Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Austerity's Winners = The Corporate Class

Common Dreams staff

"The corporate class" is the clear winner in the global austerity game, according to analysis from Zach Carter in the Huffington Post.

austerity

As austerity policies lead to cuts in government programs such as Medicare and public education, Carter writes that this "generates a tidy windfall for the corporate class, as government services are privatized and savings from austerity pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens."

Blueprints for austerity in the U.S. are seen in measures such as the 2010 Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan, which "would allow U.S. companies to permanently avoid paying U.S. taxes on overseas income, including money stashed in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands," creating a banner situation for Wall Street banks while gutting Medicare and Social Security.

Dorian Warren, a professor of political science at Columbia University and a fellow at the think tank Roosevelt Institute, says that "Austerity policies are literally a redistribution from the bottom of the income spectrum to the top." Looking at state-level impacts, Warren states, "In Wisconsin, both wealthy people and businesses got tax breaks, while middle-class and working-class employees of the state essentially got crushed."

Carter also looks at global austerity as seen in countries such as Greece and Spain, which were given bailouts by the EU with harsh austerity conditions attached to them. But the banks got the bailout while the Greek people got the austerity. "The most vulnerable populations are harmed by the bailouts, while the well-paid financial professionals who made the deals to finance Greek and Spanish deficits in the first place continue profiting handsomely," Carter writes.

This is echoed by economist James Galbraith.  "Imposing pain on Greeks is ... a blood price for the ever-repeated bailouts whose actual beneficiaries are said to be Greeks, but are in fact French and German bankers," said Galbraith.

As Wall Street Democrats join Repulican calls for more austerity, writes Carter, the corporate class has more profits to come.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Medicare for All Advocates Take to the Streets of Over 50 US Cities

"How can we have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness when we live in constant fear of illness, bankruptcy, or homelessness because of the outrageous for-profit healthcare system?"

Jessica Corbett ·


Thousands Join Budapest Pride Parade to Protest Attacks on LGBTQ+ Hungarians

"A lot has happened over the last few years, and it's time to show that we're not okay with it," said one of the organizers.

Jessica Corbett ·


US Lawmakers Demand $34 Billion for Global Vaccine Equity Funding in Reconciliation Package

"No investment in the fight against Covid-19 is more urgent and cost-effective now than an investment in getting the world vaccinated as quickly as possible."

Jessica Corbett ·


Ilhan Omar Demands Answers After First Somalia Airstrike of Biden Era

"It is critical that we realize we are not going to simply drone the al-Shabaab problem to death," the Somali-American congresswoman asserted.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Huge Legal Win': Court Stops Police From Blockading Line 3 Protester Camp

One attorney described the blockade as "an outrageous abuse of law enforcement authority serving the interests of the Enbridge corporation against its environmental opponents."

Kenny Stancil ·