For years now, austerity and government spending cuts have been on the lips of many in countries around the world. On one hand, protests against austerity measures have rocked many cities. On the other hand, many believe that severe cuts to government spending are the only long-term solution to the global financial crisis. While economists, politicians and pundits debate whether we should save or spend, the personal and community-level effects of austerity measures can go unnoticed. Where do things stand right now?
Are people doing better? Are they doing worse? Do they even notice a difference?
Are austerity policies making inequality in our societies worse, or better? How can we see this?
What has changed in this new climate of government spending? How does it vary between countries? Do people see austerity policies as desirable? As necessary evils? As dangerous mistakes?
Future Challenges authors are in 65 countries in the developed and the developing world. Take your pick from the Local Views on the right, and explore the ways in which writers from around the world think about this critical issue.
Most recent Local Views on ‘Austerity: Less is More?’
Written by Bere Belmares on November 7, 2013.
A struggling middle class watched from the sidelines while Congress mangled a ‘miscellaneous fiscal reform’ through the Senate and passed it in ‘fast-track’ mode, creating great concern among millions of households. When Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto took up office in 2012, he came in embracing his role as the […]
Written by Morioka on November 5, 2013.
Here is a fictional scenario. I’m a contestant on a quiz show called Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I’ve managed to answer all the questions correctly up to now and there’s only one more question separating me from the million dollar prize. I’m on the edge of my seat […]
Written by rodolfomohr on October 8, 2013.
Twenty cents, that’s what we’re talking about. The massive mobilization of the Brazilian population in June was sparked off by the fight to get rid of the 20 cent hike in public transport fares. Students were the first to call for the marches, which this time had a new […]
Written by Erin Riddell on September 18, 2013.
Money is, as Bernard Lietaer describes it: the ‘iron ring’ we have put through our own noses which now drags us around. We’ve forgotten that we designed the ring in the first place, and that it is within our capacity to reshape it. What Lietaer is telling us is that […]
Written by Jesse Marks on September 5, 2013.
Lean times have fallen on America. Barring a massive political bargain, this year’s federal budget will clock in at below $3.45 trillion, down $150 billion from the previous year (a 4% decrease). Missing are $42.7 billion in defense spending, $28.7 billion in domestic discretionary spending, $9.9 billion in Medicare, […]
Written by Dominika Ricardi on September 2, 2013.
Despite popular opinion that Australia has been immune to the worst of the global financial crisis, it’s the stories you don’t hear about, that tell us the woes Australia’s economy is traversing. Both federal and state governments have implemented a variety of austerity policies in an effort to “bring the budget […]
Written by Dominika Kaczkowska on August 30, 2013.
This summer the Brits couldn’t stop discussing two children. In July both the United Kingdom and the world held their breath waiting for the birth of the son of Prince William and Kate Middleton. And in August the country was shocked at the revelation of Daniel Pelka’s death, a four […]
Written by Bojana Ruzic on August 13, 2013.
Two months after a public debt crisis was declared and with various anti-crisis scenarios in circulation, the budget of Serbia was rebalanced in early June. If the balancing act had been a play, “Much Ado about Nothing” would have been a very fitting title for a great deal of windy […]
Written by Faranisese Ratu on August 9, 2013.
We all know that to get more, we need to spend more, and this is usually the way government expenditure works. But in Fiji it doesn’t really matter how much or how little the government spends, because whatever the amount might be, it doesn’t have a huge impact those communities […]
Written by Di Bello Emanuele on August 9, 2013.
In the beginning, the EU’s main reactions to the economic and financial crises were aimed at salvaging European prosperity from the effects of the American financial crisis . However as time passed and the crises deepened, the EU’s response to the economic problems of its Member States was to slid […]