Much concern about money

There’s an irony in today’s fear of deficits. Since 1980, when the Reagan people managed to turn the country onto its downward slope, the only thing we’ve feared about debt is that there might not be anyone around to lend us more. Today we’re in a public panic about debt, and endless amounts of cash are available at the lowest rates of the century. You just have to be really, really wealthy to get the loan.

Regular folks know that debt can destroy their lives, because they’ll be forced to pay up by a man with a gun. They’re being told, by people who know better, that the same thing is true of the country, and they’re being sold an ‘austerity’ program designed simply to prop up the asset values of the super rich.

The lever-pullers are placing a risky bet. Today’s popular pundits are still successful  cheerleaders. Working folks enthusiastically vote to reduce their own standards of living. But if you spread enough suffering around, people might start applauding a different message. ‘Inflation’ is Big Money’s term for rising wages, and that might be an easier sell than taking on more unemployment just so we can send a quarter of our tax payments to the already rich.

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