Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Political Unrest...Hello?

Senator-elect Jim Webb stirs up the hornet's nest today with his barn-burner in the Wall Street Journal. The right-wing has been trashing the outcome of elections, badmouthing Democrats and painting them broadly with an anti-business brush, trying to scare up renewed support among members of the financial industry using F.U.D. tactics.

Webb's speech will surely make the right-wing chafe and rant even more, calling out the corporatists for increasing inequity between the upper decile and the rest of the working population. What caught my eye in his speech was not the overall tone or the facts he used; it was this bit:

A recent survey in the Economist warned that globalization was affecting the U.S. differently than other "First World" nations, and that white-collar jobs were in as much danger as the blue-collar positions which have thus far been ravaged by outsourcing and illegal immigration. That survey then warned that "unless a solution is found to sluggish real wages and rising inequality, there is a serious risk of a protectionist backlash" in America that would take us away from what they view to be the "biggest economic stimulus in world history."

More troubling is this: If it remains unchecked, this bifurcation of opportunities and advantages along class lines has the potential to bring a period of political unrest.


[emphasis mine]

Political unrest is already here. It's been here for more than two years, or Bush would have garnered better numbers in 2004. The election last week only cemented this truth.

And the upper decile remains unfazed. Watch CNBC any weekday and you'll see what I mean; the facts on the ground here do not bleed through to their coverage of the day's business news, the kind of news that well-heeled Americans consume.

If there is another disruption to petroleum production infrastructure, natural or otherwise, it's going to get worse in a hurry.

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