Chris Hedges: The Cost of Austerity

Austerity kills - poster

Image by Teacher Dude via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Chris Hedges

RT America on Sep 10, 2016

On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges sits down with economist Mark Blyth to discuss the detrimental ramifications of austerity programs following the 2008 financial crisis. Professor Blyth, author of “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea” addresses the political effects of the spending cuts and considers why the elites will not take responsibility for the fallout. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil examines the impact austerity measures have had on the American working class and the poor since 2008.

from the archives:

Chris Hedges: The Destructive Ideology of Capitalism

Chris Hedges and Richard Wolff: Capitalism in Crisis

Ralph Nader: The Road to Corporate Fascism (must-see)

The Tory Chickens Come Home To Roost by William Bowles

Wealth Belongs To All Of Us – Not Just To The Rich by Dariel Garner

We Are So Poor Because They Are So Rich by Dariel Garner

16 thoughts on “Chris Hedges: The Cost of Austerity

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  8. Sometimes basic economic indicators are as good as economists say they are. Interest rates are almost as low as they ever have been. Cash holdings in banks are insanely high. Capital is waiting to be unleashed and workforce participation is as low as it was during the great depression.

    A few well directed spending programs coupled with tax cuts for businesses that hire non-participating workers could make things explode. Labor is available, and capital cost is as low as it’s ever been. It’s time to prime the pump a little, not cut taxes for the rich. We do not have a capital problem, weak demand is the problem.

    I suppose you could say I am a 1956 Republican. That’s pretty out there by 2010’s standards. The central issues of the Occupy movement were fairly consistent with the 1956 Republican Platform.

      • Well, 1956 Republicans are pretty much Socialists these days. I doubt anyone on the right could could tell the difference between you and me.

        My true vision is a blended economy as described in Bertrand Russell’s “In Praise of Idleness”. There’s plenty of socialism in it. I think you would like it.

        In any case I think you have to agree that interest rates and bank holdings show we have too much cash and slack demand. It’s time to spend a little, maybe on green tech, and prop up hiring by restoring the payroll tax holiday Obama had in place in 2010-2011.

        • I believe we should go back to the high taxes on the wealthy like back in the 50’s and 60’s. The rich are hoarding cash now and not investing in companies that could hire workers. Corporate tax rate needs to be higher, too. Right now they receive “welfare” from the governments (local, state and federal).

          Preferably, the workers should be the ones owning and running the corporations/companies.

    • I have a rather simple perspective on this: creative, community friendly ideas are what we need, backed up by example ~ not (necessarily) politicised allegiances. We’re still arguing about class in the UK for instance, when it is no longer empirically applicable.

      Anyone can be a tycoon in a capitalist free for all, and even historically it was the industrialists not the aristocratic lineages that have dominated the private sector. The hereditary ‘toffs’ (ie those closest to the ‘crown’) have been envious & resentful ever since the coal, steel and steam revolution, and struggled to keep up. Not such a bad thing of course, but in some cases catastrophic for the natural habitat.

      One of the biggest issues we should be fighting against, is opportunist land appropriation and for the rights of disenfranchised minorities for adequate restitution & ecological security through pedagogical/university led remedial programs.

      Money making money, is in theory an infinite fractal, producing the ‘means’ to live better, but in practice exhausting resources through cumulative concentration and vertical disassociation. Bringing it all back down to Earth, rooted in healthy and productive soil would help ~ both literally and figuratively….

      ….and restoring the essential plant-regulated hydrologic cycle

  9. Mind boggling! this discourse actually hurts my brain….

    I’m the first to admit I’ve no legitimate expertise in economics, and I’m sure I can’t be an exception; but its almost like listening to someone whose language you not only do not speak or understand, but simply have no idea what it is; or how it came into existence in the first place.

    I get the gist of the argument, but when it comes to the nature of this inevitable and impending implosive ‘crisis,’ I begin to defer to concepts and terms that I can only imagine must be quasi-quantum probabilities.

    Let me loose on metaphysics any day, economics is just too baffling; so maybe that is the point, nobody really knows what the implications are of what we have gotten ourselves into.

    Only it occurs to me, that surely quantum electrodynamics is actually such a highly specialized mathematical science, it is also a rational process of metaphysical mapping ~ is it not? So really, may we just be generating more and more perpetually unfathomable horizons, not comprehensible but only ‘as yet’ uncharted regions?

    If I can claim to have faith in anything, it is the spiritual instincts of mankind. Somewhere within our species mind, there exists a profound sense of cosmic order, even if it is only unconscious for the majority. If it is true that we really occupy the apex of species-intelligence here, then logically, if you scale up this empiricist evolutionary hypothesis, we have to face an inescapable conclusion ~ whether we are consciously prepared to accept it or not.

    There must be higher intelligences “elsewhere.”

    So, do we look out to a deeper within; or just continue to gaze at our mesmeric reflection in an onanistic trance of narcissistic confusion?

    One fact is certain, our ‘mainstream leadership’ can in no wise be identified with the summit of human potential. What is mainstream anyway? Is it like the Mississippi or the Ganges, so polluted as to be lethally hazardous to life?

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