The Failures of Troika Rule: Comment

I left this comment on Harry McGee’s report ‘Troika raises failures on health spending’ in today’s Irish Times. The title of the report was subsequently changed to ‘Troika orders Government to produce monthly report on health spending’, and the comments appended to the original article posting have gone, just in case anyone goes looking for the comment there.

‘The trade-off between the health of the financial sector and the health of the population ought to be fairly obvious now. I would recommend people read the most recent Lancet report ‘Financial crisis, austerity, and health in Europe’ for a detailed overview of what happens to public health whenever austerity measures -the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich- are introduced.

The Troika policy is to save banks by killing people. ‘Failure’ by their lights amounts, in effect, to not killing enough people and not stripping away enough people’s entitlement to health care and dignity, in order that the interests of CEOs, investment bankers, and policymaking elites with an eye on a succulent private sector job in the future can all be preserved.

‘Forcefully addressing’ unemployment levels does not mean forcing firms to invest their vast stores of cash, or undertaking public investment on vital public infrastructure: it means subjecting people who are unemployed to even more degrading treatment, whether through cutting their payments or making them jump through even more bureaucratic hoops that have zero bearing on whether they get a job.

That’s the logic of Troika rule: killing and humiliating people on behalf of CEOs and investment bankers. And if you die because your treatment was denied, well it was probably your fault anyway for not being a millionaire.’


The drawing below is from today’s El País illustration by El Roto.

“If private healthcare is financed by the state, what do we need private healthcare for?”
“Poor guy – he’s delirious”



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