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Subjects Archives: Political Economy

Not Sharing in the Gains

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 […]

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Rick Wolff

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 […]

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Socialist Project

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 […]

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The Apartheid Wall

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 […]

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Michael Dawson

“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, […]

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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 […]

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A Brief History of Neoliberalism

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 […]

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Rick Wolff

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 […]

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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 […]

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