All seven Episodes of El Malpais have now been published. Read and enjoy!
It is high time for more stories from the left that explore alternatives to the imperial narrative. El Malpais is such a tale. Read it and visit on Facebook.
I recently received the following question from a reader of combatingglobalization.com:
“Would you mind giving me your opinion about the ways in which neoliberal policies & institutions perpetuate permanent/growing homelessness?”
This is a important question about one of the major consequences of neoliberal policies and institutions on communities across the US. The short answer is that the ongoing Reagan Revolution (the neoliberal era in US government) has sparked massive homelessness across the nation. Here is how it worked:
- The extensive offshoring of both manufacturing and service jobs has decimated the working class of the US.? An in-depth analysis of the neoliberal assault on labor can be found in The Evolution of Neoliberal Labor Strategy and the Decline of the American Working Class. Along with their jobs, many working people lost their homes, and some became homeless. This trend is continuing today.
- Historically, the working class of the US has carried the bulk of the tax burden. When workers lost their jobs and homes, states and municipalities lost much of their tax revenues and had to reduce their social services. A majority of states, including Texas where I live, shut the doors of their mental health institutions and dumped their patients in the streets. Many of these people ended up in state and county jails, and others became part of the permanent homeless population. (Cities passed no loitering and no camping laws to remove the homeless from public view. Regrettably, it worked!)
- The reckless lending practices of of unregulated financial institutions during the neoliberal era have created periodic economic crises, e.g. the saving and loan crisis in the 1980’s and the housing bubble that collapsed in 2008 leading to growing homelessness.
- Huge numbers of veterans of the neoliberal US wars in the Middle East have swollen the ranks of the homeless across the nation, adding to the surviving homeless veterans of the Vietnam war.
The phenomenon of permanent/growing homeless offers another reason to combat neoliberal globalization. Learn how to fight in A Primer for Civic Revolution.
Thank you, reader, for the insightful question.
The year before the American Revolution, Ben Franklin suggested it:
I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids. She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shown and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal: Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of stepping on her. Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America?
Nicely said, Ben.
Read A Primer for Civic Revolution and download Fang for your battle flag. Tell us here who you turn her loose on.
Bernie Sanders’ presidential marks the beginning of a Civic Revolution in the USA. United around these simple and straightforward principles of political action we can boost it along. Read A Primer for Civic Revolution.
This argument against guest worker programs offers a clear alternative.
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At the peak of Occupy, President Obama said to activists, “Make me do it.” There are five clear targets for post-election political action in Civic Revolution: Targeting the Dictatorship of Wealth.
The withering away of democracy under increasing economic inequality and growing poverty is a central fact of political life in the 21st century. In the face of this global (and national) megatrend, breaking the stranglehold of the Dictatorship of Wealth is a central task of Civic Revolution. The vanguard of the 99% — united and using its collective knowledge, skills, and resources — can be a revolutionary force to challenge the ruling 1% and reshape political processes in the interest of the majority.
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