I wish the Americans had fought against austerity, as the Europeans are now

1680589-poster-1280-american-dream-statisticsI wrote this for The Guardian’s Comment Is Free. We aren’t following the protests much, but Europeans are fighting to keep their safety nets.

We should have, as well, but we let the damnable notion of the American Dream convince us that a net isn’t necessary, that You Can Make It Here.


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  1. You stated it so well. I wonder when America will wake up and realize we aren’t great any more.

  2. Wow. The Guardian. Pretty soon we’ll see you rubbing elbows with Greenwald, Poitras and Scahill at The Intercept. Nicely done. Been looking through the comment section?

    But…it’s a theme today…
    Capitalism…what a concept. In three graphs…
    Net corporate profits as a share of GDP.
    Labor share of GDP.
    Government spending share of GDP.
    Also related: Paul Krugman’s op-ed The 1 Percent’s Solution.
    These trends will never enable the kind of social security and stability Americans need to realize any portion of an American Dream.

    I think Europeans, generally, have a better grasp of Austerity, the macroeconomic theories, (traditional models of budget/deficit management vs. the uniquely American expansionary fiscal contraction…EFC…theory), than Americans. I see this as a deficit in our education system, especially primary education. A result of being grossly influenced by Cold War stereotyping, (fear mongering), since the end of WWII, it emphasizes the American capitalist existential primacy of profit opportunity in all economic sectors above all other theories. Also, Europeans have a sense of social solidarity resulting from decades of welfare state economics. Americans have never experienced the benefits of European-style welfare state economics.

    1. The sad fact is YOU should be writing for the Guardian and rubbing elbows with those folks. I’m just a one-off.

      1. If Omidyar et al thought Taibbi was combative and abrasive, I doubt they would even let me in the door. Well…Scahill might…but I doubt we’d be doing much fist-bumping.

  3. Oh yeah…

    Americans are indeed beginning to demonstrate for change to a system that demands they pull themselves up by their bootstraps when they cannot afford boots with straps. It’s just not routinely covered in mainstream media. And when it is, it’s usually to demonize those who cannot afford boots with straps.

    …coffee kicked in…

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