Friday, November 29, 2013

Unemployment, inequality, social unrest has the Pope worried

Source: Business Insider
by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Total youth unemployment in the EU stands at 24% according to figures out today. Youth unemployment in Spain and Greece is almost at 60% and in Italy it's 41%.  These are staggering statistics when you think about it and most likely a conservative assessment. The present world situation is such that the pope of Rome is forced to comment: “Today we are living in an unjust international system in which ‘King Money’ is at the center,” he has said recently adding that A people that cares neither for its youth nor for its older people has no future.......Young people take society into the future, while the older generation gives society its memory, its wisdom.” 

It is these conditions and the dangers they represent that forces the head of capitalism's leading religious institution to speak out and he has done so with considerable venom. The fascist New Dawn in Greece has been gaining traction as have right wing forces in other parts of Europe and having a few million young people walking the streets without jobs threatens social stability. But more than the rise of the right, the Catholic Church is not blind to the mass resistance around the world to the capitalist offensive.  The ongoing class struggle in Bangladesh in response to the horrific conditions in the factories there as well as the emergence of left governments in Latin America and the struggles of indigenous communities all hold potential dangers.  There are still mass protests in Spain and other parts of the EU against austerity.  In the US there is evidence of increased resistance to austerity developing as youth and low waged workers lift their heads and an open socialist is elected to Seattle City Council.   What if this cannot be contained?

"As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world's problems or, for that matter, to any problems," the Pope said.

The Pope's statements certainly put him to the left of the heads of organized Labor in the US, unfortunately his solution is questionable, "I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.", he said.  Why the "Lord" sent us politicians that didn't care in the first place is anyone's guess, a computer glitch perhaps.

But better look to the Lord than take matters in to our own hands.  Anything is preferable to that and his words are a warning to the capitalist class who he calls upon to share more of their wealth, that better share it than lose it.  The future of the market is at stake.

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