An austerity debate in London: Phibbs v. Seymour

Image credit: 401(K) 2012
“If you interpret the crisis as primarily one of spending, if you scapegoat the poor, you avert discussing something more troubling: the crisis of capitalism.

Who knows where that discussion could lead to? At a minimum, perhaps, controls on capital flows, new taxes on wealth, new forms of public ownership beginning with the banks. Unthinkable for business, unthinkable for the parties of business, and unthinkable for the business-owned media.”

That quote is from the author of Against Austerity, Richard Seymour.

Seymour was debating at the time he uttered those words. His opposition was conservative journalist and politician Harry Phibbs.

The recording of this is good stuff and includes questions from the audience. You can download the audio or read the transcript at Seymour’s blog, Lenin’s Tomb.

Across the pond in Wisconsin…
Scott Walker substituted “big government unions” for “the poor” in his big austerity push of 2011 and he got an uprising.

He left it at “the poor” in 2013, tossed in some blather about caring too much, and he has faced stern complaint. Mostly about Medicaid.

But there was no uprising when he made it harder for the destitute to get food, unemployment compensation, and healthcare.

Will we hear a whisper from the Democratic Party about it in the gubernatorial election?

Yes on Medicaid.
No on the other programs.

Mary Burke is walking a Centrist tight rope in hopes of catching that sliver of voters [many female] who will escape from Walker’s side by November. To be fair, blame for this should not be heaped upon Burke alone. The needs of the poor AS EXPRESSED BY THE POOR THEMSELVES have been off the debate table since the Bill Clinton era.


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