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From Wisconsin to Washington: US unrest grows

 

What began in Wisconsin several weeks ago has reached Washington.

Frustration with stagnant wages and the widening wealth gap are driving people onto the streets to protest.

“There's no reason that everyone shouldn't be able to get a little bit of the pie. there's no reason that the top 2% should get everything,” says Charles Ensley, Missouri Union member.

It is the lowest level of confidence in the US system of government in 35 years as both parties squabble and budgets go broke. Rage at the big corporations goes high and lobbyists are seen as hijacking US democracy.

The offices in the center of Washington are one of the most powerful lobbying and public relations firms in the city. Hundreds of activists have stormed and occupied these offices demanding the return of collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin and the United States and saying they see an attack on one as an attack on all.

“Until we get the attention of the entire United States working class families and we'll be in every state and every city until the recognition is here. It’s a symptom of the growing unrest spreading across America as food prices rose 3.9 percent in February,” says Roy Ringwood, member of Sheet metal workers union.

“That's the tragedy of inflation it redistributes the money to the people who get it first and takes it from those whose wages do not rise,” says Joseph Salerno, chair of economics from Pace University.

Coupled with the highest gasoline costs for American households are expected to reach 2,800 dollars this year. Some say the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies are squeezing regular Americans dry. Critics say the Fed has dismissed concerns over skyrocketing food and fuel prices.

“People are being stretched financially and I think some of them are also galled because they see this dismissive attitude of the Federal Reserve,” says James Grant, publisher, Grant’s interest rate observer.

The speculation on Wall Street has brought more hunger to Main Street.

“The American dream is a bust for the moment for a lot of people. But not for the bankers and the speculators on Wall Street. They are nimble enough and they operate in liquid market vehicles like stocks, bonds, commodities so they are able to preserve their wealth in inflationary moments,” says James Grant.

Unrest has even become the highlight of the 2012 campaign but whether either party will be able to control it and contain it as frustration grows with the entire political system remains to be seen.

Location

Washington DC
United States
38° 53' 42.4032" N, 77° 2' 10.9176" W

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