Sunday, March 27, 2011
The day when Austerity catches up with us
Gregory Mankiw, former chairmen of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisors has engaged in a bit of debt fear mongering with a "what if" presidential address. So, I thought I would try my hand at a "what if" scenario involving the consequences of prolonged austerity.
The following is a presidential address to the nation-to be delivered in March 2026-
My fellow Americans, I come to you today with terrible sadness. Our country faces imminent collapse. The food and freshwater shortages which you are all familiar with have reached critical levels. The Protean Flu has overwhelmed medical facilities and the death toll continues to rise. The fundamentalist organization, the Christian Domination Brotherhood,has taken advantage of the chaos. A wave of bombings and assassinations targeting federal facilities and federal employees has crippled the government. These events are the direct consequence of choices made long ago. Now we are almost out of options.
For many years, the government has lived under the shackles of austerity. We promised ourselves long ago that we would not burden future generations with debt. So we cut. And froze spending. And levied punishing taxes (who can forget the hated and regressive Mankiw VAT of 2012). And thus condemned the future.
Our fresh water and food crises have followed from our forefathers' refusal to accept the science of anthropogenic climate change (if they could only see the Great Southwest drought or the food riots). This ignorance coupled with fear of debt made investment in agricultural research and development and water conservation/treatment infrastructure impossible.
The rise of the Christian Domination Brotherhood is directly connected to our past battles over Middle Eastern oil and refusal to address massive unemployment. Those of us who are old enough remember the oil wars that began in 2013. So many brave men and women were killed or permanently scarred by these horrific battles. To add insult to injury, they returned to a homeland wracked by economic recession. Jobs were not available for these former warriors and veteran medical services were reduced in the name of austerity. Many of these rejected veterans turned to religious zealotry and vowed revenge on the government that abandoned them. In the years since the oil wars, the hordes of the unemployed have only grown and consequently so have the numbers of the Brotherhood.
A different path could have been taken by previous generations. A path of full employment and planning for the future. Sadly, time's arrow only travels in one direction. So, tonight I am announcing that martial law is being declared. Recent intelligence reports suggest that the Brotherhood has acquired a number of nuclear devices and is planning to use them on vital points of the national infrastructure. This will not be allowed to happen. We will defend this country.