Which is better? Rioting in France and Greece or snoozing in America?

Summary:  Riots in France and Greece.  Calm in the United States.  Which shows clearer vision and greater willingness to institute reforms?  As usual, the media coverage gets it backwards.  First in a series about the end of the post-WWII era, and our preparations for it; links to other chapters appear at the end.

Rioters in France and Greece react to their government’s efforts to reform their economy.  Whether their public policy decisions are right or wrong, at least their government and people are awake.   (See this Foreign Policy article about the riots in France)

In the United States we have an electorate almost delusionally complacent, conducting a boring election.    Are elections useful if we do not discuss serious issues?  Almost every critical problem is MIA:

  • Almost no discussion about the foreign wars draining our Treasury and breaking the Army. 
  • Little serious discussion about reform of our financial system, which has imploded like clockwork every decade since the early 1970’s. 
  • Bogus discussion about the governments’ (all levels) precarious financial condition (wide agreement about no tax raises plus cutting waste and foreign aid). 
  • Little mention of our insanely expensive and counter-productive prison system, locking up a far higher fraction of our people than any civilized nation.
  • No mention about the cost and benefits of the American empire, or of our self-appointed role as global police.
  • Not only is there no mention about the rapidly declining educational performance of boys, but programs continue to focus on girls (see this series in Canada’s Globe and Mail).

Strong government actions and rioting in the streets at least would display signs of life.  Response to the environment — even screams of pain — is a primary sign of life.  Our delusional complacency (i.e., senescence) reveals much about the condition of the American republic.

What’s our problem?  See the other posts in this series for answers.

Other posts in this series

(2)  Polarization and hot rhetoric conceal two similar political parties. Will we ever notice?, 29 October 2010
(3)  Visit McDonald’s to learn all you need to know about American politics, 30 October 2010
(4)  The problem with America lies in our choice of heroes, 2 November 2010

Other posts about Greece and France

  1. The Rioting in France and the Decline of the State, 8 November 2005
  2. Can the European Monetary Union survive the next recession?, 11 July 2008
  3. What’s Going On in Greece? What does it mean?, 26 December 2008
  4. The periphery of Europe – a flashpoint to the global economy,
  5. About the insolvency of developed nations:  News from the front lines of the economic wars, 13 February 2010
  6. A great speech by the PM of Greece. How soon until an American President says similar words?, 3 March 2010
  7. The EU does Kabuki for Greece. Is it the next domino to fall?, 7 April 2010
  8. About the Euro crisis: the experts are wrong; the German people are right, 7 May 2010

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