Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium and even G-8 member Italy all have deficit and debt crises. Greece owes $350 billion to Big Capital.
And Big Capital’s representatives, the “troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank, are demanding payment through “austerity budgets” – cutting wages, privatizing public enterprises, dismantling pensions and social services.
The financial crises in Europe are directly related to the U.S. 2008 Wall Street meltdown.
When the parasitic financial sector went into crisis mode, taxpayers in Europe and the United States bailed them out.
However, the banks and brokerage houses were not satisfied with the billions in bailout cash. As is the law of capitalism, maximizing the rate of profit and maximum accumulation of capital rule the day. In short, they want more. They are going after public resources to get it.
While the players and language may be different in Europe than the United States, certainly the American people recognize a similar struggle here. We are experiencing the same “austerity” drive by the representatives of Big Capital – the relentless attacks on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unions, Pell grants, teachers, Head Start, public education, minimum wage, civil rights, environmental regulations, fair tax structures and any other program or institution that attempts to serve the public or democratize economic relations.
Before the economic crisis hit the more developed capitalist countries of Europe and North America, there were other victims of debt crises in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The “Arab Spring” are in part a reaction to the havoc wreaked by the global predatory lending/borrowing system, as are the elections of left-center governments throughout Latin America.
If the people of Greece, Ireland, Spain and elsewhere succeed in their struggles, it will send a big message to the economic royalists: The people did not cause this debt crisis, and it should not be used to further enrich any bank or billionaire.
Why should the debt and deficits be put on the backs of firefighters, students, teachers and others who had nothing to do with it? Get the money where infamous robber Willie Sutton said it was – the big bankers! Plus, cut the bloated military budget, end the three U.S. wars, and tax those titans of trillions.
A victory for one makes possible a victory for all.
Photo: John Bachtell/PW