Austerity: The Results So Far in Latvia and Greece

We start with a delightful cartoon video on the reslts of Latvia’s austerity program. While the poster child and the one “success” story that austerity’s proponents proclaim, the facts on the Latvian ground might beg to differ. After the video, the beginning of a post by Yves Smith on Naked Capitalism on life in Greece under the austerity programs imposed on it.

From “Austerity Kills: How the EuroCrisis is Being Used to Break the Social Contract.” Click here for the full post.

One aspect of the Eurocrisis that has not gotten the attention it deserves is the way it is destroying not just jobs, but the very underpinnings of society. People who took actions that were prudent at the time are increasingly at the mercy of forces beyond their control. And this isn’t a tsunami-type disaster but a man-made one whose severity is worsened by the callous attitudes of the European elites.

We’ve featured stories from time to time on how Greece is unraveling. Suicides have increased sharply. Garbage is not being picked up. Public transportation is largely a thing of the past. Even though Greece always had a large black market, more people are resorting to barter, which shrinks the tax base.

And in some ways worst of all, the health care system is on the verge of collapse. Critical medicines are not being imported and hospitals are short of basic supplies. Not only are people dying unnecessarily due to their inability to get drugs and operations, but worse, the breakdown of healthcare greatly increases the risk of a public health crisis. How many children are being vaccinated, for instance? What happens when curable but silent killers such as syphilis go untreated?

Click here for the full post.

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