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Looking Across the Pond

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Since the GOP won big time in November, based on a platform of “jobs, jobs, jobs”, the GOP has been pushing an austerity program much like that of Britain.

In Jan., Senator Jeff Sessions (R – AL) advised President Obama to embark on cost cutting program much as Britian has, by “endors[ing] British-style austerity measures, holding the debt limit hostage, and draconian, job-killing spending cuts.”

So, how is that austerity program working out for Britain:

According to the NY Times Business Section: Retail sales plunged 3.5 percent in March, the sharpest monthly downturn in Britain in 15 years. And a new report by the Center for Economic and Business Research, an independent research group based here, forecasts that real household income will fall by 2 percent this year. That would make Britain’s income squeeze the worst for two consecutive years since the 1930s.

And this from the Financial Times: “Public sector cuts are now taking effect and this has hit the north and Midlands hardest,” said director Matthew Hopkinson. “However, Londoners can’t sit there smugly. There are now four London fringe locations with vacancies above 25 per cent, and places like Wandsworth, Brixton and Bow are all above the national average vacancy rate of 14.5 per cent.”

The British Retail Consortium said on Monday that high street spending in March had seen the biggest drop since 1995, although retailers dispute whether spending patterns are as clear as vacancies suggest.

Some British economists, among others, expect a double dip recession to hit Britain as a result of their austerity program. Yet, these same austerity measures are what the GOP is pushing onto the U.S.? One has to wonder, especially when China just announced an annual GDP growth of just over 9% as a result of their increased expenditures in infrastructure, education, research and development, and foreign trade expansion.

If a politico were to ask me, I’d say right now follow the German model or the Chinese model, but certainly not the British model.


Written by Valerie Curl

April 18, 2011 at 9:30 AM

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