The Socialist Party USA ticket of Stewart Alexander and Alex Mendoza claim that capitalism has failed America. They point to the flawed picture of unemployment painted by official statistics and the high unemployment rate they depict despite these flaws. They say that we cannot rely upon private industry to get us out of this hole and that jobs must be created directly and define socialism as economic democracy.
the October, 2011 jobs report, it was announced that the official unemployment
rate fell from 9.1% to 9.0 %. In other
news, wages in the private sector went up 5 cents an hour, and have increased 1.8%
over the past 12 months. To compare, the
Bureau of Labor Statistics' released the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage
Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) in October reporting that the cost of
living has risen 3.6% in approximately the same time period. In real terms, that is a 1.7% pay cut for
workers over the past 12 months.
"We aren't making economic progress, we are simply going through a long term process of replacing poorly paying jobs with even worse jobs while corporate profits soar. The only "change' Obama has given us jingles in our pockets."
The Socialist Party USA's vice presidential candidate, Alejandro Mendoza, had this to say: "The way unemployment is measured officially does not grab at the real unemployment rate anyway. It does not take into account those who want to work but have given up on finding meaningful employment or those who are underemployed and still cannot make a living while working part-time. When you have an unemployment crisis on this level and timescale, people lose hope and stop being counted."
The Alexander/Mendoza campaign calls for full employment and for everyone to have a livable wage of at least $15 an hour. I've recently come out calling for unemployment benefits to be extended indefinitely after Fox News had mangled my stance as being against unemployment benefits.
was never against unemployment benefits. I was, and I still am, against the
artificial lack of jobs created by modern capitalism. People should not have to rely on
unemployment; the jobs should be there, but they're clearly not. This is a failure of capitalism, not the
unemployed. If you did what you were
supposed to and find yourself without a job, don't blame yourself, blame the
system. Certainly, benefits should be
out there for those the system does fail.
"We cannot simply rely on the private sector," added Mendoza. "The government is supposed to be our collective will and we do, collectively, have the capital to create jobs. Capitalist politicians say that the government can't create jobs; we say they just won't allow it. Around 14% of the workforce is made up of public sector workers and it was higher only recently. Those are jobs. We need more of them, not less. We spend billions of dollars to incentivize the private sector to create a handful of jobs. We could create more and better jobs, producing for the people, not profit that ends up in some rich guy's pocket, if we only tried."
Socialism cannot be socialism without economic democracy. Collective control requires democracy" real democracy. The people want jobs, and good paying jobs at that. If we want that, we can't rely on the good will of the greedy; we need to create it for ourselves. We can have 0% unemployment. We just have to stop electing individuals who represent corporations and start electing individuals who represent actual people and who are willing to take action in defense of our collective interests. Corporations aren't people and they aren't superheroes either. They cannot, and more importantly, they will not, save us.