The youth riots in London and elsewhere in the U.K., the Wisconsin State Fair Park wildings, and the muggings in Madison are inter-related.
Both the U.S. and the U.K. are welfare states. The more we spend on welfare programs the more the supposed beneficiaries are ungrateful to the point of resentment.
The whack and grabbers, no matter their race and nationality, are the ultimate redistributionists. They feel entitled to goodies they did not earn precisely because they do not have them and someone else does. The state uses its coercive powers to redistribute wealth and the gangs use theirs. What's the diff?
Because they have earned nothing, nothing has value. Without earning and real achievement, not even life has value.
The divine Peggy Noonan has put some much needed context.
"We saw something over there that in smaller ways we're starting to see over here," the divine writes, mentioning by name the State Fair Park disorders. She quotes Theodore Dalrymple in the City Journal.
At fault in the riots were the distorting effects of the welfare state and a degenerate British popular culture: "A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice."
Sure enough, today's Wall Street Journal carries an article from Dr. Dalrymple himself (a pen name), who notes that self-entitled youth place a de facto curfew on the elderly, "who, in most places, would no more think of venturing forth after dark than would peasants in Bram Stoker's Transylvania."
"We're fed up with being broke," one rioter ... said, as if having enough money to satisfy one's desires were a human right rather than something to be earned."
Dalrymple notes that the minimum wage is so high in Britain that "no employer can possibly extract from the young unemployed Briton anything like the value of what it costs to employ him."
The redistributionist culture
For an electron-microscopic view of the redistributionist mentality, your Squire invites you to visit the Forum next door, Racist Attack @ Milwaukee State Fair. I can report that the inmates are throwing less dung than usual (See "It is time for violence") in favor of a fairly reasoned discourse.
The occasional Foron nails it, as the poster who asked how one could attend State Fair and not have good clean fun and nothing but. Others stumble over their liberal ideology, as the aptly named "Wack Wack," who chalked it up to that old standby, unequal distribution of wealth.
They don't have any money to go in and enjoy the fair, so they'll wait outside to destroy the experience for those who enjoyed something the mobsters couldn't.
That would be LOL funny if it wasn't so much part of the causation. Of course, wilding started inside the fair and spread to black on white predation outside the fair at closing time. I will not feel sorry for poverty that wears $100 gym shoes, carries iPods and cell phones and possess various XBoxes and the like.
From the August 14, 2011, London Telegraph by way of the today's Wall Street Journal:
Over the past week we have witnessed the culmination of the liberal experiment. The experiment attested that two parents don't matter; that welfare, rather than work, cures poverty; you tolerate 'minor crime,' you turn a blind eye to celebrity drug use; you allow children to leave school without worthwhile skills; you say there's no difference between right and wrong. Well, now we've seen the results.
The modern Labour Party's answer to every social question is to open the taxpayers' cheque books. ... The welfare state has never been bigger -- nor have our social problems.
Cooperation instead of confrontation
That is what Gov. Scott Walker and the Fitzgerald Republicans hath wrought. In some districts, working outside of collective bargaining reportedly has resulted in more collaboration with teachers ("Handbooks replace union contracts in Wisconsin schools" -- Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 8-13-11).
The Hartland-Lakeside School District in Waukesha County designed its employee handbook with a team of 12 teachers, three principals, three central office employees and an attorney from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, which created a model handbook template.
Last year, the district and teachers union went to arbitration over retirement benefits. Now the parties have sat together to figure out everything from a new teacher evaluation model to performance pay and a "just cause" model for dismissal of teachers who don't perform.
"This is the first time we've had a real collaborative, cooperative approach to figuring out how to go forward," said Ann Charlesworth, a fourth-grade teacher who was a union negotiator. "Our approach in the past was always adversarial because of the structure of collective bargaining.
What do you call laying off 40% of WEAC office staff? A start.
Dan Bice does a thorough dissection of how George Soros, the "Liberal billionaire help[s] fund media groups in Wisconsin." Something you'll never see the Capital Times disclose.