(From a Zero-hedge article and the Comments. ~R)
Economic, regulatory, and entitlement reforms are tough. While they’re supposed to open opportunities, put budgets on a sounder footing, or make the economy more competitive – they invariably cut into the flesh of some groups, who then react with demonstrations and strikes to draw attention to their plight and put pressure on the reformers to preserve the status quo.
This has been happening across the Eurozone wherever major reforms have been attempted.
People in those demonstrations may speak of revolution—meaning a radical change. But they actually want the opposite: to preserve the existing system, protections, and entitlements.
So it’s complicated.
Greece is a salient example with impressive TV footage of street battles, Molotov cocktails, and burning buildings. In other countries, France for instance, reforms have been greeted with peaceful demonstrations and more disruptively, with massive transportation strikes that throw innocent bystanders, such as businesses, commuters, and travelers, into utter chaos, sometimes for days.
But now the perhaps most tongue-in-cheek effort will take place in Italy where unelected technocrat Prime Minister Mario Monti and his government are trying to liberalize the economy and create conditions for growth by reforming a whole slew of professions whose insiders are protected by regulatory barriers to entry.
Growth is essential. Italy is staggering under its debt. Without those actions, controversial and inflationary as they may be, Italy would have to face the music. It’s tough out there.
Alas, as he gloated about the progress his government has made in reforming the economy, the targets of his reforms weren’t quite so happy.
Among them are state-employed hospital pharmacists. Scared out of their wits by these evil machinations, hospital pharmacists have come up with an ingenious plan: hit back where it hurts the most, and not willy-nilly in every direction, but go after the very top of the power structure, the old men that run the show.
The old men that run the show should heed the warning; if they don’t water down the reforms, the hospital pharmacists will roll out their ultimate weapon. It will be brutal and life-altering. No more … Viagra. The logic is impeccable. And, as Union official Loredana Vasselli points out, it “does not put patients’ health at risk.”
Only flaw in the logic: these men could acquire a stash in advance to get them through the strike. However, like any Italian man worth his salt, Monti, if pressed by reporters, would deny with casual eloquence that he is hording Viagra….
( and from the Comments )
Reduced Govt size lowers Govt spending, reduces deficits, creates sustainable budget to revenue, and attrites the growth of public debt.
Unless bailouts are used to dramatically increase public debt – which then brings all the painful efforts of austerity completely undone anyway!
Which means, austerity, in the absence of public debt writedown and nullification of public obligations, is a pointless and enervating absurdity that will inevitably result in persistent civil uprising that may degenerate into armed conflict against the extorters.
But if austerity were done in parallel with hardline bankruptcy of defunct banks and elimination of unrepayable obligations, it thus reduces the propensity for the creaming off the incomes of the little-people. Which currently is more and more almost entirely wasted and frittered-away on non-essential parasitic uses. But for now we have been brainwashed to allow the cream of our income to be sucked away into a failed centralised control.
Austerity is just one part of it, but unfortunately it is not leading to restructuring at all – so all the pain is for naught.
So ‘austerity’ and the resulting civil pain that is emerging and finding its voice is being cynically used by politicians as a prop for a totally failed and profoundly corrupt and criminal banking system, that has zero remorse for its predation, and wants another round of bonuses, thankyou.
States and their Central Banks are an extortion monopoly.
The neo-police-state nation-state has zip to do with maintaining national-security of it’s people. The police-state was not erected for maintaining the physical security of tax payers, nor any naive myth about “the rule of law”.
The-powers-that-be clearly don’t want economic recovery, but they do want a preponderous militarised police-state Govt who sees the suffering population as “the problem”.
Mass uprisings and wars are certain to erupt from this.
Couldn’t have said it better myself… ~R