For the second day in a row, thousands of demonstrators and trade union activists protested in the streets of Brussels on Monday, calling for an alternative to the Belgian government's austerity measures.
Maybe they see that it's actually more complex than the banks alone.
America took a wiser, long-range approach to implementing the austerity agenda. As concisely as possible: Each time in our past that financial and corporate powers gained too much influence over govt., to the great harm of the nation, the "masses" -- the poor and middle class, workers and the jobless -- united to push back, to everyone's benefit. Back in the 1980s, it was Newt Gingrich, as I recall, who pointed this out and explained that the only way to bring the "Reagan Revolution" to fruition would be to pit the masses against each other. This was a long range plan that depended very much on mass media to help "re-educate" the public, and it was very successful. We were taught that our hyper-capitalist system is so perfect that that everyone is able to work, and there are jobs for all who need one. All one needs to do is "get up every morning, work hard, and play by all the rules." People were poor only because they were lazy and morally deviant. The middle class bought it
I think most people can, on some level, grasp that not everyone can work (health, circumstances) and that there aren't jobs for all who urgently need one, but they disregard this. This generation has been taught to despise the poor so much that they believe the poor are undeserving of simple food and shelter. Liberal media have implicitly supported this theory, regarding (I think) the poor as a sort of sub-species.
We ended our actual welfare aid programs (General Assistance and AFDC), and have become increasingly brutal to the disabled (having decided that there is no excuse for them to be jobless, regardless of how disabled they are). We continue to embrace the austerity agenda precisely because media won't report the consequences. Even as the middle class continues to be phased out, Americans demand austerity for the jobless and the unemployable, inexplicably not seeing that this will eventually apply to them. So -- no protests against austerity here, and spite of the heavy toll it has already taken on the US.