Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Greek Public TV Off The Air
Will Other Countries Do The Same?

Despite a rash of recent studies, revelations and news accounts saying that austerity economics has been a total failure, the conservative Greek government without notice today pulled Greek TV off the air and fired its 2,565 employees, heeding a bailout demand that it lay off 2,000 more people from the so-called troika (the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission) which essentially follows the dictates of the continent's economic powerhouse Germany.

The German economy has been doing OK, thanks to its ability to exploit at low cost the highly trained, highly educated Socialist workforce it inherited when East and West Germany reunited. Many German people resent having to support less fortunate Southern European members of the EU, and conservative German politicians headed by chancellor Angela Merkel are intent on blindly pushing ahead the discredited austerity agenda. As are politicians in the US.

In the US, austerity is knee-jerk policy for Republicans and Democrats alike. None of them, despite the recent discrediting of austerity economics, have suggested a re-visit of votes to slash government spending, which have kept the US economy stagnant and are now taking a bigger toll as "sequestration" cuts are phased in.

I find it telling that NM Senator Martin Heinrich, in a Facebook post today announcing a bill he's introduced to make it easier for veterans to collect benefits, starts off in the first sentence, before he even says what the bill is about, by describing it as "a cost-neutral, bipartisan bill."

There was widespread outrage in Greece over public TV going off the air. There's little danger of public media in the US going off the air. It long ago began directing its programming at its funders -- corporations, the conservative political establishment, and upper middle class housewives who listen while they're driving to and from yoga class.


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