Doug Kass: 15 Surprises for 2014 (Part 3)
Surprise No. 12: Social unrest and riots appear in the U.S.
Riots break out in select major cities as inequality and the screwflation of the middle class gain center stage.
Middle-class income, purchasing power and discretionary incomes continue to stagnate. Zero interest rates, quantitative easing, trickle-down economics and a higher stock market fail to solve the structural decline in labor's share of the economy.
Local municipalities raise costs and reduce their levels of services. With property values topping out, pension/health care costs rising and economic growth slowing, the decline in government services accelerates -- and so does taxation. As an example, the U.S. Postal Service reduces home delivery (in favor of more post office boxes and less frequent daily service). Local "junk fees" on parking tickets, permits, recreational entrance, etc. are instituted. As well, fees for trash pickup are raised dramatically and, in certain cases, trash pickup is eliminated.Pressured politicians introduce a national wealth tax (also a 2013 surprise) that is authorized by Congress late in the year. Strategy: None.
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