Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former national security advisor, has warned that the US could witness riots if economy continues its downward spiral.
“There’s going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could be even riots!” said Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, in a recent interview with NBC.
“In 1907, when we had a massive banking crisis, when banks were beginning to collapse, there were going to be riots in the streets,” he added.
At least 3.6 million jobs have been wiped out throughout the US since the recession began in December 2007. The jobless rate officially reached a 16-year high of 7.6% (11.6 million people) last month.
Earlier this week, a new Federal Reserve report said that US unemployment could increase to 8.8%, causing the economy to contract for a full calendar year for the first time since 1991, when a contraction of 0.2% was registered.
The Obama White House has put forward an array of measures, including a $787 billion stimulus package, in the hopes of reviving the flagging economy.
Brzezinski, meanwhile, made some recommendations to the young administration.
He proposed the creation of a voluntary national solidarity fund, whose contributors would be those who became wealthy in recent times.
“Where is the moneyed class today? Why aren’t they doing something: the people who made billions, millions. I’m sort of thinking of Paulson, of Rubin [former treasury secretaries]. Why don’t they get together, and why don’t they organize a national solidarity fund in which they call on all of those who made these extraordinary amounts of money to kick some back?” he argued.
“I was worrying about it because we’re going to have millions and millions of unemployed, people really facing dire straits. And we’re going to be having that for some period of time before things hopefully improve,” said Brzezinski.