REFLECTIONS

Posted on May 9, 2012

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AUSTERITY PROGRAMS ALONE FAIL

Since the Great Credit Crisis and housing market crash, the current debate in America is ideological.

It appears some believe that an Invisible Hand will correct the economic errors of the past.

In this perspective, Republicans say we need only to fix certain structural problems that have unaccountability which have arisen in the globalized economy. They are unconcerned with the inconveniences of which the poor and the vanishing middle class will have to put up with in the future.  “After all, we are reducing social programs just for them, aren’t we?” And fixing the structural problems will create more jobs.

Their answer to the crisis is to cut spending on schools, health, welfare programs (American tea partiers would add, “for people who don’t deserve them and whine about it”), while properly rewarding the business executives who have made our nation great with further tax cuts.

In Europe the Germans have been attacking a real problem: the weakening of the euro in certain Southern European Union nations. They haven’t made austerity work, but it’s not a crank theory. Nations need to repay money they have borrowed.

However, look what happened in Greece and France last week. They elected governments and presidents who believe the social safety net must stand for the poor and middle class people, taxes must be raised on the rich, and every effort must be made to grow the economy.

Which ideological position will win out in our November general election? For whom will the blacks, Hispanics and women vote for president? And if President Barack Obama should lose the election, is that racist? We will know come November.

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