Face the recession with struggle

(The Workers' Advocate, Vol. 20, No. 10, October 1, 1990, pp. 1, 11)

.

. The news came out in September -- the supposedly miraculous "Reagan recovery" is officially over. The Commerce Department reported that the economy was at a virtual standstill in the last quarter, and many economists declare that recession has already begun. Layoffs have spread from the factories, mines, and construction sites into the service sector. Gas, food, and other prices are again climbing at a 6% annual rate. The savings-and-loan crisis has spread to the commercial banks where the General Accounting Office predicts 35 more bank failures by year end. The economy is coming loose at the seams.

. For a decade, Reagan and Bush have lectured about the supposed wonder-making powers of the "free market." They held up the economy with gargantuan military spending, tax breaks to the rich, and other handouts to the monopolies on the one hand, and the slashing of social benefits and encouragement of wage cuts from the working masses and poor on the other hand. Under the Reagan-Bush plan, the richest got very rich and the poor poorer. The Census Bureau reports that the Reagan recovery benefited a whole upper stratum, some 4. 6 million families, whose average annual income rose by over $28,000 dollars in the last decade to $148,438. Meanwhile, the poorest 18.5 million families saw their income drop $500 to $9,431 a year. (New York Times, Sept. 26)

. But if we cried out against the orgy of the rich, we were told not to worry, the growing economy would eventually benefit all with jobs and a rising standard of living. Well, eventually has arrived, the "recovery" has turned into crisis, and the working masses arc being pushed further to the wall.

. So will the government now change course? Will the Democrats stand up to Bush and defend the hard-pressed masses? Not a chance. Even while they shout and wring their hands, the Democrats are joining with Bush to further slash spending for health, housing, education and so forth. Oh they won't cut the military budget, no the Democrats are saluting the U.S. war for oil in the Middle East. And they don't cut a cent from the $300-500 billion bailout of the savings-and-loan banks, no, they want more.

. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are a party of the capitalists. And despite their talk of helping the workers and minorities, the bottom line for the Democrats is protection of the wealthy monopolies and entire capitalist system.

. Capitalism under the Reagan recovery has been hell for the workers. Capitalism going into recession is only worse. This is because it is a system built on the exploitation of the working majority by the rich parasites. As long as that system lasts, there will be periodic economic crises and a constant push against the working masses. We must get organized to resist the layoffs and homelessness and cutbacks. We must get organized to stand as a class against the system of exploitation. The workers must get organized to build a new system, a system run by the workers in common for the benefit of all. A system without a class of leeches living off our sweat and toil. A system where production is for us to use and so increasing production is not the cause of layoffs and recession but to increase the welfare of all.

. The working class can sacrifice no more for the sake of the filthy rich. We must fight back. No to Bush and Congress! No more sacrifice for the rich!


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