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Defeating Cameron's budget cuts

by fairleft Tue Aug 3rd, 2010 at 06:40:47 PM EST

(Inevitably, of course, the same will be proposed by Obama a few days after the November elections, so Americans should follow the debate on this and learn.)

Well, let's be clear, the defeatist way of stating the title is "resisting the cuts agenda." Just asking, but why does 'realism' on this matter require pessimism? In any case, there are two aspects to the problem, what to do immediately and where, and then a 'makes sense' alternative proposed by those resisting. First on the immediate, Richard Seymour (of The Meaning of David Cameron) proposes:

As I see it, the Left has no choice but to look to and work in the trade unions for the agencies that will resist the cuts agenda. This poses some difficulties. It has taken a while for the traditional institutions of the labour movement to grasp the severity of the situation. Inertia, tactical conservatism, loyalty to the Parliamentary Labour Party's leadership, and the fear of risk-taking after years of declining union density, will tend to restrain the trade union leadership from reacting in a proportionate fashion to the scale of the assault. It is the job of the Left to alert people to the exigencies of the cuts agenda, and to the urgent need for militancy beyond the traditional policies of the trade union leadership. This does not involve treating trade union leaders as an `enemy' to be ritually denounced. We should seek to work with them where possible. But we should not be constrained by their limits.

The Left should also . . .


. . . seek to unite those constituencies - centrally public sector workers - who are best placed to resist the cuts into some form of united organisation. There should be no sectarianism about this. Many on the Left are justly disgusted by New Labour, and understandably want nothing to do with the Labour Party. But the people who will be most affected by these cuts will be Labour voters, and affiliates. The industrial battles that ensue in the coming year will play out inside the Labour Party because, for all that the Blairites may have wished otherwise, the party remains rooted in the organised working class. Those links have been weakening for more than a decade, but in the 2010 election, many working class voters in flooded back to the Labour Party, and this deprived the Tories of an outright majority. So it is important not to under-estimate the party's ability to renew its working class support, especially as the Liberals sink to 15% in the polls. What is needed, I would suggest, is a multi-party, multi-organisation, trade union-based united front, the sole criterion for unity within it being agreement on the objective of preventing the cuts and advancing alternatives. If we can achieve this much unity, and obstruct the cuts agenda, we will also create a crisis for the government that will throw wide open the debate about the real alternatives to the defunct policies of the last thirty years.

Seymour proposes the following as among the options that will appeal to and be supported by those fighting the cuts (links in original):

It is not as if there are no alternatives to the neoliberal policy mix. On the right and centre, I expect that national protectionists will increasingly come to the fore, not as outright opponents of neoliberalism, but as a faction wanting to contain some of the effects of `globalisation' both by managing financial flows and further restricting immigration. On the centre-left, solutions offered by critics of neoliberalism like Krugman and Stiglitz, who vehemently oppose the cuts agenda, will have more influence, especially if the cuts backfire as drastically as they are predicting. They offer what Andrew Gamble calls a `regulatory liberalism', with free markets checked by regulation of the banking sector and some modest redistribution. The more radical left will be interested in the left-wing Keynesian solutions offered by the likes of Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson, not to mention Tim Bending in this very forum.

This author is more sympathetic to the anticapitalists, such as David Harvey and Alex Callinicos, who argue that in the long run it will be necessary to transcend capitalist social relations. However, I would modestly suggest that the debate on the Left as to the best long-term alternative is not likely to be resolved in time for us to face up to the immediate task of stopping the cuts. It should be enough for us to agree that the cuts aren't necessary, that they are being imposed as part of a political project to reduce the size of the welfare state, and that the only reason why the plethora of alternatives are not being explored is because of a lack of political will among the groups dominant in the British state.

Hopefully people of all of the following persuasions will be MADE TO FEEL WELCOME within the anti-cuts movement. No? Not that first group? Oh well, priorities, priorities (we see similar problems in the U.S. antiwar movement, so I'm not optimistic cuts resistance will avoid being sectarian and exclusionist.) Oh, and mebbe we've found the key to why realism requires pessimism.

Display:
... "national protectionists" in British politics who can be co-opted to oppose neoliberal economic policies if we are prepared to overlook a little race-baiting? The BNP? Sinn Fein? Other takers?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 12:55:08 AM EST
The idea was, to quote, "wanting to contain some of the effects of `globalisation' both by managing financial flows and further restricting immigration."

The flow of money and workers needs to be under some sort of democratic control, and that control needs to be in the interest of most members of whatever democratic entity (whether a nation or the EU or whatever) is controlling it. In any case, this is one perspective that should be allowed to participate in the no cuts (instead let's stimulate the damn economy) agenda.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 12:13:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In any case, this is one perspective that should be allowed to participate in the no cuts (instead let's stimulate the damn economy) agenda.

Are those views represented (in Britain) by any operational political organisation (other than the unapologetically neo-fascist BNP)? Or are you suggesting that we help to weaponize anti-immigrant sentiments out of a belief that they might, on balance, be more useful than harmful in constraining cross-border financial flows?

Another point to consider is that (again in Britain) courting the race-baiting demographic will permanently install the LibDems in the Tories' back pocket. This does not strike me as advisable.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 12:45:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The view on immigration is held by 77% of Britons:

Some 77 percent of the British people questioned say net immigration should decrease or that no immigration should be allowed at all, according to the poll of more than 4,000 people.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/05/05/uk.election.immigration.poll/index.html

Do you think 77% of Britons are neofascists, or might many of them have a common sense feeling that excessive immigration helps create race-to-the-bottom competition on wages?

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 01:44:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
False dychotomy. The fact that they have a "common sense" feeling that their economic problems are the fault of immigrants makes them potential neofascist party fodder. Also...

Britons believe too many people, especially immigrants and asylum seekers, take advantage of the Human Rights Act (HRA), a poll has suggested.

The survey for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), which dates from 2004 but has only just been published, says 57% believe the law is being exploited.

...

A spokesman said: "The overwhelming conclusion shows 84% of the general public agree it is important to have a law which deals with human rights in Britain. (BBC)

It's good to have a human rights law, just so long as it doesn't protect immigrants. Also Half of Britons Would Reinstate Death Penalty.

And your point is what? Millions of flies can't be wrong so let's eat shit?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 01:54:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My point is that the position of 77% of the British population on immigration, which is likely related to the idea that their economic problems are partly caused by excessive immigration, probably does not indicate that they are neofascist party fodder. It more likely just indicates common sense about supply and demand.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 05:07:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So they are vulnerable to being swayed by Common Sense Conservative messages. Are you?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 5th, 2010 at 02:26:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It more likely just indicates common sense about supply and demand.

Uh-huh. But this "common sense" happens to be flat out wrong when it comes to the labour "market." Along with most of the orthodox formal descriptions of the labour market...

Now, I can see a tactical point in co-opting an existing political movement that happens to be living in a fantasy world. But if we're going to actively weaponize some random popular sentiment, it should be one that is reasonably reality-based.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 5th, 2010 at 02:56:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What evidence do you have for your certainty that labor supply and demand influencing employment/unemployment/wages is "flat out wrong" and not "reality-based"?

Pathetic and sad, your angry and intolerant rhetoric on a simple matter of policy disagreement.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Aug 5th, 2010 at 04:19:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What evidence do you have for your certainty that labor supply and demand influencing employment/unemployment/wages is "flat out wrong" and not "reality-based"?

  1. Labour is not really fungible.

  2. The labour market is operated by large organisations - corporations and unions - which are able to set wages and employment conditions without regard to the market. Wages and employment conditions are based on the relative strength of these organisations, not on simple balancing of supply and demand. (And, incidentally, dividing the labour force into insiders and outsiders - which you will accomplish by declaring a group of immigrants illegal - reduces the ability of labour to organise and coordinate, which reduces the power of organised labour.)

  3. The level of unemployment is determined by the sovereign, through its will or lack thereof to function in its capacity as the employer of last resort, and by its ability to induce artificial capital shortages by restricting the supply of legal tender. If the sovereign follows anti-employment policies, no realistic reduction of the labour supply will eliminate, or even much reduce, unemployment. Conversely, if the sovereign exercises its power as employer of last resort, there is no reason other than raw material constraints for there to be unemployment.

Pathetic and sad, your angry and intolerant rhetoric on a simple matter of policy disagreement.

I wonder how it became a sign of angry intolerance to school you in Keynesian economics for beginners. Perhaps you are projecting here?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 5th, 2010 at 04:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1.Labour is really fungible.

2.The labour market is operated by large organisations - corporations and NOT unions - which are able to MINIMIZE wages and employment conditions with regard to the market. Wages and employment conditions are based on the relative strength of LABOUR AND MANAGEMENT, not on simple balancing of supply and demand. incidentally, dividing the labour force into UNION insiders and NON-UNION outsiders - which you HAVE accomplishED by ALLOWING LARGE-SCALE IMMIGRATION THAT CREATES LABOUR SURPLUSES IN MANY JOB CATEGORIES - reduces the ability of labour to organise and coordinate, which reduces the power of organised labour.

3.If the sovereign follows anti-employment policies, no realistic reduction of the labour supply will eliminate, or even much reduce, unemployment. Conversely, if the sovereign exercises its power as employer of last resort, there is no reason other than raw material constraints for there to be unemployment. IF THE SOVEREIGN DECIDES NOT TO IMPLEMENT AN INCOMES POLICY TO PROTECT AND INCREASE THE WAGES AND BENEFITS OF ITS WORKING CLASS, THEY MAY DECLINE AND THE PERCENTAGE OF PROFIT CLAIMED BY 'OWNERS' WILL INCREASE.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Mon Aug 9th, 2010 at 10:35:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. If labour were fungible, every sort of labour would have, to within the margin of error, the same unemployment rate. If labour were semi-fungible, every sort of labour would have, to within the margin of error, the same unemployment rate as every other sort of labour with a comparable amount of time and effort invested in training. These are testable predictions. They happen to be false.

  2. Claiming that the union-busting movement of the 1980s and late 1970s is a consequence of liberal immigration policies has the teensy-tiny problem that it violates the principle of causality, by postulating that the effect precedes the cause...

  3. Well, yes. That's sorta my point you're making.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Aug 9th, 2010 at 12:36:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One poll.

Commissioned by the CNN.

That has been Bowdlerised so we can't tell what the original questions were.

And none of that answers the question of whether there is any operational political organisation that can turn this sentiment into a voting bloc. You can find majorities on many issues, but unless people are already mobilised around the issue, it doesn't matter in terms of electoral clout.

So we return to the question: Is there an operational political organisation that is already capable of mobilising this sentiment, or are you proposing that we create such an organisation?

In the latter case, I submit that there are more direct and far less hazardous ways to use our organisational resources and political capital.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 02:00:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the Labour Party should be that organisation, since it is supposed to be the party that defends the interests of the country's working class.

Yes, one poll, commissioned by CNN. 77%.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 05:11:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the Labour Party should be that organisation, since it is supposed to be the party that defends the interests of the country's working class.

Aha. So now you're conflating anti-immigration sentiments with "the interests of the country's working class."

This is a bait-and-switch: First, you argue that the left needs to tap into anti-immigration sentiments because they constitute an important voting bloc. This is the bait. Now it turns out that no such voting bloc exists in any form that is electorally useful. So the switch is that since it doesn't exist, the left should create an important voting bloc out of anti-immigration sentiments.

If you're going to take a vague but popular (or populist) sentiment and craft a voting bloc out of it, may I submit that "shake down the City," "soak the rich," and "end the two-party system" are all way higher priorities for any leftist coalition worthy of the name than "British jobs for British workers" or "workers of the world unite for a white South Africa."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 5th, 2010 at 02:51:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You should've added "Ah hah!" to the start of that comment.

Yes, well, 'conflating' means 'fusing into one entity', so don't think I'm doing that, but "conflating" sure does sound outrageous. Yes, I do think the interests of the British citizen workers should be 'protected' against competition by non-British workers willing to work for much less, whether those workers are overseas or in Britain. I'm a full-on protectionist, love the word.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Aug 5th, 2010 at 04:24:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then I think that it behoves you to frame the discussion in terms of policy, rather than attempting to sneak your policy in through the back door via spurious tactical arguments.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 6th, 2010 at 03:08:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm disappointed that this one is still being trotted out. I took a hefty swipe at it durung the election, pointing out that it was a conflation of various NuLab policy failures, not least their policy on affordable housing, that allowed the right wing press to dishonestly lump all immigrants into one homogenous group of scapegoats, simultaneously lazy scroungers living on benefits whilst working all the hours god sends to steal honest British workers jobs.

Neither position is true, not least because immigrants are not a homogenous group. The people who are most numerous and overtly working are the Poles and other E Europeans who are legally entitled as citizens of the EU to come here and do any job they can find. they have been numbered in the hundreds of thousands and there is absolutely nothing that the government can do to impede their entry. a little honesty about this would be useful, but conflating them with non-EU residents helps keep everybody on the boil about "immigration"

There are also immigrants, some legal, most asylum seeking to one degree or another or totally illegal, who are living on the fringes of the system and have extremely few benefits. the numbers involved are poorly described but are unlikely to be more than a 30 - 40 thousand. A fraction of the EU population.

another thing rarely mentioned is that Britain has net emigration. More people leave than come in. something the right wing press prefer to skate over to keep the pot boiling. and until recently the major group of immigrants were ex-commonwealth returnees of white, british origin. Again strangely left unmentioned when the racist press want to stir up trouble.

Goerring explained the process

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."

the public are being lied to, it's no surprise they're coming to the wrong conclusions. I'm just disappointed you haven't joined the dots but just accept the results.

It's easy to take a cheap statistic and label the British working class as racist. Yes, the london dock workers marched in support of Enoch Powell, but they fought like tigers on Cable street to protect the jews from Mosley's blackshirts and I know which one I think more significant.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 6th, 2010 at 02:09:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 77% is an enormous number. Deal with it. I guess that it reflects many people's direct experience, or the experience of people they know, who feel a job they had or would've been willing to do, or would've happily accepted training in order to do, at a higher rate of pay of course, was taken by an immigrant. Whether it was an EU or non-EU immigrant was not asked in the question. Whether the preceding anecdotal, historical economic analysis of direct experiences is accurate or not it creates 77% of Britons against large-scale immigration.

And, of course, then there's always the cost-benefit analysis, involving what the positive benefit of large-scale immigration is. . . . we never hear anything but blather on that.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Mon Aug 9th, 2010 at 10:21:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 77% is an enormous number.

From a single bowdlerized CNN poll. yawn

Deal with it.

Do they form a coherent voting bloc that can be co-opted for a leftist agenda?

No? Then their numbers are irrelevant - you have similar numbers in favour of soaking the City of London, and that is a far more productive sentiment to spend time weaponizing.

I guess that it reflects many people's direct experience, or the experience of people they know, who feel a job they had or would've been willing to do, or would've happily accepted training in order to do, at a higher rate of pay of course, was taken by an immigrant. Whether it was an EU or non-EU immigrant was not asked in the question. Whether the preceding anecdotal, historical economic analysis of direct experiences is accurate or not it creates 77% of Britons against large-scale immigration.

In other words, you are basing your recommendation on flimsy guesswork, part of your recommendation involves dismantling the European Union and you're not even prepared to argue whether your analysis is reality-based or a product of Murdoch's Daily Hate Mail.

Just sayin'.

And, of course, then there's always the cost-benefit analysis, involving what the positive benefit of large-scale immigration is. . . . we never hear anything but blather on that.

How are you going to prevent it? Mine the Mediterranean? Put machine gun nests along the Spanish-Moroccan border? Put illegal immigrants in concentration camps?

Oh, so you only want to prevent it in Britain? I guess Spain and Greece and Italy and France will just have to deal with the fact that Europe has four thousand kilometers of border with poverty-ridden, politically unstable and/or authoritarian third-world countries (which in not so few cases have Europe and the US directly to thank for their current predicaments...).

In that case, may I suggest that what you are really arguing is that Britain should reconsider its membership of the European Communities?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Aug 9th, 2010 at 01:04:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that constructive proposals are necessary rather than the usual confrontation.

In my opinion, Cameron's 'Big Society' is a strategic political error of cosmic proportions and he has handed Labour and the Unions the greatest opportunity they have had for 100 years to achieve their aims.

As I blogged on Labour List at the weekend - Funding the Big Society - the greatest savings to be made lie in drastically cutting the cost of long term funding of public and third sector productive assets - particularly affordable housing; education and health facilities; transport infrastructure (eg refinancing Network Rail borrowing with partnership-based Public Equity) and much more.

For their part, Union-sponsored co-ops etc will enable the excessive returns currently made to management and the professional consultocracy to be drastically pruned.

So it's not a matter of defeating Cameron's budget cuts, but rather that of applying Austerity to areas where it is properly needed - ie overpaid management/professionals and the social useless financing - ie most of it - provided by the shoals of vampire squid now returning to business as usual

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 05:46:49 AM EST
In fact the UK economy needs a massive dose of stimulus spending, which will mean greater budget deficits. Cutting back during a deep recession is absurd. How the stimulus is distributed, and cutting back on the 'rent' and welfare payments to the upper 1% is an important matter and your idea is great, but you're losing the big picture if you go along with the general idea of 'cuts are needed now'. Economic growth in Britain is about as feeble as it is in the States:

Getting the economy growing at a more rapid pace will require another round of stimulus from the government. This will require overcoming a massive amount of superstition, as well as pure political obstructionism. However, the first step is recognizing that the economy is not on a healthy recovery path and that something needs to be done.

http://www.counterpunch.org/baker08032010.html

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 12:23:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
fairleft:
but you're losing the big picture if you go along with the general idea of 'cuts are needed now'

I don't.

I am describing an unconventional funding mechanism whereby new development credit may be released.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 01:05:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChrisCook:
ie overpaid management/professionals and the social useless financing

don't you think that these cuts would have a net positive economic effect?

if you agree, how can you be against all cuts?

this is trimmable fat, and slows down the real economy, the one of genuine products and services to meet our real needs.

these overpaid levels of bureaucracy just clog up the works for everyone else.

they have entrenched themselves into so many places, like bad chloresterol.

skimmers and make-workers, obstructionists, power-freaks, companymen, schmoozing and snoozing on the public's dime.

i heard a great quote on dkos the other day, "when the going gets tough, the weak turn racist".

i do agree with some protectionist measures, but the risk is that scientific progress could stagnate with the kind of provincialism that can engender, especially as information works around borders -and other similar 'redundant and archaic complexities'- and is very hard to contain without draconian customs and treasuries that also clog up work- and service-flows.

right now we have a huge menu full of junk choices, and we're dazzled how big it is. what coming austerities will probably teach us is a few great dishes on a smaller menu will be more satisfying, and the fetishisations of 'growth', and 'bigger is better' that have held such sway were ultimately empty hype, at the end of the day.

i know a lot of peoples' numbers looked good while the bubbles were swelling, and that generated well-being, but it wasn't sustainable, and it now is revealed as being like a methedrine high, fun but with a hangover that makes you wish you hadn't gone there.

you can 'fill up' on junk food, but eventually reality will catch up to you.

unions have been so easily corrupted in the past, they are not trusted 'honest brokers', though in many, many cases they are, and would be, they suffer for the misdeeds of the past.

a labour leader for the waning of industrial capitalism of the calibre of keir hardie at its waxing would be in order.

preferably global... hard to see this happening in a hurry, 30 years if we're lucky!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Aug 5th, 2010 at 08:35:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He cleared things up in a further comment, but the theme Chris Cook appeared to be striking was, "We'll do the cuts better." Now is the time to resist the cuts and argue against their necessity, rather than concede the 'necessity' argument and say "we can do them better." I've seen this a million times with the U.S. Democrats, and it's likely to be the New Labour 'shoot ourselves in the foot resistance' 'strategy' to big capital's demands.


fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Mon Aug 9th, 2010 at 10:26:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
seems you are making it it into a binary choice, to cut or not to cut. Chris is pointing out (i think) that there is bloat, and since we're cutting, let's cut that, and tell the IMF types to Fuck Off.

it's not whether or if, but what and how...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Aug 10th, 2010 at 09:54:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the first thing I notice on LabourList is that the percentages of the Union vote committed to the various Leadership candidates adds up to 110%.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 6th, 2010 at 02:21:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Building organization is good, and providing services is good (ask Hamas). But if social services are cut down and then picked up again by working class organizations without taxes being cut on the working class, is not the net effect that working class is now paying more (taxes + funding for partnership) then before? (Ie a bad thing)

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Aug 7th, 2010 at 01:34:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

The working and Middle classes have had their real income systematically looted for decades.  This means, among other things, their Discretionary Income - money available to spend on Wants rather then Needs - has been squeezed.  Forcing them to pay for social services will squeeze DI even more, shifting money from the various Consumer sectors of the economy.  

The money so shifted will provide a single-loop reinforcement of the various Health Care & etc sectors but at the expense of starving Real Goods sectors of needed capital for R&D, product innovation, the Quality Improvement cycle, ... the future, in other words.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Aug 7th, 2010 at 01:50:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron at least trumps Obama, who seems to be taking up the role of poodle to Netanyahu:

Cameron Calls Gaza under Israel Blockade a `Prison Camp'
July 28, 2010 by Juan Cole

British Prime Minister David Cameron went to Turkey this week and engaged in some refreshingly blunt talk about Ankara's application to join the European Union (which does not appear to be going anywhere fast), and about the strained Turkish-Israel relationship. Cameron slammed France and Germany for putting the brakes on Turkey's EU membership, which US secretary of defense Bob Gates has blamed for the turn to an eastern policy by Turkey's present government.

Cameron also said that the Gaza Strip, home to 1.5 million impoverished Palestinians, cannot be allowed to remain a prison camp. Calling the territory, which Israel has blockaded for several years, a prison camp outrages many Israelis because it seems an implicit comparison of Tel Aviv to the totalitarian governments of the WW II period.

http://www.juancole.com/2010/07/cameron-calls-gaza-under-israel-blockade-a-prison-camp.html

Did you hear that: Cameron called Gaza a prison camp not a death camp. Apparently 1,400 most civilian deaths does not qualify Gaza as a death camp. And so, when Barak decides to visit England again, will he be or will he not be arrested as a war criminal?

Still for a British PM to speak out is unusual. And he's not a Labor man, but a conservative. Are we expecting too much from our own kin, the liberals?

by shergald on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 05:53:36 PM EST
Hold on, what do you mean by "liberals"? In the UK, it would be understood as shorthand for the Liberal Democrats, who under Nick Clegg and friends have been re-emphasising the claasical liberalism (individual freedom and limited government) aspects of their party's heritage (and, of course, are now in coalition with the Conservatives). And in continental Europe, liberalism means free market economics but opposition to moral conservatism e.g. the FDP in Germany.
by Gag Halfrunt on Mon Aug 9th, 2010 at 06:00:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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