In Britain last weekend workers and union members took to the streets in the largest demonstration since World War II. They were protesting what the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne called "harsh but fair" budget cuts. Harsh if you're on the receiving end and fair if you're not. Over a half a million public sector jobs will disappear and who receives the most benefit from public sector jobs, the rich or the poor?
The Brits marched through London holding protest signs and chanting slogans with typical British restraint, and so, the press ignored them. No windows were smashed, and no cars were set a light, no travelers were inconvenienced or airports shut down and so, even in their own country the press largely ignored them. There's a message in that, peaceful protest will be ignored. You are allowed complain quietly while the state holds your head under water as long as you gurgle respectfully.
The French on the other hand blocked oil storage depots, shut down rail lines and buses. Shut down schools, smashed windows and set things on fire. In response, the French parliament quickly ratified the proposals before anyone in the government could begin to get cold feet. So if you dissent quietly you will be ignored, but if you protest violently they will act quickly so as to be able to ignore you.
Yet there is a question out there that has yet to be asked and the question is, why? The zoo keeper never asks why the lions want to tear him to pieces--he just accepts it as reality that they do.
Yet the question remains, why?
If Britain cuts 500,000 public sector jobs how will that help the economy out of depression? Planet Hoover says, by cutting spending government can pay down it's debt and in doing so will ultimately stimulate long term growth.
Ultimately? What are the 500,000 to do while waiting on ultimately?
Where does all this money taken from the old, the young, the sick and the worker go? Why is it so important to pay down debt now, in the worst economy in almost a century? Why is it necessary to willfully inflict pain and suffering on tens of millions of working people who elected these leaders to protect them?
In this country over 41 million Americans are currently receiving food assistance, a stress for which the system was never expected to withstand. The government and Wall Street proclaim the (recession) depression is over despite the still rising numbers of unemployed. In September the net non-farm payroll employment was down 95,000 jobs. Government employment declined by 159,000 and the vaunted private sector added just 64,000 jobs to the economy. Now just for fun, take out your pocket calculator and divide 64,000 new jobs by fifty states. Did you get 1,280?
Now add 14.8 million officially counted as unemployed along with the 9.5 million involuntarily working part time. Then add in 1.2 million discouraged workers, did you get screwed? Take the total and divide by 64,000 to see your chance at landing your dream job this month in America. Over the past two months the numbers of those involuntarily working part time rose by 943,000, the numbers of discouraged workers rose 503,000 in just the last few months.
Treasury Secretary Geithner has a plan as well.. He plans to force the value of the dollar down on world markets. How? By printing more of them and by forcing the value of the dollar down US exports will become more competitive. Except, that this country imports far more than it exports. Import prices will adjust to compensate for the lower dollar value meaning higher prices. Since most everything that America does produce besides grain and coal is made with foreign components what it Geithner thinking?
This is the Weimar solution, the German government saddled with war debt then turned on the printing presses to pay it off. Now take a baker who sells a loaf of bread for one mark. He borrows ten thousand marks from the bank to expand his bakery. He owes the bank a payment 500 marks per month and is making his payments when inflation strikes.