Austerity, for Whom?

The headlines are dire across Britain; England’s finest cathedrals battle financial crisis, National Health
Service in dire need of funding, forced cutbacks on social services while
rentals become unaffordable for the young
. And yet the world is awash in
High-end flats in London stand
empty while the city is in a housing crisis, bought by foreign investors as
simply a vehicle in which to safely store their money. Kensington, Chelsea and
Notting Hill have become warehouses for cash rather than lovely neighborhoods
in which to live, while Theresa May, the vicar’s daughter, blathers on, “You have a job but you don’t always have job
security, you have your own home but you worry about mortgage rates going up,
you can just about manage but you worry about the cost of living and the
quality of the local school because there is no other choice for you. Frankly,
not everybody in Westminster understands what it’s like to live like this and
some need to be told that it isn’t a game

And one of my personal favorites,
If you are from an ordinary working
class family, life is just much harder than many people in politics realize
Apparently this includes the vicar’s daughter, head of a party that continues
to take and take and take from those who have nearly nothing, while it runs the
NHS into insolvency and oversees an economy supported by the shaky structure of
zero-hours contracts and offshore tax dodging by more than 175,000
UK-registered companies giving addresses in offshore jurisdictions. 
to a Guardian article, “the scale of
company ownership in some of these territories is huge: in the British Virgin
Islands there are three UK companies for every four citizens. In the Isle of
Man there is a UK company registration for every two people
Flats standing empty and businesses simultaneously cutting
the throats of young workers and the
British treasury. Now there’s a situation upon which someone might care to call
upon the vicar’s daughter for comment. George Osborne, the Ken-Doll Chancellor
of the Exchequer savaged British economics over a six-year period and, leaving
office, toured the United States to explain how he’d done it, garnering over
320,000 pounds at the lectern. Osborne’s successor, Phillip Hammond gloomily
predicts a ‘lost decade’ for Britain and clings to austerity as a cure, presuming
the patient hasn’t died of bleeding in the meantime.
Austerity has never in
the history of the planet worked to save an economy
.  Nor does turning over 200 NHS and social care
services that cover more than 200,000 people in Bath and north-east Somerset to
Sir Richard Branson smack of progress. Virgin
indeed. What began with Margaret Thatcher’s privatizing of goddam near everything has come to its quite natural
conclusion of the same fate for Britain’s health care system. Terrified as
America and Britain seem to be of socialism, both nations are apparently
comfortable with offering their soft, pink bellies to the knife of corporatism.
Politics is meaningless in both America and Britain now. It
is but the hollow shell of whatever the hell corporate interests dictate and I’ll
share a secret with you—corporations want it all. Brexit and Trump are not anomalies, they are the natural and
entirely predictable outcomes of privatization.
Reagan and Thatcher heralded four decades of trickle-down economic policies, as
our collective national resources trickled down the toilet. By any measure
applied, British and American life has been in steady decline. Our roads are a
wreck, railroads and airlines pathetic, healthcare and social services in the dumpster,
educational systems failing and unaffordable and before long the toilets will
cease to flush.
Only the corporate world flourishes. Banks are up to their
old dodgy tricks and about to fail once again, while the stock markets are grievously
over valued from too much cash floating around and no place to put it. Is that
weird or what? Too much cash and not enough money for public investment. In
2015 the wealthiest 64 humans on the planet owned more that all the assets held by the lower half of
the world’s population. Stunning, huh? Well, see if you can wrap your mind
around this—in 2016, one year later, that
number had dropped from 64 to 8. One of those eight is Mark Zuckerberg, a
32-year-old and has in common with most of the seven others that they don’t produce anything. They control stuff. See
George Carlin and The
Owners of This Country
Controlling stuff is the modern day gold rush and corporate
money isn’t stupid—it controls from the top down. It goes for a head-shot. First
it gets the legislative machinery—all
the legislative machinery, from village councils to the halls of Parliament and
the US Congress. Once that is in place their purpose is to slowly bleed the patient dry and we are well into that phase right
now internationally. Donald Trump is irrelevant and Theresa May has no say, no
matter how concentrated our interest in and how and when they choose to appear
before us. The media takes them seriously and gets its shorts in a twist, while
the comedians play the Fool before the king. It’s all bread and circuses to
keep us busy and distracted. 
That’s why a ‘news cycle’ is about thirty minutes
these days—we’re too busy and distracted to pay any more attention than that
and (unfortunately) so is our president.
Meanwhile the looting goes on behind the curtain. If you
want an understandable primer on modern politics and power structures, download
and watch a copy of The Wizard of Oz.
And good luck ever getting back to Kansas.

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