The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Editorial:
2018
– Could It Be Worse for the Working Class than 2017?

Dec 11, 2017

Every day, there is another piece of news about the investigation into Trump. Will he stay or will he go? Will he hang on or will he be dumped?

No one can say for sure.

But this is what we CAN say: the working class will confront the same problems, and worse, next year – regardless of what happens to Trump.

We won’t find good-paying decent jobs. Trump will announce, just like Obama did, that the unemployment rate is looking really good. So if things are so good, why are 39% of working age adults without a job today?

Companies may announce they are hiring – but hiring for what? If you have two or three degrees, you can get a decent job. Maybe. Certainly if you have a wealthy family or connections to a big boss, you can get a decent job. But what about everyone else? We get hired as temporary workers, or part-time workers, or contract workers – with no rights and no job security from one day to the next.

The economists pretend to be surprised that wages aren’t rising. The economy is doing so well – so they say! Maybe THEIR economy is doing well. The stock market and company profits are jumping. But that’s exactly why wages are low. Higher profits are built on lower wages.

Why are the schools our children attend in such bad shape? Why aren’t there enough teachers, enough books, enough supplies? The capitalist class, which searches everywhere for more money, is draining money out of the public schools.

Roads crumble; public services degrade; medical care, no matter how we get it, costs more; water bills go up, property taxes go up, both hitting us whether we own or rent. And all the money stolen out of these things we need is funneled right into the bank accounts of the corporations and the wealthy.

A new tax bill is being pushed through Congress – one which will cut taxes to corporations and wealthy people to the tune of 1.3 trillion dollars. Everyone else will get a little cut in the first years – BUT then every one of us will soon see higher taxes. It’s a bait and switch scam.

For more than 40 years, working people have been living precariously, trying to keep our balance on a slippery, downward slope. It’s as though we went through the Crash of 1929 in slow motion. It’s just taken us longer to hit bottom.

It’s a disaster. It’s been a disaster. And it’s going to go on being a disaster. Because the same corporations – and the wealthy class that own them – will keep pushing, trying to steal from us in order to accumulate more for themselves.

Fifty years ago, if our grandparents had been able to look forward to today, they would not have believed what they saw. How could they have imagined that their children would be worse off today than people were back then? How could they possibly imagine that it would be even worse for their grandchildren?

There is only one way to respond to this situation – and that is to do what our grandparents and great grandparents once did: they fought to defend themselves. They put their confidence in their own abilities. They put their trust in the people around them.

Many of them understood what we still have to learn: that we do have the means to make a decent life for ourselves – if we lean on the rest of our class, the working class. On our whole class: black and white; immigrant and native born; women and men; young and old.