Subjects Archives: Political Economy

  • It’s Not Race or Class — It’s Race and Class: An Interview with Roderick Bush

    WE ARE NOT WHAT WE SEEM: Black Nationalism and Class Struggle in the American Century by Roderick D. BushBUY THIS BOOK Roderick Bush is an Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at St. John’s University in New York.  He is the author of We Are Not What We Seem: Black Nationalism and Class Struggle in […]

  • Class Struggle and Socialist Revolution in the Philippines: Understanding the Crisis of U.S. Hegemony, Arroyo State Terrorism, and Neoliberal Globalization

      Prodded by Amnesty International (AI), the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Asian Human Rights Commission, Reporters Without Borders, and other international organizations, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently cobbled a group to look into the allegations of massive human rights violations — over 729 victims of extrajudicial killings, and 180 involuntary “disappearances,” by the latest count — during her […]

  • Just Sign on the Dotted Line: Iraqi Oil and Production Sharing Agreements

    “A critical component of the overall strategy is to contain expenditures within revenues and available financing, by prioritizing expenditures, controlling the wage and pensions bill, reducing subsidies on petroleum products, and expanding the participation of the private sector in the domestic market for petroleum products. . . . The authorities have recently increased prices of […]

  • Railroading Economics: Michael Perelman’s Call for “the End of Economics”

      Michael Perelman, Railroading Economics: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology, Monthly Review Press, 2006, 238 pages, $20.00 RAILROADING ECONOMICS: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology by Michael Perelman BUY THIS BOOK Railroading Economics by Michael Perelman is an indictment of economists.  But the indictment is not, thankfully, the familiar rehearsal of untenable […]

  • Appraising the Bamako Appeal: A Contribution to the Debate

    1. Introduction This commentary is offered as a contribution to the ongoing debate on the Bamako Appeal.  On the 18th of January, on the day preceding the start of the Polycentric World Social Forum in Bamako, Mali, a conference was held in the same capital, commemorating the holding of the Bandung Conference 50 years back.  […]

  • Game Show Theory: Race, Class, and Survivor

    It was Jay Gould who once bragged that he could pay half the working class to kill the other half.  In American labor history, that often meant fomenting and exploiting racism to divide and conquer.  Apparently, CBS wants to give us a TV metaphor for it: it announced that the contestants on the upcoming season […]

  • Reaping the Economic Whirlwind

    Consider these basic facts about the US economy today.  First, real hourly wages fell, on average, between the first quarter of 2005 and the first quarter of 2006.  At the same time, the productivity of those workers rose.  No advanced degree is required to grasp what’s happening here: workers who produced more output this year […]

  • Toward a New Politics? After the CAW-NDP Divorce

    On April 21, 2006, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) broke with a tradition that extended over half a century and voted to leave the New Democratic Party (NDP).  A few CAW activists shrugged their shoulders: the impact of the NDP on their daily struggles had been minimal, so setting it aside did not seem to […]

  • CUPE “Boycott Israel” Debate Rages On

      As trade union and community activists, socialists, and officials in our respective union organizations, we strongly support the recent Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario resolution supporting the international Boycott Israel campaign.  The resolution criticizes Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestinian territory, characterizing it as “apartheid.”  It calls on the union to develop an […]

  • “Our” Real Addiction: Capitalist Waste in Transportation

    “America is addicted to oil.”  Thus spake George W. Bush in his 2006 “State of the Union” speech. At first hearing, this sounds like a remarkable breakthrough in public discourse.  A sitting U.S. President admitting that the nation’s relationship to petroleum is one of addiction?  Sounds like a major advance in honesty, doesn’t it?  And, […]

  • When Will the AFL-CIO Leadership Quit Blaming the Chinese Government for Multinational Corporate Decisions, US Government Policies, and US Labor Leaders’ Inept Reponses?

    The AFL-CIO has just formally petitioned the Bush Administration to “take immediate action to stop exploitation by the Chinese government and multinational corporations of workers in China, who are paid as little as 15 cents per hour”  (AFL-CIO, “AFL-CIO Files Workers’ Rights Case Against China ,” Press Release, June 8, 2006).  It appears that the […]

  • On Neoliberalism: An Interview with David Harvey

    A BRIEF HISTORY OF NEOLIBERALISM by David HarveyBUY THIS BOOK Neoliberalism has left an indelible, smoldering mark on our world for the last thirty years.  Eminent Marxist geographer David Harvey, author of A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford, 2005), spoke earlier this year to Sasha Lilley, of the radical radio program Against the Grain, about […]

  • The Fallout from Falling US Wages

    Real wages in the US rose during every decade from 1830 to 1970.  Then this central feature of US capitalism stopped as the figures below show: Source: Labor Research Associates of New York based on data from the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; wages expressed in constant 1982 dollars. 1964 $302.52 1974 […]

  • Whither Nepal?

    Faced with an explosion of pro-democracy strikes and mass demonstrations, Nepal’s King Gyanendra was forced to reinstate parliament last week. Gyanendra had abolished parliament in October 2002 and seized absolute control in February 2005, but his attempts to regain his grip through repression last month only sparked further rebellion. On April 28, the Seven-Party Alliance […]

  • A Note on Immigration and the U.S. Workers [Una nota sobre la inmigración y los trabajadores estadounidenses]

    Si el pueblo trabajador en Estados Unidos ha de alcanzar unidad, autoconfianza colectiva e independencia política en el futuro próximo (¡y cuanto nos hacen falta!), la demanda del movimiento de los trabajadores inmigrantes de derechos plenos debe ser el primer punto en su agenda.  El pueblo trabajador en este país necesita darse cuenta de lo […]

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, 9 April 2006

      Yiwen Cheng lives in Kansas City, and Stephen Philion lives in Minneapolis.

  • What’s the Matter with U.S. Organized Labor? An Interview with Robert Fitch

      SOLIDARITY FOR SALE: How Corruption Destroyed the Labor Movement and Undermined America’s Promise by ROBERT FITCH AUTHOR’S NOTE READ EXCERPT BUY THIS BOOK Michael D. Yates: Robert, let’s start off with a question not directly connected to your book Solidarity for Sale.  Some commentators say that today labor unions and labor movements are irrelevant […]

  • In Venezuela, Oil Sows Emancipation [Venezuela: Petróleo sembrando emancipación]

    Los datos divulgados recientemente por el Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) confirman que la economía venezolana exhibió un crecimiento de 10,2% en el cuarto trimestre de 2005 en relación con el mismo período del año anterior, acumulando la novena alza consecutiva a partir del último trimestre de 2003.  El resultado final del PIB en 2005 […]

  • Spinning Out of Control: Disney’s Grand Canyon and Teddy Roosevelt

    The spin-doctors at the right-wing Cato Institute are spinning out of control.  In a syndicated editorial (Houston Chronicle, 27 February 2006), these stalwart advocates of the privatization of almost everything in heaven and earth suggest that selling (or giving — they’re not clear on this point) the Grand Canyon National Park to the Walt Disney […]

  • Homo Economicus vs. Aam Aadmi: Crisis of Democracy

      During the twentieth century, there were two major shifts in mainstream economic thinking.  These two major changes were the Keynesian revolution of the 1930s and the return of orthodoxy on the back of the Rational Expectation and Monetarist school in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Each of the shifts was preceded by a […]