Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Showing the rich people we can do what we want 

Booman notes this BBC interview with two young English women looting a liquor store and he discusses what America should learn from the England riots:
Different countries chose different ways of responding to the economic catastrophes of the 1920's and 1930's. The Russians became totalitarian. Europe succumbed to fascism. We chose a New Deal. It was a middle road. It provided a safety net and tolerable working conditions. It created a huge middle class. It didn't arouse the far right or far left instincts of the nation, but put them into sleep mode.
Now we're back to 1920's level of income disparity. Conservatives are attacking every aspect of the New Deal. What rich people seem to be forgetting is that the opposite of the New Deal is not some idyllic paradise of free-market bliss. The opposite is rampaging mobs who light shit on fire just to show you that they can do whatever they want. Eventually, that can include burning down your business or your house, or, maybe, even taking your life.
And it's not just income disparity that's a problem. Consider how this all started. A bunch of smart people set up a kind of scam using complex financial instruments that no one can understand. They got rich beyond all imagination, while the rest of us lost our jobs, lost our retirement money, lost, in some cases, our homes. And then we were told that there was no money for our cops, no money for our firefighters, our nurses, our teachers. And next we'll be told that our Social Security check will be smaller and we'll have to wait another year or two to get our Medicare. Meanwhile, the rich, represented ably by the Republicans, refuse to pay one dime in extra taxes.
With that kind of attitude and that lack of accountability, it's not hard to see why some people might start losing hope and might start losing respect for "the system." If the rich don't wise up quick, the scenes from England will be coming to America. Bet on it.
Emphasis mine. Its a lesson that applies to Canada too.

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