Let’s face facts, it’s no coincidence that rioters in London have started rampaging as PM Cameron’s budget cuts have hit. The killing of a man in South London may have ignited this senseless mayhem but the roots can be placed at the feet of the government and its drive for austerity. Will Obama and the Democrats take heed of an obvious lesson? We fear not.
The shocking riots in London are directly related to the economic downturn and its aftermath - including the election of David Cameron as Prime Minister. Since taking office, Cameron has overseen huge budget cuts that have undercut the safety net for the poor such as education and youth programs. This will likely result in the country’s return to recession as gdp drops this year and next. As a result, hopelessness abounds in poor neighborhoods with no release valve save violence. Earlier this year we saw riots by university students as austerity measures were put in place. Now the thugs have come out to play.
Thankfully, the US is not the UK and our police would likely be less inept in the face of three days of rioting. But the larger issue is the effect of cutting government budgets wholesale, which depresses economies when they need stimulus and impoverishes people. Poor people who have nothing left, seething in anger at the system and its inequalities, are the perfect class to go on wanton sprees of deduction. Right now the US has a disaffected class, the Tea Party, and again there is a key difference - they are middle and lower middle class people who want jobs. They are not ethnic minorities who are on the outside of society. Hence no violence.
Now imagine government cuts hitting the urban poor who already have little prospects - black unemployment is nearly double the national average, for one chilling statistic. Cutting aid and programs meant to help the poor can easily lead to the same in this country. Obama needs to get with the program and give up the delusion of huge budget cuts. Tax the rich and get on with rebuilding the country. Because if people start burning stuff, it will only continue the downward spiral.