Jan 19, 2015
California Governor Jerry Brown announced his proposed 2015 budget – which, he bragged, is balanced again.
Balanced maybe, but on the backs of workers and the poor.
Look, for example, at Brown’s “proposal” to state workers: to share equally the state’s 72-billion-dollar liability for the health care of its retirees. So Brown wants state workers to pay 36 billion dollars of the state’s debt. And why? Because the state underfunded the program for years – because politicians running the state, like Brown himself, simply DID NOT meet their obligation to state workers!
Brown’s budget would also continue to underfund aid programs for the poor – pushing millions of people into deeper poverty. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, California has a poverty rate of 23.4 per cent (almost one out of four, that is) – the highest in the U.S.
Poverty is so deep, and spreading, in California because of persistently high unemployment and low wages. A bigger and bigger part of the working class is being pulled into poverty, including many who have jobs – while big companies keep making record profits.
When asked about low wages, Brown was blunt: “The modern economy is based on individual reward, with most of the money moving toward the top. That’s the system,” he said.
Yes, that’s the capitalist system all right, and there is no reward for workers in this system – only exploitation.