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Tag Archives: Wall Street

If the Chumph Wins – Will Wall Street Crash?

Apparently Wall Street has been running scared since the Comey memo. The thought of a Chumph starting trade wars is just part of it. The dollar would go down, based on the expectation of economic instability, Second, the insurance rate for international business transactions would minimally triple making project funding difficult if not impossible. Lastly is the social and Civil turmoil issue…

My advice in the event of a Chumph win…Sell.

The impact of this morning’s retraction of the “email scandal” non-scandal by FBI’s Comey?

Wall Street shot up 300 points!

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Trump terrifies Wall Street: Professional investors are panicking — should you?

Election jitters sent the S&P on the longest losing streak since the Great Recession — expect worse if Trump wins

It’s been a wild ride for markets this week, thanks in part to FBI Director James Comey’s surprise announcement last week about the discovery of new emails related to Hillary Clinton’s email server controversy, which, if polls are any indication, improved Republican Donald Trump’s chances to win the White House on Tuesday. Investors are bracing for what could be the most volatile post-election trading day ever.

According to a Credit Suisse analysis of index options (financial derivatives that allow investors to bet on the future value of a market index), the benchmark S&P 500 index of America’s biggest companies could rise or fall by 3.3 percent on Wednesday in reaction to the election results. Such an election-related swing in the market would be unprecedented, well above the average 1.1 percent move that follows a normal presidential race. Other estimates are less sanguine: Citi analysts warn of an immediate 5 percent drop should Trump win the election. Others suggest the decline could be even greater.

As Election Day approaches, anxieties are running high, leading to one of the longest selloffs of stocks in the S&P 500 index since the financial crisis eight years ago. Friday’s upbeat monthly U.S. jobs report, which showed robust gains in both hiring and wage growth, helped to lift U.S. markets during intraday trading, but the S&P 500 ended Friday down a slight 0.17 percent, its ninth consecutive decline and the longest losing streak since 1980.

The U.S. election jitters aren’t limited to the U.S.: Asian and European stock markets fell Friday, too, while the benchmark Euro Stoxx 600 shed 3.5 percent this week, touching its lowest level since July. This scramble sent the VIX, a widely watched index that rises when market volatility is high, above 22 points on Friday, up from 13 over the past five weeks, its highest point since Britain voted in June to leave the European Union.

Safe-haven bets — low-yield, highly stable investments — have risen, too. U.S. Treasury funds gained $2.3 billion in five days, the largest influx of cash since the first week of July following the Brexit vote, as investors fled volatile markets to the safety of low-yield U.S. government debt. On Friday, the price of a troy ounce of gold was up about $30 from Monday (gold prices tend to rise when investors are on edge).

All of this is classic “risk-off“ behavior, where investors flee riskier bets like low-rated corporate or high-yield municipal bonds. Clearly, the investment professionals are spooked — but what does this mean for average investors?

“It think it’s good to close your ears,” said Bill Stone, chief investment officer at PNC Financial Services Group. “Politics bring in a lot of emotion and bringing those emotions into investment decisions is not likely to help you, frankly.”

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2016 in Chumph Butt Kicking

 

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Bernie Sanders – Time to Reform Wall Street and Bust the Big Banks!

Bernie unloads in this speech he gave 2 days ago, and outlines what he will do if he becomes president. He is right. Since about 2000, Wall Street became increasingly disconnected from the economic engine of the country, investing in more and more obscure financial instruments resulting in the meltdown of 2008. when the wall between banks and Wall Street was erased with the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the recipe for financial disaster was almost assured.

I have small hope at this point enough people will wake up to make Bernie President. But…You never know.

Here is a breakdown of the Key points, from TYT

 
 

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The Story of Jeremiah Hamilton – The First Black Wall Street Millionaire

Great tidbit of previously unknown or forgotten history here…

The Story of Wall Street’s First Black Millionaire

Jeremiah Hamilton made white clients do his bidding. He bought insurance policies on ships he purposely destroyed. And in 1875, he died the richest black American.

No one will ever erect a statue honoring Jeremiah G. Hamilton. As an African American broker in the mid-1800s, Hamilton was part of no one’s usable past: Wall Street in that time was completely white, and New York’s black leaders disdained him for his brashness. But his death, in 1875, attracted national attention, and scores of newspapers reported that Hamilton was the richest non-white man in the country and that his estate was worth about $2 million, or about $250 million today.

Hamilton worked in and around Wall Street for 40 years. Far from being some novice feeling his way around the economy’s periphery, he was a skilled and innovative financial manipulator. Unlike later black success stories such as that of Madam C. J. Walker—the early 20th-century manufacturer of beauty products, often assumed to be the first African-American millionaire—who would make their fortunes selling goods to black consumers, Hamilton cut a swath through the thoroughly white New York business world in the middle decades of the 19th century.

He may have been successful, but he was not well-liked. “The notorious colored capitalist long identified with commercial enterprises in this city,” one obituary spat, “is dead and buried.” Rumors of counterfeiting and scams against insurance companies dogged him until he died. Not that the ethics or business practices of many of his antebellum contemporaries could bear too much scrutiny, but Wall Street was never going to be a level playing field for a trailblazing African American. His forays soon earned him the nickname of “The Prince of Darkness.” Others, with even less affection, simply called him “Nigger Hamilton.”

Yet for all that, brokers and merchants generally were more interested in the color of the man’s money than his skin. Not that Hamilton gave a damn one way or the other. In general, he simply carried on amassing his fortune whenever an obstacle arose.

Born in 1807, either in the Caribbean or in Richmond, Virginia (his story of where he came from depended very much on whom he was talking to), Hamilton first made his mark on the historical record in 1828. In that year, the 20-year-old ran a cargo of counterfeit Haitian coin to Port-au-Prince for a consortium of New York merchants. When the Haitian authorities uncovered the criminal enterprise, Hamilton fled.

After news of the abortive expedition broke in New York, the newspapers condemned him. Most notably, the editor of Freedom’s Journal, the first African-American newspaper, cursed Hamilton for what he viewed as his disgraceful role in undermining the existence of the world’s first and only black republic. Under considerable pressure to name names, the African-American entrepreneur kept his silence and the identities of the New York merchants who had bankrolled the counterfeiting expedition were never revealed. Although still young, Hamilton apparently had learned the ways of Wall Street.
Five years later, he had shifted his focus permanently to New York, where he quickly acquired a reputation for over-insuring vessels and then arranging for them to be scuttled, which proved quite lucrative (for him, at least). Indeed, it was businessmen such as Hamilton who drove the nascent marine-insurance industry to organize itself. By 1835 all of the New York marine-insurance companies made no secret that they had collectively agreed never to insure any voyage involving Hamilton.

In the mid-1830s, the United States was in the throes of a real-estate boom, and Hamilton jumped headlong into the frenzy. He bought 47 lots of land in what is present-day Astoria. Even more impressively, he invested heavily in property in Poughkeepsie, buying several tracts of land in the town, an iconic local mansion, and a 400-foot-long wharf. In all, he gambled more than $10 million in today’s money that the boom would continue. Following the herd turned out to be the worst business decision of Hamilton’s life. He had bought at the top of the market, only weeks before what became known as the Panic of 1837. Hamilton dodged his creditors for several years, but, taking adroit advantage of new federal legislation, declared bankruptcy in 1842.

Although Hamilton had bought and sold some stocks in the 1830s, the second act of his New York business career, beginning after 1842, was defined by his Wall Street speculations. His bets did not always pay off, but they most definitely were distinguished by wile and creativity. For instance, in the mid-1840s, he dragged the Poughkeepsie Silk Company into court so that the struggling firm could be legally dissolved, leaving the cash realized from the sale to individual shareholders, including himself.

Perhaps more impressive to modern eyes, Hamilton, by the 1860s, if not earlier, ran what was termed a “pool,” which resembled a hedge fund. It worked like this: Investors pooled their money, depositing it for Hamilton to invest on their behalf. The benefit of such an arrangement was that the pool’s contents were used as an assurance that would let Hamilton borrow more money, so that a much larger sum was available to play the market. It was entirely up to Hamilton to decide which stocks were purchased, but the point of a pool, as with a hedge fund, was to take aggressive and therefore more hazardous positions in the market. In effect, Hamilton was risking other people’s savings in order to speculate.

What may be even more startling today was that white New Yorkers, eager to join Hamilton’s pool, were driven to giving him gifts to gain his favor. In the mid-1860s, Hamilton advised one to “send him a basket of champagne and a box of segars.” Furthermore, Hamilton made it absolutely clear that when it came to such offerings, “he did not want any but the very best.”

Consider the greater historical context of such a statement: In the middle of a war of almost unimaginable carnage over the existence of slavery, less than 12 months after the Draft Riots—New York’s own cataclysm, in which the mutilated bodies of African Americans were hanged from lampposts—an unapologetic wealthy black man let it be known that he was willing to receive cigars and champagne (mind you, only “the very best”) as acknowledgment of his benevolence. In order to gain privileged access to this African American’s wisdom about the market prospects of listed corporations—modern entities beyond most Americans’ understanding that were laying thousands of miles of railroad track and steaming huge iron vessels across oceans—some white New Yorkers were willing to grovel….Read the Rest Here, including Hamilton’s toe to toe battle with Cornelius Vanderbuilt

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Black History, Giant Negros

 

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Song for Birmingham…

The bankruptcy of America continues. One question though… If you foreclose on a city…

Does everybody have to leave? Joking aside, this has to be frustrating as hell for the folks of Jefferson County.

Alabama county files biggest municipal bankruptcy

Alabama’s Jefferson County filed for bankruptcy court protection on Wednesday in the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Commissioners for the county, which is home to Birmingham, the state’s biggest city and economic powerhouse, voted 4-1 to declare bankruptcy after meeting behind closed doors for two days in a last ditch-attempt to restructure its debt out of court.

A tentative deal reached with creditors in September to settle $3.14 billion in red ink had been widely expected to avert bankruptcy. But the deal fell apart over what the commission described as creditors’ refusal to meet the terms of previously agreed economic concessions.

There was also frustration over the fact that the estimated savings from the September agreement had shrunk by about $140 million, commission sources said.

“In September 2011, the commission and receiver entered into a comprehensive term sheet setting forth a framework for the resolution of the sewer system crisis,” the commission said in a press release announcing the bankruptcy filing.

“Creditors ultimately were unwilling to make the economic concessions contemplated in the term sheet and the receiver made additional demands inconsistent with the term sheet that the commission was unwilling to accept.”

The commissioners, who are elected and not political appointees, are the final arbiters over much of the county’s business and day-to-day municipal affairs.

The bankruptcy filing by the southern U.S. county will add to concerns about the risks in the $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market, which was hit recently by the high-profile debt crisis in Pennsylvania’s capital of Harrisburg.

In addition to Harrisburg, which filed for bankruptcy last month, just two other cities — Vallejo, California and tiny Central Falls, Rhode Island — have declared bankruptcy in recent years since the onset of the U.S. financial crisis.

 

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in American Genocide

 

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The Black Women of Occupy Wall Street

Yes there are black folks in the Occupy Movement – including Occupy Wall Street, despite the disparagement by conservatives that the movement is made up of privileged white kids. This video alone has more black folks than the entire Glenn Beck Tea Bagger rally on the mall last year on MLK’s Birthday.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Occupy Wall Street, The Post-Racial Life

 

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What Occupy Wall Street is About

These a re pretty much core issues right now with a lot of folks…

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Occupy Wall Street

 

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Like a snowball rolling down a hill…It’s growing…

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2011 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Occupy America – Has Lightning Escaped the Bottle?

 

It’s beginning to feel like 1967…

All over again.

The “Occupy” protests are popping up all over America, as thousands, perhaps soon –  millions take to the streets.

Like the Tea Party, the “Occupy” demonstrators are folks deeply concerned that things have seriously gone off the rails in America.

Unlike the Tea Party – there are no corporate sponsors. there is no Faux News complete with air-headed effervescent blonde bimbos spouting breathlessly over the movement’s significance (indeed the MSM seems determined to ignore the whole movement)…

And there are no Koch Brothers sitting behind the scenes pumping in money, and buying influence from corrupt politicians and Supreme Court Justices.

The other thing is, Occupy is largely apolitical. I think the most prevalent feeling about the American Political Parties – is “a pox on both their houses”.  There has been a growing belief that neither political party is capable, or willing to operate in the best interests of anyone, except their financial benefactors for a long time.

Not being bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers or any of the other conservative “7 Sisters” who fund the conservative “movement” in America, though – is a scary thing for conservatives. As such, it’s no surprise the conservative media “long knives” have come out over the last week or so, with House Whip Eric Cantor calling them a “mob“, Mitt Romney (“It’s dangerous, this class warfare”), Herman Cain (“If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!”) or in French Revolution speak “Let them eat cake”, and this piece by Deneen Borelli essentially calling the Occupy protesters peasant trash (where’s a damn Guillotine when you need it?)… And if you wonder just how much of a joke and conservative shill the Wall Street Journal has become there’s this hit piece written in the prosaic style of your average 12 year old. When the leading financial paper in the country blogs articles written in all the style and content of a Marvel Comic Book…

No wonder we are in trouble.

So… Despite humble beginnings, the Occupy movement is headed left, if in no other place than fecund conservative imaginations.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Occupy America

 

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Cornel West Interview By Martin Bashir – “Wall Street Greed”

I am coming to feel that Martin Bashir is by far, MSNBC’s best interviewer. Bashir is on point, is aware of the facts, and is willing to confront bull.

In this clip, Cornel West discusses Obama’s recent discovery of a spine (the verdict is still out on that one), the vast wealth and income disparity that is a legacy of Raygun, and the need for Civil Disobedience to fight back …

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2011 in American Greed, Domestic terrorism

 

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What if the DOW Crashed… And Nobody Cared?

The DOW hasn’t been connected to any real economy in quite a while. Ergo, DOW up or DOW down, doesn’t have any impact on unemployment, jobs, or any of the day to day livelihood of the American people.

Perhaps it’s time to just let it go… poof.

Then perhaps whatever rises from the ashes will reconnect with the real economy.

Dow Plunges 280+ Points
US stocks plunged today—with the Dow Jones at times down more than 280 points—ahead of tomorrow’s monthly jobs report, after the government announced only limited improvement. Unemployment benefits claims fell by just 1,000 last week,MarketWatch reports. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index plunged 2.6%, bringing it 10%—the level considered to signal a market correction, notes the AP—below its April 29 high of 1,363.

The Dow has now dropped more than 1,000 points since July 21.”You’ve got a weak economy, the aversion of a debt crisis but not a solution, and you’ve got the rest of the globe starting to implode in a lot of areas, especially Europe,” one expert tells the Wall Street Journal. “It’s natural that people would react with fear.”

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in News

 

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Another Bubble?

 

Dotcom Bubble 2.0

Remember that crazy dotcom bubble in the late 1990s and the huge bust that followed? It looks like we’re about to sit through the same movie all over again.

That’s what Fred Wilson, a well-known venture capitalist, has been saying lately. Wilson, who runs Union Square Ventures, a New York–based VC firm, says he sees “storm clouds” on the horizon, and he worries that we might be headed toward another disaster. “When I look at where we are right now, it reminds me so much of 1999 and frankly it scares me,” Wilson wrote recently on his blog. The 49-year-old venture capitalist’s fear is understandable. In 1996 he cofounded a New York venture fund called Flatiron Partners, which did booming business investing in Internet companies—until the bubble collapsed, wiping out a bunch of its portfolio companies. Wilson and his partner pretty much shut down Flatiron in 2001, while still helping to manage some of its portfolio companies that had survived.

Undaunted, Wilson and a different partner launched Union Square Ventures in 2005, and he’s riding high once more, with smart investments in some of the hottest new companies on the Web, including Twitter, Foursquare, and Zynga. Nonetheless, Wilson has grown nervous in recent months. He says too many investors are pouring money into Web-based startups, driving valuations to ridiculous heights. In days gone by, the rule of thumb was that a company with two or three employees would be valuedat $5 million or less. But “today in the early-stage market we’re seeing two- and three-person teams that are getting $30 million, $40 million, $50 million valuations, and I think that’s not right,” Wilson said onstage at a Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco last month…

I beleive that the VCs have gone waaaay off the edge in productivity improvement applications, and in the valuation of the WWW social networking utilities, whose revenue model is at best – tenuous and highly volatile.

Yeah – I tend to agree there will be another meltdown – but we are talking about a really small bubble relative to the dot com meltdown which resulted in 3 million lost jobs, and the fall of dozens of major companies from which we have never recovered.

The only real question is – in an already devastated economy, would this be the straw which broke the camel’s back?

And I am not disagreeing with the Capitalist Maxim the “Greed is good”… It’s just that other old Maxim – “Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered” that tends to ring so true at times like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2010 in American Greed

 

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Run…Run…Run…

The core issues with the Stock Market haven’t gone away. The problem with the elephants dying is the little guys get crushed in a fall-down. Trust level of Wall Street by small investors is sinking, fast.

Things may well be getting ready to go to Hell in a Handbasket on Wall Street

In Striking Shift, Small Investors Flee Stock Market

Renewed economic uncertainty is testing Americans’ generation-long love affair with the stock market.

Investors withdrew a staggering $33.12 billion from domestic stock market mutual funds in the first seven months of this year, according to theInvestment Company Institute, the mutual fund industry trade group. Now many are choosing investments they deem safer, like bonds.

If that pace continues, more money will be pulled out of these mutual funds in 2010 than in any year since the 1980s, with the exception of 2008, when the global financial crisis peaked.

Small investors are “losing their appetite for risk,” a Credit Suisse analyst, Doug Cliggott, said in a report to investors on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2010 in News

 

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The SEC (Finally) Begins Doing It’s Job!

This is the first, of what should be a series of actions by the SEC to go after the Wall Street Companies who engineered the economic meltdown. One would hope that some of these prosecutions include criminal as well as civil actions.

Three cheers for the SEC!

The SEC showed some major teeth Friday. It’s about time. And hopefully this won’t be the last time the agency bares its fangs.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is going after the biggest of the big on Wall Street. Goldman Sachs.

The SEC alleged that Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) failed to disclose to investors in a pool of subprime mortgages that Paulson & Co., one of the most influential hedge funds in the world, was making bets against the security.

If the SEC’s claim is true, this is a major transgression. Even if it turns out that the wrongdoing was the work of one rogue employee — the SEC specifically named Goldman Vice President Fabrice Tourre — it is clear that Goldman has some explaining to do and must pay. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2010 in American Greed

 

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Finance Reform – President Obama’s Next Priority

I think President Obama is still trying way too hard to get Republicans involved in the business of governing our nation. He seems to believe Republicans really give a damn about the welfare of the country (they don’t), and that at some point they will see the light (they won’t).

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2010 in Great American Rip-Off

 

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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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