Communist Party USA
Never in my entire life have I seen and heard so many good solid people, unionists, progressives of various stripes, activists, and fighters verbalizing feelings of extreme frustration, inadequacy, and complete powerlessness. Between COVID, complete legislative gridlock, a Supreme Court packed with conservatives, and Trump’s continuing influence over large sections of white people influenced by racism, it seems as though the corporate ruling class has done a tremendous job of blocking any way forward. Wide sections of our people are fighting depression growing out of feelings of hopelessness. It is damn sure a tough time, one that can beat down positive, hopeful feelings by even the most optimistic. However, as the great John Lewis liked to say, “It’s darkest just before the dawn! We cannot give up hope!” In previous periods, progressive government economic programs which put money into workers’ pockets, combined with union organizing campaigns, have turned these situations around, funneling funds to workers and helping the entire economy. Obstacles to progress are formidable. We cannot afford to tolerate the negative influence of cynicism! It is self-centered, defeatist, isolating, and literally paralyzing if we allow it to capture us. Not only that, it is politically misdirecting, not allowing us to see the real progressive possibilities in front of us. While our way forward continues to be blocked in the Senate by two corporate Democrats (Manchin-W.Va., Sinema-Ariz.) who’ve allied themselves, at least for now, with Senate Republicans blocking moves to eliminate the Senate filibuster, the Biden administration’s Build Back Better proposal remains blocked. The reactionary Supreme Court, now with a 6-3 right-wing majority, also stands in the way. The danger of fascism is greater than ever, as the GOP works closely with right-wing racist and fascist elements, who only a year ago attempted an armed fascist coup. Opportunity and responsibility are in front of us. While many areas of our economy are doing better, the wealth gap, that gap between working people and the super wealthy, has only grown, with literally all growth in the economy accruing to the nation’s most wealthy. Even here, any movement was at the very top, with the wealthiest 1% gaining more than the top 5%, and the tiny group of top 0.1% gaining more than the rest of the population combined. This vast inequality is the result of structural shifts pushed by the GOP, including the $1.5 trillion in tax relief for corporations passed by Congress in 2017. Correspondingly, the working class gained nothing at all, their wealth and income remaining completely stagnant during this period of “recovery.” This has been true for the past 40 years. A study published by Carter Price and Kathryn Edwards of the RAND Corporation showed that, between 1975 and 2018, income inequality cost workers $47 trillion. That number went even higher by 2020, as reported in a stark Time headline: “The Top 1% Have Taken $50 Trillion from the Bottom 90%.” Along with this, Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that another 241,000 workers dropped off union rolls this year, continuing organized labor’s decline. This represents around 10% of the U.S. workforce (6% of all manufacturing workers), or 14 million workers (down from 20 million or 11% in 1983). The decline is worse, down from 35% after World War II. These numbers are devastating, especially a year into the Biden regime. Make no mistake! Unless reversed, they spell total annihilation of organized labor, a truly massive, unprecedented setback to the entire people’s movement. Biden fired all of Trump’s anti-union appointees within the Labor Department and brought in pro-union replacements. Biden promised to be “our nation’s most pro-union president,”…
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