Race, Class And Where We Are Today

It seems that with every presidency, comes a new or rehashed lie that colors the American view of where we are as a country. Under Regan, the fallacy was that greed is good and that there should be few if any Governmental restrictions of Wall Street. Those of us who were there in the 1980s can remember the day when he stated that "Government isn’t part of the problem, government is the problem." If we didn't know who said it, it could easily be mistaken as a creed for an Anarchist, libertarian group. But what he meant was simple, the fortune 500 should have free reign and that the invisible hand that naturally regulate the market should be trusted without question. There's a reason that, that hand is invisible, that's because it isn't there. The latest finical collapse is truly proof of that.

But even before 2008, there was 1987 when the US economy started heading south and then as now, there was the fear that white collared workers would be forced to except blue collar positions. Despite this, George H.W Bush, Bill Clinton, and later George W Bush bought into believed in the same Laissez Faire approach to the economy. The proponents of the system usually point to the "good times" of the mid 80s, about 1984-1986 or the mid 1990s, 1995-1999. Now the most rampant of these supporters argue that the 2003-2007 was proof that Regan Capitalism was right and deregulation is the way to go. But the reality is this, every president since the early 1980s depended on an economic bubble. Bill Clinton's administration is perhaps the most glaring example of this. At the same time he was gutting welfare, he was removing safe guards on Wall Street which, along with strong armed politics, gave us such disastrous economic programs, NAFTA and CAFTA. which nearly delivered the death blow to the US Unions and the raping of our manufacturing sector.

Since then, all those jobs were sent to Countries like China and Mexico, along with several other third world nations where human rights is only a suggestion. Replacing the Unionized factories of the North America, are sweat shops where the average worker, mostly girls and women start working around 11 years old while the average age of retirement is 21 years old. The conditions of these factories have been widely reported by such groups and Amnesty international and SOA (School Of The America's) Watch. The conditions included 18 hour days, causing workers to sleep in compound sleeping quarters. Rodent droppings are commonly breathed in by those who work in unventilated conditions. In many cases women who get pregnant are often forced to work up unit their moment of delivery. In the end we, as Country saw the end of those jobs, for all intense and purpose, here. What is so important to remember is that these jobs were the back bone of financial recovery during hard times, but those positions are gone and are not coming back. In 2008, we the results of these policies, which lead to a series of deflated economic bubbles, along with the 27 years of the FCC turning a blind eye to the fact that many of our top companies have fallen into the habit of falsifying their profit margins, inflating the value of their businesses. And true to form, the lower middle class and under employed were hit the hardest. But for the first time since the 1930s, Wall Street was also affected but was later bailed out by those who were the most screwed by their "greed is good" anthem. Then there is the fact, that like two hundred and fifty years ago, many of today's Corporations are still making money off of black misery. In 2008, however, the profits came when real estate pushers, like, Lealman Brothers offered under employed and lower middle class African Americans loans for homes that they knew could not be paid back.

The big lie under the Barack Obama administration, is this, that we live under a post racial society. The usual argument is that, hey the country elected its first black president. Yet the most important questions are not being asked. On top of the list is, how has Obama's administration helped the country's minority communities? According to the latest economic report, minorities continue to be hit the hardest current economic recession. According to the report, the unemployment rates for Hispanic males as of September 4th is 13% and 15.1% for African American males. In comparison, the rate of unemployed white males sits at 8.9%. For Asian males, 7.5% are being reported as being out of work. For women as a whole, the rate of unemployment is 7.6%. Also according to the report, "The civilian labor force participation rate remained at 65.5 percent in August. The employment-population ratio, at 59.2 percent…" It should be pointed out that while the national unemployment rate has been placed around 13% that number does not account for those who have been unemployed for over a year and have quit seeking work. The real number as been estimated to being closer to 16%, and we wonder why the legalized slavery of this country, known as the Georgia State chain gang prison system is doing so well.



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Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago


The New York Times

David Barboza's article on the abysmal working conditions in China casts doubt on the legendary benefits of free trade. Why should American workers and Chinese workers be sacrificed on the altar of free trade to fatten the coffers of WalMart and other U.S. companies whose factories, or those of their contractors, pay low wages for work in dangerous conditions while polluting the world's environment? It would not seem unreasonable to expect American companies to bring to their Chinese operations the pollution, industrial safety and hygiene and human resources policies rather than leaving them behind in the United States. It's illegal for a U.S. company to bribe a foreign government official but not to maim or poison a foreign worker.

Both the Repbulican and Democratic parties, while quick to bring intellectual property rights to the trade negotiating table, have not pursued the protection of worker rights with equal vigor. Our trade negotiators act as if the introduction of worker rights considerations in trade talks is comparable to putting sand in their Rolexes. If American workers are losing their jobs only for Chinese workers to work in unsafe and abusive conditions for abysmally low wages, where are the benefits of free trade?

Ralph Deeds

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