Home | About | Donate

Far From Extreme, Corbyn's Anti-Austerity Stance Is 'Mainstream Economics'


Far From Extreme, Corbyn's Anti-Austerity Stance Is 'Mainstream Economics'

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Even as the mainstream media and members of his own party seek to paint Labour leader hopeful Jeremy Corbyn as lacking credibility on economic policy, a group of more than 40 leading economists put pen to paper this weekend, seeking to counter that narrative by publicly throwing their weight behind key planks of his anti-austerity platform.


What is happening here with Bernie Sanders is part of an international reaction against the neoliberal agenda. Mr. Corbyn is its British manifestation. His rise is as much a shock in the U. K. as is Bernie’s in the U. S. See George Galloway interview Seamus Milne and learn about what the upcoming election in the U. K. is about, a good learning experience.


The parallels between the rise of Corbyn and the rise of Bernie Sanders in the US are striking. It’s as if the unquestioned acceptance the prevailing dogma since the Reagan/Thatcher years (that unrestrained capitalism is the best or least bad way for the most people to raise the standards of living) at both ends of the political spectrum (narrow as it is) is now being challenged the reality before use. Denial only lasted for so long and now there’s a sense of many people whispering-then shouting-“the emperor has no clothes” which few dared to do before.


Could we be honest? The US has been rolling out the austerity agenda for years, from the bottom up, with the continued implicit support of today’s liberals. With the Clinton administration, Democrats took the lead in implementing austerity policies while refocusing the liberal discussion, promoting middle class elitism. Out here in the real world, not everyone can work (health, etc.), and there aren’t jobs for all. The US shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s, creating a hell of a poverty crisis that has been ignored for years – even as austerity continues to trickle up. Consider the impact on the country. When Reagan was first elected, launching the campaign against the poor, the overall quality of life in the US was rated at #1. By the time Obama was elected, this had already plunged to #43 – all the result of the slow implementation of the austerity agenda.


“but this government is not just replaying 2010, but taking us back to
1979: ideologically committed to rolling back the state, attacking
workers’ rights and trade union protection, selling off public assets
and extending the sell-off to social housing.”

Wrong. Not 1979, but 1815, the year of the “Peterloo Massacre” in the UK. Thatcher’s ideological commitments were SO 18th century (Adam Smith and Hobbs and all that)


You keep running out your “The people imposed austerity from the bottom up!” NONSENSE. Anyone can see through it. You’re not being honest. Who do you think you’re fooling?


Austerity from the bottom up? What a strange conflation of terminology. I am not an expert on the US, but as a resident of the UK I can tell you that austerity here has only been imposed from the top down. When the ConDems(sic) grabbed power in 2010 after spouting the falsity that ‘Labour crashed the economy’, the grovelling MSM conveniently whitewashed the fact that the international financial crisis which blew over from the US was caused by long-term financial deregulation which actually began in the Thatcher-Reagan era. The rise of neo-liberalism was bought into by both sides of the political spectrum since Clinton (Bill) in the US, then Blair and New Labour here.