The IMF Goes Green – Ireland and Austerity

Published on Dissident Voice, by Kathleen Wallace Peine, April 6th, 2011.

Ireland: The latest casualty in the quest for worldwide working class austerity. We know the drill well, through corruption and rabid profit seeking the political and finance world of Ireland managed to bring a thriving country to the brink of ruin. The average Irish had essentially no say in the creation of this debacle. The instigators forwarded the theme that they were the only ones sophisticated enough to maneuver he world of these financial weapons of destruction. The carnivorous financial plays were more likely shrouded in manufactured complexity in an effort disguise the basic alchemy at work.

The failure of these financial sophisticates should have produced a shining moment of clarity; the individuals who pulled the world into this thievery should have been soundly disavowed. Sadly this has not been the outcome; the payment for this behavior continues to be placed on the very souls who did not cause it. The experts who created this financial train wreck are now quite invisible, but the ever burdened working class is all too evident as an austerity target. 

The International Monetary Fund, in conjunction with the European Union, are now demanding that Ireland place a property tax on its citizens to facilitate revenue generation for loan payback. It’s telling that a tax on simply having a shelter is being forwarded. This is always a magnificent way to force participation in an economy that one may not believe in. When it is necessary to come up with extra cash simply to have a home, even one you “own”, then it is yet another means to force involvement in a broad, non localized economy. It is conceivable that one could trade for all manner of things should disillusion hit a critical mass, but implementation of taxes like this raise revenue and ensure participation on the ever increasing treadmill. It doesn’t seem to be an accident that these are types of taxes being proposed.

The very fact that an entity like the IMF is now “demanding” taxes of this nature on what was considered an independent nature is beyond galling … //

… It’s hard to say what will happen should the debt burden become too overwhelming. One well known case in history is, of course, the response in post World War I Germany to extreme reparation payments hashed out at the Treaty of Versailles. A very frightening reason brought about the cessation of these payments, that of the takeover by Hitler’s party.

We have two courses likely, that of continued suffering and austerity or an eventual turn towards frightening rulers who will promise to deliver austerity mitigation more tangible than interest rate tweaking. Of course both paths are terrifying and bear watching as other countries face identical crises.

This is all happening with a backdrop of resource depletion and the end of easy growth, despite what cheerleading pundits proclaim, so there is a wild card in play.

The Irish people did not bring about this situation any more than the indigenous peoples who have the bad fortune to live in areas that contain a resource need by corporate interests. It’s a relinquishment of basic dignities, the right to occupy your home or your land without paying for debts that you did not create. Until the argument is framed in this manner, the IMF and corporate interests will continue to demand austerity from everyone except the culpable. (full long text).

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