(Recent comments by Jeremy Wells)
On Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 broadcast on KPFK of the Smiley and West PRI radio program, segment entitled:
‘Em to Task: Strong Demands
(The six minute comment period can hopefully still be heard on-line by following the links above.)
(My original letter, which prompted my appearance on the program, was posted as a comment on the Smiley and West web page. The original letter is posted below with a couple of typos fixed.)
Read Jeremy’s original letter:
These appeals are not demands! Powerful demands should have consequences if they are not seriously acted upon.
Obama is safely installed as President for another four years.
Progressives, merely pointing to the “greater evil”
Romney, voted again for Obama without any demands.
In order to end the crisis of poverty you must end the capitalist economy and start to transform the economy towards a socialist economy.
A socialist economy is simply an economy that is organized to meet the economic needs of the vast majority of ordinary working people, and is not totally controlled by the corporate capitalist minority, who are looting the economy for the maximization of their wealth and profit.
Please check out my web-site (still being overhauled) http://www.infowells.com
The slogan to represent my perspective:
END THE BARBARISM OF CAPITALISM!
FIGHT BACK FOR A SOCIALIST ECONOMY!
Tavis, you rarely have any responsible, educated spokespersons, for an alternative anti-capitalist perspective opposed to the capitalist economy. One such person you should make an economic adviser, a regular on your programs, is Dr. Richard D. Wolff.
A Solidarity Party, politically uniting organized labor and unorganized working people, a first step to fight back for a socialist economy.
Note: The comment below was first posted as a comment on the AFL-CIO NOW Blog article Groundbreaking Study on Domestic Workers Finds Widespread Mistreatment and Systemic Low Pay
The impoverished condition that many millions of working people have had to endure has been well known for many decades by the trade union movement. The traditional trade union struggle, to organize the workers into a collective bargaining unit, does not work because these workers are atomized individuals or work in a situation that unions cannot or will not organize. The trade unions forever run a cost/benefit analysis to see if the organized group of workers can provide sufficient union dues to bring a positive economic return to the union coffers. This negative cost/benefit analysis has been a major factor in the long-term decline of the trade union movement.
The simple trade union model, which relies entirely on labor contracts with employers, fails completely to address most of the economic concerns which impoverish workers. The economic condition of all working people, organized and unorganized, is determined by the laws that control the capitalist economy.
For example, minimum wage laws, forever inadequate, still do not cover domestic workers, farm workers, or other impoverished sectors of the labor force. Neither Democrats nor Republicans represent the economic interests of impoverished and unemployed working people. Both pro-business parties receive massive corporate funding and thus end up supporting the economic and political agendas of the ruling economic class.
The only way organized labor can begin to fight back for the economic betterment of domestic workers and all working people, is to form a new political party that represents the economic interests and betterment of working people. A "Solidarity Party", to unite organized and unorganized workers, would elect lawmakers at every level of government, to pass the many laws now desperately needed to transform the economy. The capitalist economy must be transitioned towards an economy that is controlled by laws that promote the economic betterment of all people and not just to profit the tiny minority of corporate capitalism.
The vast economic attack upon working people of the last thirty years and especially the last four years under Obama, is successful in large part because there is no political party to fight for our economic interests. There is not even a pro-labor voice in corporate controlled mass media to inform and educate us all on what and why the majority of working people are being destroyed!
The creation of a pro-labor political party must be the task of the AFL-CIO convention in 2013 if there is any hope of rebuilding the labor movement or begin the task of rebuilding the economy to meet the needs of working people.
The following comment was posted on the AFL-CIO
NOW Blog article: Just
When You Thought the Hostess Story Couldn't Get Worse.. by Kenneth
In other words, capitalist enterprise must be put on notice legally, that the workers involved in any enterprise have created, with their investment of time and labor, an equity stake in the company. The private capitalist owners must no longer assume that it "owns" the entire profit and equity created by the collective effort of the workers involved.
Every unionized enterprise must likewise demand a dedicated representative on the Board of Directors and workers' representatives in top management, to monitor the financial decision making of the capitalist enterprise.
Such demands as this are now essential in the now collapsed capitalist economy, in this country and many other countries, where the capitalist economy is no longer capable of supplying millions of jobs or providing the economic needs of the society.
These tactics and demands to transition the capitalist economy towards a socialist economy can only come about from an enlightened labor movement, with it's own political party, to promote economic well-being of working people rather than being a "business partner" in the further exploitation and impoverishment of working people.
The World Socialist Web Site features daily news and analysis written from a Marxist socialist perspective, and commentary on the arts, culture, history, and politics. It is published by the International Committee of the Fourth International.
California union membership may be the exception to the nation. But the reality for millions of working people today in California is poverty.
According to the Census numbers, California is the most impoverished state in the US, ahead of Hawaii and the District of Columbia. (Quote from article below)
The following introductory paragraphs are from the World Socialist Web Site reports mass poverty. Follow the title link to read the full article.
documents mass poverty in California
A recent poverty report detailed the conditions of growing social misery and impoverishment in California. Issued by the Center for the Next Generation, “Prosperity Threatened: Perspectives on Childhood Poverty in California,” presents a detailed breakdown of poverty statistics, focusing on the growth in child poverty and economically distressed single mothers. Taken at face value, the report's findings are devastating. In truth, the social situation of working people in California is even worse than the picture painted in the report.
According to “Prosperity Threatened,” the official poverty rate in California is 16.6 percent (6.1 million people) while another measure developed by the Census Bureau puts the rate at 23.5 percent (8.7 million people). According to the Census numbers, California is the most impoverished state in the US, ahead of Hawaii and the District of Columbia.
The data indicate that nearly one half of California’s children
live in poverty or “perilously close” to poverty. Between
2006 and 2011, the childhood poverty rate rose 4 percentage points,
for an overall increase of 21 percent in the number of children living
in poverty. These data are based on the federal poverty threshold
of $23,021 for a family of four, or $11,484 for an individual.
What could that the AFL-CIO, nationally and in California, possibly do to fight back for the economic betterment of organized labor and unorganized working people?
* The AFL-CIO State and national leaders, should help produce and sponsor a national nightly one hour television program on PBS that informs and educates all working people, organized and unorganized, about the economic crises from a pro-labor working people's perspective.
There is not a single pro-labor news or commentary program on television that discusses current economic affairs from the economic perspective of ordinary working people. Instead the corporate owned mass media features pro-business indoctrination (Rush Limbaugh). On PBS talk show hosts and panels forever "frame" the discuss to exclude a pro-labor perspective.
With so many unionized members and resources available in the television and media trades, Los Angeles should become the network hub center of such a program.
The pro-labor news and information at last readily available to working people is a first step towards raising a pro-labor consciousness essential to rebuilding the labor movement and the economic betterment of working people.
* New organizational and political strategies are essential if the dire economic conditions discussed above are to be addressed and changed.
The AFL-CIO must break with supporting pro-Wall Street President Obama and the corporate corrupted Democratic Party. A new Solidarity Party, which unites organized trade union members and unorganized working people, must be created to fight for the economic betterment of all working people.
The Solidarity Party first principle: no corporate money or agendas that have so corrupted both Democratic and Republican Parties.
The Solidarity Party purpose: to elect pro-labor working people at every Federal, State and local government position possible. Pro-labor office holders can then write the laws needed to restore public education, to restore public health (single-payer), to create the millions of public sector jobs essential to rebuild the economy that function for the economic needs of the vast majority of people.
A May Day Solidarity Manifesto!
All AFL-CIO Union Members!
These new strategies, under new AFL-CIO leadership, will powerfully fight back for immediate economic justice by electing pro-labor candidates to every level of local, state, and federal government. In the long term, working people will be united in a new Solidarity Party to fight for a new socialist economy "of, by, and for the people".
AFL-CIO President Trumka, and his "leadership" team, hope to stay in power for another four years. But these current office holders have done nothing to stop the further decline of AFL-CIO membership (400,000 decline in 2012).
With President Trumka's abject support of Obama, "Obamacare", and the Democratic Party, the existing AFL-CIO "leadership" is apparently clueless. Despite the dire organizational, political and economic crises facing organized labor and all working people, there are no new strategies from the incumbent leadership to fight back.
What new organizational, political and economic strategies could a new AFL-CIO leadership use to fight back for the betterment of all working people?
What are the new economic and political realities facing organized labor that now demand new strategies?
1. Simple trade unionism, relying only on labor contracts, by itself has failed to sufficiently promote the economic betterment of organized workers. Most of the factors that mean a decent standard of living for working people are determined by laws passed by pro-labor officials at every level of local, State and Federal government.
2. The "capitalist economy" serves to maximize the profit and wealth of the corporate-capitalist top 1%, by maximizing the exploitation (minimizing the wealth) of the bottom 99%. Workers, even with militant trade unionism, cannot fight back in a globalized capitalist world economy. Trade unionism, by itself, is kept powerless to fight back effectively in a capitalist-controlled economy.
3. For the economic survival and betterment of the working class majority, the "capitalist economy" must end. The transitional struggle for a new "socialist economy", that provides a universal minimum standard of living for all, should begin with the organized labor movement.
4. Thus a new AFL-CIO leadership should call for a new political party, The Solidarity Party, to unite politically trade unionized and unorganized workers, to replace both corporate-corrupted Democratic and Republican Parties. The Solidarity Party, accepting no corporate money or agendas, will elect pro-labor lawmakers to rebuild the economy for the economic betterment of all working people.
5. A new AFL-CIO leadership should help produce, sponsor and demand a nightly PBS television program that presents news and current affairs commentary from a pro-labor economic perspective.A new voice for working people will be heard at last in corporate controlled mass media!
This draft statement first appeared as a comment on the the AFL-CIO NOW Blog article linked here:
The AFL-CIO NOW Blog article linked below contains a link to remarkable video showing the extreme wealth inequality created by the capitalist economy in the U.S. The comment that follow was firtst posted on the AFL-CIO NOW Blog.
Comment by Jeremy Wells
The video illustrates how the U.S. capitalist economy is "successful" in rewarding the tiny capitalist class. The capitalist economy is owned, controlled and organized to maximize the wealth of capitalists by maximizing the profit of the corporations that they own.
The capitalist beneficiaries of the capitalist economy uses every means possible, regardless of consequences to the bottom 99%, to promote the economic activities maximizes the wealth of the top 1%.
But this video does not mention the barbaric results to humanity and to the planet:
* Wars continue as vast profits are generated for the military-industrial complex.
* Global warming, climate change, ecological devastation continues as privately owned toxic energy companies (oil, coal, gas, tar-sands, nuclear) produce profits, while destroying the planet.
* Jobs are outsourced (capitalist globalization) causing impoverishment to tens of millions of unemployed. Jobs return to US when wages are cut to maximize US profits.
* Health Care (Obamacare) maximizes costs,corporate profits, defeats Medicare-for-all.
*Taxes on the 1% minimized, destroying public education, health care, public sector jobs.
(The video commentary falsely suggests that "socialism" means simply an equal dollar amount of income for everyone; that there would be no incentive to work, and therefore "socialism" is a bad alternative to capitalism. A socialist economy for the 21st century, rejecting all forms of totalitarian economic dictatorship (Stalinism, etc.), means social ownership, democratic control, workers' management of socialized economic enterprises, industries, financial institutions, that make up the core sectors of the economy. Economic justice and equality are central to the modern definition of a socialist economy, that provides the economic needs of the society.)
* The toxic energy industries (oil, coal, gas, tar-sands, as well as nuclear) should be nationalized (socialized). These polluting industries must be placed under social ownership, democratic control and workers' management in order to either shut them down or transition them to non-toxic energy resources. Global warming, climate change will continue unabated until private ownership of these toxic energy industries is ended.
* Jobs, "living wage" jobs by the millions are needed immediately, but the capitalist economy, that maximizes profit to corporate owners, minimizes wages and benefits. Public sector jobs (teachers, postal workers, public health, infrastructure,etc.) must be restored and expanded to meet the economic needs of society.
* Health Care must eliminate corporate profiteering to be universal, affordable, quality health care.
* Taxes on the 1%, corporations, financial transactions, etc. must be massively restored. State Banks need to replace privately owned banks. The banks, the FED, nationalized.
Why doesn't the AFL-CIO help sponsor a nightly news,
information program on PBS that
The AFL-CIO must break with the Democratic Party, stop supporting Obama, and start fighting politically for the economic needs of all working people, trade union organized and unorganized. A new Solidarity political party is needed.
Note: Follow the link below for information on this excellent booklet, with free .pdf links for reading on-line and printing for easier reading. Excellent 36 page introduction to capitalist economics today.
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