Austerity in both the dictionary and in real world economics means cutting government spending so you run a surplus, usually in order to pay down or at least stem ballooning government debts.
However, "austerity" has a different meaning to communists, socialists, leftists, democrats and other varied sorts of the same Marxist political spectrum - "bloody murder."
Had you been paying attention to Greece (or even some of the lefter leaning parties in the western world) an orchestrated, purposeful, and intentional assault has been made on the word "austerity." The left (as they like to do with many other words) has targeted the word "austerity" and now intend to redefine it and villainize it so a lemming-like population of sheeple will vote against it, no matter how necessary and required it is. And so like "anti-biotics" or "emergency heart surgery" or "CPR," the left (at least in Greece) has managed to avoid taking it's much necessary medicine by making the word "austerity" a pejorative.
But was what Greece was going through really "austerity?" Did the government "tighten it's belt," run surpluses, and give a much needed, reality based, come to Jesus meeting, rah-rah pep talk to its citizens about knuckling down, doing their share "so we can get through this and see the dawn of tomorrow?"
Like all leftists you are nearly guaranteed that what comes out of their mouths is 100% false.
First, the Greek government came nowhere close to running a surplus. Deficits as a percentage of GDP are still laughably in double digits which, for normal countries, could indicate they were engaged in a war.
Second, leftists always looking for an excuse will muster their almightiest of mathematics and make the 4th grade level observation that it could have been REVENUES that were decreasing faster than spending. Really?
Admittedly the chart is missing its past two years (thanks for being on top of that one OECD!), but let's not kid ourselves. Greek deficits were NOT caused by a revenue problem, they were caused by a spending problem.
And finally, as the leftists are against the ropes, painted into a corner by reality and facts, we can reliably predict their next move because it's the same damn move they've always made before. They're going to blame government spending on the always reliable, always evil "corporate tax breaks," "military spending," and "give aways for the rich."
However, unfortunately this is not America, and (as is always the case with leftists) it's not true. The Greek budget (which is actually quite difficult to come by) shows what those of us who insist on being informed already know. The majority of the spending binge went to darlings of leftist spending.
The budget is rather lengthy and detailed, but if you look at table 3.18 you'll notice three things.
1. If you add up all the leftist/socialist/social programs, for 2014 they add up to 66 out of the 88 billion Euro budget. This is roughly 75% of the budget. Not "defense spending." Not "money to rich people." Leftist, socialist programs are the primary cause of the country's financial woes.
2. There are some issues with the "general state expenditure," since it accounts for 37 billion Euro. But since the states do not have defense, etc., I am assuming the majority of that money as well goes to leftist social programs.
3. Government employees. Even if you don't look at the functional purposes of each budgetary group, each group has a shockingly high percentage of their expenses going to "salaries and pension." Indicating AGAIN a leftist, socialist preference to overpay government employees.
In the end, I am fully aware that none of these charts is going to convince a single leftist, let alone the professional activist parasite who's avoided a real job all his life (like our president) who is now the Prime Minister of Greece. But that is not the point of this post.
It is to point out that these people are delusional. They literally have a mental problem and that is the inability to live in the real world. However, unlike other instances where there is a working class or a productive class to bail them out, thereby keeping the delusion up, Greece does not have that. It is at the mercy of the EU. And this will be one of the first (of what I predict to be several more) instances where socialists and leftists will be told "no" and for the first time in their lives face the economic reality that you can't have a society of "professional activists," "teachers," "professors," "government workers," and other parasites because in the end they produce absolutely nothing of real economic value.
And we, my friends, are going to have a front row seat to watch these communists explode with cognitive dissonance.