It seems the Austerians have managed to move Europe’s economy toward another recession. Right now we are enjoying lower gas prices as a result, but there are Austerian sympathizers hard at work in US politics hell bent on following the EU into the abyss. I’m not sure what planet they’re on, but below is a short list of the belt-tightening I’ve already undergone thanks to conservative economic policies.
(US News) — Americans ought to understand this, because new pro-growth policies in Europe would require the same kind of stimulus spending that has fallen out of favor here. There’s a further complication: The countries that most need stimulus spending—Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy—would need to get it from richer northern European nations like Germany that aren’t in a giving mood. “Saying you want less austerity simply means you want Santa Claus, because you need funding and the markets will not fund you,” Citigroup chief economist Willem Buiter said at the recent Milken Institute global conference in Los Angeles. “It’s daydreaming.”
I wish I was daydreaming, I wish Santa was around. But this is all too real for millions of us. Here’s just a few of the thing I haven’t bought since Mr. Buiter and his zillionaire pals crashed the economy.
1. A sports jacket, new suit, or tie.
2. Dress shoes; the only shoes I’ve bought for the last few years are flip-flops and 1 pair of cheap tennis shoes.
3. Silverware or frying pan, pots, etc., of any kind.
4. Blender, coffee maker, or any kitchen appliance outside of a hand operated can opener.
5. Any vacation beyond sitting at home on a day off and damn little of that.
6. Gym membership, dental work, any kind of cologne or after shave.
7. A nice restaurant, overnight or weekend trip for pleasure, or any kind of haircut beyond the cheapest, rock bottom discount I can find.
This is just a partial list, I could go on for a long time. I drive a ten year-old truck, wear threadbare clothes, and live in a squalid, tiny studio apartment on the near poverty wages in the one job I could find that wasn’t a temp position with no benefits. And to get that low paying dead-end job I had to move half way across the country where I now toil away for an incredibly profitable company while making peanuts. I’m not sure where the Austerians think the millions of people like me are going to find room to ‘tighten our belt’. Another recession stacked on top of this disastser and for millions of us the next round of belt-tightening will mean we have the ‘freedom’ to choose between food, shelter, or medicine.