11 August 2019   Leave a comment

Protests in Hong Kong are continuing and the protesters are adopting cat-and-mouse tactics to evade the riot police. The protests seem to have gone far beyond expressing displeasure at the extradition bill proposed by Beijing that places Hong Kongers within the jurisdiction of the central government in Beijing. Now, protesters are using slogans that refer to the “liberation” of Hong Kong. Global Times, a media outlet that often reflects the opinion of the Beijing government, claims that the protesters do not have the support of ordinary people in Hong Kong:

“More and more Hongkongers urged police to strictly enforce  the law and bring all violent rioters to justice after the city suffered another weekend of chaos and public transport disruption.

“Illegal protesters began to use guerrilla-style assemblies and flash mob protests to hit different districts during the weekend, seriously affecting the normal life of Hong Kong  residents.” 

Xinhua also makes the same claim:

“Large groups of Hong Kong people visited several police stations in Hong Kong Saturday to express their firm support for and utmost respect to the police force.

“The scene stood in stark contrast to the chaotic and violent besieges of police stations by black-clad protesters on many nights over the past weeks.

“‘The police have been working really hard to safeguard social order. We came here to show our support,’ said a resident surnamed Chan, who visited Kwai Chung Police Station with his wife and son. The boy gave the police a hand-written card as a gift.’

The evidence, however, suggests that the protests have wide support. The protesters are also becoming quite sophisticated, playing games of rock-scissors-paper to determine the location of their protests so that the police cannot anticipate their moves. It seems clear, however, that the Beijing government’s willingness to tolerate the protests is getting short, and there is great danger that violence will be used to suppress the protests, as was done in the protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Bloomberg has published a very unsettling article about the concentration of wealth in the world and how that concentration seems to be accelerating at a very high rate.

“The numbers are mind-boggling: $70,000 per minute, $4 million per hour, $100 million per day.

“That’s how quickly the fortune of the Waltons, the clan behind Walmart Inc., has been growing since last year’s Bloomberg ranking of the world’s richest families.

“At that rate, their wealth would’ve expanded about $23,000 since you began reading this. A new Walmart associate in the U.S. would’ve made about 6 cents in that time, on the way to an $11 hourly minimum….

“So it goes around the globe. America’s richest 0.1% today control more wealth than at any time since 1929, but their counterparts in Asia and Europe are gaining too. Worldwide, the 25 richest families now control almost $1.4 trillion in wealth, up 24% from last year.”

The rate at which wealth is being concentrated cannot be sustained, economically or politically. Common Dreams extrapolated the rate and found that there is an end point which is morally inconeivable:

“If wealth inequality in the United States continues to soar at its current rate, the top 10 percent of Americans could own 100 percent of the nation’s net worth by 2052.

That’s according to an analysis by Dallas Morning News finance columnist Scott Burns, who wrote Sunday that the wealthiest Americans ‘will truly ‘have it all’ just 33 years from now.’

“‘However you slice it, the rich have been getting richer. Lots richer,’ wrote Burns, citing Federal Reserve data. ‘Here are the basics. From 2013 to 2016, the top 10 percent of households increased their share of total wealth from an amazing 75.3 percent to a stunning 77.2 percent. That’s a share gain of 1.87 percent in just three years.’

“‘If they continue to gain share at that rate,’ Burns added, ‘they’ll have the remaining 22.8 percent of net worth held by the other 90 percent in just 12 more surveys, give or take an upheaval or two.'”

We should all keep this data in mind as we are flooded with charges of “socialism” as efforts are made to protect the interests of those who are not benefiting from the economic system in place.

Posted August 11, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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