imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Fear of the Working Class At Home And Internationally Stirs Some Debate Among the Bankers

by Richard Mellor Saturday, Nov. 04, 2006 at 1:17 PM

There is growing concern among sections of the capitalist class that the rising opposition to their global offensive and the market will get out of control.

Never concerned about stuffing their pockets, they do worry about going to far

Richard Mellor

Retired member, AFSCME Local 444

As the conservative and right wing Christian elements of the Bush administration warn the US populace of impending doom at the hands of the liberal/homosexual and pro immigrant, terror supporting Americans. The serious representatives of the US capitalist class are deeply concerned about the real issues; wages, benefits, housing, health-care, and not least, food.

The world's bankers met in Jackson Hole Wyoming in August, in one of their strategy sessions aimed at ensuring their plunder of global society's wealth continues with the least disruption. Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, expressed concern that the spoils of global plunder, what these representatives of the capitalist class refer to as "globalization", are being unevenly distributed.

Much of the concern was focused on the developing world (an interesting term as this world never really "develops") where the effects of global capitalism are devastating. Among the problems are protectionist obstacles to the free flow of goods, services, capital etc. that would slow the world economy. But it is also the social unrest caused by the increased super-exploitation of the poorer countries that is on their minds. While the recent placing of mine nationalization on hold by Bolivia's Morales has no doubt cheered them up a bit, the world's bankers are concerned the anger of the masses may not be contained and could at some point find a more formidable organizational expression.

But it is not just the former colonial world that is a cause for concern. The increased income disparity in the US is worrying to these more astute representatives of the capitalist class. Between 2000 and 2005 the US economy grew 12% and production was up 17% while the medium hourly wage rose a meager 3%. "Inequality is potentially a concern for the US the extent that incomes and wealth are spreading apart, I think that is not a good trend.", Bernanke warned US senators in July. (Financial Times 11-2-06)

Lawrence Summers, former US treasury secretary has also written on the subject of late, expressing fears about the "anxious middle" referring to the US middle class.

The Union leadership has done a very good job in holding back any attempt by the ranks of organized labor to halt this trend but, unlike the Union leaders, the serious strategists of capital are well aware of the anger beneath the surface of US society. The have read history, they are very conscious of the potential power of the working class in this country; they are worried that the working class will burst though these obstacles to a fight back.

During the tech boom of the nineties profits reached a 40 year high and some gains were made particularly by workers on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. Despite the booming economy and record profits, the gains workers made were due to market forces and not to an organized offensive on the part of the leaders of organized labor. Despite these favorable conditions, top Union officials continuously tell workers that we have to take concessions in these difficult economic times. This is their excuse for not launching an offensive against the well orchestrated attacks by the employers who have made it clear in their journals that they intend on taking back all the gains of the 1930's.

The capitalist class is salivating as profits continue to swell. According to the Financial Times, labor's share of the national income has fallen from 58.2% in 2000 to 56.8 in 2005, as profits equaled 13.6% of GDP in the second quarter of 2006. Economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saenz of US Berkeley

estimate that the "share of total income captured by the top hundredth in the US doubled from 8% in 1980 to 16% 2004. (1)

The big corporations are having a field day. According to a report from the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) released in July this year:

The average corporate tax rate in industrialized countries has fallen from 45% to 30% over the last 20 years

Out of the 275 largest corporations in the US, 82 paid no tax or received a tax refund one of the years between 2001 and 2003

And as a share of total taxation, corporate taxes have dropped by 15% in the UK and 22% in Italy since the 1980's, by 41% in Germany and 43% in Japan since the 1970's and by 53% in the US since the late 1960's. (2)

On top of this, US workers are returned much less of our money in terms of social services than other industrial countries. According to the article quoted above, among middle-income economies, only Russia and Mexico have higher levels of inequality and the "American Dream" is presently "a more common reality in Nordic countries than in the US."

The working class in the US has been under ferocious assault over the last period. Having no political party of our own has contributed to the fact that we receive social benefits from the employers in the main, something they resent as the median wage does not include total compensation which includes retirement, health care and other benefits and the cost of health care has sky rocketed. Unable to eliminate contractual obligations that contain such provisions, the employers have used their friends in the judiciary more aggressively. Steel, auto, airlines; the bosses in all these industries have used the bankruptcy courts to eliminate pensions even when they're not bankrupt.

The November elections don't offer much hope. The heads of organized labor are advocating the same strategy that has failed time and time again; elect a Democrat. It is this policy that has driven most Americans from the electoral process. The staunchest advocates of democracy and the right to vote have been quoted many times in the press as going to the polls, "holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils."

The Times article above describes the case of Jack Drake, whose job allows him much access to corporate financial information. "Almost every day I listen to chief executives explaining how well their companies are doing", he says, but, he adds, "I want the republicans out but I don't see the Democrats coming up with any good ideas." (3)

In California, the state labor federation is supporting all the bond measures. One of the major selling points to an already debt laden population is that this doesn't raise taxes. Of course it doesn't, it just raises interest payments, costing the working class and our children billions in payments to moneylenders who are the same forces that cut our wages and benefits and their taxes. The same forces that send working class kids to Iraq while theirs go to Harvard or the firm. No worker should support these measures, but for the union leaders, like the concessions on the job, it is better than the alternative of mobilizing workers, using our power to stop production and force concessions on them and ultimately gain control over the resources of society and their allocation

The Iraq war may be enough to tip the scales for the Democrats but nothing is certain and it cannot be ruled out that the elections will be rigged. Either way, not much will change for workers economically and the worries of the bankers will still be there; what if the working class moves?

Class rule is a complex state of affairs and despite all their tricks and media stunts to convince workers that we actually can make a difference if we vote for the candidates from one of their parties, most workers recognize that we are being exploited and that the ruling class are thugs. The problem they ask is: what can be done about? But the likes of Lawrence Summers and Bernanke recognize that the stomach is the root-cause of many a great social struggle and they see the need for addressing these issues, just like they do the environment. They see workers on the offensive in Latin America, Asia, China, France, and they know that the US working class will not be left out of the fight; they can't be held back indefinitely.

Still, at times one has to laugh at the honesty among thieves. Federal Reserve chairman Bernanke has made a few blunders. He has had to learn the ropes, the ins and outs of how to deceive the public. After making some overly honest remarks about inflation he received a lesson from Trent Lott, the Republican from Mississippi, who commented, "He's got to learn from Greenspan on how to say a lot that actually says nothing," (4)

Perhaps Bush would be a better mentor on this subject.

(1) Financial Times 11-2-06: Why ordinary Americans have missed out on the benefits of growth


(3) FT 11-2-06


Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy