As we look at the crisis today, we see more and more that what Karl Marx said on the double character of capitalism rings truer than ever. In this system, “when wealth is produced, poverty is produced also.”
In the month of October, Americans have witnessed the highest unemployment in decades, at 10.2%, while stock values continue to rise, along with a 3.5% increase in GDP. The total job loss for the month of October according to the Labor Department was 190,000—that’s 15,000 more job losses than predicted by capitalist economists.
Meanwhile, the talking heads on the right try to tell us that all is calm, that things will get better, when all signs point to the fact that unemployment is expected to rise to 10.5% next year. As of now, we can say that one in ten working people in the United States is left without a job. A paradox present in this whole conundrum is that while we have the highest unemployment rate in 26 years, workers have showed a 9.5% increase in production in the third quarter of 2009. This is due to the fact that as fear of unemployment grips the working person they are instilled with a desire to keep their job and cater to management’s whim.
While we may look at the statistics and see the high numbers, we must also realize that they are much higher than the government is telling us they are. The Labor Department before Ronald Reagan used to calculate those with temporary employment and part-time jobs as those in the same lot with the workers on the unemployment line, and rightly so! A worker on a part-time or temp job does not do so as a means to make a career but to merely survive. If we calculate these numbers we arrive at much higher unemployment rate in this nation. California, the largest state in the union, had a higher unemployment rate than the entire nation at 12.2%. This is expected to rise higher as the state calculates its statistics in two weeks. The real numbers, again, would be even higher than this since part-time and temporary workers are not placed into the mix.
The solution to this problem should not be for us, the working people of America, to sit on our hands and watch as unemployment continues to rise. We cannot just “expect” those who run the nation to give us what we want and need, we must demand from these people, if they do not answer our calls then there are consequences to these actions. While it is against the interests of those in power to give us what we need, it is never unhealthy to warn them, and give them our demands.
As of now, 90% of black children must eat from government-funded food stamps while the nation is involved with bloody two wars for empire, all the while the rich get richer and the working class are escorted to growing unemployment lines. This much is clear: we must not look to a “Messiah” to come to deliver us from the peril which befalls us. Rather we must lift ourselves up and set this path ourselves, by any means necessary.