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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Europe's 'Austerity' Myth.

There are no austerity programs and no meaningful reforms.

by StFerdIII

In the Doldrums

There is no austerity going on in Europe. The 'cuts' to public spending are a piffle compared to total GDP, or total spending. They are fiddling at the margins. The spending 'reductions' and tepid 'reforms' are so laughable that only the media could call them austerity.

austerity [ɒˈstɛrɪtɪ]

n pl -ties

1. the state or quality of being austere

2. (often plural) an austere habit, practice, or act

3. (Economics)

a.  reduced availability of luxuries and consumer goods, esp when brought about by government policy

b.  (as modifieran austerity budget

Perhaps given the above definition of 'austerity', which is the reduction of goods provided by a government, the Europeans are in the desperate throes of 'austerity'. Woe betide anyone who actually wants to seriously reduce government however. The Euros are fiddling at the margins of their massive welfare state, with various 'austerity' packages amounting to less than 1% of GDP. Consider these facts:

Total 17 Euro Nation GDP: U$12.5 Trillion

Total 17 Euro Nation Government Spending: 51 % of GDP or U$ 6.4 Trillion

Total 17 Euro Nation 'Austerity': Billions US$: less than 60 billion or .9% of total spend.

These massive Euro cuts, which are 'destroying' the fabric of European society are certainly, in-toto, less than $100 Billion USD, juxtaposed against the Leviathan spending of some $6.4 Trillion! What austerity exactly is the media chattering about?

In Spain rioting over not much:

Spain is bracing for a series of demonstrations against austerity and labor-market reforms this week, including May Day rallies on Tuesday and potential marches in Barcelona on Thursday, when the European Central Bank holds its governing-council meeting in Spain's second-largest city. The Spanish government has imposed border checks in case activists try to disrupt the ECB meeting.”

What huge, dislocating 'reforms' and cuts are the Spanish unhappy about?:

Spain's government continues to push its austerity program. On Monday, a top Spanish official said the government will seek an additional €10 billion ($13 billion) in spending cuts from regional and local governments, bringing the total to €20 billion this year. The measures, which include lower spending on public services such as health care and education, are part of a broader package of painful cuts already stirring a public outcry amid surging unemployment.”


The Spanish economy's GDP is U$1.5 Trillion. So a $20 billion cut equals an unbelievably painful and offensive 'cut' of 1.3% of GDP or 2.6 % of total government spend. Zowie. Spaniards are rioting over cuts – many proposed not implemented – equalling 20% of the amount of fraud that they wasted on solar panel firms and installations, a program since disbanded. The Spanish will happily expend $100 billion on green tech corruption, but riot in the streets over 'austerity' totalling next to nothing and not affecting their balance sheet whatsoever.

The situation in Greece is similar. A population of 10 million has about $500 billion in declared national debt, probably far less than what it really has in debts and exclusive of off-the-balance-debt which the good politicians in the interests of the children's future never mention. Greece's 'austerity reform' and 'massive cuts' total $5 billion or next to nothing for an economy of $350 billion. The BBC:

The austerity measures include: 15,000 public-sector job cuts, liberalisation of labour laws, lowering the minimum wage by 20% from 751 euros a month to 600 euros...”

Wow, what austerity. Relieving the job-killing burdens of over-regulation in the labor market? Positively neo-con. Lowering the minimum wage which if too high, will force employers not to hire lower-skilled workers. Positively right-wing. Firing a small fraction of those hard-working unionized bureaucrats who retire at age 52. Positively fascist or evangelical, or both.

Nothing illustrates the myopia and dystopia of public discourse, media misinformation and Euro-zone socialism better than discussing Europe's 'austerity'. What austerity? Without reforms to to the tax system, labour and capital markets, the Euro-zone will simply fade into irrelevancy and the Euro itself will be disbanded.

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