venerdì 28 ottobre 2011
Establishment takes note: the people are angry/Moisés Naím [ via Jodi Dean]
Establishment takes note: the people are angry | Moisés Naím
'The long, peaceful coexistence with income and wealth inequality is ending. Americans are now infuriated by the fact that chief executives at some of the nation’s largest companies earned around 340 times morethan a typical American worker.
While the numbers are unnerving and US income disparities are growing even more unequal, this is not new. What is new is the intolerance towards the hoarding by the “few” of unfathomable wealth, and also towards their profiting even in the midst of the crisis. The rich are seen to be either benefiting from bail-outs and other stimulus measures, or to be immune to the fiscal austerity that governments in many countries have had to adopt to stabilise their economies.
Nothing makes people take to the streets in protest like public budget cuts. In a recent study, Jacopo Ponticelli and Hans-Joachim Voth, professors at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, looked at a large data base that tracked political violence in 26 European countries between 1919 and 2009. They found that “expenditure cuts carry a significant risk of increasing the frequency of riots, anti-government demonstrations, strikes, political assassinations, and attempts at revolutionary overthrow of the established order.” While such events have a low probability in normal years, they concluded, they become much more common as austerity measures are implemented.
We know we have entered new political territory when Mitt Romney, the leading contender for the Republican party presidential nomination, who initially called the Occupy Wall Street movement “dangerous”, is quoted as saying: “I look at what’s happening on Wall Street and my own view is, boy I understand how those people feel …The people in this country are upset.” Yes, they are. They will stay that way until their lanes start moving again. Or, at least, those of their friends and neighbours.'
Posted by Jodi on October 27, 2011 at 02:55 PM | Permalink