Saturday, December 04, 2010

The crisis

Data published in November by the government shows that the profits of large companies in the country have reached record levels in the third quarter of this year. A gain of more than 1.6 trillion dollars was recorded, which amounts to more than 10% of the U.S. GDP, estimated at 15 trillion dollars. The highest since the government has been keeping records on corporate profits for 60 years. Total corporate profits grew 28% over the same period in 2009.

However, companies do not use these record profits to hire more workers. The State Department said the unemployment rate rose in November to 9.8%. It had been 9.6% in the previous three months. The number of unemployed in the country totaled 15.1 million in November, according to government statistics, which may be underestimated. Some economists estimate 30 million in the army of the unemployed and underemployed in the country.

When profits and unemployment are rising, at the same time it is a sign of increased productivity and the degree of exploitation of the working class, which the capitalist imposes through the intensification of the work pace and reducing wages and benefits. The capitalist profits from massive unemployment, which reduces the resistance of salaried workers.

The working class are frustrated by the hopes that they had placed in Barack Obama. Unfortunately, the energy aroused by popular revolt was appropriated by the right and diverted from its real purposes.130 million Americans voted in November 2008 and only 75 million Americans voted in November 2010 – a drop-off of more than 40 percent.They were voting against the party that had promised and failed to deliver millions of new jobs. So they'd try something else. And the “something else” they were being offered was a stew of phony prescriptions, programs that are likely to worsen America's continuing economic woes.

Real wages for working people in the U.S. have fallen every year but two (1999 and 2000) since 1971. America's working people tried to maintain the so-called “middle-class lifestyle” first by putting the women in their families to work when most families found they needed two wage-earners just to survive and maintain their standard of living.
And then by borrowing. Many working-class Americans had been convinced that they could safely borrow on their homes to finance current consumption since “houses never go down in value” – until they do.

The American working class has repeatedly been sold the myth of the “middle class” by which white working people have been told that they are the real bulwark of America and people of colour are lazy bums who refuse to work hard and earn the rewards of the American Dream. The ruling class and its corporate media are selling the ideology of “The Market” as a means of convincing working people that their true class allies are the people above them and their true class enemies are the people below them – people of colour, so-called “illegal” immigrants and anyone on the ever-growing lists of scapegoats. The trickle-down concept that throwing money at the rich in hopes that some of it will trickle down to the rest of us has managed to maintain its support among a large number of people even though it's been shown over and over again not to work.

The "Tea-Party" is an openly and unashamedly propaganda operation designed to convince the American people that lassiez-faire capitalism is the only workable and moral economic system and that all government regulation of the economy and all social-welfare programs take money away from the "true producers” and give it to the intellectually, physically and morally unworthy and that the problems facing the white American working class are the fault of those below them, not those above.

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