It’s the easiest way to dismiss what we see going on: a mindless group of hooligans, drunks and thieves wreaking havoc for havoc’s sake …and for profit.
And that’s what the “official” investigations always conclude afterwards …but they’re wrong.
There are several common threads that link the disturbances throughout the UK right now, France last year, Vancouver in June: ALL are being carried out MOSTLY by disaffected youth, unemployed, underemployed for an entire generation now … with not only no real hope of getting out of their predicament, but actually watching it get worse every year.
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer … study after study have shown for a decade now that those at the top are enjoying much more of the economic feast …while the middle class has been saddled with more and more of the cost of paying for it all …and those below that who are employed are being squeezed with such low pay (and NO benefits) to the point that they need two jobs and still can barely afford to cover their ever-increasing rising costs for rent, food, clothing, transportation and services.
Worse: in some communities, an entire generation of young people in this, the richest civilization humanity has ever known, have grown up without jobs, and without prospects for EVER obtaining anything meaningful, whether they are in in Britain, Europe and North America.
And all the while they SEE those who ARE prospering at the top … earning salaries in the millions or hundreds of thousands, others set to receive pensions in the hundreds of thousands, living in huge homes (many with chalets or yachts as well), driving luxury cars, dining at all those posh places, shopping the High Street shops loaded with fashions and electronics and furnishings and even foods they … with no jobs or only minimum wage poverty pay … can never buy or realistically hope to acquire some day.
And what do they hear from their leaders and from their corporate media messengers? That THEY …not the really rich …have to do more with less, pay higher taxes and fees, make do with less benefits … and tighten their belts, while the fat cats expand theirs.
This is not rhetoric. This is the truth, supported by several economic studies throughout the Western world, the gaps between the very rich and the middle class and those at the bottom have been expanding, not contracting.
The result: those at the bottom are now increasingly ticking bombs, just waiting for a spark to set them off.
It gives some of them the excuse to lash out, to express their rage, to manifest their frustrations … and to scoop up some of those goods in the stores they cannot … and will never be able to afford.
The solution, of course, is for the rich corporate owners and top executives … who often measure profits in BILLIONS, to realize they have a duty to share more of that wealth with those who work for them, at all levels, to restore the middle class. And to pay fair taxes so that governments can provide services and projects to assist those at the bottom, including work projects (another New Deal!) to actively employ and train young people for decent work.
There actually was a time when almost all companies did hire workers full-time, paid benefits, created pensions …and fulfilled their social responsibilities as part of society. Now, even many, many firms that measure PROFITS in hundreds of millions of dollars …have abandoned their responsiblities and downloaded all formerly corporate costs on government.
And is it a coincidence that the UK, France , Canada and BC have all had right wing governments in power that have cut programs and spending on youth and the underprivileged? While easing the taxes on corporations?
We need governments that will insist on this changing…instead of pandering to the million-dollar lobbysts working for billion-dollar corporate interests.
And we need media who will champion the interests of the middle class and the young people who want to work and deserve the right to do so .. for fair and decent wages, so they don’t have to live five to an apartment just to survive.
Of course, I am dreaming.
The police will enforce order; officials will blame a small group of thugs, the government will vow to crack down in the future, and the media will call for stiff sentences to those apprehended.
But the real guilty will go free … and think they are now safe.
Until the next uprising.