The Fiscal Cliff and all its variations are called "austerity" in most countries. Austerity means raising taxes, burdening people and enterprises already hurt by years of crisis. Austerity likewise means cutting government spending that hurts those losing government jobs and business. Politicians now negotiating about the Fiscal Cliff are, in fact, dickering over the details of austerity for the US.The author's "Plan C" is remarkable coming from a US academic. This plan implies, but does not state, public ownership of the economy. Such a thesis is truly radical and revolutionary, and it is very daring of him to advocate this.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up