Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Austerity and Riots

They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no head; it will produce no flour. Were it to yield grain, foreigners would swallow it up. ~ Hosea 8:7
I am about as far away from the British riots as one can be and still speak English as a native language.
  • The shooting of Mark Duggan by police may have been the spark that set the tinder ablaze but conditions have been ripened for it. Hence its rapid spread.
  • Authorities have no idea why this is happening because of the elephantine chasm between the political and chattering classes and young people of the nation. 
  • The unemployment rate of Brits 16-24 years old is 20.5% and that's not allowing for the hedging of official figures to make them look better.
  • The unemployment rate for the political and chattering classes is close to zero.
  • Political protests (Egypt last spring, Syria today) occur when desperate people have a slight, faint hope that they can effect political change. 
  • Riots occur when desperate people have no hope in hell of things ever changing. 
  • Austerity programs cause riots (Greece, Spain, Ireland, France).
  • Income inequality in the United Kingdom is bad; the bottom 10% of the population have just 1.3% of the income while the top 10% gather 31%.
  • Things are worse in the United States. In the US the top 1% get 21.3% of the income while the bottom 20% get just 3.5%. (source)
  • Youth unemployment in the US is much higher. More than half of the Americans between the ages of 16-24 do not have jobs.
The big question is, can austerity riots happen in the United States too?  The real question is, why haven't they happened yet? And with all the guns in the US expect austerity riots to be exponentially worse than anywhere else.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...and yet, the leadership claims not to understand, or really care, blaming it all on "thugs". Some are certainly opportunists. The rest are just poor and without hope. Not at all different from this country.