Jul 22, 2019
The following article is the editorial from The SPARK’S workplace newsletters for the week of July 15, 2019.
Twenty Democratic candidates took the stage last week in Miami to address the voters. Early in the second debate, Kamala Harris declared: “America does not want to witness a food fight, they want to know how they’re going to put food on their table.”
Absolutely right, but that’s what people didn’t hear from any of the candidates on either night of the debate, including Harris herself.
And yet the answers to what working people need are obvious. We need a decent job for everyone who wants to work. And we all need adequate pay, so we can live comfortable lives. This is the richest country in the world – as the politicians are so fond of saying. There should be no problem guaranteeing both of those things to everyone – a decent job, and adequate pay.
Companies making a profit could be prohibited from laying off any employee. Companies making a profit could be prohibited from using overtime. When they need more production, they could be required to hire more people – and provide all of us with a decent wage, so none of us feels the need to work overtime.
If that’s not enough to give a job to everyone who needs one, then require companies to share out the work. Let everyone work fewer hours – with no loss of weekly pay – until all the unemployed can find work.
Companies would say it’s not possible. But it should be possible. Look at the profits they brag about. Let them give up part of their profits so everyone can have a job and a decent wage.
If they say they can’t make a profit doing that, then let someone else take over their companies and run them. Workers in all the companies certainly know better than any Board of Directors sitting on Wall Street how to run an auto factory or an insurance company or an airline or any other company.
As for the bureaucrats who run city, state and federal governments, let them do the same thing: use the resources they control to provide jobs at a decent wage.
Of course, they will say they don’t have the money. That’s what they say today when they don’t fix the roads, when they don’t provide decent schools, when they let water systems and sewer systems and public transit disintegrate. That’s what they say when they cut jobs.
But, yes, they do have money. They themselves brag about all the money they are giving away to the billionaires of the world. Don’t give any more of that money away. Take back the many billions – trillions in fact – that they have been handing out to the wealthiest people in the country. Take that money back and fix things. That would provide jobs.
None of the 20 Democratic candidates proposed a program like this last week. Nor has Donald Trump – ever.
To carry out a program like this would require the politicians of both parties to cut into profits of the capitalist class. That class increases its profit by cutting jobs. It increases profit by freezing wages, increases profit by hiring new workers at lower wages than current workers. It increases profit by getting government handouts.
Neither party will attack capitalist profit. It’s why neither party can answer our needs.
If we want jobs, we have to fight for them. If we want decent wages, we have to fight for them. If we want our wages to increase when prices go up, we have to fight. We have to use our forces – the organized force of the working class – to impose our demands on the capitalist class. And if they don’t answer our needs – push them aside!
Some of us may not want to hear it, but it’s really very simple. To get what we want, we have to fight.
The campaign for the election of November 2020 has already begun, 16 months ahead of time. Don’t let this campaign divert us from what WE have to do.