In the world view of the austerians, we simply can't have early childhood education unless the old people first "share the sacrifice" by retiring late and eating less. No matter that austerity as an economy booster, a la Rogoff & Reinhart, has been thoroughly debunked. Obama advisers are negotiating more of same even as we speak. The Fix the Debt crowd keeps rising from the grave like a smelly old corpse. White House sources say the president still is hoping against hope for a Grand Bargain of massive safety net cuts tempered by a few token dollars of revenue from the rich. His original offering of the poor and middle class on the altar of austerity still stands.
So, it was all the more gratifying to read the remarks of Pope Francis this morning as he traveled to Brazil, where the peasants are rising up against such things as bus fare increases and the funding of sports arenas. The Pope goes where no politician dares to go. He is traveling to the stark territory of the global class war, where all the generations are being victimized by an Oligarchy Rising:
Speaking to journalists on board his plane, Francis expressed concern about how many young people have no jobs and condemned a "disposable" culture which also hurt the elderly.
"The world crisis is not treating young people well ... We are running the risk of having a generation that does not work. From work comes a person's dignity," Francis said in prepared remarks to the papal press corps.
"Young people at the moment are in crisis," the pontiff said. "We have all become accustomed to this disposable culture. We do the same thing with the elderly, but with all these people out of work even they are afflicted by a culture where everything is disposable. We have to stop this habit of throwing things away. We need a culture of inclusion."
Francis said young people must not be isolated.The elderly are also the future of a people.... what a concept. And one that is totally foreign to the American duopoly, where retirement and bodily decline are viewed as character deficits. Tell it to staunch Catholic people-eater Paul Ryan and the whole bipartisan crowd that sequestered Grandma from Meals on Wheels, and still thinks raising the retirement and Medicare eligibility ages are just what the Medieval leecher ordered.
Maybe the Pope can be convinced to make a detour to Detroit or Washington on his way back to the Vatican, and guilt-trip the vulture capitalists into stopping their attack on pensioners and public employees. Of course, sociopaths are incapable of feeling guilt. What they really need to feel is fear. And they need to feel it good and hard. If you haven't already seen it, be sure to watch Chris Hedges on the efficaciousness of instilling abject terror into public officials.
Meanwhile, here's my comment to Paul Krugman's latest, on the class war in Detroit:
If a hard-right turn into fascism and continued racial and class animus are what our leaders are striving for, then Detroit is just what Dr. Moreau ordered.
They obviously love what they're seeing in the experimental labs of the Greek isles. Where Democracy was born, so shall it die. Youth joblessness is at 60%, as the oligarchs merrily go through the spoils with a fine tooth comb. Violence is on the uptick, and there's no money to pay for police. Politicians have taken to calling sick people "health bombs." Sound familiar?
Gov. Rick Snyder, for his part, is enthusing that the rape of Detroit is the creatively destructive dawn of a new day. The CEOs of Quicken Loans and Little Caesar’s are rushing in to buy downtown property on the cheap, turning blight into profit and thousands of pensioners and poor people out onto the streets.
The growing Greek fascist party, incidentally, is called "New Dawn". When it comes to the annihilation of the poor and middle class, weasel words all sound the same when they're spewed by the economic vultures circling the globe.
Meanwhile, as our pols sad-facedly sigh, there is "no appetite" to bail out Detroit. Maybe it's the $85 billion a month the Fed keeps showering on Wall Street, whose profits skyrocketed between 30 and 70% last quarter.
When the people of Detroit take to the streets, we must all cheer them on and join right in. Because this is all set to go national. I can see the headlines now:
U.S. Government to You: Drop Dead!