Wood burning seems to be a symptom of economic collapse

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Wood burning seems to be a symptom of economic collapse

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:18 pm

Wood burning seems to be a symptom of economic collapse

The IMF Attempts a 'Nuremberg Defence' for Crimes Against Humanity in Greece
January 6, 2013 • 9:33AM

"We had no idea at the time, what it would lead to", was the defense of themselves, attempted by many government and military officials under Hitler's Third Reich, when they came to be charged with crimes against humanity including mass murder.

Now the IMF, in what the Washington Post on Jan. 4 called "a mea culpa submerged in a deep pool of calculus and regression analysis", has issued a report to say of the murderous policies the "Troika" has imposed on Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy, that "we had no idea what it would lead to." The Greek population is dying. The Irish population is emigrating em masse. Spaniards and Portuguese are likewise leaving, scavenging in trash bins, their death rates have jumped up and their birth rates fallen, and public self-immolations like those in Greece have started in Spain.

And now the IMF's chief economist Olivier Blanchard, along with IMF economist Daniel Leigh, have issued a report saying that the Fund formulated, demanded, and imposed this deadly austerity in error, without understanding what its results would be.

"Forecasters significantly underestimated the increase in unemployment and the decline in domestic demand associated with fiscal consolidation," write Blanchard and Leigh. In detail, they say that the IMF's forecasters incorporated in their forecasts — without explaining why — that every 1% of GDP imposed on a country in cuts would produce a 0.5% GDP contraction in the economy. Instead, "the circumstances of the European economy" made this contraction at least 1.5% GDP for 1% GDP in cuts, producing the deadly "debt spiral" racking these countries since 2010.

The cuts have created a humanitarian catastrophe in Greece, for example, with the IMF's chief Christine Lagarde adding demands for new "adjustment packages" and new, brutally regressive taxes at every stage, while infamously chiding the Greeks for not paying their taxes. The so-called memoranda created mass emigration from Greece, destroyed labor rights under the euphemism of productivity but in reality to pay unpayable debts. They have killed unknown thousands and threaten the lives of millions in a country of less than 10 million people. The crimes which the IMF is now calling accidental, are:

— The reduction of Greek public sector salaries by 25-50%.

— Reduction of the minimum wage by up to 50%. This is in addition to the layoffs and a freeze on hiring.

— Across-the-board reduction of salaries in the private sector with employees being put on temporary contacts denying them benefits given to regular workers. It is common practice now that private sector workers are several months behind in receiving paychecks.

— Pensions cut by 25-50% leaving the aged unable unable to pay for medical care, with many thousands resorting to soup kitchens and searching garbage cans for food.

— Officially 26% unemployment with 58% youth unemployment, but unofficially near 50% overall. Entire families have been living on the reduced pensions of the grandparents. This has led to mass migration, with hundreds of thousands, some report as many as a million having left Greece looking of employment. It was reported that in Berlin alone 30,000 Greek youth were looking for work.

— Massive tax increases. There are no exemptions from income tax for the poor, with tax being paid from the first euro earned. Value added tax is 23% with extra real estate taxes being put electricity bills so if they are not paid, the electricity is cut. Increased taxes on heating oil has made it more expensive than high-performance diesel leading to an 80% drop in purchases of heating oil. Burning wood has caused a 400% increase in air pollution in large cities such as Athens, multiplying health dangers.

— A dramatic increase in suicides by at least 50%.

— Destruction of the healthcare system entirely. The Troika has demanded a 30% percent reduction in its funding, by simply not paying into the state-sponsored health insurance program. This program is not free but must be paid into by those who receive benefits. The government has not reimbursed pharmacies for prescriptions forcing patients to pay cash which virtually denies pensioners, unemployed and most employed to pay for heart, cancer and other expensive drugs. In many cases international drug companies have stopped selling to Greece. It has not been recorded how many people have died are will soon die because of these policies. Hospitals, which are owed hundreds of millions of euros are barely functioning, forcing patients to bring their own food, linen and even medications. Despite a hiring freeze over the least three years, the new memordanum signed in December demands another 10% reduction in the number of doctors.

The IMF forecasters, Blanchard and Leigh acknowledge, said in 2010 Greece could "cut deeply into government spending and quicky bounce back to economic growth and rising employment." Instead the economy is contracting at an 8% annual rate 30 months later, and government debt has ballooned to 175% of GDP.

source
http://larouchepac.com/node/25079
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