Just Say No To Austerity

Wall Street Banks, American corporations and their political allies have declared a one-sided war on the American people. This war is being waged at our schools and colleges, on public employee unions, in our workplaces and in our communities.

Today, Americans are working harder and earning less, while corporate profits soar. Homeowners, consumers and students are seeing their wealth being stripped away by banks. Our government plunges into debt waging trillion-dollar wars. Meanwhile, our infrastructure erodes, climate change proceeds unchecked, our schools, daycare centres, senior facilities, clinics, parks and emergency services are all starved while corporations and elites get billions in tax breaks!

"Austerity" policies falsely suggest that spending on social needs is the reason why governments – at all levels – are facing massive budget short falls. No! Our debt and deficit problems are a direct result of corporate tax breaks and extortionist bank practices that have lead to a scandalous and unprecedented transfer of wealth – from hardworking Americans to the richest segments of US society.

The courageous actions by the citizens in Wisconsin are an inspiring defence of the core values of this country: a civil society based on freedom of association, healthy and stable communities that value public services and the public good. The outpouring of support nationally shows the possibilities for challenging deepening economic inequality and political marginalisation of the majority of the American people.

We are on the cusp of a great movement to resist and roll back the corporate domination by banks, energy companies and war profiteers.

This article originally appeared in The Guardian on March 11, 2011.