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.
By Clara Weiss - 16 April 2012
As has been done in countries around the world, the Russian government is using the global economic crisis to deepen its attack on the working class...The austerity program being prepared by the Kremlin, which is supported by all factions of the ruling elite, will fuel social tensions. The Russian population has already experienced a significant decline in its living standards in the past three years alone.
America's economy is headed for further decline.
Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Belgium and Spain replicate Greece in slow motion, gain speed, and head toward a similar train wreck. France, the Netherlands, and other troubled European Union economies follow close behind.
By Alejandro López - 3 April 2012
On Friday, Spain’s Popular Party government announced €27.3 billion (US$36.4 billion) in cuts to the 2012 budget. With cuts equivalent to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the budget is the most austere since the fascist dictatorship...The latest measures come on top of the €15 billion in cuts pushed through by the social democrat Spanish Socialist Workers Party government of José Zapatero in May 2010.
By Ellen Hodgson Brown - Dissident Voice
The debt curve that began its exponential rise in 1974 tilted toward the vertical in 1981, when interest rates were raised by the U.S. Federal Reserve to 20%...Canadian rates went as high as 22% during that period. Canada has now paid over a trillion Canadian dollars in interest on its federal debt — nearly twice the debt itself. If it had been borrowing from its own bank all along, it could be not only debt-free but sporting a hefty budget surplus today. That is true for other countries as well.
By Bruce Campbell - rabble.ca
The 2012 federal budget, which purports to deliver "jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," does nothing of the kind. Make no mistake, this is an austerity budget -- spending cuts out-pace new measures 7:1 -- that worsens income and inter-generational inequality, destroys jobs and locks in a slow growth, high unemployment future.
Fall 2007 began the onset of America's greatest Depression. Europe's in deep trouble. Reckoning day's delayed by bailing out insolvent banks and throwing money at markets like confetti.
By Paul Mitchell - 23 March 2012
Portugal was paralyzed by a general strike yesterday, as workers demonstrated against austerity measures and labour reforms...The Lisbon metro...stayed closed. Train, bus and ferry companies in the capital and the second-largest city, Porto, ran few services. Many schools, hospitals, courts, government offices, post offices, libraries, museums, refuse collection services and ports were also affected.
By Kellie Tranter - Znet
It's most instructive to read carefully the Stratfor emails WikiLeaks released recently...Their language and tone are alarming: both brutal and ruthless, in my view they reflect all that is wrong with a world now programmed to a rampant neo-liberal economic model that is underpinned by Machiavelli's philosophy of power...Machiavelli's philosophy is now found in the boardroom as well as on the battlefield and in government.
By Mike Head - WSWS
According to one estimate...the government will face a deficit this year approaching $50 billion...This inevitably means drastic reductions in social spending, services and public sector jobs, wages and conditions, on top of those inflicted in last year’s budget. That budget contained savings of $22 billion over four years, featuring cuts to welfare entitlements for the unemployed, disabled and single parents.