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  •  Austerity is about paying what you earn (0+ / 0-)

    Austerity measures are about getting what you pay to equal what collect in taxes. That's a good idea, and has to happen, but it fails in that most of what is done is cutting services rather than raising taxes.

    Austerity can go both ways.

    •  That's not what austerity means (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xgz

      For instance, I wouldn't call the Swedish system austere. Their social spending is exorbitant and luxurious. They get a lot of days off, family leave, etc. It's quite humane. Not austere at all. And yet they fulfill your criteria.

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Thu May 27, 2010 at 05:52:12 PM PDT

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      •  Austerity measures involves budgets (0+ / 0-)

        I think we have a complete lack of communications. I don't see how the Swedish system fits at all as to what I said.

        Austerity measures as in the programs being put forth in Greece (and previously in other countries), basically say
        'Hey, we can't afford the social systems we currently have. We can't pay retirement pensions at the current age, we can't subsidize schools as much. We just don't have the income for it. So we have to cut those things'
        That's what an Austerity measure does, it imposes austere measures since the country has been living beyond it's means.  My addition to that was that while the goal (a balanced budget) is very good, the measures ignore one half of the solution. Instead of just cutting stuff, you could also raise taxes to provide services, instead of simply cutting services.

        The Swedish system has nothing to do with any of this. The Swedish govt has considerable revenue (not just ordinary income taxes, but also I believe income from natural resources like oil), so they can afford to pay for their social services. No austerity measure needed.

        •  I agree on the part about raising taxes (0+ / 0-)

          but I disagree on the austerity measures being about the unaffordability of social spending. Social spending in Greece is minimal. Look it up in the Eurostat database. It's also minimal in Spain and Ireland.

          These countries are running big deficits for other reasons, not social spending. Spain because of its banks and the losses in real estate, Greece because of corruption, and Ireland because its NAMA program which is 10x worse than TARP.

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Fri May 28, 2010 at 07:28:36 AM PDT

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          •  unbalanced is unbalanced (0+ / 0-)

            I didn't mean to state that the budgets are unbalanced because their social spending is too high. It may be low, but due to deficits for whatever reason, either cuts have to be made or taxes have to go up.

            Take an individual budget for an example.
            If I spend modestly on going out (once every month) and don't buy fancy clothes, but borrow money to put in the stock market and lose it all, I'm stuck paying off that loan and I may have to cut back even further, even though my expenses weren't bad to begin with, or get another job (or borrow more money at a cheaper rate)
            It doesn't matter where the deficit is coming from, to balance your budget, you either have to cut spending, raise more money or borrow more(until you can't borrow any more). Or you simply default and remind your creditors of the concept of credit risk.
            Yes Austerity measures can be used as an excuses to cut social services that conservatives never liked in the first place, but that was never my point.

            •  There are other ways to balance your budget (0+ / 0-)

              Like ending corruption.

              Tax revenues, social spending, etc., are more than enough to balance the Greek budget.

              The wild card of course is maturing debt.

              There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

              by upstate NY on Fri May 28, 2010 at 10:23:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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