Friday 20 January 2017

End cold grip of Austerity on us all

Published 11/09/2011 | 05:00

When US President Barack Obama launched his stimulus plan last week he warned that America could not wait for real solutions to the Great Disruption. Would that it was the same here. Instead, as certain sections of the US governing class, at least, attempt to create a sense of 'morning time in America' our ancien political regime struggles blindly through a crepuscular fog of austerity in the hope that it might lead us somewhere good.

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Obama may believe 14 months of economic stasis is too long. In contrast, like those World War One generals who believed no sacrifice was too great. . . for the troops, we are expected to embrace 'La Belle Dame of Austerity' for a further three mind-numbing years. The Government claims its hands are tied by an ECB that finally showed its true colours last week courtesy of Jean-Claude Trichet's claim that Germany's little banking echo should be congratulated for its role in maintaining German price stability for longer than any other period since World War Two.

As we serfs were given the brusque message to "continue to do all you can to embrace competitiveness" a braver government might have echoed Obama's views and said it was time to stop the ECB circus, cut taxes and invest in real infrastructure as distinct from elevated public sector wages. They would have echoed Obama's warning that an unemployment rate of 9.1 per cent in America is "an urgent time" and told the German footstools of the ECB that when we sell off our semi-state deadwood we will use the resources of the Irish taxpayer to develop an Irish stimulus package.

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