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Austerity is Smokescreen for Class War Against Poor, Says Yanis Varoufakis


#1

Austerity is Smokescreen for Class War Against Poor, Says Yanis Varoufakis

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Austerity and deficit reduction are smokescreens for class war against the poor, economics professor, former Greek finance minister, and fiery commentator Yanis Varoufakis declared Thursday on BBC's Question Time.

Varoufakis made the statements during a panel debate with United Kingdom politicians and pundits and took direct aim at the economic policies of the British government.


#2

I would point out again what those sanctions on Russia accomplish on the domestic front.

Finland a case in point. They joined in on those sanctions which has lead to a loss of Corporate profits given Russia was the second largest market for Finnish Exports.

Corporate profits bleed so the Government announces it must implement austerity measures. They are not talking about Government spending though. They are talking about rolling back worker wages, vacations sick days and the like.


#3

But, but, but...... all those refugees flooding into the Europe Union should increase consumption and, thus, raise worker's wages and benefits due to increased demand for goods and services. :sunglasses:


#4

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#5

I know that I am naive, but how many millions of some monetary unit do you need? How can you see the suffering of the poor and not feel? How can you not treat this wonderful planet like it is the only place we and future generations can live? How can you not treat others as yourself? I just don't understand?


#6

I read somewhere today that Germany is advocating ending sanctions on Russia due to the need to work with them over Syria. How can Obama work productively with Putin on that issue while sanctions remain in force?


#7

Austerity is a lie.


#8

Loud and clear, Varoufakis has said what so many of us know is happening, and the msm has not ignored him in the same way they ignore all us "nobodies" when we say it!


#9

Okay. Now we are talking the same game. Austerity is a six hundred year-old very stable system for profiting from human spirit.

Even so. Vampires who suck the Joy from life and turn it to monetary digits are very yesterday.

Thank you Yaris. Have you talked with any reps from north Kurdistan? Please do. Perhaps they can suggest ways to use autonomous democracy when the actual state is so controlled from outside. The autonomous democracy Kurds consulted with the Zapatistas. Very interesting.


#10

The poor do not have enough from which to steal and are therefore abhorred by the rich.


#11

THANK YOU, Mr. Varoufakis! You have said what American liberals fear to say! Dear American liberals and Democrats, You may now resume your pep rally for middle class consumers and campaign donors.


#12

You are correct. The US actually does have a poverty crisis, and a good chunk of these have absolutely no income.

Dirty little secret: In the US, it is the middle class, at least since the late 1970s, that have targeted the poor. Middle class contempt for the poor has had some quite appalling consequences, especially since the Clinton administration. (But weirdly, so many middle classers still choose to become the very poor, themselves.)


#13

#14

"The problem is that austerity is being used as a narrative to conduct class war," said Yanis Varoufakis

The problem is that neither Varoufakis nor Corbyn have any alternative to "what is" that doesn't involve trying to reconcile the irreconcilable.

However, as a consolation prize, both are plainly and at times bluntly outspoken. This is in stark contrast to Brits like David Cameron, Gordon Brown (remember him?) and the execration Tony "Toady" Blair. So the poor and the wealthy keep shouting "Oxi, Oxi" at each other back and forth and nothing gets resolved, but...."Question Time noted that Varoufakis's statements on their program spread widely". Well whoopie-do! Now don't you feel better?


#15

I don't think you are necessarily naïve. You don't "relate," to your credit.

I think that Capitalism, via its competition model, imbues in the broader culture a Darwinian selection mechanism that promotes a lack of empathy. (It's like the Indigenous legend where the elder tells the child that we all have within us a good wolf and an evil wolf. The child asks which one prevails. Answer: "The one that I feed.")


#16

Thank you for the Carlin post. His combination of observation and irreverence was a treasure.

There was a great post in the comments of a Guardian article last month that makes your point from another angle:

A rich man, a middle class man and a poor man are sitting at the table on which there are 10 apples. The rich man takes 9 apples, and then tells the middle class man that the poor man wants to steal his apple.


#17

Class war against the poor...go to the Pine Ridge Rez, the Navajo Rez, then come back and tell me about the working poor middle class.


#18

This is your Tag Line and it's a lie. It's no different than Volkswagon's head honchos blaming low level technicians for decisions reached at the top, or the make-torture-legal Bush Junta blaming "a few bad apples" for allegedly enacting such ungodly acts. The Middle Class is under attack. MANY formerly well-paying jobs have been offshored or reduced to temp work sans benefits. This little canard (that the Middle Class hates the poor) protects the corporate controllers who not only write policy, they fund the think tanks that the Captured Media features as "adult thinking" and/or official stories. This is the ONLY thing you harp on like so many other tag team frauds here to redundantly plant their Talking Points. It's disgusting!

Now your haughty Christian conservatives in their gated communities--absolutely convinced that the new Calvinism justifies blaming the poor for being poor- are a demographic that fits your otherwise lopsided faux diagnosis.


#19

This is a ridiculous comment meant to minimize the NEED to properly diagnose and openly articulate the things that ail us... as a humanity. Adding to its absurd premise is the idea that the rich and poor are two "teams" screaming at each other. This sets up an equivalence between the rich and poor that does not exist. It also ignores the power structure that makes economic strata (as in hierarchies of power, privilege, influence, access, opportunity) inevitable. But it does play to the team sports arena. Perhaps that's the "audience" this vapid comment has in mind.


#20

Thank you. This should be inscribed on "Fabian's" tombstone!