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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spooked into austerity, we dig our own economic grave - Computers - Intranet

The stupidity of the current macroeconomic stance in the UK is surprising in itself; but when combined with similar voices in Europe and the US, it is downright astonishing. Three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global economy is not going through a recovery from financial crisis, but simply entering act two after a brief intermission. On current form this play is a farce that will end in tragedy.Policy discussion on both sides of the Atlantic is dominated by extreme fiscal hawks, who wrongly see US economy and create jobs, Obama claims he will be unveiling "a trade agreement for the 21st century". Ironically, though, he will be pushing the same "Nafta-style" trade pacts he campaigned against, and to howls of protest from his own electoral base. Let us not forget what he said:"I voted against Cafta, never supported Nafta, and will not support Nafta-style trade agreements in the future," Obama told Ohio voters (pdf) in 2008. "While Nafta gave broad rights t od in combat until the end with the west and its clients. These included Saudi Arabia, Hosni Mubarak's Egypt, and above all, Israel.However, the alliance always had a rather obvious flaw: while presenting itself as an inclusive, representative camp, it was an almost exclusively Shia Muslim club, in a largely Sunni Muslim Middle East.The Iranians evidently hoped that militancy against the west, above all on behalf of the Palestinians, could counteract the league-of-outsiders aspect of their alliance.For a while, this psians in 2010 had lethal experience of heat waves. Americans in Oklahoma, Texas, New Jersey and Washington DC have all tis summer experienced record-breaking temperatures, along with Atlantic hurricanes, floods in the midwest and on the Mississippi, devastating tornados in th new report.The"Executive Excess"report uncovered 25 major US companies that paid their CEOs more than they paid the federal government in taxes. Indeed, each of the companies received an av erage of $304m in tax refunds from the government.Last year's report uncovered another disturbing trend: some of the best paid CEOs are the ones that lay off the most workers. The authors calculated o Westminster. Not only is it unclear what "powers" they are referring to, Cameron also knows that politically this cannot fly. If there is a limited change of the EU treaties, it will only apply to eurozone members. The UK - and all other non-euro countries - would nt be affected. If London nevertheless tried to foition and make recommendations to parliament. Their power to reject bills passed by the House of Commons is limited, and certain bills may be passed into law without their consent. They may not oppose legislation outlined in the government's election manifesto, and their powers are restraineession on communities - with some never coming out of recession. None of this excuses or even explains rioting, and it certainly does not give us a clear direction for preventing ri ots in the future - but it does emphasise the urgent need to tackle thesalemate in Iraq is, therefore, a litmus test for the Kurds. They hold the power to determine the future of Iraq's other groupings, the future of the country itself as well as that of the US role in Iraq as it prepares to thdraw completely at the end of 2011.Crucially, therefore, the Kurds must decide whether to pursue the interests of Kurdistan or those of Iraq. The US mabanks and begin their restructuring right now; finally do something convincing about tax avoidance and evasion. And obviously, rescind the 50p tax rate at your peril.During the summer, I read a lot about that great US populist Teddy Roosevelt. Rhetoric that could easily be reworked for 2011 was there in abundance, but particularly concentrated in his Progressive party platform of 1912. "To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanshi p of the day," it said. The words still ring true. Conference season, I would imagine, is going to be very interesting.

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