Candidates Reap Million$, Workers ‘Reap’ Unemployment

The two lead stories on the April 5 NY Times front page present a clear picture of capitalism as an exploitative class system. One says, “80,000 JOBS LOST” (in March). Adjoining that is, “Clintons made $109 million In Last 8 Years.”

A single Clinton speaking engagement rakes in “upwards of $250,000,” (NYT) more than the median family yearly income of five working-class families, in just one “lecture”! Seems talk is not exactly cheap, especially in the top one-hundredth of one percent of U.S. incomes.

Not that Obama or McCain are exactly poor. The Obama family income exceeded one million bucks in just one year (2006). (NYT) And the McCain family assets, including the fact that his wife is “an heiress to a beer distributorship fortune, are worth tens of millions of dollars.” (NYT)

These are the millionaire politicians who have never helped workers and who defend and enforce their capitalist system which has launched massive attacks on the working class: wage-cuts, huge layoffs, more racist cops to terrorize workers and youth, big talk about healthcare while the uninsured approach 50 million. And yet the union misleaders and reformers tell us the “solution” is to vote for Obama or Clinton, pouring our dues money into their campaigns. What crap!

PLP has always advocated, “Don’t vote, organize!” to answer these attacks.

Meanwhile, the monthly jobless increase was actually 222,000 since “the government added 142, 000 make-believe jobs to the count” (John Crudele, NYPost, 4-8), the highest in five years, rising for the third consecutive month. It’s across the board, covering both industry and service areas. But, of course — as CHALLENGE has consistently reported — the 5.1% unemployment rate is a fraud. That figure, representing 7.8 million jobless, excludes “discouraged” workers who’ve given up searching for non-existent jobs and those working part-time because they cannot find full-time jobs. That’s another 9.4 million workers, a total unemployment of 17.2 million — a 12.5% jobless rate.

This still doesn’t include people on welfare who can’t find jobs, nor those youth whose joblessness drove them to join the military. Nor the two-thirds of the 2.4 million in prison for non-violent, mostly drug-possession convictions who could ordinarily be at home or in rehab, also seeking non-existent jobs. All told, U.S. unemployment is probably somewhere around 20 million.

Because of racist discrimination, unemployment for black workers is twice that of whites. The “official” figure is black 9%, white 4.5%. But the true figure for black workers is about 25%, double the actual nationwide rate of 12.5%.

The liberal Democrat’s “solution” is to extend unemployment benefits, a goal rarely reached in this one-class-rules-all “two-party” system. And that excludes more than half of U.S. workers who are ineligible for any benefits (including millions of undocumented immigrants), something Obama and Clinton never mention when shedding crocodile tears for jobless workers. McCain’s hair-brained “solution” is more tax cuts for the rich and less regulation of the Wall Street investment houses making out like bandits.

Unemployment is an integral feature of the profit system and always will be as long as capitalism exists, driving for maximum profits by stealing the value that workers create and stuffing it into the pockets of the bankers, oil companies and Big Business. They go to war to protect their fortunes over workers’ dead bodies, much as they war on the working class at home. They will continue to do so until workers destroy their system and enable our class to share all the wealth we create among working people, according to need.

One big step towards that goal is to march on May Day, uniting black, Latino, Asian and white, immigrant and native-born, women and men, building PLP as the party to lead the working class against the ravages of capitalism.

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