By Carl Bronski - 14 May 2012
Canada’s largest banks received $114 billion in liquidity support from the government of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the United States Federal Reserve between 2008 and 2010, reveals a recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)...[T]he CCPA report gives the lie to the assertions of the government and the corporate media that the Canadian banking system, unlike that of the United States, weathered the 2008 financial collapse due to its sound and prudent risk management practices.
By Patrick O’Connor - WSWS
The budget brought down yesterday by the Australian Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard has cut real government spending by 4.3 percent, the most significant reduction in the last 25 years...Labor has promised big business and finance capital that it will deliver no more budget deficits, regardless of economic shocks internationally and in Australia. Austerity is now firmly entrenched as the central principle of government economic policy.
By NOAM CHOMSKY - May 08, 2012
For the general population...it’s been pretty harsh — and it could get worse. This could be a period of irreversible decline. For the 1% and even less — the .1% — it’s just fine. They are richer than ever, more powerful than ever, controlling the political system, disregarding the public. And if it can continue, as far as they’re concerned, sure, why not?
Translated from GegenStandpunkt broadcast on Radio Lora, Munich: April 16, 2012
Since capitalism has existed, there's been a lot of discontent with it. Today, for example, the “Occupy” movement and the “indignados” in Europe criticize capitalism because its “excesses” surely scream to the sky. It hasn't gone unnoticed that an ever-growing wealth of a few faces an equally ever-growing poverty of others. Also not unnoticed is the notorious insecurity of existence which for many people means that just one unlucky circumstance...becomes a personal disaster.
By Danny Schechter - 25 April 2012
[Inequality] is distorting the structure of the economy where a new form of serfdom is trapping millions in debts they will never crawl out of...[I]t is changing the contours of the dominant consumer society. Economists used to brag about all the choices it offered, but today it is bifurcating into a world of pricey upscale shops versus the 99 cent stores...That's the real 1 per cent - 99 per cent divide that sustains the inequality.
New research by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade reveals that in 2011, the Canada Pension Plan had about $1.5 billion worth of shares in 66 international companies supplying Israel with military, police, surveillance and/or prison-related products and services.
By John Braddock - 25 April 2012
The National Party-led government, which was re-elected last November, has intensified its assault on the New Zealand working class. The administration is imposing a sweeping program of privatization, job cuts and attacks on welfare and education that was concealed throughout the election and for which nobody voted...The government is warning that without harsh austerity measures, New Zealand faces the “Greek road” of potential bankruptcy.
Economic growth already is faltering. Lower or declining growth despite larger money infusions shows trouble gets closer to erupting. As long as printing presses roll, day of reckoning is postponed, but that game only works for so long.
By Peter Schwarz - WSWS
Spain now faces the same fate that has befallen Greece. Under pressure from the European Union and the international financial markets, the country is sliding into a downward spiral of austerity and recession...Since the beginning of the year, the conservative government of Mariano Rajoy has adopted budget cuts of €37 billion...For the Spanish population, which is already suffering an unemployment rate of 23 percent and a youth unemployment rate of over 50 percent, this means unbearable hardship.
By Nick Beams - 19 April 2012
Austerity policies aimed at systematically lowering the living standards and social conditions of the working class must be intensified, even as governments continue to hand out hundreds of billions of dollars to the banks. This is the central message contained in two major reports published by the International Monetary Fund this week in advance of the IMF’s spring meeting this weekend.
May Day represents many things to many people. It is internationally recognized as a day where the working class mobilizes against the rich, appropriately named the ‘real’ labour day. It is a time to remember the Haymarket martyrs who died at the hands of the state. It also represents a time of change, as plants begin to produce their first fruits. May first is also known as beltane, a pagan holiday celebrating renewed fertility and life.
By Michael Laxer - April 18, 2012
...[E]very mainstream political party in Ontario has consciously chosen to place the maintenance and continuance of...personal and corporate tax cuts ahead of the social benefits, youth programs, anti-poverty and housing programs, welfare and disability benefit increases, public sector wages and public sector services, and so many other government efforts that their reversal would fund.
By Lynn Parramore - AlterNet
Before the 2007 global financial meltdown, suicides in European Union countries had fallen sharply among people under age 65. Now, thanks to misguided economic programs and the sheer greed of financiers, that trend has abruptly reversed...The new wave of suicides tracks closely with rising unemployment...Ever more draconian austerity measures that strip income and social aid act as a toxin, leaving the population so stricken that for some, dying seems the only relief.
By Richard D. Wolff - Znet
...[T]he chief political parties, politicians, lobbyists, and their allies in the media and academia have all performed in unison to celebrate capitalism...Their mantra has been "capitalism delivers the goods"...Behind the protective cover of a near total ban on criticism, the US capitalist system deteriorated...Since this crisis began in 2007, capitalism has been "delivering the bads" to most of us...Capitalism's uncritical boosters are now pressing the government to cut back public services just as the mass of Americans need them more than ever.
By Mike Head - 16 April 2012
...Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week emphasized her Labor government’s commitment to deliver a 2012-13 budget surplus in order to satisfy the global financial markets...To meet that pledge in the budget to be delivered on May 8, the government must slash spending by a greater amount than any previous post-war Australian government...Cuts of that magnitude will exceed the total of $35 billion in austerity measures just announced in Spain, which has a comparably-sized economy.