In a recent interview with Newsweek, George Soros has said that he foresees “riots on the streets [in the USA] that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties.”
This is not good news for US citizens, or business. People who are rioting do not make good customers, or employees. And sales may increase for companies in the ‘personal security’ industry, a climate of civil unrest is likely to make things even worse for the rest of the economy.
As a man who escaped first Nazis and then communists in his native Hungary, and then went on to make $1bn in a single day from the collapse of the ERM, his opinion surely deserves to be listened to.
This piece on Russian news site rt.com summarises the Newsweek article and adds some supporting evidence of its own:
- Two thirds of adults questioned in a recent Pew Research survey apparently said that they agreed “strong” or “very strong” conflicts exist between America’s elite rich and the poor.
- And while the passing of the recent National Defence Authorisation Act makes it lawful for the US government to indefinitely detain and torture American citizens suspected of terror crimes without ever bringing them to trial, the proposed Enemy Expatriation Act would allow the US government simply to revoke citizenship without trial from anyone deemed a threat.
Back to George Soros.
“The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” he tells Newsweek. “We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression. We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario”, he says, “is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system. …At times like these, survival is the most important thing.”
As Newsweek explains, “He doesn’t just mean it’s time to protect your assets. He means it’s time to stave off disaster.”
‘Staving off disaster’ means saving the financial system from collapse, retaining the euro as an economic unit and zone, and removing the “evil” he sees in the financial system.
It also means, in our view, that once we have stepped back from the edge we need to point the world in a direction that takes us away from the place that we have got to. And since equality is one of the key measures he uses to identify the problem, reducing equality is one of the solutions.