I have devoted a fair amount of coverage recently to protests in Spain, Italy and other places. The US has seen massive protests in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and now Oregon.
The protests in the US and Europe have a common theme "gimme gimme gimme".
Everyone wants something, and they want to take it from someone else to get it. In the US, the SEIU is right at the top of the list in wanting to pick the pockets of everyone else for their own self-serving benefit.
Misguided SEIU Oregon Protest
Please consider Thousands storm Oregon's capitol steps rallying for "a better way"
Taking to the steps of the state capitol in Salem on Friday, thousands of state workers, union members and advocacy groups rallying for alternatives to budget cuts, wage freezes and furlough days in Oregon.SEIU Mob in Oregon
At least 36 busses carried people in to Salem from communities across all corners of Oregon. Many rally members say they're tired of making concessions while corporation and wealthy Oregonians “aren't paying their fair share.”
Most of the participants in Friday's rally were state workers on an unpaid furlough day, one of 10 the state is forcing employees to take this year to help balance the budget.
Mish,Austerity Measures Needed
The biggest problem I have with the protests in Europe is that they seem to be protesting the wrong things.
In Greece, for example, the nation has been floating on an unsustainable tide of government spending for public- and quasi-public-sector jobs and pensions, and also for entitlements. A huge segment of the Greek population gets some or all of its money from the various layers of government.
It seems to me that much the protesting is against the prospective loss of the national free lunch, because the Greek public knows their artificially-supported lifestyles will disappear down the drain and Greece will be back to being the third-world country is was 30 or 40 years ago.
That is why the Greeks are protesting against austerity measures. They should be protesting against bailouts and state guarantees of debt that will saddle them and their children with a lifelong bill, but for now it just seems like a standard leftist rant in favor of socialism and statism.
The PIIGS should default on their unsupportable debts AND cut back their wild spending to get back on solid ground financially, but the protesters seem to have little appetite for the second part of that equation.