Where Is The Uprising?

This weekend, Sudhir Venkatesh editorializing in the New York Times wondered where the uprising is:

Before blogs and radio call-in shows, people joined forces and turned to the streets as their most effective means of expression; a unified, angry crowd was often sufficient to win concessions from employers and governments. And so most rebellions of the 20th century were over bread-and-butter issues like unsafe work conditions, wages and high prices for basic commodities. Even “race riots” were usually motivated by competition between ethnic groups over access to jobs and housing subsidies.

But some outbreaks of lawlessness were also indicators of strong, shared sentiments and were driven by a sense of higher purpose. For example, in 1919 Chicago, black soldiers returned home from World War I to find segregated ghettos, white-dominated unions and racist government practices. Many joined their neighbors who battled white youth and police officers in the streets. They had fought an enemy overseas; now it was their moral duty to fight injustice at home.

Ah, the good old days, when citizens indulged in the self-destructive impulse to burn their own communities to express rage at the machine.

Here’s the thing:

Things aren’t so bad. Yes, you read that right. Here’s my very unscientific reasons for why people aren’t rioting in the streets.

1. If a person has a job, he’s not putting himself in the position of losing it by skipping work to riot.
2. People are protesting, just not what the social justice types want to have protested. People aren’t desiring more bailouts, personally or otherwise. They want less. It’s called a Tea Party. April 15 will be eye-opening to these sociology professors. The producers are sick to death of being asked to bail out the non-producers.

This is not a recession from barely making it to starving. This is a recession from want to need. People are recalibrating meeting their needs. They want the government to do the same thing.

Cross-posted at MelissaClouthier.com

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