Published On April 23, 2014 | By Patrick Ayers, Socialist Alternative | Economy, US Politics
The Democratic Party leadership is staging a series of votes in the Senate on issues that would benefit the “pocketbooks” of working people in the US. The centerpiece is a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10/hour phased in over three years.
However, the main motivation for moving these proposals is not the needs of working people. Instead, the Democrats are desperate to mobilize their demoralized voting base for the midterm elections.
More than 46 million people now live in poverty in the US. In 2012, the 1 percent took their largest share of national wealth since 1917. This has spurred a growing discussion in the US, helped by the explosion of Occupy Wall Street in 2011 which introduced the language of the 1 percent and 99 percent.
Continue reading DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADERSHIP PLAYS POLITICS WITH MINIMUM WAGE
Published On February 18, 2014 | By Marty Harrison, Socialist Alternative | Healthcare
As details of the insurance plans offered under Obama’s new Affordable Care Act became accessible, many working and poor people have had to realize that this is not the answer to their health insecurities they had hoped for. Designed to convert the 47 million uninsured Americans into paying customers for the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations, Obamacare adds unnecessary costs and layers of complexity for patients and health care providers.
Socialist Alternative fights for health care for all. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act delivers insurance – not care – and is not affordable. It mandates that every American have health insurance, so everyone not covered by an employer’s plan will have to buy insurance on their state exchanges or pay a fine. The fines begin this year at $95 per adult and $47.50 per child for a family maximum of $285 (or 1% of income, whichever is greater), and rise steeply to $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, for a family maximum of $2,085 (or 2.5% of income, whichever is greater) in 2016.
Continue reading THE COST OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
by the Socialist Party Reporter
An incredible £80 billion has been paid in bonuses alone to bankers since the financial crash of 2007. And they want even more!
Because of the outrage at bank bosses pay and bonuses since the banks were bailed out by taxpayers, the EU has passed laws limiting the scale of bonuses to 100% of annual salary or 200% if shareholders approval is granted. This still means that the EU supports the likes of HSBC chief executive getting annual bonuses of £2.4 million on top of his £1.2 million salary. But this still won’t make any difference.
Now these fat cats are planning to award extra shares to themselves on top of bonuses. After being bailed out to the tune of £1.2trillion of our money, the banks should be fully nationalised and democratically controlled so that the enormous wealth they control can be used to invest in services and the economy overall to create jobs.
by the Socialist Party (England and Wales)
Desperate times call for desperate measures. That must have been the line of Con-Dem Chancellor George Osborne’s thinking when he went about claiming new jobs and wages figures proved that his austerity measures were yielding a recovery.
Far from bringing relief to ‘hard-working families’, the Coalition’s cuts and pro-capitalist policies are rapidly turning the clock back on living standards at a terrifying rate. Real growth can however be seen in workers’ anger.
Osborne’s claim, faithfully reproduced across the big business-owned media, was that wages are now rising faster than inflation.
Statistical contortionists manufactured this figure by including fat-cat bonuses in the measure of wages and excluding sky-rocketing house prices by using the CPI not the RPI measure of inflation. In reality real wages are still 6% below the pre-crisis peak of 2008. Continue reading New figures reveal capitalism in crisis – not recovery
Written by David May for Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor Tuesday, 14 January 2014 11:00
Revealing another crack in the fragile foundation of the two-party system, voters in Lorain County, Ohio elected 24 Independent Labor Party candidates in local elections in December, out of 26 who ran. The election result was completely ignored by the major media outlets. Why? Because it shows that when offered an alternative fighting for the working class majority, with the numbers and resources of the unions behind to make it a viable option, working people will respond.
The union electoral campaign was sparked off after the Democratic-controlled council carried out a series of attacks on organized labor in this industrial county, home to a large steel mill and a Ford assembly plant. The city council first overturned a local Project Labor Agreement won by the unions that had ensured public construction projects would be unionized and employ local workers and minorities. The “pro-labor” Democratic council then actively worked to break a strike by Teamster sanitation workers, with some of the Democratic leaders literally scabbing by driving garbage trucks themselves—the trucks having been loaned by the Democratic city council of neighboring Elyria, OH!
Continue reading Independent Labor Party Sweeps Ohio Local Election
Written by Eugene V. Debs
Published at Socialist Appeal on Thursday, 27 March 2014
We republish here an article written by Eugene V. Debs in which he takes up the need for the US labor movement to form its own independent political party—a labor party. His perspectives for the formation of such a party—requiring the mobilization of the labor movement’s rank and file, the necessity for such a party to be based on labor, the need to avoid more “third party fiascoes,” and his clear differentiation between a reformist program and what he calls “the working class program for deliverance from industrial servitude”—were quite advanced in 1925 and are still highly relevant today.
The progressive tendencies in American politics are the outgrowth of the final stages of American capitalism and reflect the political awakening of the American working class.
These tendencies, despite all attempts through the blind stupidity of the workers and the covert machinations of their enemies to thwart or misdirect them, will inevitably lead to and result in the formation of an American Labor Party.
I do not know. I hope soon. But soon or late, it will come. That I know if I have learned anything at all about the operation of the resistless forces that are centralizing capital, socializing industry, organizing and arraying the workers against their exploiting masters, and compelling them more and more to take the initiative in the intensifying struggle growing out of their antagonistic economic interests, which can end only with their complete industrial emancipation.
Continue reading The American Labor Party—Debs on the Need For a Labor Party