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Superman is Already in the Classroom

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Workers Action

Kyle Cooke As a 4th and 5th grade teacher, I was told to watch an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show that dealt with the controversial documentary Waiting for Superman (September 20, 2010). One comment from the show really stood out to me: “… We set them [the students] up for failure.” I completely agree, […]

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A Permanent Housing Collapse?

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Shamus Cooke

Sometimes these basic rights must be demanded. The right to decent housing, a job that pays a living wage, health care, and peace could all be easily achieved in the United States if the economy were arranged with this purpose in mind. Sadly, it is not. It will take a mass movement of working people […]

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Stimulus or Austerity: The People Vs. The Banks

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Shamus Cooke

This illusion of recovery is being instituted into government policy. The Obama administration has argued that federal stimulus money is only needed in small doses to put the economy back on track. With politicians agreeing that the recession is “basically over,” less stimulus money will be offered.

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The European and U.S. Economics: Falling Dominoes

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Shamus Cooke

To pay for these corporate policies, U.S. workers are being told that Social Security and Medicare will need to be reduced, as will social services and public education. This policy is already underway on a state-by-state level, and wages for all public workers are already under attack as a result. Obama’s Race to the Top […]

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The International Attack on Public Workers

Shamus Cooke

In the state of Oregon, the most widely distributed paper, the Oregonian, announced on its front page that the state should expect “Ten Years of Pain.” The perpetrator: the budget crisis — $2.5 billion in the coming two-year budget cycle, with $2 billion projected deficits until 2019. Sadly, these depressing numbers assume that the economy […]

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The Criminalization of Wall Street: Lynching Bankers Is Not The Solution; THE REAL ECONOMY HAS BEEN DECIMATED

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Finian Cunningham

What we are witnessing is not just the sins of errant bankers, but the historic exhaustion of capitalism as a system of economic production and organisation. The long decline in working conditions (pay etc) for most workers in the US and Europe, including the middle class, can be traced back to the 1970s when western […]

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Trade Conflicts and Fair Trade

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Shamus Cooke

Recessions create yet another motivation for corporations to focus on trade issues. Since the global economy is interconnected, recessions create an incentive for them to push the negative effects on to the corporations inside other nations, called “beggar thy neighbor” policies.

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Jobs Continue To Vanish While The Media Applauds “Recovery”

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Shamus Cooke

And yet the unemployment rate dropped. One reason this happened is that the U.S. government uses a separate, more unreliable survey to calculate the unemployment rate, in contrast to the survey used to calculate job losses. There are other more important ways the government obscures the unemployment numbers: if you are no longer receiving unemployment […]

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Will Obama’s Corporate Tax Break Create Jobs?

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Shamus Cooke

The core of Obama’s “bold plan” to create jobs does not create a single job. Rather, it encourages corporations to hire workers by giving them a variety of tax credits or tax breaks — the same solution proposed by the previous two Bush’s and Reagan; a building block of Conservative Ideology.

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The Economic Crisis Ends; the Political Crisis Begins

Shamus Cooke

First Iceland, then Ireland, now Greece. Much of Europe is mired in inescapable debt and bankrupt nations, the result of crashing banks, bank bailouts, and soaring unemployment. The U.S. and U.K. watch from a distance, knowing their turn is next. The European corporate-elite — like their American counterparts — lavished non-stop praise on the “bold […]

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Wall Street Under Obama: Bigger and Riskier

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Shamus Cooke

Like every other promise of substance, Obama’s pledge to “rein in” the banks has fallen by the wayside; the well-timed rhetoric smoothed over public tensions and now business is back to usual.

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World Bankers Agree: The Recession Is Over… Maybe

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Shamus Cooke

Few would consider the opinions of the world’s central bankers to be unbiased or even accurate. These self-proclaimed wise men of international finance didn’t see the recession coming until it blew up in their faces a blast that destroyed their credibility. Nevertheless, it is interesting to hear them talk, not because they are fun to […]

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Cracks Emerging In NAFTA

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Shamus Cooke

danger for U.S. workers, however, is to think that any re-negotiation of NAFTA is intended to help them. Some “fair trade” and anti-free-trade groups — many with connections to labor unions — used Obama’s promise to re-negotiate NAFTA as proof that he should be supported. Since being elected, EVERY significant policy implemented under Obama has […]

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A Cure For An Ailing Economy TAXING THE RICH

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Shamus Cooke

Not pursuing higher taxes on the rich is resulting in social devastation. Look no farther than California, where Governor Schwarzenegger proudly declared that the state budget deficit was balanced “without raising taxes.” Instead, the budget was balanced at the expense of education, health care, welfare, etc. The working class and poor bore nearly the full […]

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Goldman Sachs The Dark Wizards of Capitalism

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Tobias Michaels

There are two points that undermine Goldman Sachs’ credibility regarding their claim of successful repayment of TARP funds. The first is the 10 billion dollars that was given to Goldman Sachs came directly from the government. What about the money that was paid to Goldman Sachs from other bailed out firms, in particular, A.I.G.? This […]

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The California Budget Crisis and the Assault on the Working Class

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Workers Action

Tobias Michaels The California budget crisis is a phenomenon that applies to the approximately 24 billion dollar shortfall in the state budget. This number cannot possibly begin to explain the misery that will be inflicted upon the working class of California. The real question for the discerning readers is to ask themselves, why is this […]

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The Economic Realities of U.S. Capitalism Laid Bare, and Our Tasks in the Present Period

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Brad Forrest

Brad Forrest The two fundamental problems that have to be solved in our time are the problems of private property and the nation state. (more…)

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Making Sense Of A US Owned General Motors

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Shamus Cooke

“Difficult days lie ahead. More jobs will be lost. More plants will close. More dealerships will shut their doors, and so will many parts suppliers. But I want you to know that what you’re doing is making a sacrifice for the next generation.” Orwell would be horrified by such doublespeak, while the Republicans are studiously […]

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The Economy’s Search For New Normal

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Shamus Cooke

For example, households are rapidly getting rid of expenses they can no longer afford, either due to joblessness, low wages or lack of credit. They are thus saving more than they are spending. For an economy that depends on 70 percent consumer spending, this is a huge problem, not only for the U.S., but for […]

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How New York Fought the Budget Deficit and Won

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Workers Action

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The California Budget and Class War

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Ann Robertson

On February 19, the California legislature, after weeks of wrangling, passed a special budget to address the historically high $42 billion deficit. It represents an unadulterated washout for working people who are attacked on almost every front by the Democratic Party, which controls a broad majority in the legislature. (more…)

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A Simple Solution To The States’ Budget Crisis

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Shamus Cooke

The options available to states to respond to budget crises are limited since states are not allowed to run deficits; they must solve their budget problems immediately. Nearly every state government is reacting to the crisis in essentially the same way: by cutting essential services and raising “secondary” taxes (alcohol, cigarettes, gas, etc). In reality, […]

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Obama’s Bank Bailout: Bush’s Plan Resurrected

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Shamus Cooke

To reintroduce an unpopular idea by a different name is a classic trick of politicians. Obama has done precisely this in unveiling his bank bailout plan. In a desperate attempt to distance himself from Bush, the Obama administration has added some complicated economic terms packaged into a system he simply calls the “bad bank.”  The […]

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Nationalization: To Be or Not To Be?

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WERC

Below are several articles addressing the issue of nationalizing the banks. Because of the increasing severity of the economic crisis and because the banks have been given billions of taxpayer dollars but still refuse to lend money, we in the Workers’ Emergency Recovery Campaign believe the question of nationalization should be thoroughly discussed and debated. […]

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Why Bailing Out Banks Doesn’t Work

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Shamus Cooke

Ultimately a conundrum is created: the economy cannot function unless the banks are forced to lend, but if the banks are taken over, the super rich may flee, taking with them the money needed to restore the economy.

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The End Of Capitalism?

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Ann Robertson

Hence, capitalism is a system that embraces greed; its defenders insist that to do otherwise would be hopelessly naive and utopian. But, they continue, by placing certain restrictions on greed, such as rules of ownership and regulations governing production, distribution and exchange of property, capitalism succeeds in harnessing greed in order to maximize its effectiveness. […]

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The End Of Retirement?

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Shamus Cooke

The deliberate destruction of the pension and its replacement by the 401(k) was, of course, a giant step towards attacking retirement; but now that the economic crisis has emerged, we’re beginning to see just how ruinous the effects are.

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State Budget Crisis Deepens: Humanitarian Crisis Emerges

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Shamus Cooke

Social catastrophes are poorly expressed by statistics. A recent study by The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities revealed that 41 states are facing severe budget shortfalls for 2009. Some states are worse off than others, with California ($31.7 billion) and Florida ($5.1 billion) leading the deficit pack. In all, the 41 states are currently […]

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The Bailout Intensifies

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Shamus Cooke

Protecting the social gains of the past generation will require the working class to mobilize itself in a way not seen since the 1930s. If we are to be successful, a broad coalition is needed, one that cuts across racial, gender, sexuality, documented citizen and undocumented, organized and unorganized, working and unemployed.

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The Real Reason The Big Three Are Failing!

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Bill Leumer

he failure of a particular industry is consequently not entirely rooted in the industry itself. Given the competitive nature of the system, when the economy turns bad, some industries will fail regardless of the quality of their management. So while one can blame the Big Three for various decisions, these missteps were only bad in […]

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GM the NY Times & Marxism 101

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Shamus Cooke

As Socialists, we are consistently asked to present our ideas in a clearer, easier to understand manner. To achieve this goal, I’ll enlist the help of former Governor of Massachusetts and candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, who appeared in the New York Times Op-Ed section on Nov. 18th. Romney’s piece, entitled “Let […]

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Bush’s Final Farce: The G20 Economic Summit

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Shamus Cooke

The world today has not one power, but many. France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy correctly pointed out, “America is still the number one power in the world…is it the only one? No, it isn’t.”

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What the Economic Crisis Means for Us and How to Defend Ourselves

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Workers Action

A Statement by Workers Action Gloom and Doom The pillars of the U.S. capitalist economy are crumbling and falling all around us while the federal government frantically races from one crisis to another, throwing money at them as if throwing water on a fire. It could well turn out that the money represents only a […]

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Obama’s Campaign Promises And The Laws Of Capitalism

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Ann Robertson

Obama’s Campaign Promises Ann Robertson Throughout his campaign, Obama made repeated overtures to working people. He talked about job creation, a tax cut for the middle class, health care, education, the rescinding of the lavish tax cuts for the rich, clean energy, facilitating unionization, and the elimination of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for […]

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Alternatives to Free Trade: Fair Trade and Beyond

Shamus Cooke

The global debate around free-trade and its consequences have evolved tremendously in recent years, from tiny circles of leftist critics into a mass international protest movement. Although the movement began to bloom in response to polices of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the biggest demonstrations have been in response to the now-popular “bi-lateral” free-trade agreements […]

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