The Occupy Movement Needs a Good Fight

occupy la change

Shamus Cooke: If the national Occupy Movement fought for a massive public jobs program and against cuts to social programs by massively taxing the wealthy and corporations, the vast majority of working people would join the movement until it was capable of actually winning these demands.

The Way Forward for Occupy Portland

occupy portland

Shamus Cooke: If the Occupy Movement demanded that the wealthy and corporations be taxed to create jobs and prevent cuts to social programs, the 99% would see a movement built in its own image

Why the Far Right “Supports” the Occupy Movement

Shamus Cooke: The modern far-right’s populist demands can be discredited by the Occupy Movement with one stroke; if we make class-specific demands that clearly benefit working people at the expense of the wealthy and the big corporations, the right wing will be disarmed.

Next Steps for the Occupy Movement

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Shamus Cooke: The Occupy Movement has more than room for an umbrella of demands from diverse sections of working class people, but now we must focus on what unites the vast majority, since the corporations have focused on dividing us for decades.

Fuel for Occupy Wall Street’s Fire

occupy wall street

Shamus Cooke: Ultimately, the Occupy Wall Street protests have already succeeded. The movement has successfully re-focused the nation’s debate on who ruined the economy and who should be targeted, shifting blame away from immigrants, unions, and other groups of working people, like public employees.

Workers and Environmentalists Unite!

Shamus Cooke: It should be painfully clear to even the most reality-blind politicians that the private sector has no interest in creating jobs; they are quite content sitting on their mountains of cash until wages fall low enough — due to massive unemployment — for them to hire more labor.

The Great Health Care Takeaway

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Shamus Cooke: Most workers now understand that there is a difference between apparently having health care and actually having health care: if you are technically “insured” but cannot afford doctor visits due to high deductibles and co-pays, you really aren’t insured.

Can Labor Confront Obama Over Jobs?

Official White House photograph by Pete Souza

Shamus Cooke: Hefty splits in the labor movement have already emerged on whether to support Obama’s reelection, based on his complete lack of action on creating jobs combined with his false promises in the 2008 election.

How to Save the U.S. Labor Movement

Shamus Cooke: Labor unions do not need genius-caliber ideas or fancy gimmicks to save themselves; there are numerous practical, common sense solutions that could be implemented immediately.

The Rich Are Destroying the Economy

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Shamus Cooke: Because both parties simply threw money at the banks and hedge funds instead of punishing them, a condition of “moral hazard” was created, meaning, that banks would assume another bailout would come their way if they destroyed the economy again — too big too fail, remember?

The Democrats Attack Unions Nationwide

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Shamus Cooke: Obvious political truths are sometimes smothered by special interests. The cover-up of the Democrats’ national anti-union agenda is possible because the truth would cause enormous disturbances for the Democratic Party, some labor leaders, liberal organizations and, consequently, the larger political system.

The Fake Budget Debate

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Shamus Cooke: This two-party big lie is not an accident, but an expression of a deeper held belief: that the U.S. government must be directed to meet the needs of the super wealthy who own U.S. corporations.

The New Reality for U.S. Labor Unions

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Shamus Cooke: The fundamental difference between the powerful unions of yesterday and the passive unions of today is the unwillingness of today’s unions to wage a real fight in the streets and workplaces.

Should Public Workers Make Concessions?

walker and the union

Shamus Cooke: War has been declared on unions and some labor leaders are pretending that they can offer concessions to appease their attackers. Unfortunately, this strategy has failed for years, and is in fact why the right wing felt confident enough to officially declare war.

How to Win in Wisconsin and Beyond

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Shamus Cooke: Democrats all over the country are cooperating with Republicans in launching a massive attack on the wages and benefits of public employees, scapegoating them for the deficits caused by Wall Street’s recession and the corporate sector in general, the real “base” of the Democrats.

Two Roads Out of Recession

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Shamus Cooke: As the jobs recession staggers on, politicians and labor leaders alike seem bizarrely distanced from reality, unable to advance any ideas that remotely correspond to the basic demands of those tens of millions of unemployed, under-employed, or poorly paid workers.

Prepping Minds for War Against China

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Shamus Cooke: The real problem that the U.S. government has with China is twofold: China’s growth is pushing aside U.S. influence/power all over the world, which has negative influence on the profits of U.S. corporations, which are losing contracts to Chinese companies.

Labor’s Last Stand in 2011?

Shamus Cooke: The stage is set, and the main actors in Congress and in the corporate establishment are ready to perform, having rehearsed behind closed doors for the coming assault on organized labor’s most powerful sector, public workers.

Who Is Behind the Deficit Crisis

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Shamus Cooke: Unless labor and community groups massively mobilize working people in fighting for a pro-worker solution to the deficit crisis, austerity measures — like reducing Social Security and Medicare — will be forced upon us.

The Fight to Save Social Security Begins Now

Social Security

Shamus Cooke: Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission attacks Social Security and Medicare. The retirement age would be raised from 67 to 68 (for those born after 1959) and from 68 to 69 (for those born after 2006). But current retirees will be affected too. The social security cost of living adjustment will be unhinged from the inflation index, meaning, payments will decrease via inflation.

Will Democrats Move Right?

Shamus Cooke: But in a close second place in this rightward scramble are the Democrats, who’ve spent decades racing into the arms of the corporations that dominate both political parties unchallenged.

The Struggle for a Workers’ Recovery

Shamus Cooke: The massive One Nation demonstration in Washington, D.C. proved that unions and other progressive groups can unite under a set of demands. But uniting for one demonstration is not enough.

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