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Austerity

Download a brochure about Austerity

 

We are not alone; austerity is a consequence of a failed economic system and people around the world are rising up. We act in solidarity and take inspiration from the peoples of Greece, South Africa, Quebec, Chile, and beyond who are fighting austerity and the destruction of their communities.

 

WHAT IS AUSTERITY?

AUSTERITY is a program within our economic system made up of:

  1. Cuts to public services and benefits
  2. Increase in debt people must take on to survive
  3. Privatization of all public resources

Politicians say that austerity is needed to reduce the deficit, which was created by a combination of 2 “wars on terror” and tax cuts for the wealthy. Really, austerity is based in cutting the social safety net and forcing working people to carry the burdens while the 1% hoard wealth.

WHO BENEFITS?

Politicians from both parties work with big business to hemorrhage money from the public into the pockets of the wealthy. Business and our governments hoard wealth, privatize our com- munities, and burden us with enormous debt.

WHAT DOES AUSTERITY LOOK LIKE?

  • In June 2011, more than 4 million people have been unemployed at least 1 year
  • 11 million home-owners owe more than their homes are worth
  • Public K-12 schools being privatized and closed
    • In Portland, this year Harriet Tubman and Humboldt schools closed without any public input
    • In 2011, Marshall High School closed despite actions from students
  • Students today graduate with an average debt of $23,000
    • Oregon hired a CEO to oversee our university system, rather than an educator
    • Oregon Universities proposed at 6% increase in tuition in 2012
    • In 2011, they raised tuition 7.5%
  • Public infrastructure crumbles
    • The cost of an all-day fare on Trimet in Portland is $5
  • Healthcare denied to those that need it
    • Cuts to healthcare leave seniors with fewer options for in-home and long-term care and children with less access to necessary primary care