• Obama Visit Suggests No Big Changes in Relations to Mexico; Promise to “Upgrade” NAFTA’s Labor, Environmental Clauses

    With only a few days left until his inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama met with President Felipe Calderón in the second week of January, the first meeting with a foreign leader since his election last November, indicating the importance of the U.S. relationship with its southern neighbor.  Calderón’s National Action Party (PAN), Mexico’s most conservative major […]

  • A Big Caravan to Washington? The Auto Crisis: Management, Labor, and the Struggle for the Future

    The crisis in the auto industry is about many things: the possible collapse of GM, Detroit gas guzzlers, auto emission standards, the environment, and the need for mass transportation, among others.  But as became clear this last week, at the center of it all is the struggle between management and the workers, that is, between […]

  • What’s to Be Done about the Auto Industry?

    The U.S. Congress will vote this week on what to do about the America’s Big Three automakers — Chrysler, Ford, and GM.  GM teeters on the brink of bankruptcy and is screaming for help.  The Bush administration does not want to give more than the$25 billion it has already promised to develop more fuel-efficient cars.  […]

  • Election of Barack Obama: The People’s Victory?  Or the Elite’s?

    Barack Obama has won.  What happens when what appears to be the people’s victory is also the victory of the economic elite?  Where is that convergence of interests located?  And how long can such a coincidence of interest last?  What are the tasks of the left and the social movements in the face of the […]

  • World’s Labor Federations React to Financial Crisis with Proposals from Re-regulation to Socialism

    Labor unions around the world have reacted to the financial crisis and the economic recession with words and actions reflecting their national experience, their political ideology, and their leaderships. Unions and workers have already seen the financial crisis and the growing recession result in the closing of plants and offices, in shorter workweeks, pay cuts, […]

  • Financial Crisis Hits Mexico: Social Crisis on the Horizon?

    The international financial crisis that originated in mortgages and derivatives in the United States has spread to Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and Mexico will be significantly affected by the crisis.  Government, business leaders and analysts say that for Mexico the crisis means: Less foreign direct investment. A decreasing market for its exports. Lower prices […]

  • The Financial Crisis: Will the U.S. Nationalize the Banks?

    The political conflict over the Bush administration’s plan for a bailout of the banks, brought about both by differences with the Democrats and even more intensely with rightwing Republicans, makes it highly unlikely that Congress will be able to pass a bailout plan that can stabilize the financial situation along the lines that Secretary of […]

  • The Financial Crisis: A View from the Left

    Faced with the failure of the financial sector and the possible collapse of the economic system, Republicans and Democrats are working together feverishly to come up with a plan and find the funds to save the American financial system.  The Congress that has been unable to provide adequate funding to health, education, housing, public transportation, […]

  • Confronting the Economic Crisis: The New Deal at 75 — Lessons for Today

    When I was growing up in the 1950s, a photo of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1932-1945) still hung in the homes of some family members and friends.  Our only four-term president was remembered by them as the leader — and even the savior — of the country.  Those like my parents, who experienced the Great […]

  • Barack Obama’s Speech on Race: New Challenges for Him, the Democrats, and Us

    Barack Obama’s speech on race, the greatest speech by a major American political figure in decades, elevates the discussion of race in America to a new level.  What makes this speech so powerful is not only what he said, but also what it requires us to ask and what it demands that we reply.  With […]

  • The Economic Crisis, the American Working Class, and the Left: The Situation Today and the Situation in 1930

    The world appears to be on the verge of an economic crisis and, if it turns out to be as serious as some think, one that could rival or exceed the great panics of the late nineteenth century and the decade-long Great Depression.  The crisis began with unscrupulous mortgage lending on an enormous scale, leading […]

  • The Deportation of Elvira Arellano

    The deportation of immigrant rights activist Elvira Arellano by federal authorities on August 20 was a blow aimed at the immigrant rights movement.  Arellano, a 32-year old single mother who had spent a year living in a Chicago church in defiance of a deportation order, had become a spokesperson for the New Sanctuary Movement and […]

  • Mexico at the Edge:Toward a Declaration of Dual Power

    Mexico stands at the brink of a social upheaval of major proportions after the Electoral Tribunal threw out most challenges by presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, leading him to call for the creation of a new government.  (See “Election Decision Favors Felipe Calderon of the Pan.”)  In the face of what he calls a […]