Paris, September 2012: Thousands protest against French and European Union “austerity” measures.
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As long as right-wing governments continue to meet economic pressure and the demands of creditors by imposing steadily worsening conditions on the middle and working classes, citing a need for “belt-tightening” to control debt, and simultaneously legislate to accelerate still further the transfer of wealth from those classes to the ruling elite, they will be rightly perceived as hypocritical. And although the U.S.’ population is far more tractable and docile than the people of Europe, there are limits to its patience.
The Republican House majority may hold the upper hand at present, if only thanks to the invertebracy of the “good cop” Democrats, but it will be well advised to think carefully before instituting some of the more draconian budget cuts that it has espoused in recent campaigning. The working and middle classes cannot afford to carry the nation’s debt; they are already squeezed beyond endurance, working harder, for more hours, with less pay and fewer benefits, than their parents; they are already in debt and near the end of their financial tethers; and most of them are less than a lost paycheck or a sudden medical bill from homelessness. As time passes and the elite continues tightening a belt around their tracheas, they will do as the Europeans are doing and raise their voices in a demand for fairer treatment.
And if justice is denied them much longer, American workers will eventually deploy their most powerful weapon: They need not take up the sword, but merely lay down the tools of their trade. They can paralyze the U.S.’ predatory economy with a single word: A universal “No” will rise to echo across the nation, and the pathocrats’ days in power will draw to a sudden and unexpected close.