WHAT RECOVERY AND THE UNEMPLOYED WORKERS COUNCIL
Under Obama, Wall Street made a 47% increase in profits from 2009 to 2010. Yet, the 99ers and other job seekers continue to try to deal with losing apartments and homes, selling off cars, trying to sell blood plasma and possessions, while applying for jobs that don't exist. In Portland, Oregon, an effort is being made to fight for workers and fight evictions via a new Unemployed Workers Council.
Is it a jobless recovery, a double dip recession, or just Wall Street and global capital making profits as usual -- without the need for workers, per se?
The Obama Administration appears to be stuck in a neoliberal catechism personified by economist Rick Moody (or Ben Bernacke at the Fed) who insist that the choices are simply to let 'the market' right itself over time (this assumes that these jobs will come back, like lillies of the field, in maybe five or ten years), or that Obama can try to fight the Republican filibusters to barely get a 1 or 2 vote margin to extend unemployment just to the medium-term unemployed, or, to save 300,000 jobs of teachers and police.
On the other hand, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman argue for a second stimulus. Organizers may also want to start pushing, on the Left (to counter the Tea Party and the Philadelphia billionaires like Pete Peterson) that, rather than moan about the debt and deficit as theoretical problems -- we need (in the US economy and the global economy) to provide JOBS FIRST.
FDR ended the Great Depression by creating 11,000,000 government jobs through the Works Progress Administration, the CCC, the FTP and other government agencies. George Will and other revisionist right wing psuedo-historians argue the Depression ended via WWII, not the government jobs programs -- but that's a lie.
What will it take, in Portland (with mayor Sam Adams?) or in Washington, D.C. (with Obama?) to get the government to start to serve workers and the people, not Wall Street? The Republians and corporate US media have the strategy of calling Obama socialist even when he is a neoliberal on Wall Street and on job creation. Obama is set to push for free trade with South Korea, for example, after the November election. The health care reform bill, as we know, omitted both single payer and the public option.
In Portland, Oregon, tenant rights activists, transit riders activists, unemployed workers and activist students are forming a new Unemployed Workers Council, to meet weekly at 6pm Sunday nights at Portland State's Hot Lips Pizza, to organize protests against evictions by banks (foreclosures) or landlords (against tenants), and to push for jobs -- not lassez faire profits by big business.
Come help work on specific remedies (preventing evictions) and bigger targets (job creation by government) in the Northwest!
address: PO Box 40011, Portland, Oregon 97240
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