In a recent Q and A session with Quora, Yanis Varoufakis was asked how his policies compared to those of Bernie Sanders. He had this to say:
The great difference between us is that Bernie is running for the Presidency of a social economy that is far more robust and autonomous than the Eurozone – and infinitely more sustainable than a bankrupt country (Greece) lacking any of the levers of policy making (e.g. monetary & fiscal policy, the right to legislate that was given away last summer with the 3rd Loan Agreement).
I’d like to know how many “real” economists would agree with Mr Varoufakis that the United States has a “robust” economy. It may be robust for the predatory class whose policies have ruined the lives of millions of Americans and promoted the creation of the very Union that bankrupted his own country. And to characterise the house of cards Wall Street has created as a “social” economy had me wondering just what he means by “social”.
It’s true that bailouts and Quantitative Easing are a kind of socialism for the bankers, but out here, in the wastelands of 99% country, the only thing “social” about it are the costs: aging infrastructure, ecological devastation, massive unemployment, and so on. The list of those costs is a long one.
He is correct when he says that the US economy is relatively autonomous. The US can print money to its heart’s content and the consequences, at least for the time being, are negligible. As long as the US can destabilise, by means of war or economic sanctions, any country who dares to prefer conducting its own affairs, who puts its own people ahead of foreign bankers, the US can remain relatively autonomous, ie, hegemonic.
So is Mr Varoufakis okay with the system that allows the US to be “autonomous”?
While I may agree with a lot of the ideas of the organization, DiEM25, he helped put together, I think they could be initiated on a country-by-country basis more easily than having another pan-European entity attempting to regulate a one-size-fits-all solution across the multiplicity of cultures and their various strengths and weaknesses.