the one-year anniversary of Hurricane
Katrina, and as the midterm congressional
elections approach, it's more clear than
ever that the Democrats are no different
than the Republicans when it comes to
representing the interests of the poor.
persist up and down the Gulf Coast , but
New Orleans remains the glaring example.
The poor are still locked out of New Orleans
, and the National Guard has been brought
in to make sure it stays that way. Tens
of thousands of people languish in FEMA
trailer parks that the residents describe
as being like prisons. Plans to redevelop
New Orleans without the poor are proceeding
with the blessing of both Democratic and
Republican politicians. And as the author
of the report "Big, Easy Money: Disaster
Profiteering on the American Gulf Coast
devastation of the Gulf Coast is tragic
enough, but the scope of the corporate
greed that followed, facilitated by government
incompetence and complicity, is downright
criminal. Sadly, disaster profiteering
has become commonplace in America . Well-connected
corporations are growing rich off of no-bid
contracts." (see www.corpwatch.org).
Labor Day holiday typically signals the
final stretch toward the midterm congressional
elections. Each party will spare no cost
or effort in presenting itself as champion
of "the great American middle class,"
as a staunch defender of freedom and the
pocketbooks of "working people."
At the same time, each will spend equal
effort vilifying the other. Millions will
be spent in attack ads mounting personal
attacks against the opponent.
point of the whole exercise is the attempt
by both parties to hoodwink John and Jane
Q Public into believing that they do indeed
have a real choice; that there are real
differences between Democrats and Republicans.
could be further from the truth. The only
real distinction between the Democratic
and the Republican Parties are the kind
of differences that exist among pirates
and thieves; differences over how to divide
up the loot they have stolen from others.
fact, both parties faithfully serve the
same master -- the large global corporations
-- and do so at the expense of the needs
of the overwhelming majority of Americans,
especially the poor.
the past the fact that the two major political
parties served the economic and political
interests of the ruling capitalist class
could be effectively hidden by campaign
rhetoric and a few window-dressing reforms.
This was the case in the 1960s when the
Democrats could masquerade as the "party
of the common man" and of labor and
such a charade cannot work. Today the
rapid polarization of wealth and poverty
resulting from globalization and robotic-based
production renders reform under capitalism
impossible. The labor of millions of workers
is no longer needed, and the only "reforms"
the corporate government will support
today are those that reduce the cost of
doing business and make the rich richer.
The corporations won't take care of workers
they don't need. Thus Democratic president
Clinton's welfare "reform" threw
millions off of public aid and into poverty-wage
jobs or unemployment with no safety net.
And ask the senior citizen on Medicare
if Republican president Bush's prescription
drug "reform" has reduced the
cost of medications they desperately need.
The Democrats and Republicans are defending
a dying system that is steadily impoverishing
most of the working class. That's why
neither of these parties can represent
the working class.
Does this mean
that the workers must forego participation
in the electoral process? NO! It means the
workers must build their own political force,
independent of the Democrats and Republicans,
that can lead the fight to build a new,
cooperative society free of poverty.
article originated in the People's Tribune
PO Box 3524 , Chicago , IL 60654 , 773-486-3551,
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