Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Workers clobbered by relentless layoffs

This news from the Associated Press (see article below) begins to describe what is really taking place in this country and around the world... employers are using this depression (newspapers, Rosy Scenario and the capitalist sooth-Sayers are still calling this a "recession with no end in sight").

Employers are using this recession/depression to drive down the standard of living for the entire working class by driving down wages and making people work harder and longer hours as they throw more people into the unemployment lines.

It is all about "profits."

It's about profits derived from the exploitation of labor. And its about profits derived from wars... which severely exacerbate this economic upheaval. And profits derived from housing. And profits derived from health care. And profits derived from food, oil and even water. You get the picture I'm sure.

So, what's new?

Employers always take advantage of bad economic times to attack the working class in an attempt to attain greater profits.

First we heard from the head of the Fed, "This is not your garden variety economic recession."

Now, we read this from the article below:

"We're still in the teeth of this recession and the bite has not let up at all."

I suppose the next thing we are going to hear from these capitalist sooth-Sayers is another bit of wisdom like, "Don't worry, every dog eventually barks... and when the dog barks he will let up on his bite."

This is a very frank story coming from the country's mainstream media... however, it is still far from the truth even if Rush Limbaugh is likely to surmise the journalist is a Marxist. And who knows, if the writer attended a public school she just might be a Marxist according to Sarah Palin.

The truth:

Capitalism is on the skids to oblivion and we are all on the short, bumpy road to perdition.

There is a solution:
We need to take the first exit to the "left."

If we aren't all socialists now, for our own survival we better get up to speed on this remedy.

Alan Greenspan wrote an entire 500 page book, "The Age of Turbulence, Adventures in a New World," explaining to us that what is happening now, really can't happen.

"The Age of Turbulence, Adventures in a New World" was published in 2007.

A couple months after this book was published while Alan Greenspan was doing the book tour thing... the bottom begin to fall out from under us.

How does Alan Greenspan, the capitalist world's most brilliant economist, explain that this is happening now, a year after this monumental five-hundred plus page book, "The Age of Turbulence, Adventures in a New World," was published?

Greenspan writes his lack of vision and insight off as "this is something that only happens every hundred years or so."

Just a "small" point Alan Greenspan, the world's foremost capitalist sooth-Sayer, forgot to tell us... just like he forgot to tell us what life would be like for working people should this depression happen... but, then, again, Alan Greenspan and his capitalist brethren will not be without jobs, unable to feed their families, do not have to worry about being foreclosed on and evicted, worry about health care or figuring out how to get dental care for their children, or how they will pay the college tuition or have to go begging for second-hand clothes for their children to wear to go to school; nor will these Wall Street bankers and coupon clippers have to think about making a decision at the grocery store of whether they will purchase milk or bread... chances are, for many working class families cookies and butter are no longer on the weekly shopping list.

Many people can't even afford to pay to heat their homes this winter and are shivering in the cold.

Think about this:

Alan Greenspan says that people he has complete confidence in, like Barack Obama's choice to head up the Federal Reserve Board and the rest of his economic advisers, are competent to see us through this mess.

Now, if the article below doesn't give you something to talk about around the dinner table tonight... and reading books about economics puts you to sleep in boredom, Barack Obama appointing those who Alan Greenspan has complete confidence in should give you incentive to make you inclined to discuss where we are headed... but, if that still won't stimulate conversation around the dinner table this evening... read the brief quote I have posted below this article by Frederick Engels, Karl Marx' friend and colleague.

We really do need a "people's bailout," call or write your state representative and senator... time is running out with a very short road to perdition as this capitalist system continues to crumble... and, oh yes, there is one other little thing that Alan Greenspan and his other capitalist sooth-Sayer friends forgot to mention about these little "only one-hundred year occurrences"... each one gets worse than the one before.

Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself because these people who have enlisted the help of Alan Greenspan's secret lover, Rosy Scenario, aren't going to tell you anything other than "recovery is down the road."

Actually, Rosy Scenario is not just Alan Greenspan's secret lover; Rosy Scenario is more like a White House groupie.

Workers should keep in mind that "economic recovery" means one thing to the likes of Alan Greenspan and this never ending entourage of well-paid capitalist sooth-Sayers who can't find a real job while "economic recovery" means quite another thing to working people.

Barack Obama has brought Rosy Scenario back into the White House... it is not only Michelle who should watch out!

This sure is turning into "the age of turbulence;" but I'm really not into the kind of adventures Rosy Scenario has in mind... Are you?

You probably noticed I haven't mentioned "the middle class." Well, apparently these Barack Obama enthusiasts are doing just fine... Obama is going to see that they don't get evicted from their $700,000.00 homes up along the North Shore and in Edina. Their shopping sprees in Bloomington at the Mall of America are secure.

Barack Obama's favorite class, the middle class, will keep their vacations, and state employees can look forward to their days off, too, as their union contracts are shredded while their union leaders tout the Employee Free Choice Act.

From the Associated Press...

"The pace of layoffs is fast and furious," said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group. "We're still in the teeth of this recession and the bite has not let up at all."

Mar 6, 7:10 AM (ET)

Workers clobbered by relentless layoffs


WASHINGTON (AP) - Cost-cutting employers are resorting to even bigger layoffs as they scramble to survive the recession, feeding insecurities among those who still have jobs and those who desperately want them.

The Labor Department on Friday is slated to release a report expected to show that February was an especially cruel month for America's workers.

Employers likely slashed a net total of 648,000 jobs last month, according to economists' forecasts. If they are right, it would mark the worst month of job losses since the recession started in December 2007. It also would represent the single biggest month of job reductions since October 1949, when the country was just pulling out of a painful recession, although the labor force has grown significantly since then.

"The pace of layoffs is fast and furious," said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group. "We're still in the teeth of this recession and the bite has not let up at all."

With employers slashing payrolls, the nation's unemployment rate is expected to jump to 7.9 percent, from 7.6 percent in January. If that happens, it would mark the highest jobless rate since reaching 8 percent in January 1984, a time when the unemployment rate was still slowly moving down after having topped 10 percent during the early 1980s recession.

Employers are shrinking their work forces at alarming clip and are turning to other ways to slash costs - including trimming workers' hours, freezing wages or cutting pay - because the recession has eaten into their sales and profits. Customers at home and abroad are cutting back as other countries cope with their own economic problems.

A new wave of layoffs hit this week.

General Dynamics Corp. (GD) said Thursday it will lay off 1,200 workers due partly to plummeting sales of business and personal jets that forced it to cut production. Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC), and Tyco Electronics Ltd. (TEL), which makes electronic components, undersea telecommunications systems and wireless equipment, also are trimming payrolls.

"This is basically cleaning house for a lot of firms," said John Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia. "They are using the first quarter to cut back employment and figure out what they want."

Disappearing jobs and evaporating wealth from tanking home values, 401(k)s and other investments have forced consumers to retrench, driving companies to lay off workers. It's a vicious cycle in which all the economy's negative problems feed on each other, worsening the downward spiral.

"The economy is in a tailspin. Businesses are jettisoning jobs at an unprecedented pace," said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research.

Some 3.6 million jobs have disappeared so far in a deepening recession, which is shaping up as the biggest job killer in the post-World War II period.

The country is getting bloodied by fallout from the housing, credit and financial crises- the worst since the 1930s. And there's no easy fix for a quick turnaround, economists said.

President Barack Obama is counting on a multipronged assault to lift the country out of recession: a $787 billion stimulus package of increased federal spending and tax cuts; a revamped, multibillion-dollar bailout program for the nation's troubled banks; and a $75 billion effort to stem home foreclosures.

Even in the best-case scenario that the relief efforts work and the recession ends later in 2009, the unemployment rate is expected to keep climbing, hitting 9 percent or higher this year. In fact, the Federal Reserve thinks the unemployment rate will stay elevated into 2011. Economists say the job market may not get back to normal - meaning a 5 percent unemployment rate - until 2013.

Businesses won't be inclined to ramp up hiring until they are sure any economic recovery has staying power.

The economy contracted at a staggering 6.2 percent in the final three months of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century, and it will probably continue to shrink during the first six months of this year.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress earlier this week that recent economic barometers "show little sign of improvement" and suggest that "labor market conditions may have worsened further in recent weeks."

From: Frederick Engels's--- Socialism: Utopian and Scientific/ (part of his /Anti-Dühring/), is a description of the crisis of capitalism that seems uncannily appropriate to today.

* * *

Commerce is at a standstill, the markets are glutted, products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are unsaleable, hard cash disappears, credit vanishes, factories are closed, the mass of the workers are in want of the means of subsistence, because they have produced too much of the means of subsistence; bankruptcy follows upon bankruptcy, execution upon execution. The stagnation lasts for years; productive forces and products are wasted and destroyed wholesale, until the accumulated mass of commodities finally filter off, more or less depreciated in value, until production and exchange gradually begin to move again. Little by little the pace quickens. It becomes a trot. The industrial trot breaks into a canter, the canter in turn grows into the headlong gallop of a perfect steeplechase of industry, commercial credit and speculation, which finally, after breakneck leaps, ends where it began--in the ditch of a crisis. And so over and over again. We have now, since the year 1825, gone through this five times, and at the present moment (1877) we are going through it for the sixth time.... The fact that the socialised organisation of production within the factory has developed so far that it has become incompatible with the anarchy of production in society, which exists side by side with and dominates it, is brought home to the capitalists themselves by the violent concentration of capital that occurs during crises, through the ruin of many large, and a still greater number of small, capitalists. The whole mechanism of the capitalist mode of production breaks down under the pressure of the productive forces, its own creations. It is no longer able to turn all this mass of means of production into capital. They lie fallow, and for that very reason the industrial reserve army must also lie fallow. Means of production, means of subsistence, available labourers, all the elements of production and of general wealth, are present in abundance. But "abundance becomes the source of distress and want" (Fourier), because it is the very thing that prevents the transformation of the means of production and subsistence into capital. For in capitalistic society the means of production can only function when they have undergone a preliminary transformation into capital, into the means of exploiting human labour power.

Frederick Engels's---
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific/
part of his...
Anti Dühring/
New York: International Publishers, 1935, pages 64-65

Please pass this blog posting on to a friend.

Yours in struggle,

Alan L. Maki

Thoughts From Podunk