Sunday, March 17, 2013

Keynesians vs Austerians - why both are wrong

The debate in the corporate media over fiscal policy is misleading.

Austerians say that transferring money to the rich and cutting the social safety net will spur investment. Most of them know that will not happen, as has been proven over and over. What they really want is mass poverty and the chance to pick assets cheap. They are betting that people will suffer quietly.

Keynesian policy depends on economic growth. But, because of peak oil, and other peaks, growth is over. Government spending into a wasteful consumer-product based economy will just create more waste. The government saved the auto industry, but the private auto is a wasteful consumer product no matter what it burns. Though we should protect auto-worker pensions, that industry needs to wither and die. Current Keynesian policy is an attempt to force growth by generating more waste.

The debate we should be having is not whether government should build infrastructure, but rather which infrastructure it should build. Here is our plan for transition to permaculture.

make public transit fare free
gradually make cities car free
educate all children
full equality for women
gradually convert the suburbs to organic farms
keep social safety net

This plan will generate tremendous savings by reducing the externalized costs of the auto-and-sprawl system. It will lower the birth rate, and put us on a path to permaculture.