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How to Destroy This Nation: A Magical Mystery Tour of American Austerity Politics


How to Destroy This Nation: A Magical Mystery Tour of American Austerity Politics

Laura Gottesdiener, Eduardo García

Something is rotten in the state of Michigan.


Thank you, Laura and Eduardo for this wonderful article.


Excellent article. I hope it’s read by many.

Before the fall of the Berlin Wall there was a very effective bit of U.S. propaganda that postulated an experiment where you could plainly see the difference between capitalism/democracy and communism. Then it said such a place already existed, showing pictures of a dreary, gray East Berlin and a thriving and colorful West Berlin.

I think the same could be done for the austerity/emergency manager vs. local control.

This is your city: Picture of thriving populous town.
This is your city under emergency management: Picture from one of the ruined towns in Michigan.


… That’s a very good title; “How to destroy this Nation,” because that is exactly what is taking place. The title of the author is equally telling; “Freelance Journalist,” because that is the only avenue that these stories will ever seem to be told. One can only hope that by the time these exposes’ seep out into the larger public domain, that we actually have enough of an empowered public to actually –and ultimately- muster a movement to do something about them…


Well, yes, our govt has been implementing the austerity agenda since the late 1980s, from the bottom up. Think about it. America looked at the policies and programs implemented from FDR to Reagan, which took the country to its height of wealth and productivity, and chose to do the exact opposite. The results were entirely predictable. The rich are now doing to the middle class what the middle class already did to the poor. There really isn’t a whole lot we can do about it.


A great article. It well written and very informative and does so much to put a human face on those people subjected to austerity and the theft of the commons.


Wait a minute. You guys must all be wrong. Wall Street and the US government say we are in a recovery!

They wouldn’t lie to us would they? :smiling_imp:

They also tell us the nuclear fallout from the ongoing Fukushima triple meltdown is harmless even though everything in the ocean is dying and the biggest Cs-137 plume they’ve ever seen is about to hit the West Coast again. :skull:


The Magical Misery Tour is coming to drive us away . . , for good (and not the good kind of good).


I posted this comment elsewhere but thought it cold be repeated on CD:

Thanks for this. As a lifetime resident of the state, and someone who has never voted Republican but still thinks past Republican Governor Milliken the best governor in Michigan in my lifetime, the current mishandling of the long term economic crises in Michigan, the chaos that has ensued in public services sector due to the way Snyder and the congress handled the medicaid expansion, and the lock stock and barrel selling off of public lands to high polluting foreign industries, has been a nightmare that seems to be happening in a cone of silence. If this is the future of the country, well… all I can say is “welcome to China!”


I have seen a similar pairing of photographs. Four photos, 2x2 matrix, top = 1945, bottom = recently, left=Hiroshima Japan (post bombing), right=Detroit MI. Pretty amazing that Hiroshima has risen from the dead and is prosperous, while Detroit has gone the other direction.


Recalling what was going on before Reagan…
LBJ tried to have guns and butter, spending money he shouldn’t have on Vietnam, and botching, in an expensive way, the war on poverty and the Great Society. Nixon also tried to have it both ways, with the result that he took us off the last of the gold standard, and imposed wage and price controls. I am not sure what Ford and Carter did wrong economically. (In fact, Carter did a few things right economically…), but they reaped the whirlwind of high inflation and growth stagnation. Carter also mismanaged foreign affairs.
– That was the background to Reagan’s election. Which produced a lot of jobs, and an end to the Cold War. …


What we really need is a red party and a blue party. Oh you lost your job and need food stamps to feed your family? Did you vote red party or blue? Red of course. Sorry no food stamps. Help my house is burning. Are you red or blue? Red of course. Did you pay for fire protection? $2500 dollars for one hour. That includes one firetruck and four firemen per hour. No. Sorry but red party must pay first before we can respond. Hi I would like to enroll my child in school. Red party or blue maam? Red party of course. Sorry maam but this is a public school and red partiers must go to private school. Closest one is Stonewall Jackson Private Academy in Richmond seventy miles away.