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USA’s entry into the austerity phase: The sequence of US social and political crises
06-24-2011, 10:37 PM,
Rainbow  USA’s entry into the austerity phase: The sequence of US social and political crises
USA’s entry into the austerity phase: The sequence of US social and political crises for the next ten years

- Excerpt GEAB N°47 (September 16, 2010) -

As previously mentioned, entry of the United States into the austerity phase is caused by two sets of factors: some internal, specific to the United States, others linked to rapidly changing international conditions. Regarding internal factors, it is clear that the deficit issue becomes one of the central themes of US political debate after being studiously ignored for decades. The Keynesian Democrats may well expose Republican monetarist manipulation but that does not change the fact that this topic is emerging as one of central concern to voters. In economics as in politics, psychology plays a fundamental role and the current crisis has changed the attitude of a growing number of Americans in relation to the concept of debt: their own as well as that of their country’s. What was considered as evidence of modernity and « real American » behavior is being transformed into the opposite: outdated and anti-American behavior (1).

The link between public debate and individual behavior is made against the backdrop of the credit crisis and impoverishment of the middle classes. According to LEAP/E2020 it will shape US public debate for the next decade and generate a succession of social and political shocks because it is a matter of a genuine intellectual revolution compared to the norm of the last fifty years. And one can even consider this as an even more profound change because it marks the end of the myth of an America of unlimited riches (2) and a consequently bright future (3).

From November 2010, the elections will enable a start to be made in measuring the magnitude of change underway. For our team it will result in two events directly interacting: the paralysis of federal power regarding the economy and social affairs and a growing fixation with the debate on the country's deficits. This is dangerous because it will exacerbate both the awareness of a huge problem which has been ignored for too long (the issue of deficits) while preventing any significant action to resolve it (institutional paralysis).

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