Capitalist austerity, workers’ opposition

This video is called Goldman Sachs banker Greg Smith slams firm in New York Times resignation letter.

USA: Greg Smith, an executive director at Goldman Sachs, announced his resignation Wednesday in an op-ed piece published in the New York Times, denouncing the bank’s “toxic” culture of avarice and fraud: here.

Nomi Prins, Nomi Prins’ Blog: “Today, I have received dozens of media requests and hundreds of emails regarding former Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith’s gutsy, and internationally resonating, public resignation. I applaud Smith’s decision to bring the nature of Goldman’s profit-making strategies to the forefront of the global population’s discourse, as so many others have been doing through books, investigative journalism, and the Occupy movements over the past decade since my book, Other People’s Money, was written after I resigned from Goldman”: here.

Robert Reich | Wall Street Greed: Why Greg Smith’s Critique Is Way Too Narrow. Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Blog: “Greg Smith, a Goldman Sachs vice president, resigned his post Wednesday with a stinging public rebuke of the firm on the oped page of the New York Times – accusing it of no longer putting its clients before its own pecuniary goals”: here.

Goldman Sachs Sex Trafficking Controversy: Company Sells Stake In Village Voice Media: here.

Documents in foreclosure fraud settlement highlight lawlessness of the banks: here.

How We Cured “the Culture of Poverty,” Not Poverty Itself. Barbara Ehrenreich, TomDispatch: “Fifty years later, a new discovery of poverty is long overdue. This time, we’ll have to take account not only of stereotypical Skid Row residents and Appalachians, but of foreclosed-upon suburbanites, laid-off tech workers, and America’s ever-growing army of the working poor. And if we look closely enough, we’ll have to conclude that poverty is not, after all, a cultural aberration or a character flaw. Poverty is a shortage of money”: here.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Greece comes to the American Midwest

Bankers’ dictatorship for Detroit workers

15 March 2012

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced Tuesday night that he was demanding the establishment of an unelected financial control board to run the city of Detroit, with the power to tear up and rewrite union contracts and impose across-the-board cuts in spending, including the selloff of city assets.

Detroit would be the largest American city to be subjected to such a financial dictatorship since an Emergency Financial Control Board was imposed on New York City in the mid-1970s. The measures to be taken against city workers will be far more drastic than those of 35 years ago, however. Detroit’s crisis is the consequence of the long-term decline of the US auto industry, and of American capitalism as a whole.

The city has shrunk to barely one-third of its 1950s population—from two million to barely 700,000—and there are only two functioning auto plants in the “Motor City.” The majority of the city’s population is impoverished, and the official unemployment rate is over 30 percent. Vast sections of the city are abandoned, with weeds growing in empty lots. Neighborhoods have been ravaged by house fires and the deterioration of essential services like street lighting, garbage collection and fire protection.

Protest over closure of Detroit Day School for the Deaf: here.

The two main Spanish unions, Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) and Union General de Trabajadores (UGT), have called a general strike for March 29 against the latest labour legislation: here.

Italy, Spain and Greece erupting against EU austerity: here.

Spain: Yesterday’s general strike against new labour laws imposed by the right-wing Popular Party government was backed by millions: here.

On March 29 Spain held a general strike in protest against the new labour laws being introduced by the centre-right Partido Popular government: here.

Spanish government unveils €27 billion in budget cuts: here.

Savage Spanish cuts will stoke a fire that no firewall can keep at bay: here.

In Barcelona, Austerity With an Iron Fist. Peter Gelderloos, Truthout: “Criminalizing public meetings, expanding police powers and weaponry, and applying anti-terrorist measures to street protests: it sounds like Spain in the Franco years, but all of these measures have been proposed in Spain in just the last couple of weeks. Far from being a throwback to the years of dictatorship, these repressive developments go hand in hand with the current economic crisis. Considering the connection between the 15M plaza occupation movement and the subsequent Occupy movement that spread to several countries around the globe, between the March 29th general strike in Spain and the upcoming May 1st general strike called in the United States, between the brutal austerity measures implemented already a year or two ago by the government in Madrid and the increasing signs of shakiness from more stable EU countries such as France, Spain is, if anything, ahead of the curve”: here.

UNEMPLOYMENT in the UK rose by 28,000 in the last three months, to 2.67 million: here.

On Friday, the Italian cabinet approved a reform advanced by the unelected Monti government to scrap Article 18 of Italy‘s labor code: here.

Occupying Democracy: A Moral Revolution for Social Justice. Alan James Strachan Ph.D. and Janet Coster M.A., Truthout: “There are many philosophical justifications for favoring the wealthy and powerful. The Gospel of Wealth, Social Darwinism, Manifest Destiny, God’s Will and ‘trickle-down economics’ are but a few of the rationales. These rationalizations are a sign of pathological narcissism, i.e., the overvaluing of oneself and the undervaluing of others springing from greed, insecurity, fear and the lust for power. Such philosophies stand in stark contrast to the teachings of many spiritual traditions and the dictates of love, compassion and empathy”: here.

10 thoughts on “Capitalist austerity, workers’ opposition

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  3. Join the Moratorium Now! Coalition, Take Back the Land, the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Oregon’s Project REconomy, the Bail out the People Movement, North Carolina FIST, Occupy Detroit and other community organizations and activists from across the U.S. at a:


    Share our experiences with direct actions stopping foreclosures and evictions and confronting the banksters – Discuss campaigns to occupy vacant homes – Build the Movement for a National Moratorium to Halt all Foreclosures

    Saturday – March 31, 2012 – Detroit, Michigan

    Central United Methodist Church – 2nd Floor

    23 E. Adams St. (at Woodward Ave.)

    Registration: 8-9 am Conference: 9 am – 6 pm

    Agenda and registration on line at

    Lodging info at

    Call 313-680-5508 for more information

    In recent months, there has been a tremendous upturn in the movement against foreclosures and evictions. From Detroit to New York to California the Occupy movement, unions and many community organizations have organized direct actions at people’s homes and at the banks to prevent families from being thrown out of their homes by the banksters – and the federal government which bails them out.

    However, as important as these actions are, they will be not enough to stop the two million foreclosures that already are being processed and the additional 3.8 million foreclosures projected to take place over the next 2 years. Along with continuing the direct actions it’s time to raise the demand that the government place a Two Year National Moratorium to halt foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions

    In the 1930’s, 25 states enacted moratoriums on foreclosures. These laws were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Home Building & Loan Building Association v Blaisdell, which held that the people’s right to survive during an economic emergency superseded the contract clause of the U.S. constitution. The moratoriums were a direct result of the actions of workers and communities flooding the streets and preventing the foreclosures that were being carried out. The legislatures and courts essentially ratified the moratoriums that were won in the streets.

    The demand for a Moratorium on Foreclosures has never been more timely. Today, with the federal government owning or backing 75% of mortgage loans through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD, and paying the banks full value for the inflated, fraudulent and predatory loans, the President has the absolute authority to implement a two year moratorium on foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions through executive order. People have the right to take over and occupy the 250,000 vacant homes owned by the federal government as a result of government-backed foreclosures.

    The conference will be an opportunity to share our experiences fighting foreclosures and evictions through direct actions. We will share legal strategies in challenging the banks in federal and state courts. And we will plan a campaign to raise and win the demand for a National Two Year Moratorium on Foreclosures and Foreclosure-Related evictions.

    Tentative Schedule:

    8 am – 9 am:
    Registration & Continental Breakfast

    9 am – 10 am:
    Welcoming remarks
    The depth of the crisis

    10 am – 1 pm:
    Reports on anti-foreclosure/eviction actions, direct and legal, from around the country: Oregon, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida– Take Back the Land, Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Project Reconomy, Occupy.
    Report on the increasing Union role in fighting foreclosures including presentation on the UAW’s Social Unionism program.
    Discussion of the movement to take over vacant homes for the people.

    1 pm – 2 pm:
    Lunch and caucusing

    2 pm – 5 pm:
    How to win a moratorium on all foreclosures – action plans including Shareholder spring, DNC actions to press moratorium in Charlotte, NC, headquarters of Bank of America, May Day and more.

    6 pm:
    Socializing at “1515 Broadway” – community center that fought and won against Citi foreclosure/eviction.

    Sign the petition for a NATIONAL MORATORIUM ON FORECLOSURES at

    The coalition is open to all those who want to fight for the passage of a moratorium on foreclosures, evictions, layoffs, and utility shutoffs. We meet every Monday, 7 PM, at 5920 Second Ave., Detroit.


    Reply to:


  4. We must stop the attacks on workers and protect their voices in the workplace. Growth of Small Business and Jobs are also being hurt.

    As I meet with the people in metro Detroit, I have to commend all the hard working women and men who already have volunteered to help stop the dismantling of collective bargaining rights by Lansing politicians.

    Now I am asking all Michigan workers to step up to stop the assaults coming from Lansing and Washington on working class wages and benefits, as well as the workers’ voices.

    It is very frustrating, after working with President Obama to bring jobs to the the greater metro Detroit area, to see elected officials in Lansing and Washington politicians working to make it easy for employers to reduce worker’s salaries and take away benefits, and to silence them by taking away their collective bargaining rights.

    I also believe you cannot expect small businesses to succeed, expand and grow jobs if there isn’t a middle class to support them.

    That’s why I need your help today.

    I’m asking Michigan workers to join me in signing a petition for, and to help gather voters signatures in the campaign to place a state constitutional amendment protecting collective bargaining rights on the November ballot. (Deadline for submission of 322,609 valid signatures is July 9, 2012).

    Will you stand with me so I can also continue this fight in Washington?

    My campaign has an important fundraising deadline only 4 days away. Your donation today will have a large impact.

    Please donate $10 – or whatever you can afford – to help us grow a strong campaign to push back these attacks on the working class.

    Thank you very much for your help and financial support.


    John Conyers, Jr. MI-14


  5. The National Conference to Fight Foreclosures will be streamed live.
    To find the link to the live stream, follow the Twitter hashtag #M31foreclosure, or go to or

    The link will be posted prior to the start of the conference on Saturday morning.

    The conference starts at 9 am. Streaming will commence shortly after that.

    Share our experiences with direct actions stopping foreclosures and evictions and confronting the banksters – Discuss campaigns to occupy vacant homes – Build the Movement for a National Moratorium to Halt all Foreclosures

    Saturday – March 31, 2012 – Detroit, Michigan

    Central United Methodist Church – 2nd Floor

    23 E. Adams St. (at Woodward Ave.)

    Registration: 8:00 – 9:00am Conference: 9:00am – 6:00pm


  6. Pingback: More European unemployment and child labour | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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