Let the Riots in Britain be A Warning to America

In Current Events, Economics on August 13, 2011 at 16:48

Dear President Obama:

I admire you in many ways, but when dealing with jobs and the economy, you have been a disappointment to me and the American people. You continuously acquiesce to Republican demands on economic matters while millions of Americans remain unemployed. You don’t stand up to them on taxes and you don’t defend the social safety net. You have coddled Wall Street and done little to change the employment situation. We hired you to work for the all the American people and not just the moneyed elite and the Republicans. In this task, you have failed.

Millions of Americans with no hope and nowhere to turn are at best a burden society. At worst, unemployment and desperation are a threat to our nation. In the long run, compassion toward desperate Americans is not only the most humane course of action, but it is the most fiscally sound.

Your jobs programs have been lacking or nonexistent. Where are the public works programs we desperately need? How do you expect to have additional revenue in the United States if by cutting the budget, you increase unemployment while not raising tax rates on those that can most afford it?

Poverty in the United States has been growing for thirty years, and none of the decisions made to address the deficit will address the poverty crisis. “In 2009, 43.6 million people were poor, up from 39.8 million in 2008. The number of people in poverty in 2009 is the largest number in the 51 years for which poverty estimates are available.” There are more children in poverty than ever, about 20%, and the fixed income the poor and elderly live on has been shrinking due to inflation and lack of increases in Social Security and other payments. Regardless of these and other facts about poverty, Congress and the White House has decided to focus on deficits and debt.

Congress and the White House decided in the recent debt ceiling agreement that cutting spending, which will lead to layoffs, was a good idea in the midst of a slow economic growth. And with the agreement, the opportunity to temporarily increase spending if we face a national crisis such as a natural disaster has been severely curtailed.  Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate in economics recently wrote, “When you’re bleeding profusely from an open wound, you want a doctor who binds that wound up, not a doctor who lectures you on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you get older.”

So instead of getting the much needed infusion of stimulus money to help create jobs while at the same time strengthening our weakened infrastructure, we get a lecture about how we’re giving too much to the poor. While cutting into social spending, military spending remains untouched and no new sources of revenue have been added. Any stimulus spending would be temporary, but it needs to be large enough to jump start our flagging economy. I fear if we don’t start addressing long term unemployment and poverty, we will be met with a crisis such as the riots in England of the past week.

This year, official youth unemployment in Britain has been over 20%. The youth unemployment rate has been even worse in the United States. For teenagers, 16-19, the unemployment rate is about 25%. But that’s not the whole picture. Hispanic youth have an unemployment rate of 35%, and African Americans as a whole have an official unemployment rate of over 15%.

There is an international youth crisis in employment. The Arab spring was in large part fueled by youth who had no jobs and no prospects.

President Obama, do you want to be responsible for riots in the streets of America, do you want to be seen as an oligarch who doesn’t care about his people, a modern day Hoover, or do you want to be seen as the second man in our history to save the United States from revolt and save it for future democracy and future capitalism? The time is now President Obama. Heed the warning signs of riots in Britain and protests across the Middle East, or go down in history as the man who failed to take action when his nation needed him.

Tex Shelters

  1. I considered it all a wash when Bernake was Obama appointed Bernake. What a joke, only certain kinds of people get to have that “job.”

  2. When “we” riot, here in the USA, the National Guard, riot-gear garbed, will shoot us down in the streets. The rich and powerful will condemn the action ignoring the impetus, just as they did/have done/are doing in England. The Corporation of the Government of the USA will turn virulent and (more) oppressive and deadly to “freedoms,” “rights” and even basic necessities of life. Homo sapiens sapiens already lives this way with respect to the other species with whom we were supposed to be sharing Planet Earth. Arrogant, greedy, exceptionalist in all things. Why any surprise and shock when the most arrogant, greedy and exceptionalist of Homo sapiens now turns on the weaker of its own species, exactly as it has turned on the other species.

    • Too politically incorrect even for you, darling one?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I think it would turn ugly as well, but perhaps as it was in Russia, the army will side with the people and the government will have to step down.

      By the way, you have a new address, so I had to “approve” these comments, although a bit late.

      Tex Shelters

  3. Tex said: “President Obama, do you want to be responsible for riots in the streets of America”

    IMO, that nobody but the rioters would be responsible for their actions. I never understood the mentality of destroying your neighbors stuff or steeling it, as a protest. To me a nice cell or a bullet to the heads of the rioters is in order if caught in the act. Sorry Tex but if I saw someone steeling from my neighbor or burning down their house or business the bullet would be my answer not laying the blame at any Presidents feet (even if that President is Obama).

    • Jake,

      Yes, ultimately you are correct, and a bullet is not the solution. And screw my neighbors. I would only sick my dog on those that try to invade my house. Har har.

      Mostly it’s businesses burning.

      However, the conditions that lead rise to riots can be ameliorated by Presidential actions, and that is not happening. Obama is barely doing a thing to help the youth, poor, and suffering.

      Tex Shelters

      • “Mostly it’s businesses burning.”

        In my area it would be businesses owned by my neighbors struggling to make a living like me. IDK how they do things out in AZ but here in Indiana we are allowed to use deadly force to protect both our life and property and we are allowed to confront them outside our homes. The two big Mills by me are Alcor Mittal (formally Bethlehem) and US Steel. Now I think the Mills are pretty safe since they aren’t known for stocking or selling Plazma TV’s. The closest Wal-Mart is 15 miles away.

        I think if riots occurred here they would occur where guns are tightly regulated like DC and Chicago where the innocent public have been effectively neutered by their local politicians.

        • The question is, how is it done in Britain.

          And, using deadly force is not an equal response when you have rubber bullets and bean bags and other ways to subdue a crowd.

          And you are correct, it’s stupid to destroy businesses in your neighborhood, whoever owns them. Then again, they aren’t going after homes.

          Still, I think using a gun on a rioter is overblown. I think a human life is worth more than a plasma television. And rioting won’t occur where the fearful with their guns at the ready live any way, and if it does, the gun owners will join the rioters for they will be one of the disaffected and angry mob.

          And riots can happen anywhere, whether people have guns or not. That’s another debate. Again, Obama is doing nothing for the people, and neither is congress, and rioting might be the result.

          Tex Shelters

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