I have what I believe to be an important and timely column in the upcoming November 21 edition of Forbes Magazine: “Occupy Wall Street… Next Stop, Athens?”
A ragtag (yet well-funded) group of activists have garnered a lot of press by “occupying” Wall Street – and cities and towns across the country – over the past weeks. They’re protesting “corporate greed” and demanding (among other things) the forgiveness of all outstanding debt. While they’re clearly on the fringe of the political spectrum, they might have stumbled upon a notable thread of discontent in American society.
In my Forbes column, I compare the relative stability of America’s financial system – a stability that has produced the “Occupy Wall Street” movement – with what’s going on in Greece and ask: What would happen if the austerity programs that have been proposed for Greece were forced upon the United States?
What would the streets of America look like then?
But if you think a thousand protesters on Wall Street is a trouble sign for our nation, wait until you see the civil unrest that follows the reforms and cuts to government programs needed to bring our national debt under control. Just look at Greece, where government is being reformed, drastic cuts are being made–and the society is unraveling. In Greece a series of severe austerity measures has been imposed as conditions for recent bailouts by the International Monetary Fund and the other members of the single European currency, the euro. Yet the economy continues to spiral downward.