Thousands of riot police are confronting tens of thousands of Greeks in Syntagma Square, Athens as citizens protest the upcoming cuts in Greek government spending. The cuts, aka “structural readjustment”, are being imposed by Greece’s new de facto rulers, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.
The Greek citizens have every right to be angry. Well educated young people are suffering staggering levels of unemployment and underemployment. Social safety nets once taken for granted are on the chopping block.
Whose fault is it? The big western banks bear a lot of the blame for lending the Greek government too much money while helping to hide the country’s deteriorating financial condition. Corrupt Greek leaders who were willing partners in the scam deserve their share of the blame too.
But we shouldn’t let the citizens off the hook. In a democracy, we’re the ones in charge. If we keep putting crooks in office, it’s going to come back to haunt us.
Which brings me to the USA. We’ve let bankers and militarists run our government for years – and they seem to get greedier all the time. Derivatives, bailouts, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. And while they pick our pockets, they deep six our civil rights.
What’s happening in Greece can happen here. At the rate we’re going, our national debt will hit $20 trillion in mid-decade. At an interest rate of five percent, debt service would consume our entire income tax.
So what then? The IMF will do to us what it is doing to Greece. It will impose cuts in pensions, health care and likely force the privatization of public property. The job picture, already poor, will turn bleaker and living standards will decline at an accelerating rate.
And if we don’t like it? Soldiers of the new U.S. Northern Command train in suppressing domestic unrest. Police around the country are militarized. Continuity of Government provisions lay the groundwork for martial law. You get the picture. Check out my interview on the origins of the national security state and the plans for martial law with Professor Peter Dale Scott.
I would like to blame it all on bankers and crooked politicians. But it’s our country. Look in the mirror. We have to take control and make drastic changes in government policy. Let’s start by ending the war.