The Spark

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

Editorial:
Stop Wall Street from Producing a New Crash!

Oct 26, 2009

Wall Street is blowing bubbles again.

The Dow-Jones index crossed the 10,000 mark. The last time it hit 10,000 was a year ago, going the other way, when stock markets were plunging.

The big investment banks, like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, announced billions of dollars in profits for the last three months.

Wall Street’s executives and high flyers are getting record bonuses this year, estimated to be 140 billion dollars or more – higher than in 2007, just before the last bubble collapsed.

So, is there a recovery? Yes – for some people: the big bankers, the big money investors and all those other predators, the very people who brought the financial system down last year with their preposterous financial deals.

Last October, the government justified the bailouts, claiming they would get the economy moving again, stimulate investment and loans, create jobs.

A year later, what are those banks doing? They are NOT getting the economy going again. They are NOT providing money to all those companies that hire people and produce the goods and services that make the productive economy run. The money they took is NOT going to create jobs.

The big Wall Street banks are speculating. And they’re doing it with the trillions of dollars handed over to them in the government bailout, which was started by the Bush administration and is continuing under the Obama administration.

What’s behind the big jump in the Wall Street indexes? The big banks and investment houses, the big money speculators. They’re buying and selling stocks, and buying and selling them again – within a few minutes of each other sometimes, making more money with each sale, so long as the market keeps going up. And they are pushing money into the market to keep it going up.

It’s the beginning of a new bubble – not of a recovery!

The big industrial companies are acting just like the banks. They’re speculating – draining money out of production, increasing the exploitation of workers in order to speculate.

Instead of hiring people, they lay off people, push the workers who remain to work faster. They cut wages and benefits, or replace higher-wage workers with lower-wage workers. They are doing the very thing that is keeping the whole productive economy in the swamp.

The big bankers and the industrialists are making more money, but they’re not paying more taxes. No, they come back demanding still more handouts, still more tax breaks for themselves.

And government, at every level, under both political parties, is giving them handouts, adding to budget deficits, reducing social programs, destroying public services.

The bankers and the industrialists are part of the same capitalist class – and all of them are feeding off this society, driving it to ruin.

The current crisis and its catastrophic consequences for working people shows that this capitalist class running society today is incapable of making the economy run correctly. They steal still more wealth for their tiny super-wealthy class by closing factories, leaving the machinery and all the human beings with skills and abilities that exist in those factories to founder. The capitalists create poverty as the consequence of their grab for wealth.

There is no answer to this increasingly disastrous situation until the working class begins to fight, putting forward its own demands and policies.

No one’s ready to fight today? In fact, that never is exactly true. There’s always someone fighting back, and today it seems like a few more. Perhaps the working class in large numbers isn’t ready. But there are signs of resistance here and there, and a large reservoir of resentment in the population that can explode at any moment.

In any case, the only perspective for the working class, the only one that opens up possibilities, is to fight back.