The Spark

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

Editorial:
Stop the hand-outs to big business
– meet the population’s needs

Jan 21, 2008

In the face of an economy that is crumbling, the Bush administration proposed a so-called “stimulus” package. And the Democratic leadership in Congress already signed on “in principle.”

Under the cover of providing a very tiny rebate to the population, the administration plans on handing a great big gift to big business, reducing its taxes immediately.

Supposedly, gifts to big business will “trickle down” to the population, and the little rebates we all get will start the economic wheels turning again.

Bush pushed through this same “stimulus” scam at the beginning of the recession scarring his first term in office. Big business made out like a three-gun bandit. One third of the most profitable corporations paid no income tax at all.

Business had more money than ever in its pockets, but the number of people working in manufacturing continued to decline; the number working in decent-paying office jobs contracted. And the number working part-time, temporary, off the books, as contract workers or for low wages has skyrocketed.

Not only didn’t the big gifts to business trickle down, they were thrown into a vast speculative pool.

Some of the biggest businesses in the country took Bush’s gifts, using them to buy and sell – then buy again, only to resell again, driving up prices wildly. The price of commodities like oil or corn whistled overhead, doubling what we pay to drive or heat our homes, nearly doubling what we pay for milk for our children. The average selling price of a house in Los Angeles increased nearly three times in six years. In Washington DC, prices were two and a half times higher.

Working people were priced out of the market by this flood of money that poured into speculation – money handed over to the wealthy by the first Bush “stimulus” program. The only thing stimulated was speculation.

And it was that speculation that led, finally, to the collapse not only of the real-estate market, but with it, the crumbling of important parts of the financial system today.

We have come full circle. Having flooded money into the hands of the wealthy and of the biggest corporations and financial interests, only to have them throw it away in a vast wave of speculation, this government can do no more than hand over still more money to the very people who created this mess.

In that direction lies idiocy – and a further disaster for the working class.

To put our confidence in one more scheme like this is to damn ourselves to a new and worse period of excess for the wealthy and impoverishment for the rest of us.

The nation’s wealth needs to be put to meeting the needs of the population. The working class is the only force in modern society to have the capacity to enforce such a change as well as the reason to do it. So let’s begin.