Over a million French workers have taken to the streets to protest President Nicolas Sarkozy bailing out banks and the wealthy leaving the middle class to pay off the bills. Civil unrest is evident in nations around the world. Read about it below and see photos and a video.
There is civil unrest in France and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is warning that the Paris unrest will spread around the world.
French workers have taken to the streets of Paris protesting the French government bailing out banks and the wealthy while the working class is experiencing the highest unemployment rate since the 1970s. Railways and subways were shut down, hospital staffs were at a minimum and schools were without teachers and the workers bitterly demonstrated. The automobile industry has been especially hard hit and because of the system of employment in France, younger workers have a higher rate of unemployment.
Working people are angry. Very angry. They … we … are angry that our money is being used to shore up a financial system that is collapsing under its own weight. The banks and large corporations are asking for more and more bailout money from their (our) governments when the corporate problems have been created by unadulterated greed and meddling in private enterprise by the federal government. The only people being asked to sacrifice are the taxpayers who are already struggling under the weight of the burden of holding up the ideas of our politicians who have insisted that banks loan money to people who can’t afford to repay the loans and regulated industry to the point that it can’t support itself.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland has descended into finger pointing and assigning blame rather than cooperation and searching for solutions.
In fact, world financial leaders warn of social instability and collapse that threaten our social structure and democracy itself. They bemoan that no one is showing leadership in the midst of this crisis. They warn that the riots in France have already spread to other European countries, including Germany.
The ITUC warned that around the world more than 50 million jobs could be lost this year and that more than 200 million people would be driven into absolute poverty. The confederation said that the financial crisis had arisen because of “rampant speculation and financial profiteering” and that new global financial architecture needed to be established to “support regulation and ensure coherence”.
Sharan Burrow, the president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, said that the world was now witnessing the human cost of “casino capitalism” as the impacts of rising unemployment and home repossessions and of plunges in savings and pension funds hit millions of families.
Ms Burrow said: “Why shouldn’t working people be angry? Their money is being used to stabilise the financial system, but it is their wealth, their jobs and the welfare of their children that is being stripped away.”
The ITUC said that it was calling on business and political leaders in Davos to agree on a comprehensive recovery-and-reform package to protect jobs and kick-start a recovery, including a coordinated fiscal stimulus, a strengthening of unemployment and social security schemes and emergency IMF loans for developing countries without austerity conditions.
The worsening atmosphere of blame and retribution in Davos came after the publication this week by the Geneva-based International Labour Organisation of figures which showed that global unemployment would rise to 230 million this year, or 7.1 per cent of the world’s workforce.
Stephen Roach, the chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, said that US consumers were only at the start of a rebalancing phase that would last several years and cut spending and boost saving levels. He said that global growth would be anaemic at about 2.5 per cent for the next three years.
However, Mr Ryder issued a blunt assessment of this year’s World Economic Forum. “The certainties that have defined Davos for the past ten years have collapsed,” he said. “We are witnessing the collapse of an entire system of ideas.”
I wonder if people are hearing the warnings. Our own President seems more concerned with paying back political debts than leading us out of this crisis. He is trying to get a stimulus package passed that has the democrat party’s pet projects built in to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. All of that will be on the back of the American people. Does he take it seriously and understand the magnitude of this problem?
Paris is erupting. Other European countries are on the verge of erupting. China and Russia are experiencing social unrest. When there is a vacuum of leadership, there is social unrest and the powers of the world jockey for positions of power. The leaders of the World Economic Forum understand the problems that result from a lack of leadership. As a general rule, Americans don’t. We’ve never had to deal with that kind of trouble before. We’ve rarely had weak leadership in such dangerous times. We’ve been a world power for generations and have forgotten how dangerous the world is.
We are living in very volatile and dangerous times and we’ve just elected an unknown entity as our President.