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Tag Archives: depression

A New Labor Movement to Roil The US?

American Labor has been comatose since Ronald Raygun fired the Air Traffic Controllers in 1983. However, the US economy has a greater gap in income and wealth since the time of the Robber Barons of the  last century, when Labor took to the streets and rocked the country.

Perhaps we are seeing the seeds of another great Labor uprising, putting middle class America back on their feet.

Our country tends to g in idelogical swings from the left to right and back every 40 years – I think the kickback against conservatism may be bigger, and more serious than even Liberals suspect – IF Progressives can define and enunciate the issues around the right wing noise machine. I think those of the generational poor due to color, and the middle class may indeed find common ground…

At which point there is going to be hell to pay.

Hat Tip to Truthout, for another insightful piece.

United by Hard Times: Workers Organize Across Race Lines

by: Carlos Jimenez  |  YES Magazine

The Lawrence textile strike (1912), with soldiers surrounding peaceful demonstrators

I’m feeling relieved. For a while it seemed like the historic election of our first African American president would give legitimacy to the idea that we live in a “post-racial” America. The idea that race is no longer a part of people’s daily experience is not merely false. It’s potentially dangerous when a majority of people are struggling to understand what’s happening to them economically.

What people are experiencing is exactly what’s supposed to happen to them under capitalism and its current variant, neoliberalism. That economic system is grounded on the idea that society must have winners and losers. It has convinced people that those categories are based on race: that people of color are, in the natural course of things, losers; and that white people, regardless of class, are supposed to win.

When hard times hit, as they have recently, people who are losing their grip on their middle-class status—or those who were already poor and are getting poorer—look for someone to blame. They fall back on the official story: White people’s troubles are caused by people of color; the troubles of people of color who were born in this country are caused by immigrants. It’s a divide-and-conquer strategy that keeps people who are natural allies on a class basis from looking at who’s really causing their trouble: the people who run the capitalist system.

This moment presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to get people with shared economic interests working together—to get them past learned racial divides. As long as poor and working-class white people remain convinced that they win by keeping people of color on the margins, all workers will continue to lose economic ground. The opportunity is to use this economic crash as a way to find common ground among those who are the real losers—regardless of race—in the existing system…

The rest is here.

Moving Forward, Together

Despite the constant use of race as a wedge, and perhaps as a result of it, young people today are turning away from old racial divides and leading the way in creating a multicultural America. Data from a 2003 Gallup Poll showed that 82 percent of white 18- to 25-year-olds disagreed with the idea that they “don’t have much in common with people of other races.”

Spaces like the US Social Forum (USSF) in Detroit serve as opportunities to advance the discussion of building alliances based on class rather than race. The USSF expects more than 25,000 progressive activists and organizers to come together to share their work in areas as diverse as education, stopping the criminalization and incarceration of youth, bringing an end to unjust wars, bargaining collectively for better wages and benefits, attaining reproductive justice, and protecting the environment and Earth’s well-being.

But the overarching theme of the USSF is how we can build a larger movement that addresses not just racism, but the many structures that are impeding people from pursuing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Working people of all races are looking for movements or vehicles through which they can express their self-interest. We cannot allow the right wing and corporate elite to co-opt the anger that is out there, as they have with the “Tea Party” movement and the growing resentment against immigrant workers. Progressives can change the direction of our country for the better by helping working people join together, regardless of race, to be their own champions.

Moving Forward, Together

Despite the constant use of race as a wedge, and perhaps as a result of it, young people today are turning away from old racial divides and leading the way in creating a multicultural America. Data from a 2003 Gallup Poll showed that 82 percent of white 18- to 25-year-olds disagreed with the idea that they “don’t have much in common with people of other races.”

Spaces like the US Social Forum (USSF) in Detroit serve as opportunities to advance the discussion of building alliances based on class rather than race. The USSF expects more than 25,000 progressive activists and organizers to come together to share their work in areas as diverse as education, stopping the criminalization and incarceration of youth, bringing an end to unjust wars, bargaining collectively for better wages and benefits, attaining reproductive justice, and protecting the environment and Earth’s well-being.

But the overarching theme of the USSF is how we can build a larger movement that addresses not just racism, but the many structures that are impeding people from pursuing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Working people of all races are looking for movements or vehicles through which they can express their self-interest. We cannot allow the right wing and corporate elite to co-opt the anger that is out there, as they have with the “Tea Party” movement and the growing resentment against immigrant workers. Progressives can change the direction of our country for the better by helping working people join together, regardless of race, to be their own champions.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2010 in News

 

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The New Jim (Recession) Crow – Older Educated Black Workers Hit Hardest

Unemployment in America is increasingly becoming targeted towards older, more experienced workers – with the people with skills being the first to lose their jobs, and the last hired. When you add the New Jim Crow to that, it has a disproportional impact on black Americans.

Recession hits older blacks in what should be their prime

America’s economic recession has hit African Americans who are middle age and older much harder over the last year than it has the general public, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the AARP.

In telephone surveys, more than twice as many African Americans ages 45 and older reported having trouble paying their mortgage or rent, having to cut back on medications and having borrowed money to pay living expenses in comparison to the general population.

Twice as many blacks also reported losing a job and having a spouse who either lost a job or had to take a second job. Nearly twice as many blacks had difficulty paying for essential items such as food and utilities.

These older, established black workers also lost their job-based health coverage at higher rates, were more likely to raid their retirement savings prematurely and provide financial help to their parents and children more often than their age-equivalent peers, the survey found.

The data reinforces what many experts have said for months: that the recession is really a depression for many blacks, particularly in areas where black unemployment has surpassed or hovers around 20 percent.

AARP Vice President Edna Kane-Williams said the disparities reflect the tough circumstances and tough choices blacks are making to survive the economic downturn.

“The recession has driven many African Americans to make hard choices now that may lead to serious problems down the road,” Kane-Williams said. “Raiding your nest egg or ending contributions, even in the short-term, will have long-term consequences because you will have less time to make up the losses.”

The troubling findings paint a gloomy financial picture for African-American workers during what should be some of their prime earning years, said Algernon Austin, who heads the Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy program at the Economic Policy Institute.

The data also bodes ill for the future of these workers, Austin said, since many are using their retirement savings to pay for living expenses, health care and education costs and to support adult children.

“These findings suggest we shouldn’t be surprised if we see increases in poverty rates for blacks 65 and older in the coming years because a number of them are spending down their retirement income to try to get past this Great Recession,” he said.

Equally troubling is that older blacks aren’t consulting financial planners or using the Internet for financial assistance at the same rates as their non-black peers. Instead, they’re relying more on financial advice from friends and family members.

The survey did find that blacks were more likely to be training for a job in a new field, looking for a job and taking part in job fairs.

Nationally, the black unemployment rate is 16.5 percent, compared with 9.7 percent for the nation as a whole. The jobless rate is 8.7 percent for whites, 12.6 percent for Hispanics and 8.4 percent for Asians.

“I would have no problem saying (blacks are) in a depression,” Austin said. “There are different technical definitions and debates about what is or isn’t a depression, but to me, when you have unemployment close to 20 percent or above, the community is economically depressed.”

The AARP survey was conducted by phone in January and involved a national random sample of 1,407 respondents, of which 405 were black. The margin of error is 3.1 percentage points for the non-black respondents and 4.9 percentage points for the African-American sample group.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2010 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Winter In America – the Recession’s Impact on Minorities

This is a discussion of how the “recession” has impacted the Minority communities.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Talking Heads Stir Paranoia Among White Men

Listening to Glenn Beck and Michelle Maliken this week you would have to believe that every old white guy in the country has a bulls eye painted on his back. White victimization is a popular string among the racist set, where a long line of perceived disadvantages manufacture the justification for hate.

Bread Line Statue at Franlin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Bread Line Statue at Franlin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

The target audience for this currently is disaffected older white males, who are suffering from the recession/depression which was manufactured by failed conservative policies. Obviously, it is Beck and his kindred talking heads job to point the blame at Minorities – instead of squarely at folks like him who enabled the crippling of the nation’s economy.

Turns out there is some real pain out there to leverage racial hatred from –

Older white males hurt more by this recession Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Jobless Rates Keep Rising

Tis country is in deep deep doo doo…

And as of yet, I don’t see any of the SOBs who screwed the country doing time with the regular run of the mill burglars, thieves, and thugs.

One of my hopes for the Obama Presidency after 8 years of lawless corruption, special justice for special people, and thuggery, is that the Nation through the crucible of recovery from the disastrious policies and corruption of the last 8 years would emerge, at long last to creating a system of real justice serving the people – and not just special interests.

One needs to ask – How hard does the country have to hit the wall, before accountability becomes habit?

Seems to me you have to take out the trash before you can solve the rat problem…

Jobless Rates US States

Jobless Rates US States

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2009 in News

 

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