As background, consider this: man is the only creature who can deceive himself.
Now onto the economic topic of the week, austerity.
Austerity is alleged to have use as an economic term. However, its precise definition is unclear and it seems austerity can mean many things to many people.
Traditionally, austerity was thought to mean something like “reduced availability of luxuries and consumer goods, especially when brought about by government policy.”
So how was the austerity effort in Europe received? Poorly, it would appear based on recent elections. In fact, in alt-reality land, austerity is being declared dead by bright and shining stars including Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, and Eugene Robinson.
There is, however, a more reality based assessment. And it comes from IBD:
Now, the left’s argument goes, a new “growth strategy” premised on more government spending, not less, is needed — just like in Spain, Greece and Italy.
The only problem: The idea of EU austerity is a myth.
Only the left (and/or the traditional media) would view more government spending as a growth strategy. If such a strategy were to work, wouldn’t you think the people’s long and glorious history of government deficits would have created such growth? And that it would especially gotten better in the last half-decade?
Or would you instead think low levels of productivity, high levels of government interference (and taxes), and bad demographics have led the left to the edge of the fiscal cliff?
Back to IBD:
Austerity? Spending has boomed in the EU over the last decade. During the 2000s, EU member nations collectively boosted government outlays by 62%. Average government spending by EU nations today stands at about 49.2% of GDP — vs. 44.8% in 2000.
On its own website, the EU itself ridicules the notion of government austerity as a “myth.”
“National budgets are NOT decreasing their spending, they are increasing it,” the EU says, noting that in 2011, 23 of the 27 nations in the EU increased spending. This year, 24 of 27 will do so.
Just as an obese person can observe an strict regimen of diet and exercise for a day or two, the EU fail nations (especially Greece, Spain, Italy, and perhaps soon, France) are alleged to have attempted to practice austerity for a few months—even though the EU knows it isn’t true—and they are now resolved: they will limit themselves to a family sized bag of Cheetos washed down with two-liters of Coke and a half-gallon of Chunky Monkey as dessert. For breakfast.
Because of the recent electoral outcomes in Europe, the anti-austerians are declaring austerity is a failure; austerity had its fifteen minutes of fame in Europe and now its as dated to the left as Milli Vanilli is to the rest of the world.
Instead, just remember that George Orwell was ahead of his time. Today, the anti-austerians favor doublespeak which changes the meaning of words and actions as convenient. For them, austerity means more government spending.
After all, the machine must be fed. And ignorance is strength.