really in dead ends, they still hold Reagan up as having actually done something revolutionary that's been good for them. Conservatively I hold it to be about 30-40% of the population, In large part that's why we're where we are-they may dislike W Bush finally but Reagan and the 1980's have been fed my mainstream media as a time of positive change and true prosperity. Even now.


#16

Of course in California where I live it was basically ALL centered around real estate, Once a place to lay your head became a big deal that was the end of a civil society. Lots of people here doing nothing but presenting properties, for what continues to be a growing society that cannot be housed because houses have gone up exponentially.
I still vote-why not?