Sorry that it’s a day late (capitalism is killing me), but here are 6 new propaganda images for spreading revolution wherever one sees fit.
In the “Broken Capitalism” series being published over at The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/01/broken-capitalism-economy-americans-fix?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other, Heather Boushey argues that the way academics measure economic growth is outdated and doesn’t show the full picture of the wealth gap between the 1% and the rest of us. Here’s her argument:
GDP used to be a good indicator of national income. If GDP rose 2%, most gained 2% across the board. But due to the current economic separation between the 1% and the 99%, simple GDP is no longer a valid measuring tool. Boushey gives us this example:
Take 2014. While aggregate national income grew by 2.3%, after taxes and government transfer programs such as supplemental nutrition assistance, incomes for those in the bottom 90% grew by less than the average – 1.5% – while those in the top 1% saw their income grow by twice the average – about 5%.
She then argues for a new disaggregate measure made up of national income and product accounts with data from surveys and administrative sources to clear the picture. This would not only produce more representative ratios between the rich and poor, but also between race, gender, and age
That’s a great idea, but it does not get to the question of what is to be done.
Boushey offers that better published numbers will make the masses more aware of the economic canyon between those of the top SES and the rest of us:
Better, fairer growth measures are a vital step towards better, fairer growth. A clearer picture of the disconnect between overall growth and worker welfare will force a deeper examination of what’s gone wrong with the capitalist engine
Boushey goes on to argue that these new measures will give more power to the people enabling unions to rise. But that is not what I take issue with here.
I am arguing that better tools for showing the income gap between rich and poor will not fuel the smashing of capitalism. The proletariat is not concerned with new academic information to show how poor they are. What they are concerned with is putting food on the table. This is why “Peace, Land, Bread” was so effective in 1917. Lenin and the Bolsheviks didn’t lay out Marx’s material dialectic to the masses as a way to spark them to action. Not in the slightest. They got down to the brass tacks of what ailed the Russian workers and peasants at the time: the end of participation in WWI, land redistribution, and food for their families.
I am not arguing against Boushey’s proposal of how to better measure the income gap among in American society. Her methods show who is making all the money (the 1%) while the vast majority (the 99%) receive so little. Great! I love it! But don’t fool your bourgeois self into thinking that fancy numbers will serve as a catalyst for real social change, Ms. Boushey. The masses could never understand this measurement with more than a 100 years of educational development and the destruction of media power.
A “clearer picture” of the math of inequality is definitely valuable among the academy. But to the masses, it means very little. They do not understand nor are concerned with such matters. They know they are working harder to make less as they fall further and further behind. This how you fix broken capitalism. Peace, land, bread, not disaggregate GDP measures.
Five new pics for propaganda use (a day late). Thanks!!!
An article from In These Times lists 10 stats showing why Medicare-for-All would provide and protect a human right. As you know, healthcare is currently going unaddressed under capitalism.
28,300,000 – People uninsured in the United States in the first quarter of 2018.
530,000 – Estimated number of families who file bankruptcy each year due to medical issues and bills
44% – Americans who didn’t go to a doctor when they were sick or injured because of cost, according
34% – Cancer patients who borrowed money from friends or family to pay for care in 2016
79% – Increased death rate for cancer patients who filed for bankruptcy in 2016
$75,375 – Cost of a heart bypass operation in 2016 in the U.S.
$15,742 – Cost of a heart bypass operation in 2016 in the Netherlands
$1,443 – U.S. per capita spending on pharmaceutical costs in 2016, the highest in the world
840% – Increase in spending for insulin from 2007 to 2017 on Medicare Part D (Medicare’s prescription drug plan)
$5,110,000,000,000 – Estimated 10-year cost savings of the single-payer healthcare system proposed in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All Act
SMASH CAPITALISM NOW!
Cory Booker is a US senator from New Jersey and a Democratic presidential candidate. On April 24, 2019, an op-ed piece penned by Sen. Booker was posted on The Guardian’s website as a part of their Broken Capitalism series. Booker’s piece is entitled, Workers are Creating Massive Wealth. Why are Corporations Hoarding it All?, followed by the subtitle, Our Economy Works Best When No One is Left on the Sidelines. Now let’s look inside.
Booker supplies a few anecdotes throughout the piece that are tragic and show the crushing effects of capitalism, like this one story of a woman named Carol Ruiz:
Every day Carol Ruiz wakes up at 3.30am and goes to an airline catering service at Newark airport, where she helps prepare the food carts that flight attendants push up and down the aisle…. At the end of her 40-hour week she takes home $345. The average airline CEO makes that amount in about 20 minutes.
Last year, while Carol was undergoing treatment for cancer, her kids and husband went without health insurance so the family could afford her medical bills…
He then follows most of the stories with statements like these:
Workers are increasingly stuck in an “I win, you lose” economy, a zero-sum game in which those in power relentlessly pull out the rungs of the ladder behind them, ensuring that opportunity is limited solely to those who already have it.
Booker than goes over other aspects of the cruel capitalist system and how it hurts the working class in the form of corporations using intermediary contracted workers which keeps wages down, stock buy-backs by companies using Trump tax cut-gained funds to enrich stock owners, and the unfairness of non-compete agreements between employees and employers at low-wage jobs.
So here is Mr. Booker’s sort-of solutions:
There’s no silver bullet, but we can start by making it easier to join a union, giving workers the ability to fight corporate power with power of their own. Second, we must reinvigorate our tepid antitrust agencies, which have long-served corporate interests at the expense of workers. We should also restrict anticompetitive practices like non-compete agreements and “no-poach” clauses and maintain strong rules that hold parent companies more accountable for outsourced employees. And we should crack down on the proliferation of corporate stock buy-backs, or, at the very least ensure that if a corporation buys back stock to increase shareholder value, workers are cut in on the action.
What Booker and other liberals are guilty of is in taking half-measures and falling into the trap of reformism. They want to change society, as they call it, and spew enough fake promises to the masses in order to get enough votes to take office. They want to usurp any momentum by the people.
They want to maintain the current capitalist system while offering crumbs to the workers that often don’t end up even falling from the table. There are enough GOP members and right leaning Dems to halt any of these reforms before they are out of committee. These goals are merely “pony promises” in today’s system.
What we need is true, far leftist change. We need to smash capitalism and found a new system not based on greed and inequality. The point is to make real change, not reform. A radical left remake is the true answer to address these economic and social injustices.
Five new pics for propaganda. Sorry for my late post!