Jobs & a dying horse

Does it bother the spin doctors for either the Obama or the Romney campaigns that their job is to invent reasons why, if the voters put their man in the saddle, it will invigorate a dying horse?

Everyone realizes that the big issue in this election campaign is jobs. The employment figures continue to be bleak. In fact, the budget cuts enacted by both Democrats and Republicans at all levels of government are swelling the jobless rolls with hundreds of thousands who used to have supposedly stable jobs. So it isn’t just manufacturing that’s in the tank. Service jobs, which were once seen as the wave of the future as plants shut down, are disappearing like fog before a hot wind.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans are unabashedly capitalist parties. Despite the socialist baiting of Obama by the right wing, no other economic system but capitalism is even conceivable to either party.

The Democrats claim to be for a “kinder” capitalism, one where the government keeps a tighter rein on the huge corporations. They pay lip service to more progressive issues. But big business puts hundreds of millions of dollars into the election coffers of both parties to ensure its own interests, no matter who wins.

The problem is that the capitalist system has gone into crisis and is throwing millions of workers on the scrap heap. Democrats as well as Republicans offer no real answers. Cut taxes on the rich, say Republicans, as though they haven’t been doing that for decades. Cut taxes on companies that hire more workers, say Democrats, as if that too hasn’t been tried and failed.

The truth is that a crisis like the one shaking the whole capitalist world cannot be solved within the framework of this system — not without the wholesale destruction of much of the planet’s productive capacity and the deaths of tens of millions of people. That’s how the capitalist system got out of the Great Depression — with World War II. It’s not a sane option.

History has shown that for the workers to seize the means of production from the small class of capitalists — the 1% who lay claim to what the 99% have created — is the only way to transition to a rational economic system whose purpose is to satisfy human needs, not corporate greed. It’s the only way to have full employment and an equitable distribution of the wealth. We need to fight for a workers’ revolution here.

But, in the meantime, a bold and massive offensive by workers can win concessions, even from capitalist parties. Workers need a government jobs program. The money is there, but both parties need to stop giving it to the banks and use it instead for the workers. Rather than getting caught up in the capitalist election, labor needs to demand good-paying jobs or income for all who need them — Now!

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