Many agree that the measures in Britain's emergency package will hit the poor very hard and that it typifies a Tory administration. As Friedrich Nietzsche once said: "A state is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: 'I, the state, am the people'."
So perhaps Europe is engaging in some form of Zarathustrian economic cull, with the Great Unenriched the target of what some argue will lead to a double-dip recession. In Britain, the Conservative-
In the spirit of humanity, and in its most omniscient and elevated forms, the British government has noticed that fat birds gurgling chocolate bars all day long while watching endless soap operas, the socially inadequate and those totally unfit for employment, are no longer privy to frenzied financing by the middle class. Good bye, and thanks for all the fish.
Yes, the stimulus word has worn very thin in Europe of late, and the waistlines of its engorged citizens, if you can call them that, are being drastically trimmed and are being put on a very strict diet. The cash that was so lavishly granted to the many too many in Britain over decades is now to be summarily withdrawn by the and thrust, rush and tumble of an incumbent administration in a great hurry.
The banks will have to watch their liquidity too when this entrenchment comes to pass, thereby knocking lending and stifling an already sluggish economy. With Britain announcing a new bank levy and worries over the Greek crisis and other sovereign debt problems in the Zone, governments are running scared.
Certain economists are predicting a repeat of the Great Complacency in drawing down debt too quickly as in the 1930s, with the lifting of debt ratios leading to unacceptable levels of unemployment, together with the dual policy of radically culling unemployment benefits.
Vince Cable, in "Budget 2010: United in austerity", says: "The emergency budget will be painful. The cuts in spending and the increases in tax will be felt by everyone, resented by some but understood, I think, by most. Our coalition government is united in accepting that its first duty is to clean up the fiscal mess it inherited. Not any old mess but a great, steaming pile of manure. Someone has to remove it. We can't just hide the smell beneath the perfume of optimistic forecasts or rely on natural decay."
And underpinning this argument is the chancellor, who predicts that Britain is on road to ruin without these cuts. According to an economic think-tank in a BBC report, "the UK faces the 'longest, deepest, sustained period of cuts to public services spending at least since World War II."
Mr Darling, the shadow chancellor, has challenged the Liberal Democrats to justify claims that the budget was fair when the single biggest measure – the increase in VAT – had been denounced by him only days earlier as "the most regressive form of tax" in that it "penalises the poor".
At this stage it is perhaps time to bring in the heavyweights and quote from The Oracle. The Economist writes: "Whether the implied scale of cuts is feasible is one shadow over Mr Osborne's Budget. That will become clear once the spending review, which will determine where precisely the reductions will be made, is published on October 20th. Another is whether the economy will be able to deal with such a sharp fiscal retrenchment. The new Office for Budget Responsibility, which is now responsible for official economic and fiscal forecasts, thinks it can."
But a report in The Guardian identifies the social impact of this madness with Yvette Cooper, the shadow work and pensions secretary, saying: "The IFS has confirmed today exactly what we thought yesterday: that George Osborne's budget was a typical Tory budget – unfair and hitting those on lower incomes hardest. So much for 'we're all in this together'… The poorest 10% were left almost untouched by Labour's plans but would see their incomes cut by more than 2.5% over the next five years."
It's as if Nietzsche himself were at the heart of this cull when, as always, and admittedly going a little bit too far, explained that the "many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised. See just how it enticeth them to it, the many too many. How it swalloweth and cheweth and recheweth them. Madmen they all seem to me, and clambering apes, and too eager. Badly smelleth their idol to me, the cold monster: badly they all smell to me, these idolaters. My brethren, will ye suffocate in the fumes of their maws and appetites. Better break the windows and jump into the open air. Withdraw from the idolatry of the superfluous!
And thus spake the barking mad Zarathustra. Maybe he should form the next government?
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