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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2020

World capitalism's terrified strategists abandon austerity - for now

  (Click to enlarge)

The International Monetary Fund, evangel of austerity, has come out against austerity to pay for Covid-19!

The fund's chief of 'fiscal affairs' (state spending and taxation) declared: "Policymakers that have a choice would be well-advised to be very gradual and to maintain fiscal support." This flies in the face of the IMF stance on the 2007-09 Great Recession: "Many countries face large retrenchment needs going forward" - translation: massive cutbacks.

But the new advice relies on what the Financial Times calls "a strong bounceback in economic growth after the pandemic." There was no economic space for such growth even before the coronavirus! Really the IMF is feeling the heat of mass anger, and fears more austerity will bring mass movements down on the capitalists.

And the advice doesn't apply to everyone. Poorer, neocolonial nations have "binding financial constraints" so should tighten their belts. However, the World Bank's chief economist says poorer nations have no choice but to borrow to solve the pandemic crisis!

She also warns this will worsen a gathering, huge global debt crisis. "In terms of the coverage, of which countries will be engulfed, we are at levels not seen even in the 1930s. This is why we are talking about debt write-offs."

Even capitalism's top strategists aren't sure how bad things are. "Many loan contracts have non-disclosure agreements so they are not known about." This will even force governments to "capitalise their banks and take them over, and that is already in the making."

The World Bank lends to 'develop' poorer economies; the IMF lends to 'stabilise' currency crises. Both are components of the United Nations, dominated by the leading imperialist powers. Both therefore attach strings - austerity, privatisation, slanted 'free markets' - to benefit the bosses in the richest nations. Both are now terrified.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 21 October 2020:


Lockdown

Health before profit - Work or full pay

Wales 'firebreak' lockdown fails to protect workers

Liverpool lockdown: suspicion and anger

Newcastle lockdown: stress and breakdowns

Leicester lockdown: disillusionment and anger


Unison

Why the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary


International

Nigeria protests: 'This movement needs to fight the whole rotten capitalist system'

Horrific murder in Paris: fight intolerance and racism!

South Africa: Mass day of action for permanent jobs and a living wage


News

Tories reduce winter homeless funding: reverse the cuts,use the empty homes!

World capitalism's terrified strategists abandon austerity - for now


Coronavirus

Test and Trace U-turn on stopping local case reporting

Oxbridge gets private Covid tests: pool resources to test us all!

Millennials disillusioned with 'democracy'

Under the microscope


Workplace

RMT: Programme to fight redundancies and cuts

Action on Covid transmission in schools now

FCC dismiss Unison activist Tony Smith

Optare workers strike over pay broken 'promise'

Solidarity with Deliveroo Couriers in York


Campaigns

NHS workers

Students: Give us our money back

Fight for your future at the online rally

Southampton: Coxford community condemns racist attack

Socialism 2020: Will you help our finance appeal?

Selling the Socialist: increase in NHS anger

Truth about Zane: Cover-up Tories crack

Kent: Chaotic privatised asylum process

Teignmouth hospital closure threat ... again!


Readers' opinion

Books that inspired me: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Beware the billionaires bearing gifts

Disabled students let down by "rotten education system"

The Socialist Inbox


 

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