Category Archives: Economy
The battle has now been joined by the Great Satan (aka Goldman Sachs) as the brilliant Matt Taibbi piece has fortunatly gone viral thanks to bloggers. When the pigs on Wall Street, their legal armies and on call public relations propagandists turn into pirannhas as they are with this piece the fuckers are on the run. The seige on CNBC’s drooling house baboon Jim ‘Mad Money’ Cramer that was kicked off by comedian Jon Stewart was beaten back with a disinformation laden blitzkrieg and the moneychangers regained control of the temple. It’s all been the hogwash of the GREEN SHOOTS ever since. And despite the dismal news contained in yesterday’s jobs report the long weekend couldn’t come at a more fortuitous time as the gold plated cocksuckers will regroup once again and launch a saturation bombing campaign of more goddammed lies.
Give some credit where it is due to Rolling Stone magazine, after initially witholding Mr. Taibbi’s withering takedown of Goldman Sachs entitled The Great Bubble Machine from internet users it has finally seen fit to put it online. Probably sound business on their part since the absence of it on their site only fueled the fire. Now today, the agents of the ivory tower piggies are in full attack mode, there is certainly no shortage of sewage flying in Taibbi’s direction – the good ole pejorative of choice to those who dare to ask questions “conspiracy theorists” has been nailed into his skull like a crown of thorns (some might find the delicious irony in this since Taibbi was the one who punched his ticked by sliming 9/11 truthers) and he is very likely being measured for one of those wooden crosses that are erected whenever the whores in the establishment media are summoned to perform a public crucifiction on an out of line journalist or other ill mannered whistleblower. Here is just a sample of the early stages of the barrage that is directed at Taibbi for his transgression. The reputedly liberal New York Times (the former employer of Iraq war pitchwoman Judith Miller) has one entitled Goldman and Rolling Stone Writer Trade Barbs, Time has Goldman Sachs vs. Rolling Stone: A Wall Street Smackdown, BNET has one entitled Uncovering the Goldman Sachs Myths, a particularly gut wrenching piece as it is from a looter capitalist apologist organ. I could list more but why fucking bother, the common talking point is that it is all conspiracy and that Taibbi is of course, not even a real journalist to begin with. Typical rancid establishment swill from all the garbage churned out of America’s so-called journalism schools who chose corporate shillhood as a career over honest reporting.
I have to admire Taibbi’s balls, he has come out in defense of his brilliant, Pulitzer Prize worthy piece with some nice rebuttals to the Great Satan and all of it’s well paid catamites. Here are two of them:
You acknowledge that we may monitor your use of the Services for our own purposes (and not for your benefit). We may use the resulting information for internal business purposes or in accordance with the rules of any applicable regulatory or self-regulatory body and in compliance with applicable law and regulation.
via Is Goldman Legally Frontrunning Its Clients? zero hedge.
After watching its thoroughly maladroit handling of several p.r. problems this week, I’m absolutely convinced that Goldman Sachs can be hurt if enough people keep piling on with the pressure. The latest evidence of this is its abject collapse in the face of questions from Zero Hedge about the possibility that it is using the data its takes from users of its website to front-run those same people.
Front-running takes place when a bank or broker-dealer– say, Goldman, Sachs — executes a trade for its own account before filling its customer’s order. Since a large enough trade (executed by institutional investors, for instance) can actually move the price of the security in question, front-running can be a very profitable activity. It’s sort of like fast-food insider trading. It is common knowledge that front-running on Wall Street is rampant, and I interviewed more than one person for my recent Rolling Stone story who accused Goldman of front-running its big clients in all sorts of arenas, from the internet IPO years to the commodities markets.
What caught Zero Hedge’s attention was a curious disclaimer uncovered on Goldman’s website, which includes a trading platform that visitors can use to execute trades. At one point the disclaimer read:
Monitoring by GS: Your use of the products and services on this Web site may be monitored by GS, and that the resultant information may be used by GS for its internal business purposes or in accordance with the rules of any applicable regulatory or self-regulatory organization.
Subsequently readers uncovered an even more sinister disclaimer that appears on other Goldman documents (see the quote at the top of this post with the key line “and not for your benefit”). So Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge wrote to Goldman to ask if this meant what it quite obviously seems to mean, and got this response from the bank’s Senior Vice Scoundrel, Ed Canaday. Note the way he seems to be addressing Dick Durbin, which looks like a case of wish-fulfillment to me:
Dear Mr Durbin:
This is in response to your recent blog about our web site disclaimer. It is quite usual for websites to have disclaimers that refer to the monitoring of site usage. Most web sites, including yours we noticed, track usage by their visitors. This is primarily used for marketing and to help inform decision about enhancing content.
Your suggestion that we monitor our web site to facilitate front-running is untrue and offensive.
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
In exactly the same manner that Goldman demonstrated with regard to my story, Canaday avoided any of the factual concerns that Zero Hedge presented about the curious disclaimer; in fact his letter, if anything, is such a classic non-denial denial that it really just confirms everyone’s worst suspicions. Most notably, he doesn’t specify what “internal business purposes” the company is talking about, and while he insists it is not front-running, it’s a very thin, curiously worded denial.
That a company as rich and powerful as Goldman would stoop to peering through the web version of a locker-room peephole to make a few extra pennies either front-running random trades or somehow using visitor data “not for their benefit” shows how completely and utterly morally absent this company is. There is not an ill-gotten dollar they will not chase, no matter how small or insignificant the sums might be.
Word should be spread about this and anyone who used the Goldman 360 portral for trading should seriously investigate this situation, as it is entirely possible you’ve been ripped off — legally, perhaps, although how much “legality” a disclaimer like that can confer is a serious question in my mind.
More to the point, the fact that Goldman is getting enough public pressure that it feels it has to respond to these queries shows that the company is reeling. And the fact that their public statements have been so hilariously transparent and clumsy shows that they’re rattled and don’t know how to handle this kind of heat, which they’re not used to getting. Kudos to Zero Hedge for applying the pressure; readers who want to see Tyler’s very funny response to Canaday should read here.
And in another piece…Taibbi punches back hard yet again!
After my recent piece about Goldman, Sachs hit the newsstands last week, I started to get a lot of mail. Most of it was thoughtful and respectful criticism, although there was an amusingly large number of people writing in impassioned defense of their right, under our American system, to be ripped off by large impersonal financial companies. “If my pension fund is buying [crap mortgages] from Goldman, and my pension fund loses lots of value, that’s not Goldman’s fault,” wrote one reader. “No one is forcing anyone to buy anything. The only thing Goldman is guilty of is making profits.”
I’m not even going to go there – the psychology of a human being who would take the time to actually write in a complaint like that is so bizarre that it would take more time than I have today to even begin discussing it. One other complaint that I will address quickly, though, is the notion that I didn’t tell Goldman’s side of the story. “Not exactly a balanced approach,” complained one reader. “You should take an ethics class. You have to give the other side a fair shot.”
Actually I did contact Goldman and gave the bank every opportunity to respond to the factual issues in the article. I’m bringing this up because their decision not to comment on any of those questions was actually pretty interesting.
We figured ahead of time that Goldman was probably not going to respond to many of the allegations in the article, since its MO in the past with regard to hostile journalists has usually either been to make bald denials or to simply avoid comment (that’s when they’re not using the carpet-bomb litigation technique, as in the case of GoldmanSachs666.com). So what I decided to do the first time I approached them was to send a short list of simple factual questions. If the bank decided to engage us and educate us as to its point of view on these simple questions, we would send more queries and expand the dialogue.
Given this, I tried to make that first list of questions as basic as possible. I asked if Goldman would have turned a profit in Q1 2009 if it hadn’t orphaned the month of December 2008. Then I asked if Goldman had made changes to its underwriting standards during the internet boom years; if Goldman’s position was still that the steep rise in oil prices last year was due to normal changes in supply and demand; and if it could explain its 1991 request to the CFTC to have its subsidiary J. Aron classified as a physical hedger on the commodities market. Citing various sources, I also noted that some people had complained that its move to short the mortgage market in 2006 even as it was selling those same types of instruments proved that the bank knew the weakness of its mortgage products, and asked if the bank had an answer for that. And I asked if the bank supported cap-and-trade legislation, and if it was fair to say (as we planned to in the piece) that the bank would capitalize financially if such legislation was passed.
I intentionally put a lot of yes/no questions on that list. If the underlying thinking behind any of those questions was faulty, it would have been easy enough for them to say so and to educate us as to the truth. Instead, here is the response that we got:
“Your questions are couched in such a way that presupposes the conclusions and suggests the people you spoke with have an agenda or do not fully understand the issues.”
You have to have swallowed half a lifetime of carefully-worded p.r. statements to see the message written between the lines here. That this is a non-denial denial is obvious, but what’s more notable here is that they didn’t stop with just a flat “no comment,” which they easily could have done. No, they had to go a little further than that and – and this is pure Goldman, just outstanding stuff – make it clear that both I and my sources are simply not as smart as they are and don’t understand what we’re talking about. So the rough translation here is, “No comment, but if you were as smart as us, you wouldn’t be asking these questions.”
So now word filters through that Goldman has issued yet another statement in response to the piece, this one by amusingly-named mouthpiece Lucas Van Pragg. Again, the company does not take issue with any of the facts in the piece – not one. Here’s what he says:
Taibbi’s bubble case doesn’t stand up to serious scrutiny either. To give just two examples, even with the worst will in the world, the blame for creating the internet bubble cannot credibly be laid at our door, and we could hardly be described as having been a major player in the mortgage market, unlike so many of our current and former competitors.
Taibbi’s article is a compilation of just about every conspiracy theory ever dreamed up about Goldman Sachs, but what real substance is there to support the theories?
We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts, and we are painfully conscious of the importance of being a force for good.
Okay, let’s look at that bit piece by piece. Van Pragg takes issue with the bubble argument by citing two “examples” of the case not holding water, the first being:
… the blame for creating the internet bubble cannot credibly be laid at our door…
I kept waiting for the “because…” clause here, but there wasn’t one. He just says so and leaves it at that. Now there is obviously some measure of hyperbole in solely blaming Goldman Sachs for something like the internet bubble, or any of the other recent Wall Street disasters, for that matter. But you’d have to be absolutely crazy (and you wouldn’t need “the worst will in the world,” either) not to accept the notion that Goldman shouldered a significant portion of the blame for the internet mess. They were, after all, the leading underwriter of internet IPOs during the internet boom years. In 1999, at the height of the boom, they underwrote 37 internet companies, most of which had little or no history and were losing money at the time of the launch. By late 1999 Goldman was underwriting one out of every five internet IPOs. They were repeatedly caught and punished for manipulating the prices of their IPOs, either via laddering or spinning. Van Pragg doesn’t deny any of this, and just blithely says that one can’t credibly blame them for the internet bubble. I’m almost insulted by the lameness and half-assedness of that comeback, but that might be part of the point, to be insulting. He moves on:
…and we could hardly be described as having been a major player in the mortgage market, unlike so many of our current and former competitors.
Again, not to beat this into the ground, but in 2006, at the height of the housing boom, Goldman underwrote over $75 billion in mortgages, over $59 billion of which were non-prime. That represented 7% of the entire market, which seems like a pretty “major” slice to me. It is true that they did not jump so completely ass-first into the market as Lehman and Bear did (note Van Pragg’s bemused reference to “former competitors”), but if you read the piece, we noted why that doesn’t take them off the hook at all. Because while their “former competitors” (one of whom is clearly “former” in large part because a former Goldmanite, Hank Paulson, elected to save Goldman’s hide instead of Lehman’s) were dumb enough to hold their mortgage paper and be sunk by it, Goldman shorted their own crap, which means (and I know I’m repeating myself here) they knew that what they were selling was a loser. So while they maybe weren’t the biggest player, they were still a major player, and one can easily make the case that they were the most obnoxious player, given that they dove into this muck with their eyes wide open, unlike so many other idiots on Wall Street.
In the middle of this weirdly substanceless retort, Van Pragg then goes on complain about the lack of substance in the article, makes the predictable charge that the piece was a compendium of invented conspiracy theories, then moves on to “reject” the notion that the company inflates bubbles and profits in busts (about that last part: I recommend checking out Goldman’s profit/bonus numbers in 2002, 2008, and 2009 to date. I’m not sure how they can refute the notion that they have profited during the recent financial calamities). Lastly, he says that the bank is “painfully conscious” of the importance of being a force for good, which I noted with amusement is not quite the same thing as saying that that bank is a force for good, or wants to be.
So to sum up, this all translates as:
“Taibbi’s bubble case doesn’t hold water. To use just two examples, Taibbi’s internet bubble case doesn’t hold water, and we didn’t sell as many mortgages as Lehman Brothers. Taibbi’s article is a compendium of every other story about Goldman that doesn’t hold water. We reject these theories that do not hold water, and are aware of the difference between right and wrong, making us legally sane according to the law.”
I’m aware that some people feel that it’s a journalist’s responsibility to “give both sides of the story” and be “even-handed” and “objective.” A person who believes that will naturally find serious flaws with any article like the one I wrote about Goldman. I personally don’t subscribe to that point of view. My feeling is that companies like Goldman Sachs have a virtual monopoly on mainstream-news public relations; for every one reporter like me, or like far more knowledgeable critics like Tyler Durden, there are a thousand hacks out there willing to pimp Goldman’s viewpoint on things in the front pages and ledes of the major news organizations. And there are probably another thousand poor working stiffs who are nudged into pushing the Goldman party line by their editors and superiors (how many political reporters with no experience reporting on financial issues have swallowed whole the news cliché about Goldman being the “smart guys” on Wall Street? A lot, for sure).
Goldman has its alumni pushing its views from the pulpit of the U.S. Treasury, the NYSE, the World Bank, and numerous other important posts; it also has former players fronting major TV shows. They have the ear of the president if they want it. Given all of this, I personally think it’s absurd to talk about the need for “balance” in every single magazine and news article. I understand that some people feel differently, but that’s my take on things.
Such gross intransigence from a reporter in the age of the moneychangers is stunning, in fact it actually borders on outright blasphemy – shit, it brings to mind real muckrakers like the great Upton Sinclair. Talk about a David vs Goliath story for the modern era, Taibbi has put all the other so-called reporters that pollute our press, make excuses for the corrupt, milk the lurid excesses of the dumbed down cult of celebrity (currently on display with the necorphiliac corpse humping of Michael Jackson) and provide the bread and circuses that are necessary when our shiny newly minted (largely with Goldman Sachs money) reality show president come out and brags about saving the markets while millions are beggared to fucking shame and justifiably so.
Let’s hope that David has it in him to lob the killshot right into the testicles of the Goldman Sachs Goliath that has stomped on the necks of American’s for too long now.
In the great 1980’s Bruce Willis movie Die Hard an international group of thugs invade and take over Nakatomi Plaza, holding hostages and all under the pretense of terrorism. The real truth is that the terrorist ploy was designed to provide cover for a massive robbery and in the end all the hostages would be marched up to the roof of the building which mined with C4 explosives would be blown up, killing all of the hostages and allowing the perps to escape to their beaches of choice where they could bask in the sun collecting interest on their plundered loot.
The criminal Bush administration, Goldman Sachs stooge Hank Paulson, the feckless Pelosi Reid Hoyer Judas Congress and the every incompetent Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are now blowing the roof with the greatest swindle of the American taxpayer in history. The mother of all bailouts which is the end result of looter capitalism taken to its logical end may have been temporarily halted by mass outrage along with a cadre of crybaby Republicans whose poor feelings were hurt by the whore Pelosi’s stinging speech and then threw a hissy fit (allegedly engineered by one neocon snake that goes by the name Newt Gingrich who already has his eye on the 2012 election) that derailed what the hated Michael Moore referred to as the rich staging a coup. The Dow then demonstrated that Newton’s law of gravity was still in effect by dropping a whopping 777 points (likely staged by the Plunge Protection Team failing to contribute their daily manipulation to send a message) sending shockwaves through the global casino of the great Ponzi scheme. Not to worry though, a bill WILL pass this week, it will be WORSE than the last one and Paulson and all of his Wall Street cronies will be given total AMNESTY for blowing up the system for their own greed. I don’t have much else to say right now but these comments by a die hard Marxist friend of mine pretty much sums it all up in this epic rant:
The Financial Crisis
He certainly has a right to have his say now that the entire fucking capitalist system is exploding before our eyes, while not a Marxist myself perhaps Marxism bears a more serious look for what to do as we are sorting through the mess left behind by the economic terrorists of Wall Street.
1. The financial crisis was not “caused” by Bush’s regime.
2. It was, however, “triggered” by the Bush regime. There’s a difference here between the word, “caused,” and the word, “triggered.”
3. The financial crisis was not “caused” by the economic philosophy of the Bush regime alone, but, rather, it was “facilitated” by the economic philosophy followed and pursued from the time of the last years of the Jimmy Carter administration through the years of the Reagan administration, the Bush One administration, the Clinton administration, and the Bush Two administration.
4. It is most certainly correct that the economic philosophy that “facilitated” the financial meltdown is the “no regulations” economic philosophy, and it is most certainly correct that the more “libertarian-minded” Republicans of the far right in economics — so-called “free market fundamentalists,” or “free market extremists” — are responsible for pushing that for the past 3 decades since the 1970s.
5. But it is also equally correct to say the Democratic Party have just as much pandered to and adapted to this economic philosophy in practice, and that they, too, have lessened government regulations of financial markets, investment banks, other banks.
6. But underlying the economic philosophy and what has happened to the financial markets are material causes. Being determines consciousness and ideas, not the other way around.
7. It’s correct to say the financial institutions of this country “lack liquidity,” which is simply another way of saying, “they’re insolvent,” or more bluntly, “they’re bankrupt.”
8. But it’s also correct to say, “their owners did that to themselves.”
9. It’s correct to say, “Bailing them out in a private and for-profit capitalistic-system-based framework equals making the masses of working people, who are also taxpayers and also consumers, pay for it,” because so long as operating in the private for-profit capitalistic-system-based framework is the framework in which one decides to operate, there’s no alternative to making the masses of working (taxpaying and consuming) people pay for this enormous financial bankruptcy.
10. The reason why continuing to operate in a private-for-profit-capitalistic-economic framework with government regulations and government intervention means, making the masses pay, is because the kind of “socialism,” to use the word the right-wing Republican “free market extremists” or right-wing Republican “free market fundamentalists” call the Republican Paulson-Republican Bernanke-Republican Bush-Democratic Senatorial/Congressional-Partially Republican Senatorial-Partially Republican House plan, is because this kind of “socialism” accepts the given and existing economic class division of existing society into capitalist employers (bosses, owners), and, on the other side, workers (employees), the basic class division of existing society.
11. This is, therefore, exactly as those both on the extreme “free market fundamentalist extremist” right, and those on the liberal “progressive” pro-Democratic Party reformist fake “left” say, “socializing the losses of the mega-rich, mega-bosses, mega-owners of the mega-banks and mega-corporations” at the expense of the masses of the people of America.
12. McCain sees this, and is — cynically, as Democrats suspect, deceitfully, again as Democrats suspect, but certainly quite masterfully, if one approaches how to win an election or profit politically from a set of circumstances from the standpoint of the suggestions made by the great Italian political philosopher, Machiavelli, in his most masterful explanation of how politics works, The Prince, and certainly masterfully in the short run if one appreciates just how vilely and corruptly, but masterfully deceitful and masterfully cynically Hitler operated — poised in his view to successfully mobilize a very large social base of quite justified hate, resentment, and opposition to this Paulson-Bernanke-Bush-Democratic-Partial Republican joint bipartisan capitalist bailout plan calling for the masses to pay for the losses incurred by risky financial decisions made by the big financial capitalists on Wall Street.
13. The fact financial 24/7 cable news channels like Bloomberg focus in on the right-wing Republicans’ opposition to this bailout plan and call McCain’s opposition to it “risky” illustrates that their constituency is most limited to a very small population — the mega-rich owners whom the bailout plan would serve. Therefore, from a purely electoralist political standpoint, they are missing the Machiavellian and, in a certain sense, Hitlerian-cynical, calculations of the McCain camp.
14. McCain is also banking on Barack Obama’s defense of some version of the bailout plan, particularly the version supported by the Senatorial and Congressional Democrats which is calling for some very tepid “protections” for what these people call “middle class” Americans. McCain, too, is having no difficulty aligning himself with notions of “protecting” what he, too, calls “middle class Americans.” But he is deliberately refraining from taking a hard and fast stance until the end of the decision-making process on the bailout plan so he can then position himself afterward for maximum political electoralist advantage, and destroy the Democrats in the upcoming election. He knows from his advisors exactly what he is doing.
15. The Democrats mistakenly think they can isolate McCain, and they also make the mistake of thinking that the general business opinion of people whose only constituency is a very numerically small constituency, the mega-rich whom the bailout plan will serve, equals the opinion of the masses of the American voters. In a sense, McCain knows this, too, and he is banking on the Democrats aligning themselves with a bailout which is, generally, enormously unpopular with the voters, to destroy the Democrats in the election and win him the presidency in the November 2008 election.
16. But, of course, the Democrats themselves helped create this situation over decades of pandering to the far extreme right-wing on economic policies in this country. Organizations like the right-wing Democratic “Democratic Leadership Council,” for instance, helped create it. The semi-de-regulation in some financial areas in the latter years of conservative Democrat Jimmy Carter’s administration in the later 1970s helped intensify and exacerbate the bipartisanly-supported right-wing free market fundamentalist extremist Republican Ronald Reagan policies of the 1981-1988 period. Ironically, the Republican presidency of George H. W. Bush the First with the bringing into existence of the Resolution Trust Corporation (a government-sponsored entity) to address the failure of savings and loans operated in a more bourgeois centrist bipartisan Demopublican-Republicrat fashion, recognizing the dangers of the savings and loans failures to the mega-rich (bourgeoisie). But, of course, it didn’t destroy the rule of the ruling class (bourgeoisie), because it was never designed to do that. Nor was the support it got from the Democrats designed to do that.
17. But there is no way out of the financial crisis and its repercussions, which will, indeed, result in the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression of the 1930s, exactly as Bush warned, that does not result in the destruction of the incomes and economic well-being of the American working (also consuming and taxpaying) masses so long as the kind of “bailout” “plan” still accepts the continued existence of the bourgeoisie as a class — that is, the continued existence of the class division in society between capitalist employers (bosses, the bourgeoisie, the mega-rich bosses and owners who brought on this whole crisis themselves under the unregulated or semi-regulated benevolence of multiple bipartisan Demopublican-Republicrat administrations), and workers (a/k/a employees a/k/a the great mass of consumers a/k/a the great mass of taxpayers a/k/a the masses of the American people a/k/a the vast majority of the American people).
18. The only way out, in short, is the only kind of “bailout” that will work for the majority: a working class socialist revolution from below that expropriates, without compensation, the entire capitalist system, by the action of constituted, from below, by the masses, and elected, from below, by the masses, councils of delegates of the working people from every part of this country, and turns over all the wealth of the country that was originally produced by the working people to the working people. Nothing short of this kind of “bailout” will avoid the destruction of the economic and financial position of the enormous majority of the American people, and certainly neither voting for McCain nor voting for Obama nor, for that matter, voting for McKinney, Nader, Barr, or even reformist-minded “socialists” of small fake “socialist” parties, will do it, either.
19. In short, what is needed is, a socialist policy for the enormous masses and majority, not a fake “socialist” policy that continues serving the bourgeoisie (bosses, super-rich, mega-rich).
20. Some short-hand ideas for what a revolutionary socialist addressing of the financial crisis would do would include:
a. expropriate the banks and corporations and all major industry, finance, transportation, distribution, means of production, from below, and operate them all by the operation of elected councils of the working people;
b. cancel the debts owed by the enormous mass of the people to all the banks;
c. raise the minimum wage to maybe $75 dollars per hour;
d. radically shorten the work week to 30 hours at no loss in pay, thereby immediately resulting in more available work to be immediately spread to the unemployed;
e. labor, unionize all non-unionized workers 100 percent, but kick the cops, security guards, prison guards out of the labor movement–for class struggle tactics to organize all labor, not begging the bosses, not begging the Democratic and Republican Parties of the bosses, not begging the bourgeoisie, not fighting on the turf and terms of the bosses, but fighting on the turf and terms of the working class to unionize all non-union workers 100 percent–bring back such militant class struggle tactics as the labor “flying squads” of the 1930s, the mass workers’ occupations of struck plants, factories, workshops, offices, department stores, the mass workers’ picket lines in front of struck plants to defend the workers inside against the scabs, the scab-herding and strikebreaking cops, the bosses’ private militias and bosses’ private security guards, the bosses’ fascists, bosses’ neo-Nazis, bosses’ Ku Klux Klanners, and other bosses’ tools — bring back the workers’ defense guards to defend striking workers and defend those plants, factories, workshops, stores, offices occupied by striking workers, kicking out the management and owners and making the plants, workshops, factories, stores, offices where the workers and employees work controlled by the workers as a negotiating tactic in the class struggle against the bosses–no subordination of the objective needs of the workers’ class struggle and workers’ class war to the fake and fraudulent “need” to get “lesser evil” capitalist politicians, either Democrats or Republicans, elected to office–labor must rely strictly on labor’s own needs and own interests, not on the bourgeois (bosses’) needs and interests, not on the turf and terms of the bosses (bourgeoisie) and their labor-hating, racist, sexist, bigoted, violent, imperialist, colonialist, capitalist government;
f. workers need a government of workers’ councils, a government of the multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic, racially integrated working class, a government strictly of the armed workers, a dictatorship of the working class that is dictatorial against the enemies of the working class and is democratic where the interests of the working class and toiling and exploited people, workers, employees, the poor, unemployed, the mass of the old and pensioners, oppressed and exploited minorities, women, gays, immigrants, are concerned–we need a proletarian dictatorship against the violence of the old exploiting and oppressing classes that is a proletarian democracy for the working, toiling, and oppressed peoples;
g. expropriate all unused condo buildings, office buildings, the multi-roomed mansions of the mega-rich, and turn them all over to the homeless as an emergency measure to smash homelessness and give homeless people a place to live; end all mortgage debts on poor homeowners, working class homeowners, lower middle class homeowners and lower petit-bourgeois homeowners, cancel those debts, and expropriate the banks to which they owe their mortgage debts so they can own their homes outright; expropriate the multi-roomed mansions of the fat cats, super-rich, mega-rich bourgeoisie or bosses, and turn them over to the homeless;
h. radically raise the social security and retirement pension of the enormous majority of the old people to a genuinely livable wage, say a minimum wage of $75 dollars per hour, so finally the great majority of old people receiving social security have something to actually live on that can give them some kind of quality of life;
i. immediately create free quality health care accessible immediately to all and free to all;
j. immediately create free kindergarten-through-Ph.D./Doctorate education available and accessible free to all by expropriating the private colleges and universities, entirely abolishing their boards of trustees (which are entirely capitalist or pro-capitalist boards), and putting all colleges under the control of elected councils of the working people, teachers, students, and abolishing entirely all tuition payments for students; make all remedial adult education programs free and accessible and available to all; smash the non-union nature of employment and organize all workers into labor unions; implement in all workplaces ongoing remedial education and training and upgrading programs; bring into workplaces affirmative action for minorities, and women, controlled by the workers’ organizations, workers’ councils, democratic organizations of the working people;
k. workers in all unsafe workplaces, industries, factories, plants, workshops, offices, stores, construction sites, must have the immediate and unconditional right to strike and receive full wages while on strike while the unsafe working conditions are immediately addressed and repaired–no more collapsing coal mines, no more workers killed from collapsing cranes at construction sites and from workers falling from worksites due to shoddy and private-profit-based badly made “safety” equipment, no more unsafe airplanes killing crew and passengers because such planes are flying firetraps and are not made safe because of private profit greed of the owners, no more unsafe trains colliding into each other killing crew and passengers, no more collapsing bridges built on the basis of the lowest and most profitable bid, no more exploding steam pipes built on the lowest and most profitable bid, no more overthrown and overturned and destroyed levees built on the lowest and most profitable bid that let entire cities drown–expropriate all the capitalists, smash outsourcing by militant labor action to unionize 100 percent all workers and by class struggle tactics to smash outsourcing to private contractors, expropriate all sleazebag private contractors who shortchange safety conditions for profit, and jail the sleazebags who do this–rebuild everything on the basis of a series of 5-year plans based on the precept of socialist re-industrialization and socialist re-modernization of the country from below run and operated by a socialist plan administered from below democratically and controlled from below democratically by the elected workers’ councils from below, with the full right of all within the workers’ councils who as the genuine precondition to having their ability to participate defend the elected and armed workers’ councils as the core form of government of a proletarian dictatorship against the old exploiters and oppressors and a proletarian workers’ councils-based democracy for the working, exploited, oppressed, and toiling peoples, and the precept of a proletarian government-socialist planned economy as the core form of economy of society–within that context, for the full and unconditional and unfettered right of any and all workers’ factions, caucuses, parties to form in such workers’ councils to make and debate alternative policy alternatives for the furtherance and progress of the workers’ society;
l. organize the enormous majority of the workers at their workplaces into armed and racially integrated labor organizations and mobilizations to root out the nests of Ku Klux Klan filth, neo-Nazi filth, right-wing anti-abortion clinic-bombing filth, right-wing anti-abortion anthrax-sending filth, anti-gay and anti-women’s equality rifle-toating murderers of Unitarian, liberal, and other equality supporters, racist murderers of black and other nonwhite people, bigoted terrorist murderers of gay people, racist and bigoted murderers of immigrants — for the right of the racially integrated working people, black, brown, red, yellow, white, male, female, men, women, “gay,” “straight,” immigrant, native-born, mobilized by a revolutionary workers’ party, to keep and bear arms — no guns for the bosses’ (bourgeoisie’s) labor-hating, racist and anti-black, strike-breaking, civil and human rights-crushing cops, no guns for the sadistic racist and poor people-hating prison guards, no guns for the armed militias of the labor-hating and strike-breaking bosses, no guns for the armed labor-hating and union-busting private security guards of the bosses, who bust labor strikes, beat up labor strikers, shoot down black people in the inner city black ghettos without accountability, shoot down immigrants without accountability — repel and repulse the white racist bigoted anti-immigrant thugs on the Southern borders by racially integrated, ethnically integrated mass mobilizations of black, brown, yellow, red, white, immigrant, and native-born workers, level-headed, but armed — for joint campaigns of labor and unions to organize workers on both sides of the border into fighting class struggle-based labor unions and labor organizations to upgrade labor on both sides of the border in wages, working conditions, job conditions, safety conditions, democratic rights, human rights — smash every kind of fascism through mass mobilizations of labor and minorities;
m. down with the racist, class-biased death penalty–free immediately and unconditionally Mumia Abu-Jamal, an innocent man who’s rotted on death row since 1982 because of a joint and bipartisan Democratic-Republican frame-up murder machine of death — jail the persecutors and sleazebag scum who framed up Mumia Abu-Jamal, including the corrupt prosecutors, corrupt cops, corrupt judges, the entire sleazebag operation that framed him up — free Troy Anthony Davis, an innocent man — jail the entire corrupt sleazebag and scumbag operation that framed him up, including the corrupt, coercing, violent racist cops, corrupt prosecutors, corrupt judges, corrupt Georgia board of pardons and paroles — smash the prisons — rehabilitate the enormous majority capable of being rehabilitated in the prisons; those incapable of being rehabilitated, provide whatever available remedial and palliative help is possible to provide — most in prison are there because crime is caused by capitalism, an inhuman, rotting, decaying, putrefying putrescent, decadent system based on private profit-greed, racist oppression, sexist and bigoted oppression, nationalist and imperialist oppression, colonialist oppression, and the sucking of profits out of the working class by the capitalist class, and the jails and the cops are the state, the violent instrument of class violence and class terrorism against the working class by the capitalist class and its government — they were often destroyed as humans by an inhuman and bestial capitalist society; make sure the hardest of the hardcore psychopaths are kept isolated from the masses, but the principle that must operate in keeping them so is not retribution and vengeance, but simple social expediency, and so, what must operate is not the principle of vengeance and retribution, but the principle of some sort of humane isolation from the majority of society for the hardcore psychos and ongoing rehabilitative efforts in that context; for the vast majority, however, who are not hardcore psychos, there must be ongoing rehabilitative efforts and full social re-integration back into society and efforts to make that happen that are part and parcel of a humane, compassionate system that recognizes ex-cons are human beings — for the rights right now of prisoners for form labor unions, to strike for higher wages, to engage in collective bargaining with prison administrations — again, disarm the sadistic prison guards and labor, kick them the hell out of the unions — no more slave wages for prisoners, which simultaneously hurt prison labor and bring down the wages of all labor — for full union labor wages for all prisoners, and make the minimum wage throughout society in all industries, including prison industries, about $75 dollars per hour — for the immediate restoration of civil, voting, and related rights to ex-cons at the moment of their release, for remedial, job-training, skills, and similar sorts of education for ex-cons, for upgrading, and for employment for all ex-cons at wages no less than the wages of the minimum wage of a workers’ society, which should be approximately $75 dollars per hour, so they can live like human beings and become fully re-integrated back into society again — no more sadistic discrimination against ex-cons in areas like refusing them driver’s licenses, social and health care benefits, housing–smash all discrimination; labor, labor organizations: kick cops, security guards, prison guards, the hell out of your labor organizations, for they are a knife pointed at your own throats;
n. down with the war on drugs; legalize/decriminalize drugs–for massive investment in drug rehab programs and similar sorts of programs, not only in conventional physical and physiological health care programs, but mental health care programs;
o. U.S. Imperialism: get your bloody, filthy, stinking hands off the rest of the planet — U.S. out of Iraq now, out of Afghanistan now, out of the 130 countries where U.S. troops are stationed now, no “conditions,” no “compromises,” no delays, but OUT NOW, PERIOD; disarm the pentagon, CIA, FBI, Secret Service, NSA, federal cops, state cops, local cops — for the right of the racially integrated working people to keep and bear arms; U.S. hands off Iran, hands off Syria, hands off North Korea, hands off Russia — U.S. Imperialism, no support to right-wing nationalist nutjob head of country of Georgia, Saakishvili, as all that is is an ongoing provocation of Russia — Russia, hands off Georgia — for the democratic and national rights of the peoples of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to make their own decision as to whom they wish to affiliate with or not affiliate with — for a joint revolutionary internationalist egalitarian communist proletarian party of the workers of Georgia, the workers of Abkhazia, the workers of both South and North Ossetia, and the workers of Russia fighting for a Russian Socialist Federation of Fully Independent and Equal Workers’ (Proletarians’) Socialist States; U.S. Imperialism, get your bloody provocational hands out of Poland — no U.S. “anti-missile” shield in Poland, which is nothing but a provocation against Russia; for the equal national rights of both the Palestinians and the Hebrew-speaking people in the context of a Socialist Federation of the Near East–for joint mass mobilizations of Palestinian working class people and Hebrew-speaking working class people to drive the Zionist, clerical-fascist settlers out of the West Bank–all Israeli troops, tanks, soldiers, out of the West Bank, out of the Gaza Strip, out of the Golan Heights, out of all the Occupied Territories–for a joint Arab-Hebrew revolutionary internationalist, egalitarian, proletarian communist party in the Near East fighting for an Egalitarian Socialist Near Eastern Federation and the unity of all working classes throughout the Near East–for the strict separation of religion and government throughout the Near East, including the liberation of women, gays, transgender people, and the smashing of every kind of religious fundamentalist-inspired bigoted terrorism, from clerical Zionist through Muslim fundamentalist– for the freedom of conscience of all and for no government support for any religion anywhere in the Near East–for proletarian socialist revolutions against every rotting and reactionary regime in the Near East, from that of Saudi Arabia through Syria, through Lebanon, through Egypt, through Jordan, through the Zionist regime of Israel — for revolutionary proletarian Marxist secularism and egalitarian socialist internationalism — for full equality for women, gays and homosexuals in a Near Eastern Socialist Federation and for separation of religion and government;
p. for free abortion on demand–no to forced sterilization–defend Roe v. Wade–keep abortion legal–for women’s liberation through socialist revolution–for the right of abortion clinic personnel, family planning clinic personnel to arm and train in self-defense of abortion clinics and family planning clinics in self-defense against the right-wing terrorist filth seeking to shut the clinics down–for mass mobilizations of labor, minorities, women, to defend the clinics and drive the right-wing garbage away from in front of the clinics; bring back and pass the Equal Rights Amendment for women;
q. for full democratic and equal rights for gay, homosexual, lesbian, transgender people–for gay and transgender liberation through socialist revolution–for the right of gay, homosexual, lesbian, and transgender people to self-defense, up through and including the right of armed self-defense, against bigoted terrorism; defeat Amendment 2, the “marriage amendment,” in Florida on November 4, 2008 — for the equal right of gay, homosexual, lesbian, transgender people to marry, and divorce, and to secure, equally with non-same-sex and non-transgender people, all economic, social, and related security and benefits accruing therefrom;
r. for the strict and uncompromised separation of religion and government — no funding of religious schools by the federal government, state governments, local governments — no funding of “faith-based” education programs — instead, for billions of dollars in investments into the public school system and for free, quality, racially integrated public education for all — bring back and defend busing to buttress and support quality and racially integrated schools most particularly for black kids, other nonwhite kids;
s. time to finish the Civil War–for black liberation through socialist revolution — smash racial segregation by proletarian socialist revolution — for the establishment of racially integrated armed workers’ self-defense guards, drawn from responsible and level-headed labor union men and women, to defend school buses busing black kids into lily-white bourgeois neighborhood-based schools, and to bus white bourgeois kids into impoverished hellhole inner city black ghetto city schools — as the revolutionary communist, Karl Marx said, when the rich start getting sick, they start finding cures for diseases which the poor typically suffer — but to smash educational inequality, it’s necessary to smash capitalism by proletarian socialist revolution.
21. In my view, nothing short of a revolutionary socialist — an authentically Marxist communist — “bailout” plan carried out by the enormous working class majority of the people can resolve the financial crisis in a way that does not destroy the economic and financial position of the enormous majority of Americans