Document Preview
  • Full Text
  • Scholarly Journal

The Global Crisis and the World Labor Movement

La Botz, Dan.  ; New York Vol. 12, Iss. 3,  (Summer 2009): 7-15.
Publisher logo. Links to publisher website, opened in a new window.

Full text preview


THE WORLD'S WORKING PEOPLE FACE the greatest challenge in three generations.* The economic crisis that began in the banking institutions of the United States last year has rapidly spread around the globe, creating a financial and industrial disaster. In one country after another banks have failed, corporations have gone bankrupt, and millions around the world have lost their jobs. Governments from the United States, to Europe, to Asia and Latin America have responded by putting up trillions in one form or another to save the banks, to stabilize endangered corporations, and to stimulate their economies. Many nations have spent billions to create public works programs and have expanded unemployment benefits and new social programs, though no one believes that these begin to adequately deal with the problem. Working people around the world face all that goes with a crisis: joblessness, poverty, hunger, sickness, depression, drugs and alcohol, domestic abuse, and a rise in criminality, and, worst of all, the fear for their future and their children's.

The Economic Crisis

THE FINANCIAL COLLAPSE TRIGGERED a more profound general economic recession, what is in its fundamental features a classic overproduction crisis. Underlying what seemed to be simply the collapse of a financial bubble is a more fundamental problem, the decline of the rate of profit in manufacturing. This is not simply a minor cyclical recession, but rather it is as Marxist economists such as Anwar Shaikh argues a genuine economic depression that will be severe and long lasting.2 The fall in the rate of profit in manufacturing led some investors to move into real estate and finance in search of higher profits, resulting in the bubble. With the burst of the bubble, the broader and deeper economic crisis in industry has been revealed. We now appear to be entering a classical depression,...