Paul Krugman on the austerity fetishists. Why don’t we have someone like this with a platform like this up here?
H/t I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists.
Let’s imagine that instead of sending a handful of investigators from the ATF and the Chemical Safety Board to West, Texas, we marshaled every local, state and federal resource available to discover the exact sequence of events that led to the explosion. Let’s imagine that the question—Why?—became so urgent that the nation simply could not rest until it had overdetermined the answers. We’d discover that OSHA hadn’t inspected the plant in 28 years—did this play a role in the disaster? If it’s found that the company that owns the plant, Adair Grain, violated safety regulations, as it had last year at another facility, we might call it criminal negligence and attribute culpability. But would we ascribe ideology? And which ideology would we indict? Deregulation? Austerity? Capitalism? Would we write headlines that say—Officials Seek Motive in Texas Fertilizer Explosion?
A more unifying political discourse. The dismantling of an austerity agenda that does nothing but pull us apart. A renewed focus on the positive role government should be playing in our lives. Income inequality solutions. That’s the kind of truly groundbreaking transformation an equality Premier could achieve, post-austerity.
More fun facts about #Iceland, this time from @NYTimesKrugman.
- Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz: Iceland was right to jail the bankers
- Of course it helps to be sitting on top of a geyser farm
- Iceland was the only European country that dared to default on the bankers
- Iceland Erects Middle Finger, Wins in [Market-Ticker]
- Iceland’s approach to dealing with the meltdown has put the needs of its population ahead of the markets at every turn
Ah, what the hey. I haven’t gone Godwin in weeks.
in societies where the elites do not suffer from the consequences of their decisions, but can insulate themselves, the elite are more likely to pursue their short-term interests, even though that may be bad for the long-term interests of the society, including the children of the elite themselves.
Iceland was the only European country that dared to default on the bankers. In February 2011 Iceland’s President Olafur R. Grimsson refused to sign a $5B bailout bill and told the bankers he was going to put the bill to a referendum. Although 44 of the 63 members of Parliament had passed the bill, Grimsson said he was responding to a popular demand for a plebiscite after more than 42K of Iceland’s 318K inhabitants signed a petition asking him to block it.
Icelanders absorbed some of the costs itself but forced foreign investors to take the biggest hit. Not deterred by horror stories about an “unthinkable economic demise” that have prevented countries like Greece and Portugal from defaulting, Iceland has proved that default was the best thing it could have done. As a result, not only has the economy not collapsed since last year, but its gross domestic product is expected to increase by 2.6% this year. Much of that growth is based on increased production, mainly in tourism and the fishing industry. In contrast, most other European economies are either stagnant or in decline. Even the Times article admitted that many economists say Iceland’s recovery was aided by the collapse of the banks.
Public space, public amenities and the public good, or corporate colonization? | #onpoli
So I’m driving along the lakeshore this morning and my daughter, who’s loved going to the waterpark and the waterslides and such, notices the signs and landmarks leading to Ontario Place. Which is going to be, if not closed, then transformed into an innovative provincial landmark. In any event, the Ontario Place grounds, Cinesphere, waterpark, rides, attractions and restaurants are out of business this summer for “revitalization.”
Which is a drag, but, well, you know — shit happens.
Not going to talk at length about noise or extravagance or inconvenience, because this isn’t about pissy downtown elitists wanting their peace and quiet or anything, and, well, tourist dollars.
No, for the moment I just want to compare and contrast. If I understand this right, then spending public resources on the public good is a bad thing, so in the name of fighting the deficit and tightening our belts and living within our means, as the austerity prophets like to browbeat us, we’re closing public amenities like Ontario Place. Private events with corporate sponsors up the wazoo, on the other hand, are a good thing — despite whatever noise and inconvenience they may imply, and despite their obvious encroachment upon public space.
(Hey, it brings in money. What are you, some kind of effete downtown socialist?)
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