Voting for either set of warmakers — Obama-Biden or McCain-Palin — won’t end the nightmare suffered by over 20 million workers who are either unemployed, have given up seeking non-existent jobs or are working part-time because they can’t find full-time jobs. Capitalism marches on!
While the “official” jobless rate rose to 6.1% (highest in five years), this excludes the other two categories above, so the real rate is 16.8%. And because of racist discrimination, unemployment rates among black workers are double that of white workers, and 60% higher among Latinos.
This is a full-fledged recession, although — as the saying goes — if your neighbor’s out of work, it’s a recession; if you’re out of work, it’s a depression.
Still worse, inflation has been outstripping wages, so the so-called Misery Index — unemployment + inflation — is at 11.7%, the worst in 17 years.
Of the 600,000 jobs wiped out in August, there are nearly as many college graduates as high school graduates; the jobless are up among adults, many over 45, not just teenagers, as unemployment rose for the 8th straight month, the most sustained increase in 25 years.
Combined with this picture is the home foreclosure rate, triple three years ago and the highest in nearly three decades. Unemployment feeds the foreclosures, leading to a downward spiral for millions of working-class families. In the next four months, the airlines will lay off 36,000. State and local governments will continue to cut back because of lower tax revenues. And the shakiness of the banks, credit and stock markets are heading towards a “financial tsunami,” predicts the manager of the world’s largest bond market — as it was shown by the virtual nationalization of the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mac. So the Treasury arranged a deal that throws Fannie and Freddie shareholders over the side, but promises to protect Wall Street and foreign creditors (from China, Japan, oil-rich Gulf emirate and even Russia). Without these big lenders, credit would dry up and the blow to the bosses’ economy could be historic. So, the feds couldn’t wait till after the elections. Neither Obama nor McCain opposed this huge robbery of workers’ tax money.
Eventually it could cost $500 billion to save these mortgage giants.
With U.S. imperialist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and Pakistan and Iran looming?), trillions in workers’ and future workers’ income taxes are being sucked into the bottomless military pit the ruler’s system has created, while simultaneously slaughtering millions of workers internationally.
Meanwhile, Obama and McCain continue to spout “concerns” for the jobless and offer meaningless “programs” for stimulating the economy, even as the last “stimulus” of $160 billion this past spring failed miserably to ward off a deepening recession. And they still propose troop increases for Afghanistan and the Army in general, to funnel more billions down the drain to protect their oil empire against rival imperialists in Europe, Russia, Japan and China.
Not one U.S. president has ever ended unemployment because the profit system by definition cannot provide full employment. Capitalism operates on cutthroat competition. As one set of bosses wins the competition, another set loses and inevitably cuts costs to try to maintain profits by laying off thousands and millions of workers. With “globalization” permeating the capitalist world, Toyota wins and GM loses, cutting tens of thousands of jobs. Even the one GM department that was making money, GMAC (its financial arm) has just announced 5,000 layoffs.
We in PLP call on workers not to vote, instead to organize breaking with all these politicians and union hacks who are all serving the bosses. Instead of blaming immigrant or workers from other countries or even other areas for losing jobs, we must unite internationally. This unity is key to fighting for the only solution to joblessness and endless wars this racist profit system breeds: a workers-led communist society with no bosses, no profits, no wage slavery. That’s PLP’s goal. It’s a lifetime job. Join us.