Can the patient breathe on its own?
The EU leaders reached a compromise and struck a deal to help the member states in the economic crisis that unfolded with the Covid pandemic. The future of EU itself was at stake, but not just that, since the crisis exposed the underlying problems of an economic system that favors those who can call money created as debt their assets, and are reluctant to admit that there is no such growth economic growth coming that could ever pay it back.
I find this compromise solution now, although many play it as if it is a move towards federalization, something that allows badly needed aid for countries in trouble. But for EU not to break up into bickering about the sizes of cake slices each get when economic trouble is driving countries into protectionism, the bigger issue that needs to be addressed is wealth distribution.
If these aid packages are used like in the US, in further inflating a massively overvalued stock market bubble and backing up fossil fuel etc. increasingly obsolete industries already in trouble (shale oil being one of the most obvious examples) then the packages will boil down to being nothing but resuscitation of a brain dead patient that can’t breath on its own.
Corporations and massive bank conglomerates lobbying their Green New Deal are equally reluctant to address the same issue, which is how the fruits of production are divided. Corporations and massive bank conglomerates, and the wealth accumulated by the top heavy wealth pyramid, need the austerity because it is their interests that kept the problems from being addressed to begin with when capitalism was facing its previous crises. And this including the unfolding ecological crisis that we can’t address for the very same reason.
We have a critically malfunctioning system that is fundamentally unjust, and also suicidal, as wealth inequality destabilizes societies and the fragility of the FIAT money system stops us from any meaningful changes on how we organize our production and distribution and drives us to try and sustain fundamentally unsustainable growth.
A correction of course is badly needed, and so is correction due in the market valuations, plus a huge default on debt, that some mark as their assets and thus refuse to admit that the money can never be payed back, as it was printed from thin air to begin with wildly utopian assumptions of continuing economic growth. Now the central bank digital printers are locked on hyper speed as the real economy is grinding to a staggering halt, but a halt that makes us realize we didn’t need all that to begin with.
Any which way there is a change coming, and no amount of money printed out of thin air can stop it from coming, prolong it maybe, and buy us time to get ready. What we can choose is whether it finds us pants down or geared up for survival. For one, the debt bubble and the wealth bubble at the top of the pyramid are one and the same. So, if servicing these debts keeps the rich profiteering on a crisis after crisis as their interests demand for more austerity, it is a bubble that must be allowed to pop for there to be any hope for a better future, or justice for that matter.
In fact, for there to be future at all, the economic system needs to start accepting the physical limitations that production on a finite planet has. And yes, ecolocical and economic justice demand the same, and peculiarly enough that is a free market, that is, a market free to fail. There can be no “corporate socialism” if what it means is that the corporate interest force us to feed unsustainable production with the effort that is needed to address wealth inequality and the ecological crisis well on its way.
With the Covid pandemic and runaway climate change we surely have enough problems, not to mention the damage from the years of austerity in service of the greatest market bubble in the history of the world, what sacrifices it demanded to be created and sustained. The EU, the USA, China and Russia share the same problems, and competiotion for geopolitical or economic hegemony is something none of these can no longer afford.
The economic system as it is needs serious attention, it seems to have gangrenous tissue, and spreading tumours. Maybe something can be saved, but I think it should rather be the patient and not the tumour.