Addressing claims that global financial markets are all powerful

The United Nations Trade and Development Report 2017 was published last week and carried the sub-title “Beyond Austerity: Towards a Global New Deal”. It is amazing that 9 years after the crisis emerged we are still discussing austerity and its on-going damaging consequences. Effectively the crisis interrupted the neoliberal agenda to increase the incomes shares of the elites at the expense of the workers, with growth being a secondary consideration if at all. Austerity was the means by which the elites could resume this push and used all sorts of depoliticised arguments to make it look as though there was really no choice. They have been spectacularly successful in their quest. More shame to the rest of us who have stood by and blithely accepted the agenda and, to make matters worse, become mouthpieces of the myths that the neoliberals have constructed to give ‘authority’ to their savage attacks on public purpose. So social democratic politicians lead the austerity charge. Citizens stand around in pubs and cafes mouthing neoliberal nonsense about fiscal deficits etc without the slightest evidence that they know what they are talking about. UNCTAD report on all this in the latest Report. It is a sorry tale and requires a massive return of collective action and as they say – a “global New Deal”.

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