Guest Post: America: Why Aren't You Protesting

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Andrew Smolski of OilPrice.com

America: Why Aren't You Protesting

As noted by Richard Heinberg on June 22nd, 2011, the media has lacked
the ability to connect the economic situations in the Middle East and
their uprisings to what is happening in Europe. I would avoid the word
“Revolution” in the case of the Middle Eastern uprisings, seeing as no
dramatic systemic changes have taken place, only the ousting of
dictators. Same as I would avoid the words of social upheaval in the
case of European protests, which have been quite calm and only demanding
to maintain the social safety nets produced through years of labor
struggle. Rather, the odd occurrence is the ostensibly quiet population
of the United States who are in many cases having the same economic
problems and austerity based government solutions. This is a place where
the media does want to ask the public the question, “Why aren’t you
protesting?”

Effectively in the United States the labor movement has been
dismantled over 30 years through multiple policies, the main one being
“Right-to-Work” laws, which have left only 6.9% of private sector
workers in unions, and 36.2% of public sector workers in unions. This
has correlated as well to a 30 year stagnation in wages, which has
barely kept pace with inflation, leaving many with the option of
accumulating debt buttressed by a free flowing credit policy. That
points to a problem when consumer spending accounts anywhere from
40%-70% of the economy (whether or not you wish to count government
spending which is done through the aggregation of taxes from said
consumers). Even if the low end number of 40% is the truth of the
matter, it is large stake in the economy and plays a disproportionate
role in the health of the economy as a whole.

The importance of wage and debt is linked to the economy having a
large consumer component, which is basically like the gas to the engine,
it keeps things in motion. According to the Federal Reserve, Household
Debt is far greater than disposable income, basically at a ratio where
consumers are maxed out. Connect this with the Weltanschauung (world
outlook) of consumers at the moment, according to the Rasmussen Consumer
Index, 61% of the US population see the economy as getting worse.
Basically, you have a massive Molotov cocktail being thrown at the
economy. The wage trend is not reversing, as noted by Paul Craig Roberts
and Shadow Government Statistics, new jobs are typically in non-value
added labor (service economy), with an industrial sector shedding jobs
as they are outsourced to countries with cheaper labor and laxer
regulations (or harsher authoritarian regimes).

When unemployment is calculated correctly it stands nearer to 16-17%,
and high-value labor is not returning to employ most of these people,
but only the non-value added labor. Without wages and jobs, how is 40%
(roughly 5.9 trillion dollars) of 14.7 trillion dollars going to be
maintained. Possibly through Citigroup’s idea of a Plutonomy, where the
economy services only 20% of the population. However, wouldn’t that lead
to political instability in a country that in a form stabilizes the
world economy through dollar supremacy and also US treasury bonds (one
of the safest investments).

With all this being the trend, and each recession taking longer to
reach normal employment levels, where is the social reaction in the
United States in comparison to Europe and the Middle East, which were
experiencing (and still are) similar situations. A large part of the
blame can be laid at the feet of the media who have downplayed protests
calling for stimulus and national reinvestment from the grassroots and
economists such as Paul Krugman, Josepsh Stiglitz, Robert Reich, and
Mike Whitney. Stimulus having the point of proper regulations (neither
over or under-regulated, but well regulated), and bringing back
value-added jobs which maintain the advancement in Science &
Technology. At the same time the media has overrated the Tea Party
movement which has been calling for the implementation of the same
policies which have been followed since Regean.

These were bad solutions to growth stagnation at the end of the 70’s
and still are in the present. Cutting taxes and eviscerating regulation
produced large mountains of government debt and has not increased the
number of middle class workers (rather decreased that number). Those
people, Tea Partiers and so-called Conservatives, do not understand the
first thing about economics and are just rabid ideologues spouting words
that make semiotics professors mouths’ water. But, not all the blame
can be placed on the media, it also is a lack of political will on the
part of the politicians, and large propaganda campaigns by corporate
America. What has happened is a corporatization of American politics,
especially after Citizens United case, but even before, as rampant
individualism and greed have taken root into the American culture in a
corrosive manner.

A quick glance at the historical record shows that when the elites
begin to siphon off more and more of the surplus, social movements were
typically the norm. This creates instability and opens doors to collapse
of power and markets, the internal structure of a nation. The new
rulers are the multi-nationals, and they are not nationalist. As they
exist without borders, they are not worried about political or economic
instability in a single country.

The new rulers do not have any real party affiliation, and neither
party adheres to the political philosophy they claim, they are all
corporatists now. And this is the fundamental reason why America is so
silent. The people are behind history, they are standing in the trashed
piled high by the Angel of History, which always progresses forward, not
understanding their old paradigm does not operate properly anymore.
They do not believe a government is meant to regulate an economy, that
is for the markets. Yet they want a government, just not to impinge on
their right to be greedy at all costs.

What then is left to this government that has no purpose within the economic sector?

Militarism and policing, which has never been good for a government
to occupy all it’s time with. The other function has been for the
government to siphon money through taxes (by having one of the highest
corporate tax rates which can be avoided with a legion of lawyers), into
corporations. This is shown by the revelations about GE. GE had
American profits of $5.1 billion, paid 0% in taxes, and received a tax
benefit of $3.2 billion, but I am almost certain it is using roads,
electric and water systems, and other American taxpayer produced
resources free of charge. So, yes Americans are going the Tea Party
route, because they do not trust government, not recognizing that the
line between Governments and Corporations have been obliterated over the
last 30 years.

What does all this mean for political and economic stability in the U.S.?

It looks like a long brimstone filled road, unless somebody can grow a
pair to start making a proper political discourse in that beacon of
light on a hill, that republic from 1776. There are many people who are
shareholders and need to recognize that collapse economically in the US,
means a collapse in their portfolio. And stakeholders as well need to
recognize that it is their tax dollars being turned into profits (money
begetting money) rather than value-added goods and infrastructure
development. These are the last people with any clout, because obviously
the rap line is the only mantra left in the US, “Money Talks, Bullshit
Walks.”

Otherwise as the system deteriorates even further, massive protests
will happen, but with a narcissistic victim hood component where people
are finding someone else to blame, ultimately not accepting
responsibility for misunderstanding or being blatantly ignorant about
the link between politics and economics. With money moving freely around
the world, markets will react as markets like to react, dropping dollar
supremacy, moving investments to other countries with a better “order”,
and leaving a highly militarized and narcissistically angry society
holding nothing but guns and their broken dreams. 

By. Andrew Smolski

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Clueless Economist's picture

How can I protest when I'm more worried about whether Justin Beaver is a poof or not?

nope-1004's picture

Protesting means getting up off the couch.  Hard on the knees for a 360 lb slob sucking on a bucket of chicken fried wings (and a 2L of Coke as the chaser).

Too fat, too lazy, too complacent.   Bankers know it.

 

SoCalBusted's picture

Hey!  Wait a minute there!  It's a 2L Diet Coke!

redpill's picture

America to author: "tl;dr  Idol's on soon."

 

mkkby's picture

This article is silly.  We know everything is unsustainable and a lie, and that the police state is closing in.  You can't protest everything, it doesn't make sense.  When people are hungry, they'll protest.  Until then there isn't a target that more than 2 people could agree on.

Like it or not, having 40 million people on welfare is better than having them out taking what they need by force.  That is the price we paid for globalization.

AldousHuxley's picture

North Koreans are not protesting against their own government.

Europeans are not protesting against 20% sales tax.

Germans did not protest against Nazis.

Cultural and ethnic diversity.... barrier to assemble and protest. THEY (victims) are not one of US (unaffected / ignorants) so who cares.

American upper middle class still thinks that they have a chance to join the upper class (401ks bounced back, wall st. is still raining bonuses, etc.), so nobody educated is leading the massive poor class into a revolution to overthrow the upper class.

 

midtowng's picture

It isn't the physical laziness that Americans are most guilty of - it's the mental laziness. Despite all the information available to them, they have no interest in learning what is wrong with the nation. That would require working their brains. It's much easier to hear Fox News give them a 30-second soundbite, which explains everything in the world (i.e. that the problem is the guy down the road, rather than the one in the mansion).

nope-1004's picture

True.  I think the two aren't mutually exclusive.  Most forward thinking and interested people I know aren't sitting in front of the TV all day eating crap.

 

johnQpublic's picture

you cant blame it all on lazy and stupid

 

some of it lies with the fact that protesting has proven here in america to be ineffective

it only works with the right charismatic leader to roust the ingrates into action

this leader will be promptly shot

name a protest of something that worked where the leader of said protest survived

aside from that you get inneffective G-series of protests and the like

macholatte's picture

....and don't forget the propaganda machine and the politics of division. Every "leader" who portrays himself/herself as the one to unite the country succeeds in creating more division, more confusion, more subterfuge. The science of deception is so keen these days it's awesome to watch it unfold right before your very eyes if you know how to see it.

Ignorance is bliss. Keep the sheeple confused. 

             Divide and conquer, baby. Divide and conquer.

 

 

DCFusor's picture

Well, though you got junked, I tend to agree.  Between the oxymoronic patriot act, warrantless wiretapping and regular complete abrogation of our rights (DHS is a growth business), no one who IS smart is willing to be "disapeared" into gitmo.  They've become smart enough to watch all the social media that have been so "helpful" in creating Arab Spring...You hear about busts made via them all the time - a little warning about what's going on.  If you've got a plan, you can't advertise it to say the least, which has, shall we say, somewhat of a chilling effect in getting a herd going the right way.

Those of us who might start or lead such an uprising or protest know this, and tend to be individualists, and perhaps fairly cynical who are just getting ready for whatever is to come -- alone or nearly so (small informal groups), as sticking up right now is like that blade of grass in the emperor's proverb.  All you're doing is putting your neck in a place his sword reaches more easily.

And then, there's lazy and stupid, which DO have to take some of the blame.  And conditioning.  No one wants to take a chance anymore over anything.  When I ran a business, I found plenty of people who wanted the title and perks of project manager, but none who would do the job -- all expected me to micromanage them or they self-paralyzed, afraid of the results of making a bad (or seen as bad) decision.  It was most frustrating and made it hard to grow the business, actually.  Lack of talent, and not just the technical type - the ability to take risks, put yourself on the line, and make dreams come true was just not there in hundreds of applicants, so I just gave up.

 

doggings's picture

some are protesting, the msm just isnt covering it, they have other priorities

http://red-pill.org/mainstream-media-ignores-gathering-anger-weiner/

bigkahuna's picture

It is an excruciaing one by one battle for minds and then hearts. That is where the protest is now. Waking the sleepers.

nah's picture

when fannie and freddie were goin TU i was pretty alarmed you know big bucks and all that... so I was at work working and being like hey, this stuff is serious were talking trillions of dollars of bad paper in housing this is some pretty serious malfeasance and g generally bad for money, law, and contracts... and the guys in their late 50's were like...

.

'they' wont let it happen... and these guys arent fat or lazy... just republicans that believe in insainely powerful government force and overreach

.

you know, self proclaimed anti obama individualist patriots lolz

adissidentishere's picture

I like your comment and the style in which you expressed it.  You've definitely got the young texter talk down, but there is clearly an awareness of proper grammar coupled with a fine vocabulary behind it.  Nice.  Write some more.  You hit the nail on the head with a very interesting hammer.

I am more equal than others's picture

The lack of leadership is creating a massive vacuum - the inverse of a bubble.  Vacuums are more destructive than bubbles.  Vacuums are the lack of - not the surplus as in bubbles.  There is a vacuum of critical thinking, a vacuum of true education - self-esteem - you shouldn't be taught that you somehow deserve praise when you really suck at what you do. 

Look at the so called Greatest Generation - their children became the radicals of the 1960's and 1970's.  The next generation gave us the 'stay at home kids' (go see the latest Hangover movie to get the humor of that one).  The is a vacuum of standards and expectation.  Moral relativism is for idiots and is used by those who 'game' the system.  Reward without its counter - malice - has caused asymetrical risk taking. 

the tower's picture

Protesting is un-American. Striking is un-American. Not repeating what the government says is un-American. Having your own opinion is un-American.

Do not think. Do not think. Do not think.

HungrySeagull's picture

Yes sir. You nailed it.

I lost 50 pounds and now am down right about 180 and able to run a while, not like two years ago where I could not get across the lot.

Remember in UK, you are not allowed to have guns so you need to maintain fitness to outrun those who wish to knife you.

Osmium's picture

God may have created man, but Samuel Colt made them equal.

HungrySeagull's picture

Amen, and a little bit of kick from Rowland as well.

Use of Weapons's picture

+1

I may have snapped at you in the past, but this shows decent and sensible thinking. Rule #1 of Zombieland - good cardiovascular.

Rifles

UK law defines a "rifle" as a rifled gun with a barrel longer than 30 cm, and a total length longer than 60 cm. Single-shot, bolt-action, martini-action, lever-action (also called under-lever action) or revolver rifles and carbines are permitted in any calibre. Semi-automatic (self-loading in English parlance) or pump-action rifles are only permitted in .22 rim-fire calibre.

A shotgun license is relatively easy to obtain, although you'll require a proper gun cabinet, and the cost of the whole thing is driven by "the country set" rather than American pricing.

 

Remember these as well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slingshot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sling_%28weapon%29

Using lead shot, in trained hands, these are as deadly as small calibre firearms, and silent [hint: silencers don't actually silence the noise]

 

/hypothetical

Bananamerican's picture

"too fat, too lazy, too complacent..."

or maybe, maybe....the amerikan police state has proceeded far enough along that knowledgeable "protestors" realize it's best at this point to just let the fascist contraption implode on its own bullshit....

comacho2012's picture

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting -sun tzu

Mongrel's picture

Beer, bassboats, and ballgames bamboozle big-ass Bubba . . .

Mongrel's picture

Until the proverbial wolf comes to the door of enough people at the same time, then dissent and active opposition will be desultory and sporadic at best.

andybev01's picture

You don't need to be fat to be a mindless follower.

You can also be fit and brainless, part of the under-educated masses who will follow which ever 'leader' talks the best game.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/readers/quazen/2008/05/18/163850_1.jpg

Quaderratic Probing's picture

We need a protest APP for that. Everyone is headsdown today

Ag Star's picture

I was going to say the same thing and you beat me to it.  Don't forget the six pack of 

keystone beer, and Scoal in the lip to top it all off.

francis_sawyer's picture

America: Why Aren't You Protesting?

---

Because I'm too busy snorting lines & banging skanks...

Next question...

 

CH1's picture

In America it is the dependent class that protests.

Productive people Go Galt.

 

sethstorm's picture

The problem with that is you have collateral damage upon innocent parties.

By attempting to starve the government in that manner, you harm everyone except the bureaucrat.  Through that harm, you turn people against you, while empowering the government to act.

If you want to do anything, do something that doesn't call for more bureaucratic action.

Zero Govt's picture

Did the Germans protest against Hitler as he rose to the staus of nut job?

Did the Chinese protest against Mao after the Revolution didn't bring imancipation but delapidation?

Did the Russians protest against Stalin when the Revolution turned out to be revolting?

Even when millions of people start dying as a direct result of Mao's and Stalins incometent agrcultural policies or Hitlers thuggery people did not protest 

TK7936's picture

44 Assasination Attempts against Hitler should be proof enough.

clymer's picture

true enough. Tyranny is the norm. The past 235 years in America have been a fluke in the grand time line of historical civilization.

SheepDog-One's picture

Actual real protests? Armed maybe? Hell I dont even see mild irritation from the body of the american people at all!

But when they want the protests to happen, they will happen.

Crusader79's picture

I think you mean Justice Beaver, the crime fighting beaver...

Crusader79's picture

I think you mean Justice Beaver, the crime fighting beaver...

Doña K's picture
  1. weather?
  2. food stamps? 
  3. extended unemploynment checks?
  4. Media spin?
  5. wait and see attitude?
  6. arrival of the white knight expectations?
  7. fear of being labeled racist?
  8. busy working on the Ipad?
  9. watching the Kardasians?
  10. Country is divided and polarized?
  11. taking revenge instead by buying Gold and Silver?
  12. All of the above?

 

geologyguy's picture

Well....here is why America doesn't care:

Mon: Monday Night Football & Castle
Tues:  Glee, American Idol

Weds:  American Idol (vote show),The Office

Thurs:  Must See TV & Dancing with the Stars.
Fri:  Date Night
Sat:  Date Night redux (if you did well Fri)
Sun:  Football Day & Laundry

No doubt Americans hardly have time to protest anything meaningful when they are forced to face such a grueling television schedule.  The TiVO can only hold so many hours of programming!

I myself will go purchase more ammo tomorrow.

chumbawamba's picture

You are absolutely right.  Most people writing these essays calling for the immediate commencement of riotous festivities are products of the instant gratification culture--myself included.  We want to see revolution and we want it NOW!

But what I've known for some time--if not able to fully admit to myself because of the implications--is that this process of change is more likely to happen over decades rather than days, weeks, or even months.  As history teaches us, this process happens in stages, and is temporal.  All the pieces must be in place for the next lever to fall and the subsequent step of the emerging paradigm to assert itself.

This is a long term process, that will go in fits and starts, with probably long periods of dormancy in between.  In the end, looking back, this will have been a process that stretched over a generation.

Prepare appropriately.

I am Chumbawamba.

Clueless Economist's picture

Because it would be considered racist to protest against the Obama regime.

TPTB were quite wise in choosing this latest presidential puppet.

Hacked Economy's picture

Why is it racist?  If Obama's mother was pure white, and his father was pure black, then O is only half-and-half, right?  Why is he then touted as automatically black?  Why can't the white people of America simply call him white and then have free rein to call him whatever else they want?  Any objections to his policies would therefore couldn't be called racist.

francis_sawyer's picture

too much thinking involved...

now move to the front of the affirmative action bus and quit complaining because you don't like the view...

andybev01's picture

Because we have yet to reach the point where we judge Obama on the content of his character.

He's black on the outside, and that's all that Americans care about.

HungrySeagull's picture

Because things need to get a little bit more worse before it breaks Society as a whole. The self reliance and generosity of our neighbors and churches are a sight to behold right now. Everyone is just about out of work but all are hanging in there.

Bibles and guns? Certainly.