Austerity Made Simple

All over the world, and now here in the United States with the so-called “fiscal cliff” accounting crisis, ordinary people are being told that they must tighten their belts. Why? In order to pay the bills of wealthy elite individuals and corporations that enjoyed almost all of the profits of the boom times and indeed are continuing to live lavishly today.

6 thoughts on “Austerity Made Simple

  1. I was trying to make some sense of the comments here as related to the cartoon – and having no success.
    Then I noticed that the cartoon is dated 1-9-13 and is about tweeting, rather than austerity. How and why does this happen frequently?
    Ted?????

    • I have no idea why this stupid bug keeps afflicting my Wednesday cartoons. I think has something to do with WordPress. I load them up in advance and then they sometimes get fucked up in terms of date order.

  2. Speaking of austerity …

    I just finished reading the first volume of Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen. It takes place in 1945 Japan, and the volume culminates with the bomb being dropped on Hiroshima and the immediate aftermath.

    The work is biographical and throughout it, Keiji’s father keeps harping on and on about how all the young people being sent to fight and die are doing so only to enrich a few industrialists and the like. For this, he’s branded a traitor and beaten savagely at the local police station.

    The whole book is a catalog of hardships. The children fight over a single grain of rice. All the metal pots and pans are gone (collected for the work effort). The university students have been drafted to fight. The whole culture and society is engaged in a war it cannot win.

    The bomb drops, and Keiji’s house collapses as the city begins to burn. His father, older sister, and younger brother, are all trapped under the wreckage. Keiji and his mother attempt to shift the debris but cannot. Meanwhile, the fire finally reaches the house, and as Keiji and his mother watch, the father, sister and brother burn alive, trapped in place.

    That’s austerity. By the time the firestorm reaches the debris piles, we’ll discover that most of us are so buried by the wreckage that we can’t escape. Fortunately, the very wealthy will be okay. Why? Because we’ve all been very carefully conditioned. Even when crazy people start shooting up things, they never go after the hyperwealthy. Why? Because the rich — so we are carefully told repeatedly — are better than us.

  3. Just keep in mind that some 53 % of the budget of the US federal government is devoted to its bloated military and (in)security apparatus. Perhaps that spending could be reduced to the degree that falling off the cliff would have consequences no more dire than, say, turning over in one’s sleep ?…

    Henri

  4. I’m not one to give accolades for Ted’s work online — if I didn’t like his stuff, I wouldn’t comment on the site — but I have to applaud this piece because it’s so damn necessary. Austerity is a massive, utter lie, so thoroughly bankrupt that if anyone used it on you in your personal life you’d be well within your rights to punch the offender in the freakn’ face. (“Well, me and my friends stole your television, so you’re going to have to tighten your belt.”)

    Therefore I, a, completely anonymous person on the internet that spends very little money on Ted’s products, hereby demand more cartoons on this issue, invoking the grand tradition of Entitled Internet Poster Asshattery.

    I expect prompt, thought-provoking, quality work.

    ([/snark]Thanks Ted.)

    Steve Bell did a great piece on this as well, which I discovered because Ted linked to him previously, but I won’t post a link to it without permission because I’m not sure how cool that is since they’re both in the same line of work.

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