Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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September 4th, 2011 · No Comments · Social Commentary

The biggest protests in Israel’s History have started on the heels of Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya. Now Israeli Citizenry has had it and they’re not going to budge. Protesting the cost of living it’s not hard to imagine that the average person in the land of milk and honey is getting worked over by the banks, the oil companies and politicians.

At least a quarter of a million Israelis, fed up with the mounting cost of living, poured into the streets of the country’s major cities Saturday night to demand that their leaders address their plight – and proving by their tremendous numbers that they will not go away.

This outrage, is the largest social protest in Israel’s history. Good for them! While I am definitely a capitalist (not a very good one I might add), the “People before profits,” slogan has resonance with me. At least give us a level playing field. What happens to often is that these institutions get caught breaking the law and are not sufficiently penalized or required to make restitution beyond a wrist slap (see previous post on JP Morgan Chase).

How would you like 30,000 protesters gathering outside your house as they did in front of Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence? There’s a little under 8 million people in Israel so you gotta figure that 1 in 10 are pissed (taking away the very young and very old).

So what’s it going to take for the average American to Stand Up and get some action. Instead we get the Super Committee. In Israel they go to the army, work and pay high taxes and still don’t earn enough” to make ends meet. The core economic issues are the same including the cost of food (I refuse to pay $5 for a box of cereal), gasoline (will not buy a car unless it gets 40 MPG IF I move out of New York where I don’t need one), education (not falling into the student loan trap sorry) and wages (no good news here on the unemployment front).

Like in Israel, what we’re seeing is an all out assault on the middle class who are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.

I have heard from several friends whom I thought were financially set that they are selling assets, and going into “triage” mode. It caught me by surprise. I have been making due for a long time and am just now starting to see daylight thanks to a timely career change. But taxes are high, and are only going to have to get higher if the debt is to be brought down.

Market competition is low so these monopolies and conglomerates can do what they want and jobs continue to be shipped overseas, so salaries haven’t kept pace with the price rises.

And yet, in Israel, the leading economic indicators show the economy is thriving. Go figure.

The politicians and the business leaders in Israel as well as in Europe and here would do well to see the writing on the wall.

Israel protests hopefully catch on in US

Israel protests hopefully catch on in US

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