As Fermanagh, Ireland, prepares to host officials from the wealthy G8 nations, run-down and abandoned stores have been painted over with images of "free-market" prosperity. The happy, thriving butcher's shop pictured here consists of stickers plastered to windows. It wouldn't do for the architects of austerity to see its actual effects.
Austerity is essentially the reduction of public spending on public goods and services, increasing the suffering of the poor and the further concentration of wealth in the hands of the wealthiest individuals and corporations. The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum for the governments of the world's eight wealthiest countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, U.K., and U.S.). The G8 has a history of rhetoric without follow-through on topics like global hunger.
The G8 avoided planned protests in Chicago last year, meeting instead at Camp David. In Ireland this month, prison cells are being prepared in an effort expected to minimize the need for the G8's inflictors of pain and suffering to be aware of the popular protests that arise anywhere they meet.
Take a moment to let our G8-member government and the whole G8 know that we're onto them and that the suffering they're imposing on the world is real!
Fraud and a butcher's shop, in fact, are perfect images for austerity "science," which turns out to be on a par with climate-change denial and creationism. An influential study claiming to prove that government deficits halt economic growth has recently been debunked. Claims in the United States that our Social Security system is in trouble have just been disproven for the umpteenth time.
The case for austerity is hardest to make in the United States because we already have so much of it. Our nation is rolling in wealth, but the wealth is piled up in the hands of a tiny oligarchy. That is the real project of austerity. Public funds are flowing like water, but they're flowing into the Pentagon and prisons and tax breaks for the wealthy, while we cut education, environmental protection, and infrastructure.
Let your public officials know right now that you don't want more of the same to come out of the G8 summit in Ireland. Let them know we're ready to invest in people and public resources rather than profit and plunder.
Please forward this email widely to like-minded friends.
-- The RootsAction.org team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.
1. Irish Times: Recession Out of the Picture
2. BBC: Anti-G8 Protesters Fear 'Heavy-Handed' Police
3. The Real News: PhD Student Debunks Austerity Study,
PERI: Does High Public Debt Stifle Economic Growth?
4. Sanders Statement on Social Security Trust Fund Report