The Greek masses have been rising up in recent days over the new “austerity measures” announced by their national government. As usual, when governments in corporate capitalist so-called “democracies”face financial storms, it is the poor and the working class that are required to shoulder the enitre cburden.
Never are the corporations and the billionaires and mega-millionaires who control them ever asked to sacrifice, even when the immediate financial crisis is the the direct result of the unbridled greed, corruption, incompetence and criminality of the capitalist class.
In this particular instance, Greece’s national economy has become so crippled that the country itself is facing bankruptcy, an evenuality that would certainly drag other European economies down into the same mire.
How did Greece reach this point? As in many advanced industrial economies over the past couple of years, fraudulent banking and corporate activities, coupled with a stoic resistance on the part of the banks, the corporations and the financial elite are the ultimate culprits.
To be sure, the culture of greed and fiscal irresponsibility spread far beyond the elite minority. The masses, seeing the rich and the super-rich get a perpetual free ride from government, began to insist that they also get a share of the public largesse.
And so, as government revenues slowly collapsed and public spending soared, there was nothing to fall back on when the private banking shit hit the public fan.
The situation in Greece declined so steeply and so rapidly that the European Union (of which Greece is a member), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have had to come up with a bailout package.
But, in return, these larger entities are demanding draconian tax increases and spending cuts for all the government programs that benefit the average Greek.
As was the case in other countries, not a thought has been given to finally asking the banks, the corporations, the rich and the super-rich to finally pay their fair share, to finally taste a tiny morsel of the “austerity” to which the masses in Greece and elsewhere have become so accustomed.
For the past 30 years, the NeoLiberal and NeoConservative governments that have dominated the industrialized world have been embroiled in a race to the bottom on working-class wages and on taxes for corporations and the wealthy.
Tax cut after tax cut after tax cut for corporations and the wealthy and real spendiong cut after spending cut after spending cut for the masses have resulted in an unconscionable upward transfer of wealth from the bottom 80 percent of the population to the top five percent.
And every country in the so-called First World has had to go along with the game or become an also-ran in the international race for global capital.
The only thing that can end this sorry and sordid charade would be if the G20 – at its meetings in Canada this summer – all agree to simultaneously and dramatically increase taxes on corporations and the wealthy. If everyone raises their taxes at the same time, there will simply be no place for the banks, the corporations and the rich to hide in their never-ending zeal to amass everything but pay nothing.
It is time for the governments of the G20 to call a halt to the vicious game that is crippling governments and starving the masses around the world.
And it is time for the masses – the poor and the middle class – everywhere to stand up and say: “No more!”