Social Question

josie's avatar

Will Americans riot over the inevitable spending cuts?

Asked by josie (22955 points ) October 20th, 2010

The Greeks rioted when their government went broke and had to beg money on blisteringly austere terms.
The French government had to cut spending and the French rioted violently (Damaging property like spoiled kids. The French…I’ll just hold my tongue here).
The Chancellor of the Exchequer just outlined his own deep spending cuts to save the UK’s treasury, and while I doubt that my cousins will riot, who knows?
The point is, the writing is on the wall. Americans are next. You can’t lie about or deny the numbers. There is going to be a difficult austerity program right here in the homeland. Without it, people will start unloading our paper, and/or the government will have to print money until the dollar is worthless.

(BTW, would it be OK to not get into the usual non productive cat-chases-its own-tail tit for tat about who to blame and all that? Living on credit has been an American obsession for decades, and everybody, including the banks and government, got into the game. Everybody is to blame. And you know it.)

Do you think Americans will riot?
Since the government has pretty successfully turned the American population into mutually jealous and suspicious tribes, which ones will fuss the most?
Or will everybody make Josie proud, suck it up and do what needs to be done?
And learn their lesson?

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28 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

Americans are pretty fond of civil unrest. It seems ever 30–40 years there is something to rile up the masses. We are about due for another one.

marinelife's avatar

No. I don’t think there will be riots.

bob_'s avatar

I don’t know, but it’s not gonna be pretty.

dkranzberg's avatar

Many Americans have grown accustomed to a state of dependency upon the government. Perhaps not as deep and pervasive as that found in many European nations, but dependency nevertheless. Just like spoiled children, who depend upon their parents for nearly everything—but imagine themselves free—I expect a large temper tantrum is on the horizon.

kevbo's avatar

Please tell me you don’t refer to the U.S. as “the homeland” in everyday conversation.

josie's avatar

@kevbo I won’t tell you any such thing. What’s the problem?

WestRiverrat's avatar

I think there will be riots, heck we have people riot over such trivial things as their team winning a football game.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think there will be riots. Americans are too complacent, even as angry as they are about the economy. There’s no way that Obama will make cuts in government services, except those that are cosmetic. I doubt if the Congress will want to do so either.

I think most people will hold out for better times, rather than riot. Even if Obama is not reelected, I doubt if the next administration would make drastic cuts. Everything will be about stimulus, whether it’s borrowing money or giving tax cuts (and borrowing money). Americans are too entitled to riot.

Of course, I’ve been wrong before. I thought there was no way that Shrub would get reelected.

Trillian's avatar

There might be giants.

YARNLADY's avatar

Perhaps some people in some impacted areas will act out, but I don’t believe there would be any wide spread riots. The deepest cuts are being made in services for those who are the most vulnerable and have the least power to do anything about it.

It’s more likely that more people will die in the streets, go without necessary services, and get hungrier.

ETpro's avatar

Seems to me the French have an alternative. If they really want to retire at 60 even though they are now living far longer than they did when that law was enacted and the acturial tables to pay for it were calculated, vote to raise taxes and pay for the luxury they want. Indeed, they are acting like petulant children who want to have their cake and eat it too.

Will Americans do the same. Given all the Tea Party anger, quite likely. By the way, we have the same option open to the French. Vote to raise revenues. We paid down the crushing debt of WWII (Debt hit 120% of Gross Domestic Product). We can either have all the services we now have and fully fund them, or cut services. Riot or not, that choice will remain. As Philip K. Dick so rightly observed, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” And we’re going to stop believing in self financing tax cuts pretty soon now.

The question is, with economic disparity drastically skewed to the rich, do we vote to balance the Federal debt on the backs of the poor so the rich can have even more tax cuts?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Nah… Perhaps a few marches and rallies that get some attention, but no riots… not in the manner of the Rodney King LA Riots anyway… (I was there).

We have a new tool at our disposal these days. Rioting is not necessary to sway public opinion. Home grown terrorism is the way of the future. Much easier to accomplish, and no need to organize a large group.

ucme's avatar

Possibly so, us Brits may do likewise! Bloody cuts, it’s like a carve up in a slasher movie :¬(

wundayatta's avatar

The Tea Party don’t care about the poor. What is amazing is that the poor care about the Tea Party. Some of them, anyway. Boy will they be surprised, if the TP gets what they want, when they (the poor) end up even poorer.

As to the French, or any other country faced with this, there is nowhere to go but shared “a little bit poorer”-ness. If they don’t have the revenue to pay all the benefit, then they can tax people more (they’ll love that), borrow money or print it. In any of those cases, the overall standard of living will go down. It will just be shared more equally over a wider group of people. If the French would rather share a collective reduction in standard of living, who are we to say otherwise.

I know for sure that would not be the choice in this country. Here, of course, we don’t give a shit about the poor (editorial we, not us right here). Let them drink sewage. A tax break is just fine. I could use another Rolls. They cost as much as a small house, you know. Speaking of that.shouldn’t the interest on a Rolls loan be deductible? Cost of a house and all that, you know. ;-)

4ThaSouL's avatar

Americans won’t riot over cutbacks by the government. We have become a country that is to apathetic, uninformed, and lazy. Everyone in this country also has the illusion that one day they will be rich, so that illusion usually creates people who won’t be violent in an organized massive scale. And if this illusion of obtaining riches, our apathy, ignorance, and laziness is not enough, we always have the distraction of sports, concerts, movies, music, and celebrity gossip to keep our eyes off of what’s truly important.

If anything will spark riots in this country, we have to look at what has caused them in the past. And riots in the past in this country have been sparked by race, racism, or the perception that a race is being attacked unjustly by the police. So if I were a betting man, I would place my bet on riots coming from a minority group who feels attacked or disfranchised…maybe the exploding Latino and Hispanic population is where the next riots will come from. I say this only because although historically it’s been the African American community that riots in protest of racism, the election of Obama has pacified many African Americans and led them to believe that things are better even though statistics say that the wealth, employment, education, and prison population gap between whites and blacks is now worse than ever before.

jorae's avatar

I am ready.

have nothing to loose but to make the news….We will not be the TeaParty. We will be mad and we will destroy to make sure we are heard…

I look forward to making my point heard loud and clear.

jorae's avatar

you have any questions?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yes I have a question for you @jorae. I know you are mad and want to be heard, and you feel as though you need to destroy in order to be heard, and you look forward to making your point loud and clear… So in effect, I have heard you, and you didn’t need to destroy anything in order for me to hear you.

So here’s my question for you @jorae. What do you have to say?

And I have another question for you @jorae. Can it be said without destroying anything?

jorae's avatar

No…Your “touch/feelY” sympathies don’t make the news…

We lost the Public Option because Teabaggers (proven to be lobbyist organized) got into the news -

Patriot? Yes, I am standing up – will stand up – and give everything I’ve got to make a VERY LOUD AND DESTRUCTIVE NOISE.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

So you have something to say, but you just don’t want to say it to me, deeming me as not connected enough when you don’t even know me. And somehow you’ve determined that my feelings are “touch/feelY”?... Do I have that right @jorae?

How did you come to this conclusion about me? Do you know me or not?

What does “touch/feelY” mean in the sense of political upheavals?

And one more question if you please. Since you won’t say what you have to say to me, what message will I receive when I hear your VERY LOUD AND DESTRUCTIVE NOISE?

I mean, is it just going to be a noise, or will there be a message that you want to communicate in that noise? And really @jorae, if there is a message in your LOUD NOISE, what makes it such a special message that it can’t be communicated on this thread?

I’m really curious as to what you’re talking about? And what exactly am I supposed to learn from your big loud destructive noise?

jorae's avatar

Is there a different way to respond to a question directed to me? This was my first day on the board…so I just typed another thread…what’s the problem?

Why does it bother you that a question FROM YOU…that showed up on the board,....was answered on the board????

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Why does it bother you to answer direct questions that have been asked of you?

Here’s another… What gives you reason to claim I’m bothered?

I’m simply asking questions of you. You have avoided and refused to answer all of them, instead becoming the accuser by accusing me of being bothered and touch/feelY, when you have no clue as to who I am or what I’m about.

Will you answer questions or not? Or will you continue to accuse me of being the way you want me to be in order to avoid answering the questions before you?

plethora's avatar

@jorae And your ass will be arrested and jailed.

plethora's avatar

@4ThaSouL Everyone in this country also has the illusion that one day they will be rich

Interesting comment. I would be inclined to say that most in the USA would know that they have the opportunity to be “rich”, and I put that in quotes because the term means different things to different people. Why do you call it an illusion and why do you consider it bad?

ETpro's avatar

@plethora Who is going to clean all the fat cats toilets, and fix thir shit-plugged pipes, and feed their fat fces when they jail the working class? Who is going to take out the garbage?

linguaphile's avatar

The way some people are talking, with the divisive politics—the insidious Leftist Agenda or the evil Right Wing Agenda—both of them are not thinking things through and make me nervous. It doesn’t matter which side one is on- when the lack of thought-through actions become the norm for a group, it does not lead to productive results. If there’s a riot, I think it will be sparked by race, immigrants, divisive politics or people fed up with the corporatocracy.

There are preachers telling people how to vote from the pulpit, but also unions telling people how to vote as part of their jobs. Some people follow blindly, some have filters. The people who are screaming at each other on TV are not the rational ones and do not appeal to rational people.

Unfortunately, it’s these very people who raise an eyebrow at rushing crazily into the midst of the battle that we need to hear more from and they’re not the ones screaming.

ETpro's avatar

Spending cuts are not inevitable. If we chose to shrink our way to greatness, then they will come, and eventually when Americans figure out what the Republican Plutocrat Masters are doing to them, there will be riots.

But we are so far from broke it is utterly ridiculous. We just need to raise revenues enough we can invest in our future and we will be just fine.

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