Conversation at the bar:
“Did you see those mass demonstrations in Madrid? And the cops were brutal. But the people kept coming. ” says the anarchist rancher gal.
“Them people ought to accept austerity,” says neighbor guy.
“What is austerity?” anarchist ranch gal asks, suppressing a Cheshire Cat grin.
Deer in Headlights describes look from neighbor guy.
The whiskered welder guy sitting in between them chimed in, “Let me help you out. You work in the county clerk’s office. It means telling you that you can’t retire early, they are reducing your salary, and when you do retire, there will be no pension money for you. Or worse, they lay you off.”
“Yes,” added anarchist rancher gal, “and meanwhile the wealthy (in this case, the Spanish wealthy) have enough money to pay back all the debt just by being taxed a bit more or closing their tax havens. But they don’t want to help. They think the people in those Madrid streets are turds. ”
(She pauses and gives a meaningful look) .
“Them people (not wanting to correct the grammar and appear hoity toity) , them postmen, them sewer workers, them garbage collectors…Them people are you.”
Rancher gal them suggests a great little article for the next time they meet; “Counterpunch’s ” “Europe is Revolting”.by Tom Gill.
“Did you know that Italy has a public debt of 2 Trillion euros and that their wealthy have wealth of around 8.6 Trillion. Tax ’em a little and close some loopholes and you can start paying down that debt. Same thing can be done in Spain and, well, here in the U.S., if you are worried about the debt which isn’t at the top of my list of important things worth doing.” she said. “And how about those wars? If Italy withdrew from Afghanistan, it would save them 616 million euros says this article.”
“I didn’t know Italy was in Afghanistan,” says neighbor guy.
“Me either. That’s where the right libertarians got it right. Foolish waste of money when people are having a hard time putting gas in the car and even having money for laundry detergent. (See “The Pauperization of Europe”) If you lay people off and cut their wages, they can’t buy food or soap from the IGA or lumber from Ullman’s or medicine from the vet clinic. So we’ve got the money, we just need to move it around better; spend it on the right kind of things. See, it’s all more a question of math and priorities. We don’t need economists. We need accountants, ” said anarchist rancher gal as she slid off the bar stool and grabbed her trusty I Pad.
“What did you mean by the debt isn’t important to you, ” said whiskered welder guy.
“That’s for next time. That’s a whole other deal.” she said and ambled out the door.