Monday, December 12, 2011

It's still class warfare

The European Monetary Union was born of countries pegging their exchange rate to Germany's so all countries would have the same inflation rate of 2 %. The EMU gave those countries a formal voice.
The plan was to have each European country’s wages rise in line with their own productivity plus 2%, ie living according to your means – not above it, not below it.

Just before the euro was implemented, Germany cut wages to bring down unemployment, deviating downward from the agreed-upon 2%, resulting in the beggaring of all its neighbours by making German products cheaper and wiping out its EMU partners' exports.

German economist Dr. Heiner Flassbeck: 
“The big battle that we have in this world is not between Germany and the other Europeans, is not between south and north, China and so on. The big battle is still, believe it or not, between labour and capital. This is still the big battle. I know it’s fashionable in the US to a priori dismiss such arguments by calling them class warfare arguments – Republicans like this very much to say “This is class warfare”. 
 I’ll tell you what happens in this world is class warfare. Look at the US. What happens in the US right now? For the first time in modern history since WW2, we are two years into a recovery and nominal wages are rising by absolutely zero - they’re not rising at all. For the first time we have not only a jobless recovery - that’s a normal thing – for the first time in the US we have a wageless recovery. Wageless recovery. And that is exactly what Germany did 15 years ago – wageless recovery – and I can tell you how this experiment is going to end because in the US there is no market that they can occupy, no partners that they can exploit, there is no currency union that they can use - the experiment will end in disaster. It will end in disaster because if you do not have a regime that allows the systematic participation of workers in the productivity increase – and this is what the people are talking about when they talk about the 99% but it is worse now than 10 years ago, worse than ever  -  then capitalism hits the wall because no economy can grow successfully if their people only have to rely on bubbles, that sooner or later burst, to consume, and if they cannot expect that they will participate in the success of all.”
Via The Real News Network

Iceland arrested the former CEO of one of its three failed banks, along with a broker and market director. Here in North America we arrest people for protesting the banks instead.

Bruce Campbell, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives : Rising Inequality, Declining Democracy
on how this works in Canada.


Holly Stick said...

Monbiot today: "...The men who own the corporate press are fighting a class war, seeking, even now, to defend the 1% to which they belong against its challengers..."

Beijing York said...

Robert Fisk also addressed this earlier today in The Independent. The only thing in common with the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement is that the people (the wage earners and underemployed and unemployed) know that they have NO SAY in their respective nations.

Enright's interview with the former Icelandic President was brilliant. He put the will of the Icelandic people before the corporations and bankers. He basically called the market dictates on national economies and governance a scam.

Toe said...

So we once had to follow the money, but in this case we must follow the meme's. Excellent video and thank you. Why is that Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq have central banks when they didn't before?

thwap said...

I truly believe we're on the cusp of something huge here.

It will either be "them" (the new globalized elite) or "us" (the majority of the world's people who simply want to make their way in the world).

Alison said...

Thanks for the reminder to include media complicity, Holly.
Unmasking the Press

Case in point : One of many CBC, CTV & G&M articles from this American free marketeer who has chaired the North American Studies program at McGill for the last 40 years : Occupy this truth: Worldwide the rich aren't getting richer.

BY : Wasn't that Enright interview just brilliant? When did we agree to organizing our societies around ponzi schemes?

Hi Toe. Bruce Campbell's article at link also very good. It is not noted often enough that rage against crap use of our taxes is effectively diverted against our public institutions by the very people who have wrecked them.

Thwap : I too hope that one day soon the answer to
"The poor will always be with us"
will be a resounding
"Not this time, assholes!"

Not sure how close we are though - continuing to serve drinks and appetizers and their firstborn to anyone with even slightly more economic power is still a pretty ingrained first resort survival strategy.

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