Rude Awakening - by Stephen Lendman
In 2008, a protracted global depression began, criminally manufactured by Wall Street and Washington scoundrels, complicit with major European partners.
Why? To permit greater financial and other corporate consolidation, more power, and ability to buy favored assets cheap, profiting hugely at the expense of millions of working households.
At the same time, Washington's got it own agenda. As White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel (now Chicago's mayor) told the Wall Street Journal on November 6, 2008:
"You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is that's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."
He didn't mean populist ones. He meant hardline neoliberal austerity to make working Americans bear the burden of bailing out banks, responsible for what trends analyst Gerald Celente calls the Greatest Depression.
How? The usual IMF way, including layoffs, wage freezes or cuts, fewer benefits, less social spending, tax cuts for the rich and corporations, crushing trade unionism, mass privatizations, deregulation, and harsh repression against opposition to a system incompatible with social democracy, civil and human rights.
In the 1980s, it was Reaganomics, trickle down, and Thatcherism. Today it's "shock therapy" called austerity, a destructive dead end, the same scheme pitting capital against people - disposable workers tossed out for big money's gain.
It's how predatory capitalism works, harming many for so few - snake oil masquerading as good policies, corrupted politicians and central bankers force-feeding harmful ones, wrecking economies and human lives so corporate favorites benefit. Their short-term losses, in fact, are considered investments for greater gains.
As a result, expect rising unemployment, growing poverty, greater human deprivation, and accelerated transfers of more wealth from working households to corporate favorites and elites.
Destroying America's social contract also is planned, incrementally with multiple cuts for perhaps years. Principally, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and publicly funded pensions are on the chopping block for elimination.
Also targeted are all other New Deal/Great Society programs to return America to 19th century harshness. An Obama-led bipartisan conspiracy assures it. In fact, he was chosen to do what no Republican would dare - a classic reverse Nixon goes to China moment, pulled off at the 11th hour as planned. The fix was in, theatrically orchestrated, then consummated as both sides agreed.
At the same time, on August 4, the specter of 2008 repeating hit global financial markets hard, plunging on fears of a a greater economic crisis ahead.
On July 31, Boston-based GMO investment analyst Edward Chancellor headlined his Financial Times article, "A hapless union has lost its direction," saying:
"There are many economic challenges around the world today. The US teeters on the brink of default (in fact, decline because of years of bad policies), deleveraging continues across the west, cracks are appearing in China's fixed asset investment boom, Japan remains stuck in the deflationary doldrums (its economy heading south), while inflation is picking up in emerging markets. None of these problems, however, are as intractable as those facing the eurozone."
At issue are nations like Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy vulnerable to default from over-indebtedness, besides numerous other problems at a time global contraction seems imminent.