Capitalist crisis

At the end of the first week in March, the corporate print and electronic media were using the latest job creation numbers to try to drum up optimism about the capitalist economic recovery. ... Posted Mar 18, 2012

The fact of the matter is that inequality in distribution flows from the system of production for profit.... Posted Mar 11, 2012

The Kids Count report on child poverty in the United States says that the number of children in the U.S. living in poor communities went up 25 percent from 2000 to 2010. Eight million children lived in poor communities in 2010, an increase of 1.6 million from 2000. ... Posted Mar 1, 2012

The Occupy Wall Street movement has made the inequality in capitalist society an issue that has put the rich on the defensive, at least in public.... Posted Feb 29, 2012

Anger and uncertainty are rising rapidly among the workers, youth, seniors, unemployed and professional groups in Detroit amid Gov. Rick Snyder’s threats against the majority African-American city.... Posted Feb 27, 2012

The draconian cuts the Greek Parliament accepted Feb. 19, amounting to about 7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, weren’t enough for the bloodsucking European bankers. ... Posted Feb 24, 2012

Excerpts from a talk given by Workers World Party organizer Richard Kossally at a WWP forum in New York City on Feb. 3.... Posted Feb 13, 2012

Despite all the talk of economic recovery, the plague of unemployment, underemployment, rising poverty, lower wages and general insecurity is still growing. ... Posted Dec 7, 2011

Fred Goldstein, author of “Low Wage Capitalism” and a contributing editor to Workers World newspaper, opened a conference of 579 social scientists, social workers and social work students with a penetrating Marxist analysis of the current crisis of world capitalism.... Posted Oct 10, 2011

The capitalist system in the U.S. and worldwide is deeply mired in a new phase: the era of the jobless recovery and long-term mass unemployment. This phase is the inevitable result of the profit system.... Posted May 1, 2011

The massive demonstrations and occupation of the Capitol in Madison, Wis., signal the end of three decades of union retreat. This struggle has awakened a new activism, resistance and solidarity by labor, communities and students not seen in this country in many decades.... Posted Apr 5, 2011

The announcement by the U.S. government that unemployment dropped from 9.4 percent to 9 percent in January is pure statistical manipulation meant to deceive workers into thinking that things are getting better.... Posted Feb 19, 2011

As the cold winter chill sets in across the U.S., homelessness is at an all-time high. Over the past few years, millions of people have been forced from their homes by foreclosures and evictions and into overcrowded shelters and transitional housing. The number of homeless families rose by close to 30 percent between 2007 and 2009.... Posted Dec 12, 2010

The “experts” on Wall Street and in the big business media force themselves to rave over the fact that the private sector created 67,000 jobs in August. Never mind that this represents a decline from the monthly average of 90,000 private sector jobs created over the last year. And never mind that 141,000 government census workers were laid off last month.... Posted Sep 17, 2010

It merited the evening news, not just in Atlanta but nationally. Contradicting all the pundits who were opining on the “positive” economic outlook came the startling video of thousands of people standing in long lines that stretched around an East Point, Ga., strip mall parking lot. A predominantly Black suburb of Atlanta in south Fulton County, East Point has about 40,000 residents.... Posted Aug 19, 2010

The latest jobs report and economic growth numbers confirm that no recovery is in store for the working class. On the contrary, mass unemployment is likely to get worse, not better. The short-lived “jobless recovery” is on the decline after less than a year, following a downturn lasting 19 months.... Posted Aug 11, 2010

Corporate profits are rising, corporate cash is piling up, business has increased. But jobs are not coming back any time soon for the millions of unemployed.... Posted Aug 8, 2010

Despite claims of an economic recovery by the Barack Obama administration and corporate media, the crisis in home foreclosures — which triggered the 2008 financial meltdown — still remains a major problem. A recently released study by the Center for Responsible Lending reports a 4.5 percent rate of home foreclosures for whites and rates nearly twice as high for African Americans and Latinos/as.... Posted Jun 28, 2010

The Securities and Exchange Commission has leveled sensational charges of multi-billion-dollar fraud against the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. That this comes just when the bank is reporting a 91 percent increase in its first-quarter profit over last year is sure to inflame even greater public anger at the Wall Street institution. What every class-conscious worker should be aware of, however, is that the SEC has put the spotlight on only one limited operation by a larcenous, global financial power, while shielding the rest of the banking system and capitalism itself from criticism.... Posted Apr 21, 2010

A new round of rallies and demonstrations began during the week of March 29 in efforts to halt the closing of 45 schools and other attacks involving the downsizing of Detroit and the sale of the nonprofit Medical Center. Residents came out in the hundreds to community meetings seeking answers and methods of struggle to stop the escalating attacks on the largely African-American and working-class municipality.... Posted Apr 7, 2010

Cheerleaders for capitalism are talking out of both sides of their mouths about the latest job numbers, which showed the creation of 162,000 jobs in March. However, a few lines further down came the bad news: “The economy needs to add more than 100,000 jobs a month just to absorb new entrants into the labor market, let alone provide a livelihood for the 15 million Americans already looking for work. Without constant, robust growth, the unemployment rate won’t budge.... Posted Apr 7, 2010

A Gallup Poll released on Feb. 23 revealed that in January 30 million workers in the U.S. were either on forced part-time or out of work altogether. This number, based on a poll of over 20,000 adults over the age of 18 and conducted from Jan. 2 to Jan. 31, amounts to 20 percent of the workforce.... Posted Mar 3, 2010

The jobless recovery has been declared official by the New York Times, the newspaper of record for the U.S. ruling class. Its edition of Feb. 21 — the Sunday paper that is read in every capital, finance ministry, embassy, consulate, department of state, etc., in the capitalist world — carried the following two-column banner headline in bold: “Despite Signs of Recovery, Chronic Joblessness Rises — The Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs, Exhausting Savings and Benefits.”... Posted Feb 28, 2010

Excerpts from a talk providing a Marxist analysis on President Barack Obama’s first year in office by Larry Holmes, a Secretariat member of Workers World Party, at a Black History Month forum in New York City on Feb. 6.... Posted Feb 10, 2010

The news that while the economy grew at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the last quarter, there was simultaneously a net loss of 208,000 jobs, indicates that U.S. capitalism has entered a new phase — the phase of the “jobless recovery” with increasingly intractable and growing long-term mass unemployment.... Posted Feb 3, 2010

The victory of right-wing candidate Scott Brown in the Massachusetts senatorial election throws into bold relief the crisis for the workers and the oppressed in this country. It is one of leadership, politics and organization.... Posted Jan 27, 2010

The latest job reports for December should convince workers that all the talk about economic recovery coming from the media pundits is just hot air. The only recovery is the bankers’ bonuses and the corporations’ profits. And the time to fight back against layoffs, foreclosures and cutbacks is now.... Posted Jan 13, 2010

When deputy U.S. marshals came to the Washington, D.C., home of Banita Jacks to serve her with eviction papers in January 2008, Jacks was arrested instead of being thrown out onto the street.... Posted Dec 23, 2009

Depression. The present crisis is the worst since the Great Depression. But it is not only the worst crisis since the Depression. It has the same fundamental elements as the Depression.... Posted Dec 3, 2009

Two significant events have occurred in Detroit, a majority African-American city, that warrant the attention of people concerned about the plight and future of U.S. urban centers. Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s appointment of an emergency financial manager to oversee the affairs of the public school system represents a direct attack on the people of Detroit’s right to self-determination. The other was the re-election of Mayor Dave Bing, who ran on a theme of reducing the budget deficit through cutting jobs, salaries and city services.... Posted Dec 2, 2009

Excerpts from a talk by Fred Goldstein to the Workers World Party National Conference Nov. 14: We are a party of fighters, but we also must carefully analyze what is going on around us and what direction things are taking. Using Marxism is the surest guide.... Posted Nov 19, 2009

Excerpts from a document written by Workers World Party secretariat member Larry Holmes in preparation for the Nov. 14-15 WWP national conference in New York City. ‘Our founders formed Workers World Party in 1959 in order to embrace and defend all the parts of what they called “the global class camp of the working class,” including the socialist camp and the national liberation movements, and to advance the position that the U.S. working class and its advanced organizations could not have a revolutionary policy and program at home or abroad if they cut themselves off from world struggle in order to make life a little easier. The party’s founders decided to name their new party “Workers World Party” as a way of driving home this fundamental principle.’... Posted Nov 11, 2009

Excerpted from a document submitted by Workers World Party secretariat member Fred Goldstein in preparation for the Nov. 14-15 WWP national conference in New York City. ‘As a starting point to approach the present economic crisis, I would like to begin with the theoretical framework of Marxism in order to stimulate discussion of an assessment of the period we are entering. In this regard, it is appropriate to go back to Karl Marx.’... Posted Nov 11, 2009

When the workers at Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago seized the factory last winter, their heroism in defying both their boss and the Bank of America electrified workers and progressive people all over the country and even around the world. When they walked out of the factory in victory—with their demands for severance pay, wages and other benefits agreed to by BOA—they had accomplished what seemed impossible. Some 250 or more workers, mostly immigrants, had forced a giant financial behemoth, which controls hundreds of billions of dollars through its banking empire, to back up and meet their demands. Revealed in that struggle was an important relationship that all class-conscious workers should take to heart. The capitalist boss of Republic Windows and Doors, the exploiter of the workers in his factory, was just a dependent of his giant creditor.... Posted Oct 24, 2009

The grim numbers are in. In September, 263,000 more jobs were lost. Official unemployment edged closer to 10 percent, going from 9.7 to 9.8. This was larger than predicted by capitalist economists and is the result of 21 consecutive months of economic downturn, the longest streak in 70 years.... Posted Oct 7, 2009

The recent mass mobilization of racists and right-wingers of all stripes in Washington, D.C., and in cities around the country requires the attention of the working class, white workers especially. In the face of mounting racism and efforts to divide the workers during an economic crisis, the struggle for class unity is more pressing than ever. While these right-wing demonstrations are numerically small, and may eventually die down, they are politically significant because they represent a de facto bloc between important sections of big business and the racist ultra-right, based upon an immediate common objective: to push back the program of the Obama administration.... Posted Sep 23, 2009

The days when the conservative labor leadership has been able to hold the working class in check are numbered. Its base is shrinking with each round of concessions it makes to the bosses, with each sweetheart contract it signs. As Sam Marcy noted, at the beginning of each crisis the workers are thrown back onto the defensive. But sooner or later they will cry “Enough is enough!” Then the tide will turn.... Posted Sep 18, 2009

Guess what? There is a slight rise in some corporate profits. The corporations and biggest banks are doing a bit better. So the experts see a “recovery.” No big surprise, however. If the government spent $10 or $12 trillion to buy up the workers’ unpayable debts and guaranteed their loans, the way they have done for Wall Street, workers would still be exploited and underpaid, but things would not be quite so bad. Instead there are 30 million workers either unemployed or underemployed, with depression-level rates of joblessness in the African-American and Latino/a communities, and things are getting worse for them and their families, not better.... Posted Sep 3, 2009

The two wars now underway in Iraq and Afghanistan are draining the coffers of U.S. imperialism. Overall militarization has largely been accomplished. New rounds of military development are technology intensive, such as laser-guided bombs, satellite-guided missiles, Predator drones, high-tech missile ships and fighter planes. Current imperialist wars are limited and heavily dependent on air power. The hundreds of billions of dollars spent annually on militarism are essential to the system, but, at best, military spending can only help to slow down the economic crisis. It cannot restart the capitalist economy and generate prosperity.... Posted Sep 2, 2009

Many comparisons are made between the present crisis and the Great Depression. But while the depression of the 1930s is fully known, the present crisis is in its early stages and has yet to be played out. Many specifics cannot be known at this point. It is best from a Marxist point of view, i.e., from a materialist standpoint, to focus on what can be studied right now.... Posted Aug 30, 2009

The meaning of the crisis and its ultimate direction are questions for the ruling class and for the working class, from diametrically opposed points of view. The bourgeoisie has no theoretical framework within which to begin to approach the question. Their system is anarchic. Even government intervention and some limited planning cannot eradicate the anarchy imposed on a system based on private profit.... Posted Aug 21, 2009

Capitalist economists, experts and stock market gamblers cannot make up their minds as to whether or not there is a “recovery.” For workers who are losing their jobs, their homes, their health care, their wages and are deeply in debt, there is no ambiguity. There is no recovery. However, at the slightest hint of less-bad news—news that is not as bad as the news from the period before—the well-paid experts are quick to declare that a recovery is in sight.... Posted Aug 19, 2009

The new era of low-wage capitalism, worldwide wage competition and slowing capitalist economic growth has put workers under pressure even during times of capitalist upturn. The booms have weakened, benefiting only the bosses, with not even relative gain for the workers.... Posted Aug 17, 2009

What do the July unemployment statistics mean for the working class? Most bourgeois economists expressed undue optimism. They’re optimistic mostly because the rising stock market and jump in banking profits has brought optimism back to the capitalists, who pay the economists’ salaries.... Posted Aug 13, 2009

As far back as 1847, in “Wage Labor and Capital,” Marx discussed the question of the workers and the business cycle. Traditionally, during a capitalist boom the workers can regain some of the positions they lost during the previous bust phase. As the scientific-technological revolution was progressing “at breakneck speed,” there occurred a change in the historic pattern of the business cycle. After the recession of 1990-1991, U.S. capitalism entered the era of “jobless recoveries.” For the first time, employment either continued to decline or remained flat long after the economy began to recover.... Posted Aug 8, 2009

World View Forum is reissuing “High Tech, Low Pay,” the classic by Workers World Party founder Sam Marcy, on the party’s 50th anniversary. The first edition, published in 1986, soon sold out due to demand from workers and activists around the country. Now, requests for the book are increasing as the economic crisis worsens.... Posted Aug 8, 2009

Due to the economic crisis hitting California so acutely, state legislators are dealing with what they say will be a $60-billion revenue loss projected through June 2010. However, instead of trying to tap into many possible rich sources of funds, both the Democrats and Republicans came up with a budget that targets social services and the working class but not super-rich monopolies like the oil companies or the banks.... Posted Aug 5, 2009

Bob Herbert, who is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times and also an African American, wrote in a recent piece: “There are now five unemployed workers for every job opening in the United States. The ranks of the poor are growing, welfare rolls are rising” and young male workers over a broad front “are falling into an abyss of joblessness.”... Posted Jul 3, 2009

More than a million and a half workers in the United States have lost their jobs since last December. Some 345,000 lost their jobs in May. Unemployment is at 9.4 percent and headed up to more than 10 percent. Well over 25 million workers are out of work or underemployed. Long-term unemployment is at a record. Nevertheless, Washington has given General Motors and Chrysler $17 billion as a reward for shutting down 22 plants, tearing up union contracts and closing 3,000 dealerships. And the government has promised billions more to the auto barons. These cruel measures will sharply aggravate the unemployment crisis across the country and bring further hardship to those still working. They must be stopped.... Posted Jun 10, 2009

Dear Brother Fred, Early in December I received your autographed copy of “Low-Wage Capitalism.” I wanted to personally thank you for this very informative book.... Posted May 13, 2009

Economic activity in the United States shrank by 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009. That made this the worst recession in 50 years, with three consecutive quarters of sharp economic decline. The decline was worse than predicted by economists, who had projected 4.7 percent. Yet the stock market continued to surge right past this news. Why?... Posted May 10, 2009

General Motors has announced new mass layoffs, plant closings and the closing of dealerships. If this restructuring is allowed to go through, it means a deepening of the economic crisis for the working class. It shows the need to fight against the capitalist system, which is at the root of the crisis.... Posted May 3, 2009

Students, labor and community activists gathered to hear Fred Goldstein, author of “Low-Wage Capitalism: Colossus with Feet of Clay,” when he spoke on a recent three-city tour in California.... Posted May 3, 2009

There was a time when the captains of finance and industry were proud of the label capitalist. Would you prefer an economy geared to meeting people’s needs (socialism) or geared to producing profits for a few (capitalism)?... Posted Apr 19, 2009

A debate is heating up in the ruling class over whether or not an economic recovery is coming. Workers should be aware of two important points: first, the global picture of the capitalist crisis points in very drastic directions; and second, whatever recovery the bosses are talking about is a recovery for the profit makers and not the workers.... Posted Apr 16, 2009

“Job Loss/Homelessness Up - Capitalism’s Latest Crisis” is the theme of a meeting at SEIU Local 721 in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 23, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 pm.... Posted Apr 15, 2009

While talk about signs of a possible economic recovery drove the stock market up for four weeks in a row, beginning March 10, it is clear that the recovery being talked about was a recovery of the bosses and bankers, not the workers. Three quarters of a million workers lost their jobs during those four weeks.... Posted Apr 9, 2009

From March 25 to 27, community, labor and student activists in Cleveland joined Fred Goldstein, author of “Low-Wage Capitalism: Colossus with Feet of Clay,” in discussions on the current economic crisis and prospects for working-class resistance.... Posted Apr 9, 2009

The latest trillion-dollar handout to Wall Street banks and the recent assault on workers in the auto industry clearly demonstrate why the workers and oppressed in this country must break the chains of capitalist priorities and mobilize to change things around so that workers come before banks and corporations.... Posted Apr 2, 2009

There is nothing like the smell of a trillion-dollar bonanza to send the stock market through the roof. Wall Street has struck it rich with the Obama administration’s blatantly pro-banker, pro-investor program to revive the capitalist economy.... Posted Mar 29, 2009

The loss of 651,000 more jobs in February and the jump in the official unemployment rate to 8.1 percent have produced important admissions in the capitalist press that every worker should pay close attention to.... Posted Mar 12, 2009

The budget is looking to bring about a recovery for the capitalist class. It expects an increase in production and in profits, but leaves the working class with massive unemployment, which is especially severe in the Black, Latin/o, Asian and Native communities. ... Posted Mar 4, 2009

It is becoming clearer every day that the capitalist class has no solution to the present crisis, either short term or long term. The short-term stimulus will not work and the long-term forces that have in the past pushed capitalism forward are exhausted. It is clear from this that the multinational working class, through independent mass action, is the only force that can intervene to stop the layoffs, foreclosures and evictions and that the workers must do so in order to save themselves from being driven deeper into poverty.... Posted Mar 2, 2009

As the staggering bank losses continue to mount, representatives of the U.S. ruling class are coming to the forced realization that many of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. are insolvent.... Posted Feb 26, 2009

As the crisis deepens in the United States, the multinational working class, unions, community organizations, students and youth must not be lulled into inactivity waiting for the $787 billion stimulus package, signed on Feb. 17, to take effect.... Posted Feb 18, 2009

The official unemployment number has jumped from 7.2 percent to 7.6 percent. But this is not the total unemployment number, which includes those who have stopped looking for work and those working part time because they cannot find full-time work. That has jumped from 13.5 percent to 13.9 percent. In effect, this means that to achieve full employment for the approximately 154 million people in the workforce, some 21.4 million new full-time jobs would be needed now—and this number is growing rapidly each month.... Posted Feb 11, 2009

As millions are being thrown out of their homes and losing their jobs, state governments are reducing the meager assistance available to the poor and unemployed.... Posted Feb 4, 2009

Large U.S. companies publicly announced more than 170,000 layoffs in the first four weeks of this year, but hundreds of thousands more are expected to be added when the government releases its monthly statistics early in February. The capitalist government in Washington has not been trying to solve the banks’ problem of insolvency by rushing to the aid of the millions of workers who are defaulting on their debts and losing their homes and jobs. Instead, it has put limited aid to the workers on the slow track while it rushes to find ways to bolster the banks.... Posted Feb 1, 2009

The record wave of layoffs that seemed to peak in December is continuing into 2009. At the same time, hundreds of billions of dollars in aid are flowing from Washington to the banks and corporations, not to the unemployed. Reviving corporate profits has taken precedence over providing desperately needed jobs or calling for an immediate end to foreclosures and evictions.... Posted Jan 25, 2009

The intensifying capitalist crisis, which is bringing greater and greater suffering daily, is leaving the workers and the oppressed with no alternative but to organize a fightback. The deadly waves of unemployment, foreclosures, homelessness, hunger and repression are spreading while the ruling-class politicians and experts debate over the terms of the so-called “stimulus package.”... Posted Jan 15, 2009

General Motors and Chrysler LLC began the New Year by depositing the first installments of a federal government loan in the bank. Meanwhile, all but a small fraction of Chrysler’s workers will spend the first month of the year laid off. GM workers will be unemployed at least part of the first quarter. None of them will see an improvement in their situation due to the bailout.... Posted Jan 10, 2009

Deirdre Griswold, a founding member of Workers World Party, a member of the Secretariat, and the Editor of WW newspaper.
Posted Dec 2, 2008

On Wall Street the other day, at a rally demanding that public funds be used to bail out the people and not the bankers, no one had a kind word for capitalism.... Posted Oct 31, 2008

Three-quarters of a million workers have already been laid off this year, bringing the official total of unemployed to over 9 million. Trillions of dollars in retirement funds have been wiped out in the stock market in the last few months. Over 10,000 households a day are being foreclosed, and evictions are rampant. Money for student loans has dried up. Credit card debt is at a record high. Unemployment is rising along with food, utility and gas prices. Production and sales are falling relentlessly. The forecast is for things to get worse—a lot worse.... Posted Oct 26, 2008

None of it can be hidden any more, not after Katrina. Not the blatant racism, not the failure of the richest county in the world to have a plan to save people in a major disaster, not the feeding frenzy of big corporations when they smell blood in the water. ... Posted Oct 13, 2005

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