Budget Deficits, Pension Plans, and the Seeds of Rebellion
by Joel Bowman
“Is the world finally cracking up?” we wondered aloud in these pages earlier this week. From the look of events unfolding across the volatile Middle East and North Africa region, it certainly seemed so. Governments are toppling, buildings are ablaze and protesters are “speak-to-tweeting” their way to freedom…of a sort.
But what about closer to home, back in the belly of the empire? It’s one thing for far-flung outposts to collapse, for the “uncivilized,” “unwashed” masses beyond the gates to storm their capital buildings and raise hell. But surely that couldn’t happen here, could it?
Of course it could. The existence of the state virtually guarantees it!
With this in mind, we issued the following words of caution to our Fellow Reckoners on Wednesday:
“Warning: Riots may be closer than they appear.”
We didn’t know it at the time, but tens of thousands of public sector workers and disgruntled union activists were at that very moment on the verge of storming the Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, to protest proposed cuts to their retirement and health benefits. At one point there were as many as 40,000 aggrieved banner-wavers in and around the building, stomping up and down and chanting, “Kill the bill! Kill the bill!”