The Bottom Line About the Economy

Now the latest hype about the global economic situation involves the debate about what has caused it rather than what is actually taking place. Working class people must exercise some critical thinking, because this ruse intends to keep them in the dark. Since black folks are linked into the global economy just like anybody else, we need to get our heads out of the soaps and churches and anywhere else that does not help us gain clarity and substance on this issue.

The economists are inventing red herrings like the “global savings glut”. This is nonsense. Who believes that money can be earned thru saving? In terms of working class folks, it makes little sense to save, since inflation eats up savings. The annual 3% inflation rate results in only a 1% yearly savings on your money, if banked. Outside of the industrialized countries, there is no return because inflation is much steeper. If you are a middle class person trying to save, your higher education is not paying off.

Not only that, but the Savings & Loans crisis of the Eighties and Nineties definitely scared the US public away from savings and stampeded them towards more sophisticated types of swindles, such as retirement plans based upon 401k and KEOGHs. Just because an activity is approved by Congress, and filled with volumes of small type that only a lawyer can understand, does not make it honest. No black worker has any business playing the stock market without knowing the dollar value of one point on the DJIA or having $250k to throw away in a money-manager fund. ‘Investment’ means only fools leverage all their assets on a gamble.

So if the economists were discussing stock-based retirement funds as a form of savings, consider that misinformation. The New York Review of Books and PEN World Voices presented a symposium on the world economic crisis at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on April 30. At that time, the idea was proposed that savings had driven down interests rates when, in fact, the Fed and the European Common Bank (ECB) themselves dictate interest rates. Not only that, North America and Europe in no way represent the globe.

It is important to repudiate any notion which dismisses the theory that the ruling class manipulated the financial system for their own benefit. The theory proposed by the symposium flies in the face of every scandal from Enron to Bernie Madoff. It contradicts the events which demanded welfare (bail outs?) for the banks.

Folks must not be duped by the highly esteemed panelists at that event, former senator Bill Bradley, Niall Ferguson, Paul Krugman, Nouriel Roubini, George Soros, and Robin Wells, and Jeff Madrick as moderator. Not one of them has an analysis which serves the interests of the millions of people who form the basis of the US domestic economy; not one of them even speaks the language of every day people.

When the banks pressed the Fed to raise interest rates, this became the primary trigger for the financial meltdown. While most folks think of the banks as finance institutions, the bank is a tool for making money. It is an instrument for concentrating money. Concentrated money becomes capital. Working class people lack capital. They sell their labor for a wage. Capitalists do not earn wages. They make money not thru labor or savings but by skimming value from what labor produces.

If ten laborers in a gold mine work together to extract one ton of gold daily which has a value of $900 per ounce, not one of them makes $900 per day, or even half of that. Even if their combined labor only extracts ten pounds of gold a day, who gets the money? The workers do not earn enuf to save. The value of the gold gets concentrated at the top of the chain, by people who trade paper with a value printed upon it, in exchange for the real value that has been extracted from the mine. This practice prevails thru out the bloodsucking capitalist system, where a few people live exorbitantly upon the backs of five billion working people worldwide.

This paper money has a value assigned to it. This value can be manipulated easier than anything else. After all, the paper has no real value! Today, one dollar may be as strong as yesterday’s ten dollar bill; tomorrow, that same one dollar note may be devalued so that it is only worth five cents. Entire societies remain at risk as a worker in this type of system.

So the monies the panelists claimed were tied up in savings actually were being poured into a volatile market, the stock market, another place ruled by paper tigers. Over the last thirty years, real wages failed to keep pace with inflation and the cost of living. Working people lacked the ability to save. However, amid the fears that Social Security would dry up before they could retire, they put a few hard earned extra dollars into stock-based retirement funds. Human relations managers and other company officials pulled their workers off assembly lines to sell them pyramid and ponzi schemes called a KEOGH or IRA or 401k Plan. These talks sounded something like the average MLM hustle, where the guy at the top of the chain makes all the money and the suckers who bought into it are left holding the bag. That is precisely what happened in instances such as MCI-Worldcom, Tyco, Enron, and others all the way thru the  Madoff scandal. These were all multi-billion dollar scams.

Now, this symposium happened in April. Do not forget, several weeks earlier, pretty much the same crew had called for the goverrnment to nationalize the banks. Their analysis continues shifting, while the causes for this period of voodoo economics involve financial manipulation, pure and simple. Prior to the curveball idea about interest rates being dictated by savings, the pundits said that the financial crunch happened because people were living on debt, another shattered theory.

People were indeed living on debt, yet that is not the reason for the crisis. People were forced to live on debt because wages did not keep pace with rising costs. Remember the old adage: “When creditors enforce collections, that results in market corrections.” So for folks living in debt, their very existence has become manipulated by those who control wages and prices. Stay tuned to the media, because within the next few weeks they will cook up a new rationale for the problems they continue heaping on the backs of poor and working people.

Healthcare in the Capitalist Arena

The Foul Legacy of Profit-Making


Healthcare is one of the most important issues in US political and social culture. Tho a catastrophic condition will not likely strike most individuals during their working lives, for those who themselves or family members have crucial health problems  the matter of healthcare poses a concern.

Hospitals and nursing homes practices often leave many in the lurch. Profit making for healthcare institutions means that the bottom line means more than the old adage, “The customer is always right.” In this industry, people’s bodies have become commodities, and even if the quality of service is high, that nearly always depends on level of insurance as well as the condition for which they receive treatment.

For the most part, hospital workers remain overworked and underpaid. Short-staffing means that the institutions have nurses and aids serving more beds than is optimal. In some cases, the hospitals and nursing homes may even take more drastic measures.

In Pittsburgh, workers at two different healthcare systems recently filed lawsuits with the Department of Labor because they did not get paid for hours they worked. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) must appear in court as defendants of cases where they cheated workers out of pay:

“Court documents reveal employees of the hospitals deducted half-hour meal breaks out of their paychecks even if they worked through their meal times. The legal action filed also alleges employees were not paid for work performed before and after scheduled shifts and not paid for required training. Any employer who fails to pay employees for hours worked and does not allow for breaks as required by federal guidelines is in violation of U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) http://www.dol.gov wage laws. On Monday, a federal lawsuit for two former Pittsburgh Mercy Health System nurses was filed by their employment attorneys. The documents filed in court state the nurses were not paid for training and work they performed during meal breaks over a three-year period.” (Justice News Flash)

In a country where doctors typically graduate from medical $100,000 in debt, the finance world dominates even in education and medicine. Pressure to make high salaries and establish a practice ties them into a complex web filled with medical suppliers, pharmaceuticals, keeping apace with scientific advances, and their relationships with employers, patients and staff. Compare this with statistics that say doctors live an average of 55 years; profit making does not afford them time to care for their own health and fulfillment.

If one of the wealthiest segments of the population cannot find time to care for its own health, health professionals themselves, what does this say for the rest of us?

Even tho the average worker does not understand how the system of capitalism bases itself on their oppression and exploitation, nevertheless the level of dissatisfaction with the capitalist system continues to mount. With the present economic meltdown weighing heavily upon workers, the middle class and business, no workable alternatives for “weaning” people off of capitalism have become popular. People talk about weaning this country away from foreign oil, however the discussion about the evil of capitalism have yet to become serious.

For this discussion to become serious, the Left has to be courageous. Black Power advocates have to sharpen their line and push the Left. We must take on this role since the problems in our communities are sharper and deeper than in the white community. Imperialist exploitation and oppression concentrates on colonized peoples.

When the wealthiest sectors of the communities receive government giveaways, we have to push the Reparations question. When we see government merging with corporate finance institutions, we must form dual and competing political power. When the unemployment lines swell at the rate of 50,000 lost jobs per month, the time for shutting down capitalism thru strikes and plant takeovers is overdue.

What effective agitational components can we bring to unions and workers, to the churches and masjids, to community centers, small businesses and athletic associations? These are questions begging to be answered, if only the Left will first ask them. All power to the people, and Black Power to the Black Community!

Reparations in the Land of the Giants?

Obama Policy: Imperialism thru Democracy

Black workers, we who sell our labor to make a living, travail under special circumstances in capitalist America. We have the highest rates of unemployment, imprisonment, chronic health issues. On the other hand, we have the lowest rates for home ownership, capital formation, retirement security, and higher education.

The current economic crisis is marked by increasing unemployment, to the tune of 50,000 jobs lost per month. The government giveaway to the financial giants amounts to plus $1.5 trillion over the last three years. This includes “massive liquidity injections” to Wall Street bankers and the European Central Bank since 2006.

Now with all this money floating around, no mention of reparations can be made. No mention of helping the African community get back on its feet. The goliath of Imperialism has stomped the heart out of niggers thru out this country.

Just one point of clarity; before there were African slaves in the Americas, before colonialism and Imperialism, niggers never existed. A nigger is a slave who hopes for a peaceful coexistence within the Imperialist, racist system. If you go the extra mile to justify the racist cause like, maybe, Stanley Crouch or Tarik Nelson, then you’re a bootlicking nigger.

Niggers ought to kno, there is no peaceful coexistence with Imperialism. The Soviet Union was white, and thought Socialism could coexist peacefully in the world alongside Imperialism. That proved to be untrue. And Africans cannot buy into the myth that this racist country will allow them to prosper, to get a piece of the dream, and live in peace with racists next door, down the street, around the corner and on your job. Africans must begin to understand how the system of collaboration diverts our unity with the Caribbean and Africa for a myth no more real than Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or a white deity which arose to remove your sins. Imperialism forced that nonsense upon black folks’ minds, and mentally weak niggers refuse to remove those mental chains.

So, the last few weeks have presented a somewhat quiescent period despite the growing economic crisis. People seem to yearn for that crummy stimulus check in the mail. It has literally caused most critics to shut their yapping traps. Makes one wonder what kind of check niggers would settle for if we can elevate the whole Reparations issue?

George W Bush gave out stimulus checks as well, in his first term, as a reason to celebrate his presidency. That is like King David giving every man in his kingdom a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread. Then again, David was a giant killer. While the jazz artists call Pittsburgh (my home town) “Land of the Giant Killers,” Bush 43, being from Texas, came from the land of the giants. Which is why he could bogart his way into office and behave as if all us little people need to enjoy our roles as unconscious grist for the mill of Imperialism.

So far, we haven’t seen much separation between Barack Obama and Bush 43. Obama isn’t going to address the Reparations question, and so-called black leaders do not want to rock his presidential boat.

Now the white media, with its ugly, twisted rhetoric, attacks Obama on all fronts. The media did not oppose the Bush war at any juncture in its development. It did not counter the blood thirsty lies spread by Colin Powell, in his role at the United Nations as US Secretary of State. This is not just a matter of interpreting or misinterpreting satellite data, as Powell would have us believe. It involved a campaign of slander and lies aimed at the IAEA, Hans Blix, and other internationally certified authorities on Iraq’s capacity to wage war.

Obama, having made promises he obviously never intended to keep, extended the deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq. Some will be there indefinitely, locked in step with the Rumsfeld Doctrine, “that we will be there a hundred years, if we have to.”

From the land of the giant killers, the slings are being primed.

One media goliath has have slandered the anti-war establishment as “Democratic voters who ached to see America defeated in ‘Bush’s War’”. The giant killers are not Democratic Party voters.

Besides, the US cannot be defeated in Iraq because of several factors. Superior military force always prevails over any highly disorganized and subjective anti-occupation movement. Religion worked fastidiously against Iraqi nationalism. The Brits instigated sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims by surreptitiously bombing the Golden Mosque. This deflected all efforts away from the occupation, the internecine conflict exacerbated by the CIA/Al Qaida anarchist Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.

Now the weak, neo-colonial micro-state struggles to survive in the face of an eventual pull out. The lessons we take from Iraq apply to this period in history.

In Iraq, the Arab world’s only industrialized nation-state, Imperialism completely shattered that country’s economic infrastructure thru twelve years of genocidal economic sanctions prior to the second US invasion, aka the Third Gulf War. The bloodsucking media has the nerve to imply that those who voted for the Obama policy of Imperialism thru Democracy actually wanted to see the US be militarily defeated in Iraq!

Today, the US economic crisis threatens to shatter the lives, jobs and communities of tens of millions of people. With over one trillion dollars already being doled out to investment banks, the giants are killing us. The black community is suffering its own war, a war where far too few of us have ever fought back, a war where those having sanctions and prisons imposed upon them are all too happy to believe the enemy is the friend.

To say, Iraq survived twelve years of sanctions then suffered another devastating military attack by the US and its allies. Now the US working class must likewise take a hit by the same giant interests, international finance capitalism. The most marginalized players, the black workers will bear the brunt of this “crisis” around the world. So black workers must begin to see themselves as giant killers.

We cannot afford to wait for a US military defeat in Iraq or Afghanistan, while the spineless white left says that plant takeovers and uprisings are “ultra-left”. However, workers cannot remain content with bearing the burden of capitalist economic crises. Black workers, who suffer chronic unemployment, chronic debt and health issues, and all the other baggage that anyone assumes goes with being avowed insurgents, are not maroons, rebels or even passive enemies of Imperialism.

In order to become free, black workers must make the decision to be the conscious enemies of capitalism. Black workers, the little guys, must become giant killers. You want Reparations, my People, STAND UP!! Stand up, People. To hell with Obama, he is no black savior. Only the People united will never be defeated.

Mara Salvatruchas Trece (MS-13)

Overlap: Drug Gangs and Geo-Politics

Mara Salvatruchas Trece (MS-13) is a violent drug network that has filtrated from Centroamerica up thru Mexico and into the United States. MS-13 comprises blowback from the CIA-counterinsurgency terror network — organized during the Eighties to repress the revolutionary movements — operating in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. They have been blamed for countless acts of horrific violence, including indiscriminate attacks against other colonized peoples, particularly Africans.

In order to understand their linkages to international narco-terrorism, you have to pose MS-13 against the backdrop of the CIA Guns-for-Drugs operations, sanctioned and financed by the National Security Administration. Also known as CIA Iran-Contra during the Reagan Administration, Guns-for-Drugs was overseen by Oliver North, and run out of the White House.

The Israelis managed a big cut in the action, traced to the vast numbers of Uzis and foreign manufacture weapons on the streets here and elsewhere. Associated with the volatile cocaine traffic that flooded the US starting in the 80s, the bullet-riddled body of an Israeli Mossad officer turned up in car trunk when US armed forces invaded Panama in 1989.

Under the Carter Administration, the CIA was assigned to arm and train Al Qaida in Afghanistan to face down the Soviet occupation. CIA/Al Qaida encouraged opium cultivation to finance the pre-Taliban mujahiddeen, which formed the bulk of the anti-Soviet fighters. As then-NSA advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski directed this strategy, subsequently taken over by North, during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

Reagan aimed to halt the rising leftist trend in “America’s backyard” thru the most violent counterinsurgency methods in recent history. Centroamerica’s main operatives behind US policy included Nicaragua’s Contras, Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega (whom the US later deposed and imprisoned), the Guatemalan government. Right-wing death squads operated with impunity in El Salvador during that era, massacring 100,000 students, workers, peasants and even nuns. These vicious activities had political backing from Congress, which led a toothless investigation of CIA Iran-Contra, for the illegal mining of Nicaragua’s harbor. Columbia, Bolivia and Peru became enmeshed in violent struggles between communist rebels versus reactionary governments. Imperialist drug kingpins press ganged peasants into intense coca production, which eventually hit our streets as cocaine.

A sidebar, Nicaragua and El Salvador at that time sustained the world’s second highest amputation rates, following closely behind Angola and Mozambique. In all four cases, militarized gangs — funded and trained by Imperialist forces — used machetes and other edged implements to terrorize, dismember, maim and murder people by the thousands.

Undeniably connected with this time, drug money laundered thru Cayman Islands or US savings and loans institutions accounted for billions of dollars in illegal proceeds, which ultimately contributed to the collapse of 747 S&Ls like Whitewater, BCCI, and others. This is only one of many leading edges of the reactionary right-wing agenda in American politics.

MS-13 arose as the heir apparent of the Centroamericano pro-imperialist death squads and drug gangs. Parasitic excrescences backing this web of intrigue include reactionary financiers, presently looting the worldwide working class, and imposing a regime of terror across the globe.

We can connect the dots to make comparisons with CIA-trained Al Qaida, spreading its bloodsucking influence thru out Asia. Alongside Al Qaida, include the US-backed military regimes of Paul Kagame and Yoweri Musaveni presently aiming to annex DRC, the interhamwe in DRC, the Saudi-funded janjaweed in Darfur, and other similar pro-imperialist and sub-imperialist terror formations. The common thread running thru these factions involves profit-making via militarized violence, counterinsurgency, and neo-colonialism. Illuminating MS-13 makes one more case for the revolutionary transformation of Imperialism’s genocidal class system.

MS-13, like all drug gangs, poses a serious threat to the stability of working class communities. Their indiscriminate targeting of black people must meet stiff resistance. Yet it makes little sense to stampede peoples minds with scattershot information that provides primitive context, liberal-reactionary content, and race nationalist underpinnings. Our community must become organized not just for simple self-defense. That cannot survive as a successful strategy within any scenario. We have to organize by building scientific socialism, that is, revolutionary communities of resistance, a maroon society.