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Posts Tagged ‘middle class’

Israel Protests: Has Israel Been Hit by the Arab Spring?

August 1, 2011 Comments off

 

As Israel‘s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing the strongest wave of protests since he took office, he was forced to announce that members of his government would meet protesters to try and calm public discontent.

Reuters
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

In the last two weeks, tens of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to demonstrate against the rising living costs, putting pressure on Netanyahu and asking for reforms.

This week-end has seen the largest wave of protests hit the country when more than 150,000 protesters gathered at sites across Israel on Saturday night, which analysts say could have been inspired by anti-government protests in neighbouring Arab countries.

Israelis are growing concerned with the increasing gap between rich and poor, high taxes and food prices, the cost of education and call for greater state involvement.

On the other hand, the middle class is also unhappy and insist it has become a de facto minority.  Protests over Read more…

Brzezinski: Middle Class Unrest To Hit U.S.

July 7, 2011 Comments off

infowars

Zbigniew Brzezinski, who forty years ago wrote of a highly controlled future society where the population would be subjugated by a technocratic elite, appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe yesterday to predict that middle class unrest caused by economic disenfranchisement would soon hit America.

“I don’t want to be a prophet of doom — and I don’t think we are approaching doom — but I think we’re going to slide into intensified social conflicts, social Read more…

The Coming Food Shocks: Background

May 24, 2011 Comments off

geopoliticalmonitor

The food crisis of 2008 was never resolved; it was merely put on hold by a global financial meltdown. Now, any serious discussion on a sustained economic recovery should take for granted that food prices will once again spike, bringing about a cascade of geopolitical consequences.

The sheer number of upward pressures on food prices makes it difficult to imagine a scenario that doesn’t have them spiking rather dramatically over the next few decades. This will result in not only an increase in global poverty, devastating some of the most vulnerable populations in the world, but it will also put stress on the new social contract that has emerged in certain rising powers- particularly the development-for-autocracy consensus in Read more…

Poverty spikes to record highs in US

May 9, 2011 Comments off

presstv

The number of American people living in poverty has soared to record-high levels, with African Americans suffering the bulk of the economic hardship in the US, reports say. Read more…

World Bank: Food prices have entered the ‘danger zone’

April 15, 2011 Comments off

telegraph

Robert Zoellick, World Bank president, said food prices are at “a tipping point”, having risen 36pc in the last year to levels close to their 2008 peak. The rising cost of food has been much more dramatic in low-income countries, pushing 44m people into poverty since June last year.

Another 10pc rise in food prices would push 10m into extreme poverty, defined as an effective income of less than $1.25 a day. Already, the world’s poor number 1.2bn.

Mr Zoellick said he saw no short term reversal in the damaging effect of food inflation, which is felt much more in the developing world as packaging and distribution accounts for a far larger proportion of the cost in the advanced economies.

Asked if he thought prices would remain high for a year, Mr Zoellick said: “The general trend lines are ones where we are in a danger zone… because prices have already gone up and stocks are relatively low.”

Rising prices have been driven by the changing diet of the ballooning middle classes in the emerging markets. “There is a demand change going on, with the higher incomes in developing countries. People will eat more meat products, for example, that will use more grain.

“I am not suggesting that the improved diets in the developing world are the source of the problem but it means it takes longer to Read more…

Senate approves bill to strip public employees of collective bargaining

March 10, 2011 Comments off

seattletimes

 Wisconsin Senate GOP bypass Democrats to cut union rights

 

Wisconsin Senate Republicans used a surprise legislative maneuver to pass a bill that would strip collective-bargaining rights from most public-sector workers — a move accomplished without the 14 Democratic senators who had fled the state to stall the measure.

Republicans voted 18-1 Wednesday night to pass nonfiscal provisions of the budget-repair bill — including those that would eliminate or severely limit collective-bargaining rights for most public employees.

Republicans control the Senate but had been blocked from voting on the issue after Democrats left the state Feb. 17 to prevent a quorum. Instead, Republicans used a procedural maneuver to force the collective-bargaining measure through: They removed elements of Gov. Scott Walker’s bill that technically were related to appropriating funds, thus removing a requirement that 20 senators be present for a vote.

In the end, the Senate’s 19 Republicans approved the measure without any debate on the floor or a single Democrat in the room.

Walker issued a statement praising the action: “The Senate Democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home, which they refused.”

The fight over the legislation has drawn national attention, with unions calling it an attack on all organized labor and some GOP lawmakers and governors calling it a necessary step to control state spending.

“You are cowards!” spectators in the Senate gallery screamed as lawmakers voted. Within hours, a crowd of a few hundred protesters had grown to thousands outside the state Capitol in Madison.

“The whole world is watching!” they shouted as Read more…

Rising world food prices may soon hit Africa hard, but could be a future boon

February 21, 2011 1 comment

Damaged rice is seen in a paddy field destroyed by flood- waters near a village in Manmunai West in Batticaloa district, about 199 miles east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Jan. 26. The floods inundated rice paddies, and according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, at least 15.5 percent of the main annual rice harvest could be lost.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Reuters

Johannesburg, South Africa

Global food prices reached a historic high last month, a fact that may cause even the most comfortable of Americans to cinch in their belts and cut back on spending.

But what about the world’s poor?

“Global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people around the world,” World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick said Tuesday as he announced the bank’s findings that about 44 million people in developing countries have been pushed into poverty since Read more…