Austerity is a scam

Austerity is a scam
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#1

People may be aware of the work of the Artist Taxi Driver, most famous for ranting about the problems of society from his cab. He also does water colours, going by his Twitter feed. In addition to all of that, he’s just finished making a video called Austerity is a scam.

It’s 3 hours, 30 minutes long. I’d normally advise people to watch stuff like this in bits. I don’t think you can watch this video in any other way. Bits of it are simply too upsetting or enraging - and I’m only on the hour mark myself.

Austerity isn’t really justifiable as an abstract concept, even less so when you have to look it in the eye.


#2

I don’t think I could possible watch this much self evident truth. It doesn’t take much thought to understand the flaws of austerity. If there are people out of work, a country is clearly richer paying them to do virtually anything useful rather than supporting them while they are not working.

I am obviously more aware of the effects of austerity in the US. We had massive unemployment especially in the construction industry, a government that could borrow money at record low interest rates, and a need to rebuild our infrastructure. The right thing to do was obvious, but it was inconsistent with Republican ideology which instead wanted to cut spending by the goverment–especially spending that helped the poor–to magically make everything better.

That being said, the tax evasion stuff this video starts with does not appear to be directly on the austerity point.


#3

The tax evasion thing definitely weighs into the austerity is a scam claim.

For those that haven’t seen it, the claim is made pretty early on that George Osborne signed a deal in 2012 that would guarantee immunity from prosecution for anyone using Swiss banks for tax evasion purposes.

That’s evasion, btw - the illegal kind, not avoidance.

That being the case, the information is hugely relevant. We’re being told that the country doesn’t have enough money, are embarked on twin tracks of cuts and privatisation, and yet, the same Chancellor of the Exchequer that says we need to cut back has effectively decriminalised the richest taking their money out of the country without paying tax on it.


#4

That is a best a side issue. A country like the UK with its own currency cannot run out of money. Whether it collects all the taxes it is owed or not doesn’t change the fact that in a high unemployment, low interest rate environment it can and should increase government spending to boost the economy (and do useful things).

That being said, it doesn’t mean I approve of decriminalizing tax evasion–just that it is not a significant issue as to why austerity is bad. I guess it could be significant if it increased the budget deficit so as to enhance the nonsensical arguments for austerity, but in a fact based world that stuff would be irrelevant.


#5

I think the point is that the government used our lack of money as a reason for austerity whilst ignoring the fact that we could have more money if we got the tax. Besides which, no tory government is going to spend their way out of a recession, it just wouldn’t happen.


#6

Originally posted by @Redslo

That is a best a side issue. A country like the UK with its own currency cannot run out of money. Whether it collects all the taxes it is owed or not doesn’t change the fact that in a high unemployment, low interest rate environment it can and should increase government spending to boost the economy (and do useful things).

Which I think is the overall point of the video.

Austerity has been presented as a political reality and necessity since implementation.

It was never fit for paying debts down, we’ve borrowed more cash and the rich have gotten richer.

That being said, it doesn’t mean I approve of decriminalizing tax evasion–just that it is not a significant issue as to why austerity is bad. I guess it could be significant if it increased the budget deficit so as to enhance the nonsensical arguments for austerity, but in a fact based world that stuff would be irrelevant.

The claim being made is that “Austerity is a scam”.

The evasion deal shows that it is, or at least is prioritising taking money from those who have least to give.


#7

There can’t be many people who don’t think that Gideon is a slimy bastard who, to quote Lou Reed, has_ money sticking out of his hole._

There is no level of deception or corruption around this administration that would surprise me.

Hopefully those who gave Dave and Gideon a big thumbs up at the ballot box can now see the damage being done.


#8

I’m sure those who voted tory now just have someone else to blame rather than themselves… Migrants, ISIS, the EU, all the other countries in the world.


#9

Sadly,t he fact that a Government can get away with this is perhaps the worst ever legacy con that the evil witch Thatcher left us with. That of convincing ordinary folk that they are better off having more money in their pocket to chose how they spend it, than Government taxing and spending on services… of course Thatcher simply acted like the clever cunt she was by adding VAT on everything and upping duty on the fags, booze and fuels… yet folks still voted for her and failed to see her con.

They even managed to get that ‘tax and spend’ as a real negative - a shitty stick to beat labour with… when what exctly does it mean? No fucking shit sherlock, but that is what taxation is for - to spend on public services. Its not some punishment for the poor…Jeez (this gets me fucking angry). It was probably that other Tory cunt Saachi or soem PR twat that worked their dark fuckinmg arts on that one… and its now a fucking scare word… :lou_angry: :lou_facepalm_2:

It’s meant that whilst so many moan about the lack of public service spending, poor provision of social support, there are still too many no longer prepared to pay for it through taxation and why tax loopholes for the rich are not the far greater scandal that they should be… and why plenty of disenfranchised still seem to vote Tory in enough numbers to give immoral cunts power.


#10

OK one question, I get that it’s easy to believe that Osbourne would have signed this agreement but, if he had, don’t you think it would have been reported in the mainstream media?

I don’t remember hearing anything about it, and this was in 2012 when they were sharing power with the LibDems so surely someone from the LibDems would have leaked it out??


#11

A huge issue at the last election was the lack of an effective electable opposition.


#12

True… but labour fucked themselves the day Tony decided to take us into an unjustified war… as that also sowed the initial seeds for SNP surge in Scotland… which has lost Labour some 40+ seats… I suggest that Gorden became a bit of a scapegoat for a global economic colapse that no onein power would have been able to breeze through…the bastard bankersloving the fact that Labour were in the driving seat at the time… as it means they could blame them and not their own cuntish practices…


#13

Thanks Gay, I was going to raise the 40+ seat swing in the Scottish parliament too, wouldn’t have helped Labour though as the Conservatives still have a majority?


#14

True, but a major loss nontheless. I simply cant see how Labour can ever hope to get back in whilst Scotland remains wedded to Jimmy Krankie…


#15

Question from an American so I am sure the answer is obvious just not to me:

Given that the SNP’s policy’s on austerity make more sense, isn’t there some way to get them to run sensible candidates in England and then elect them instead?


#16

The SNP aren’t really anti-austerity, but they do have a greater degree of control over how they raise and spend their money. That means they can give their kids free education and free prescriptions. Compared to the banker’s paradise down South, I appreciate that it can look like anti-austerity. Fuck, it looks like communism at the moment!

They have some extremely principled Westminster MPs who are very good at holding the government to account. North of the border, they deserve great credit for investing in their young and mitigating some costs, but in many other respects, it’s business as usual.


#17

Labour could promise another referendum, make it binding, for some future date. Big risk, because they could vote to leave, but then the SNP threaten to sort a new referendum out all the time anyway. It could negate a lot of the SNP vote.

Another huge thing we could do is move the capital north. It seems crazy, but countries have done it before. Brazil built one from scratch. Westminster seems very remote to parts of the country, both in distance and in terms of its interests. Manchester comes up frequently when people navel-gaze on the issue, but I genuinely think Liverpool is a better fit if we want to maintain links with the Irish.

We English can be some right fuckers in our treatment of people from other parts of the Union, and I’ve never understood it. I have been to every part of this union, and to the Republic of Ireland too, which no longer is part of the Union, but very much influenced by it. Apart from a few things dividing along sectarian lines, there’s no difference bar the accent and sense of identity.

If we want to hold this union together, we go a funny way about it sometimes. Respect goes a long way.


#18

The whole concept of Austerity was a bit of a ruse for Osborne/Cameron to implement their Thatcherite agenda. The banking crisis just gave them an excuse and they were only held back by the coalition with the Lib Dem’s.

Quote from Paul Krugman - Nobel winning economist and NYT writer

I don’t know how many Britons realise the extent to which their economic debate has diverged from the rest of the western world – the extent to which the UK seems stuck on obsessions that have been mainly laughed out of the discourse elsewhere. George Osborne and David Cameron boast that their policies saved Britain from a Greek-style crisis of soaring interest rates, apparently oblivious to the fact that interest rates are at historic lows all across the western world.


#19

It’s not secret.

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2012/03/23/for-a-man-who-says-he-thinks-tax-evasion-is-repugnant-george-osborne-is-doing-his-utmost-to-promote-and-assist-it/

No-one made a big thing of it.


#20

Osborne’s family business hasn’t paid any corporation tax in 7 years.