Nations are not corporations. They cannot function effectively as corporations as some fiscal conservatives might will. Any nation that runs the risk of functioning as a corporation will reap the inherent instability associated with such an action and pay a huge price of dissent exacted by its austere laden people.
Hence, when austerity measures are trumped up by international bankers in expensive suits, safely tucked away in mahogany-paneled offices, out of the realm of average people, they are usually proposed with corporate profits and returns in mind - void of the greatest variable of all, the people - the people, who will inevitably be effected by harsh policies created in a vacuum of the human experience, aspiration, suffering and tolerance. What of the considerations of the farmer, the retired tailor, the school teacher and the restaurant worker?
Simply, the dangers of austere policies rest with micro economist drafters creating terms to effect the macro economy, void of any real consultation by social scientists trained to warn micro economists of the inherent "people" factor, which holds the power to upend and to usurp governments that dare institute harsh polices to change customs, cultures and the continuity of peoples.
Therefore, any government that institutes harsh policies to change the way of life of their people, runs the risk of losing power after events of social protest.
While fiscal responsibility transcends corporate board rooms to include national legislatures, nations should be forewarned that such fiscal responsibility does not automatically involved reduction in spending. As a matter of fact, if the micro economists would really like to help the macro economy, they should focus on revenue creation rather than cutting spending.
Given the nature of circumstances and events across the globe, no nation should be involved in cutting spending. Budgets have to be expanded to hedge against social instability. Revenue creation should be at the fore of all economies.
Whatever the Greeks decide later today in the referendum to accept/reject austere policies, some dangers brought to wrought by austerity measures have already caused instability and strife in the oldest democracy.