The big similarities between the economic problems of the US and Europe are: exploitation of a crisis, an attack on social programs, draining of wealth from the general population, and excessive flows of capital.
“The committee that really runs the world”, as a Colorado columnist likes to joke (no joke), has its fingerprints all over this. There is only one class of people that benefit under these conditions. The very wealthy become more wealthy.
It is no accident that those with the greatest potential tax liabilities (under a progressive tax structure) are the very same people that finance the efforts to not only reduce tax rates, but to eliminate the very kinds of government enterprises that exist on those same tax revenues.
That is why in Colorado Anschutz and Coors (et al) back (successfully) propositions to limit property tax collections. Doing so leads to cuts in education, health care, unions and pensions.
Nationally, we have seen the firing of hundreds of thousands of teachers and other government employees, with attacks on their collective bargaining agreements. An organization known as A.L.E.C. has provided the strategies and the prepared legislative bills needed. A.L.E.C. is funded by multi-billionaires like the Koch brothers and a host of large corporations.
In Europe, the reigning financial managers have all forced similar “austerity” measures on their respective countries in response to the same screams of “debt crisis” that have been heard here.
The financial root is as follows: Capitalism is the accumulation of capital. Only so much capital can be created and taken by conventional means. Therefore, the major lenders have contrived a scheme that transfers wealth from the lower to the upper classes. Essentially, loans are made–to individuals and nations as well–that cannot be maintained. In the case of individuals, their property is confiscated and they are left bankrupt and without assets. In the case of countries, the taxpayers are stuck with the bill and they receive no benefits for it. In fact, they lose benefits.
The general public is defenseless because they must rely on representative governments to protect them. The representatives have been bought or scared off.
We are looking at the biggest crime, and the biggest transfer of wealth, in human history. Six decades of prosperity and earnings of citizens worldwide are now being reversed.
From his grave, Marx is saying: “See”!