Bail Out The People — Not The Corporations

(reposted from the People’s Tribune, March 2009)

Over the past year, more than 2.2 million homes have been lost to foreclosure, a record number. Some four million jobs have vanished, and jobs continue to be lost at the rate of about 650,000 a month. One American in three has suffered a job loss or a pay cut in their household. Those once stably employed are becoming destitute, and those who were already destitute are dying.

The question on everyone’s lips is, what is our government doing to stop the ongoing economic catastrophe that threatens us all? What should it do? Where do the interests of the people lie?

As this issue of the People’s Tribune goes to press, President Obama has signed an economic stimulus bill which, we’re told, will create or save a few million jobs and expand public assistance to the unemployed, among other things. The government is also pondering how best to bail out the banks, arguing that helping the banks will restart the flow of credit and help get the economy going again. And the administration announced a $75 billion foreclosure-prevention plan that it says could help up to nine million homeowners keep their homes.

We should be on guard. We should ask ourselves, what actually needs to be achieved? The end result of the government’s intervention should be to guarantee the necessities of life for anyone who is doing without them. If this isn’t happening, then we need to demand that the government do what is right.

The underlying cause of the crisis is that more and more production is carried on with less and less labor, because of the introduction of labor-replacing technology into the economy. This technology has wiped out jobs and driven down wages for those still working. Because people with low wages or no jobs buy less, the market for goods and services is being wiped out. As the market has been undermined, the economy was kept going with debt – the massive extension of credit to workers and businesses. Credit was also used to fuel a huge orgy of speculation in stocks, bonds, credit default swaps, mortgage-backed securities and all sorts of exotic financial instruments that really had no value. On a temporary basis, this speculation brought huge profits to the financial sector.

This house of credit, debt and speculation has been standing on a “real” economy that has been hollowed out by labor-replacing technology. Eventually the debt-based bubble had to burst, and now that it has, the real economy is falling to its true level.

In the short term, what is needed is to nationalize large parts of the economy, such as the banking system, in the interest of the people, not the corporations. We should be nationalizing the assets of the corporations—not their risks—and putting those assets to work in such a way as to guarantee every person has access to housing, health care and the other necessities of life.

In the longer term, we are going to have to decide whether we’ll have a society that serves the majority of the people, or a society organized to serve only the wealthy few. Either the people are going to have to take the corporations over and run them in society’s interest, or the privately owned corporations will decide whether the rest of us live or die. This is the ultimate question we must answer.
(Image courtesy of the People’s Tribune)

3 Comments on "Bail Out The People — Not The Corporations"

  1. The Deutsch Bank of Germany is a part of the AIG group that received the bailout. They are taking our tax dollars to steal and destroy the homes of the US. Citizens in Detroit. I hope O’Bama cancels their bonuses so they can’t use anymore of our money to hurt the people we love.

  2. I cant believe this is America!!! The rich and greedy make too much money, the corporation heads make too much money and bonuses for doing nothing except ruining America and sending our jobs overseas and laying people off, and they also got a huge BAILOUT, jobs that was once done by people are now done by technology forcing people out of work, the greedy banks gave out BS loans forcing people to foreclose their homes, the Republicans obviously only care about the wealthy cause most of them sitting on their fat greedy butts are rich themselves and fighting against the poor, the HMO's have lost their minds and have outrageous monthly premiums that REGULAR people cant afford, the wallstreet people are greedy and slimy, and the rich have the audacity not to want to pay their fair share of taxes. Is the US a THIRD WORLD NATION?! YES IT IS!! We have too many HAVE NOTS with a little HAVES and the rich and greedy are ruining this nation!!! And its so obvious!! Especially because of the welfare grabbing corporations!!! Where are the buses to take the poor people and the newly middle income to poor people to the WHITE HOUSE to PROTEST?!!! I would be the first one on the bus! WAKE UP AMERICA!! Its time to FIGHT BACK and be LOUD about it!! Rich people do not own this country!!!!!!

  3. Anu – So true..but the law enforcers thlseeevms are so corruptPriyank – Thanks for the title..To a certain extent I agree..even I as a consumer is guilty of the same..but what choices do we have – wood or stone ? And as long as these are available in the market, consumers will buy .Jeevan -Thats right..most of us are so used to granite and marble that we are depleting our natural resources Ropi – :)BTR – This is a quarry site..not a famous range as such..but just an indication of whats happenning in the country todayVishesh – I agree..Gifts are meant to be used not exploited Maria -Thanks Hobo – So well put I am – This is not a river..just a quarry site Solitaire – Thats true..everything will be depleted soon Sameera – Thanks..yes, its sad Sukku – Greed has no limites unfortunately Reeta – 🙁 trueMatt – There are organisations working towards it, but it still needs to be enforced Indrani – We pass these beautiful sights most of the time and dont realize it very often Ajeya – Thats the tragic part of it..silently suffering and yet looking majestic Celine – Thats even worse..havent seen any workers, but am sure child labour comes cheap and they must be using kids Kamini – Its sad 🙁 I was just passing by ..dont have much details to offer Mitr -Thats tragic , isnt it ?Wendy – Your perspective is so right ..we are injuring ourselves in the processShantanu – Should see the film..thanksPallavi – Thanks..:)Dharma – The right balance is required Stephanie – Thanks ..Sad but true ..its a global issue todaySayani – yes..Its tragic DeeDee- I hope that happens here soon Samir -Thanks for the comment..will get in touch..all the very bestlalli- So well put..sad but trueMridula – Its tragic that we will seeing more such sites these daysCeedy – True..a right balance is required

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