Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Greece for Sale - Iceland Goes the Opposite Direction



This is how the global capitalists ruin a nation and destroy social progress.  Austerity cuts force the dissolution of social programs and the selling of the public sector like rail systems, post offices, and the like.  The greedy bankers want it all and they will turn the screws on any country (and their elected officials) to get what they want.

Every now and then though some little mouse stands up to the dreaded giant pirate. 

Common Dreams reported last month:

When the global economic crisis hit in 2008, Iceland suffered terribly—perhaps more than any other country. The savings of 50,000 people were wiped out, plunging Icelanders into debt and placing 25 percent of its homeowners in mortgage default.

Now, less than a decade later, the nation’s economy is booming. And this year it will become the first culturally European country that faced collapse to beat its pre-crisis peak of economic output.

That’s because it took a different approach. Instead of imposing devastating austerity measures and bailing out its banks, Iceland let its banks go bust and focused on social welfare policies. In March, the International Monetary Fund announced that the country had achieved economic recovery “without compromising its welfare model” of universal health care and education.

Iceland allowed those responsible for the crisis—its bankers—to be prosecuted as criminals. Again, a sharp contrast to the United States and elsewhere in Europe, where CEOs escaped punishment.
“Why should we have a part of our society that is not being policed or without responsibility?” asked special prosecutor Olafur Hauksson in the wake of the collapse. “It is dangerous that someone is too big to investigate—it gives a sense there is a safe haven.”

By refusing to allow its currency, the krona, to suffer ultra-low inflation to protect the assets of the rich—as in the rest of the West—Iceland let the krona tumble. The resulting inflation and higher prices have helped its export industries, unlike what happened in many European Union countries, which are contending with ongoing deflation.
See the whole story here

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