I finally have a chance to commit to the ether some thoughts on this article. Apparently, the IMF has admitted in a report it published that it was “excessive” in its application of austerity measures in the case of Greece. This is a big admission from an organization that appears to have one answer for every economic issue is sees: cut government services. They do mention collecting more taxes but in both cases the poor and working class bear the biggest brunt of those measures. The very rich are able to float their money around globally and end up paying little taxes to the countries they live in or hail from.
Granted, Greece is a disaster economically. I’m not sure what can be done to stimulate its economy or for its government to get it’s budget back on a positive footing. Everything seems to turn into a negative feedback loop there. However, excessive use of austerity in a time when the economy is depressed seems to me to be very counter-productive. The point of government is to protect those who are most vulnerable, especially during time of economic duress. If you lose your job due to an economic downturn, it is the government’s duty to help find you another way to be a productive member of society. Cutting services to the old, the sick and the poor in lean times when they need it most is perverse in the extreme.