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Flat Broke in the Free Market: How Globalization Fleeced Working People

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  • Posted August 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliant attack on capitalism

    In this brilliant, angry attack on globalisation, Jeter interviews men and women in Zambia, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, the USA, Mexico and Venezuela. As he shows, 'the 20th century's twin imperialist movements, colonialism and globalisation' are both based on exploitation.

    Corporate profits are now at their largest share of world income since 1945, and wages at their smallest since 1929. Across the world, workers are working longer hours for less pay. 1.3 billion people live on a dollar a day or less, 3 billion on $2.

    Jeter asks, "How did we get here? Mostly, countries simply stopped making things and started buying them. Since 2000, the United States has lost 3 million manufacturing jobs; Brazil has lost 2 million since 1998, South Africa nearly 1 million."

    The US ruling class took $700 billion from the US working class to bail out bent bankers - the biggest transfer of wealth from poor to rich in the last hundred years: $2,300 for every person in the USA. As Jeter sums up, "Government transfers public property to private hands and private debt to public hands."

    He quotes US President William McKinley, "Under free trade, the trader is the master and the producer the slave." Jeter sums up, "the doctrinaire opening of industrial markets to all comers has laid waste to local economies." Deindustrialisation, bail-outs, privatisation and free trade are all part of the war on the working class.

    In this class war, the Democratic Party, like the Labour Party, side with capital against the peoples of the world. For example, Vice-President Al Gore threatened South Africa with sanctions if its government bypassed drug company patents, and President Obama promised to keep the embargo on Cuba and labelled Hugo Chavez an enemy of the USA.

    How can workers resist capital's attacks? Jeter tells the story of Hal Baskin, an organiser in Chicago: "So Baskin began rounding up skilled, jobless workers from the neighbourhood, marching to construction sites, and demanding jobs. If site managers refused, the protesters shut them down. Over a three-year period, police arrested Baskin six times for trespassing. But over that same period he and his band of demonstrators managed to land jobs paying an average of $31.55 an hour for 455 men and women."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

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