by Michael Webster The deep depression that started in America has already triggered violence in many places around the world and is being played out in Europe and elsewhere with increasing violence and other forms of social unrest are spreading around the globe. In Iceland for example the government has already fallen.
Hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens have marched in Zaragoza in protest to the failing economy and reacting to the great loss of jobs as Spanish unemployment heads towards 20 percent. There have been riots and bloodshed in Greece, protests in Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Mexico and Bulgaria. The police have suppressed public discontent in all these countries including Russia.
The question many are asking is this discontent going to spread around the world as things get even worse?
As things deteriorate around the globe economically Americans are starting to realize what a bad place they are finding themselves in and that Americans for the first time since the great depression are losing jobs at an alarming rate, losing their homes, savings and the way of life they have grown accustom to.
Americans, the very people who the big banks, Wall Street and corporations made their massive fortunes from are now being forced by the United States Government to bail out those same companies. The price tag, that many believe will be in the trillions of dollars and are being given to those same companies in the form of American tax dollars. Those very same companies are being rewarded for failing, yet the American citizen is expected to weather the storm and do all the suffering without any help.
Many predict that there will be rioting in the streets of America too and that may be the reason the U.S. government is building detention camps all over the states and more are expected.
Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., has introduced to the House of Representatives a new bill, H.R. 645, calling for the secretary of homeland security to establish no fewer than six national emergency centers for corralling civilians on military installations.
Jerome R. Corsi a reporter for the WorldNetDaily reports that the proposed bill, which has received little mainstream media attention, appears designed to create the type of detention center that those concerned about use of the military in domestic affairs fear could be used as concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany.
The bill also appears to expand the President's emergency power, much as the executive order signed by President Bush on May 9, 2007, that gave the President the authority to declare an emergency and take over the direction of all federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments without even consulting Congress.
Corsi further reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded a $385 million contract to Houston-based KBR, Halliburton's former engineering and construction subsidiary, (based in Dubai) to build temporary detention centers on an "as-needed" basis in national emergency situations.
According to Adrian Michaels, a London reporter says the French are continuing to revolt. Teachers, television employees, postal workers, students and masses of other public-sector workers are united in a hugely popular strike with car workers, supermarket staff, journalists and thousands of others in the private sector protesting the depression that has hit their country like a ton of bricks.
One poll said that 75 per cent of the public supported the action, which has the backing of the large union groups and opposition socialists. It will be a big test for President Nicolas Sarkozy but, more importantly, the strike will mark the biggest protest so far in one of the world's largest economies against the grief and distress being caused by the catastrophic global downturn.
In America too it is turning into a winter of discontent Americans not having money to pay the heating bills, not able to afford gasoline for their cars, unable to pay their mortgages and no apparent bail out for them in site. American protests are expected to be widespread as more and more Americans lose their jobs and become homeless and as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer the gathering storms of discontent are darker now then any anybody can remember, Yes, it is expected to get worse than the great depression.
Parallels between the 1930s have tended to focus on the numbers â€” a lack of growth and waning consumer confidence is now prevalent worldwide.
It is feared by many governments that history will repeat itself as in the 1930s where economic hardship spawned major demonstrations. It allowed extremists to gather support after a loss of faith in the government and politicians. Economic catastrophe bred Franco, Mussolini and Hitler.
Michaels asked "Do the protesters across Europe sense once again that their governments do not know what to do? Or is it melodramatic to worry about such a parallel?"
Politicians are being assailed for their lack of competence. Mainstream parties â€” the left in France and Germany, for example â€” are bickering and in crisis. France's mainstream unions have, in some cases, been following the actions of more radical groups such as SUD-Rail, which called a wildcat strike at a Paris rail station and stranded thousands of commuters. In Italy, traditional scapegoats such as immigrants are being expelled by populist politicians.
Michaels continues that the continent has been turned upside down as governments struggle to cope. Whatever was bad â€” state aid, bigger budget deficits, mass bail-outs â€” is now good. "Governments are making it up as they go along," says Alan Ahearne, an economist at the Bruegel think tank in Brussels. "They are doing it on the fly."
Worse is that the institutions created to keep the peace after the Second World War are being over-ridden. The European Union, formed in the 1950s mainly as a way to stop the citizens of France and Germany from killing each other, is having its rules ignored as countries take unilateral action to safeguard jobs and businesses.
Brussels has made token noises about the rules of the single market being respected again someday, but its guidelines on bail-outs merely follow actions by member states.
Another reason for discontent is that this is the euro's first recession. Euro zone countries can no longer devalue and boost exports, assuming anyone still had the money to buy goods.
And while Germany and France can boost domestic spending, Portugal and Greece do not have the money. In smaller countries, people are protesting because all they see in their future are cuts in wages, reductions in living standards, spending cuts and tax increases as their governments struggle to restore order. (total and complete corporate greed).
In April, the G20 group of developed and developing nations will gather in London and have another chance to set the right strategy. US President Barack Obama has started telling Americans that they will have to take a share of the pain, and that a fix will be a long time in the making.
One European says Americans are so spoiled and they have had it so good for so many years, they will be the hardest hit as they will struggle to cope. This is going to be a new world for them and they are going to have to learn how to adapt or parish.
Is this America's future? Does the American government sense chaos and public rebellion?
Â© Michael Webster http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/webster/090212