Income Disparity and The Rise of Civil Outrage

The thought of taking to the streets to protest government policy likely strikes most Canadians and Americans as a bit dramatic and a waste of time. We are so used to the relentless rise of prices across gasoline, transit fares and food that the whole government position of “there’s no inflation in sight” is downright laughable. But we generally accept it as a fact of life, and focus on getting paid and enjoying life.

In many other countries, though, taking to the streets has become the way of life, since getting paid and enjoying life fall outside of the realm of possibility for increasing numbers of people around the world. This is despite International Monetary Fund platitudes about “poverty retreating in all corners of the world”.

According to the World Bank:

  • According to the most recent estimates, in 2015, 10 percent of the world’s population lived on less than US$1.90 a day, compared to 11 percent in 2013. That’s down from nearly 36 percent in 1990.
  • Nearly 1.1 billion fewer people are living in extreme poverty than in 1990. In 2015, 736 million people lived on less than $1.90 a day, down from 1.85 billion in 1990.

Note the inherent deception in this statement. Extreme Poverty is defined as those living on less than $1.90 per day, and 1.1 billion fewer people are living in extreme poverty than in 1990. So if you’re living on less than $1.95 per day, you are not deemed to be living in extreme poverty.

Such clever little word games are precisely the sort of elite political bullshit that drives people crazy. Nobody cares what the numbers are. They only care about their personal circumstances.

So when the transit commission in Santiago Chile decides to raise the price of a ride arbitrarily, it triggers a much more deeply rooted outrage that has been building and building as those in charge continuously try to get the public to believe that they are doing okay.

In Hong Kong, the impetus is different, but the emotional outrage that simmers and builds over time is rooted in the same causes: people in charge thinking they know better than you do what is good for you.

People are continuously pointing to the Chinese Tiger as a threat to the West’s economic dominance. But the Chinese Tiger is more of a paper tiger that is built on a funeral pyre; it’s just a matter of time until all of China is a raging inferno of fed up people sick and tired of being held prisoner by their criminal government. To thwart the freedom and autonomous right to self-determination is the most basic Crime Against Humanity there is. And China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are all smouldering time bombs getting ready to go off.

Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, North Korea and Chile are already aflame, and the fire of democratic revolt is spreading.

Even in Toronto I am seeing posters for a movement called Fight Back inviting readers to meet and join in a protest against the global elite.

This is probably the biggest threat to global markets that investors have to concern themselves with at the close of 2019. Already, the sense of risk-off investor sentiment is apparent in the TSX, S&P 500, Dow Jones, FTSE and DAX.

2020 will either be the year that the global elite beat a retreat from their predatory abuse of their electorate, or it will be the year that democracy is put on hold, and violent state oppression seeks to criminally extinguish the popular outrage.

James West

Editor and Publisher

James West founded Midas Letter in 2008 and has since been covering the best of Canadian and US small cap companies. He covers global economics, monetary policy, geopolitical evolution, political corruption, commodities, cannabis and cryptocurrencies. As an active market participant, James is not a journalist and is invariably discussing markets...
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