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Jim Worth Headshot

Walk Like an Egyptian

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The unrest in Egypt is a microcosm of the sins of a global economy!

Egyptians, tired of oppression, wealth disparity, and the indignities perpetrated on the middle and lower income classes, revolted against this soft tyranny that has inflicted pain on the people over the last 30 years. The Egyptian people wanted to control their own fate. They wanted a new government and they wanted Mubarak to leave.

The world feared that the turmoil in Egypt would spread throughout the Middle-East -- to Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and other oppressed nations in the region.

Clearly, the Egyptian people had had enough of high unemployment, the listless growth in the country, the transfer of wealth to the top one percent of the Egyptian population, and the gluttony of the Monarch!

If this sounds familiar, it is! The only difference between Egypt and the United States is the number of bandaids available and a media not doing its job in exposing the unsustainable problems we have on the horizon.

When will the Americans wake up? When will the oppressed populace take to the streets of American cities?

Americans are too busy -- in an unending struggle to keep their heads above water -- to revolt. The idleness of the young Egyptians was one of the major reasons the revolt was able to have the life it had.

As the phenomenon spreads throughout the Middle-East -- now Algeria and Iran -- reporting the desire for freedom and democracy are the focal points of the American media. But, they're not the only points.

People throughout the region are demanding release from various levels of oppressive rule. But, what cannot be ignored is the role unemployment and poverty, or near poverty, is playing in this upheaval.

It's a ground swell that could easily spread to the U.S. as unemployment, wealth disparities, rising food, energy, and gas prices persist. These elements were all prominent in the dissidence in the Middle-East demonstrations and are at a tipping point globally and edging closer in this country.

Recent moves to austerity, a lesser harsh reality of similar problems to the Middle-East, is prominent in European countries.

Demonstrations in Greece, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, though less tense and shorter in duration, were products of the same deficiencies present in governments throughout the globe and across the political spectrum.

Yesterday, the unrest has shown up in, of all places, Madison, Wisconsin. Thousands of state employees marched on the capitol on Tuesday to protest austerity measures imposed by new Republican Governor, Scott Walker, which include slashing benefits and busting the public employee unions. Governor Walker called in the National Guard fearing union members' outrage and threatening to replace them with National Guardsmen. The plan calls for sacrifice from all public employees as reported by Jeff Mayers for Reuters, despite the $100 million in concessions state employees have already given to help the state's budgetary shortcomings.

As states like Wisconsin and Illinois attempt to balance government shortfalls through raising taxes, reducing pay, and vacating promises of retirement and healthcare on the backs of the middle-class, these demonstrations will increase and accelerate.

Americans are slowly awakening to the realizations that their country has become a combination Plutocracy and Oligarchy; run by a Corporate-Congressional Complex.

It is only a matter of time before America turns into Egypt -- before our individual struggles become as stifling and debilitating as those of the Egyptians.

Only then will Americans reclaim the inalienable benefits of democracy -- the opportunity to return to prosperity usurped and transferred over the last 30 years by an uncaring government to giant global corporations.

The Egyptians tired of it and so will we!

Only then can we return to 'the pursuit of happiness!'