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.
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.
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.
Shamus Cooke: In response to Obama’s tax plans, progressive groups cheered and Republicans snarled; both reactions were consciously exaggerated.
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.
Shamus Cooke: If pro-democracy or anti-austerity movements emerge victorious, they’ll have an immediate problem to solve — how to pay for their vision of a better world.
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.
For all the positive things Chavez has accomplished as President, he is in danger of becoming another Salvador Allende — a martyr whose death ushered in a right-wing dictatorship.
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.
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.
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.