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Monday, August 24, 2015

Economic Troubles

It is important to know about financial news. There was a global stock market decline. China made the decision to devalue its currency on its yen. This influenced near panic selling. So, markets have declined in Asia, Europe, and in America. Latin America is dealing with this issue too. Outside of China, where the Shanghai Composite Index fell 4.3 percent on Friday, the sharpest declines were in the US. The Dow  Jones Industrial Average plunged 531 points, or 3.12 percent, bringing its losses for the week to over 1,000 points. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ indexes both fell even more steeply, 3.19 percent and 3.52 percent, respectively. There has been a meltdown on equity markets. Some warn that if changes aren’t established, then the world could slip into a new recession or an outright depression. China is the focal point. China has experienced massive growth economically in the early part of this decade. China is the second largest economy in the world. During this decade alone, China has accounted for a third of the expansion in the global economy. This is almost double the contribution of the US and more than triples the impacts of Europe and Japan. Now, China has an economic crisis. It has sent some $90 billion to try to rescue the stock markets of China. This has failed so far as its stock prices have fallen by more than 30 percent since June. Chinese policymakers are in disarray. There is the Tianjin warehouse explosion and people know now about the lax regulations in the warehouse. One problem is that there are high profits based on poverty level wages and there is the massive exploitation of Chinese workers.  So, growth has slowed down In China. Its production, exports and imports, business investment, and producer prices have slowed down. There is a decrease in stock prices and currency rates in Russia, Turkey, Brazil, South Africa, and other nations. Many nations fail to meet debt obligations. There has been a decline in prices for oil, coal, and other industrial metals. There has been a fall of commodity prices since there is less demand. This has caused a decline in product and productive investment along with glutted markets. The capitalist market is anarchic. There has been a decline in manufacturing in China which caused Friday’s sell off. In recent days, Japan has reported a contraction in its economic output for the second quarter, and the euro zone has reported growth at a snail’s pace. America’s economic growth is at its lowest level in more than three decades. Wages are rising at its slowest pace since the 1980’s, and productivity is stagnant. Millions of people have stopped looking for work. The number of full-time jobs in the US today is 0.7 percent, or 822,000, lower than it was eight years ago. The recovery from the 2007-2009 recession wasn’t just strong. The truth is that the US Federal Reserve Board and the central banks of the EU (including Britain and Japan) pumped trillions of dollars into financial markets to rescue the bankers and the financials oligarchs (so wealth for them can increase). Yet, capitalist governments at the same time used brutal austerity and wage cutting on the working class. The primary mechanism for this process of economic plunder has been the stock market. US stock prices tripled from their low point in March of 2009, and share values reached record highs in Europe despite the fact that productive investment declined and the real economy stagnated. QE has been used to enhance corporate wealth not helped massively the masses of the people. When we see the living standards of workers suffering, attacks on unions, and enrichment of the corporate-financial elite, then we have a real problem. There is no solution but a revolutionary change in our economic system and there should be international summits to address the economic crisis that we face.

One thought came to my mind. Recently, I saw an episode of the Tamar Braxton show. It showed a male touching women in an inappropriate way (including some of the Braxton women. That sick male grabbed some of the Braxton women inappropriately). When he got called on it, he screamed, cursed at a woman, and he was about to fight a woman until he left the location. That anti-woman mentality (as expressed by that male from the Braxton show) is found among the misogynists in Chicago during the taping of the Steve Harvey show. Steve Harvey is the person who said that he doesn't care about slavery. Fundamentally, we have a very serious problem with misogyny, especially misogynoir in our community. No one should be disrespected because of their ideological views or their gender. Also, more men have to stand up and check males who act in such a buffoonish behavior. There is no justification for treating women or anyone else (as some men were called slurs for just voicing a question) in this fashion at all. This evil behavior is promoted by misogynists (who don't know what feminism is, but they obsess with calling feminism every word under the sun. Patriarchal supremacy is wrong just like the system of white supremacy is wrong). Ignorant punks in that audience spewing misogynoir & other forms of misogyny don’t surprise me. Black women are entitled to have their voices heard. Our ancestors were heroic, strong people. Some men worship so much male privilege that they refuse to do what is right in a cowardly fashion. I think that Harvey knew that such a meeting would end up in such a dysfunctional fashion. Steve Harvey could have easily stopped the madness and give a passionate speech in condemning the behavior of many audience members and condemn misogyny in general with his voice. Yet, he didn't. We know why he didn't. We live in a society where harsh rhetoric is found in America. That is one weakness of American and Western society. Some ignorant people fail to realize that when women are liberated, all in the human family are liberated. The madness must stop and reason, logic, and justice ought to reign in the world. We know that Harvey would never say that women's bodies belong to no one but to themselves and relationships should be voluntarily created not made into contentious competitions. Love and I mean true Love should never be based on a competition, but on mutual bond and a mutual respect for human beings.

It was pressure that made him to express that statement. It took him or Dr. Dre over 20 years for him to issue a token “apology.” The faux "apology" was not sent directly to the victims and he has not apologized to the women that he assaulted face to face personally. The movie coming out certainly is a representation of how historical revisionism and the whitewashing of history are still common in the globe. He has not done other things too. He has not publicly apologized for spewing anti-black and anti-women lyrics. He has not apologized for being in a music group that explicitly shown lyrics glamorizing murder, assault, and rape. He has used the abomination of police brutality as a clutch to advance his agenda. He isn’t alone. Corporate heads who promoted this nihilistic music are just as responsible for this anti-black counterrevolutionary agenda. Others, who abuse black women and any human being, should be held accountable for their evils deeds too. So, it is about being consistent and condemning the whole institution of misogyny and all forms of oppression. Dee Barnes, Michel’le and other Sisters should be given great credit in speaking their voices, in telling the truth, and doing their parts, so other lives can be saved literally. The strong voices of black women (and other people) are standing up against misogynoir. The power of black women should never be underestimated.

The northern and western suburbs developed in Chicago during the 20th century. Their public schools strengthened and they were supported by the wealthier residents. The suburban trend accelerated after 1945 with the construction of highways and train lines that made commuting easier. Middle class Chicagoans headed to the outlying areas of the city and then into Cook County and Dupage County suburbs. When the Jewish people and the Irish people rose in economic class, many of them left the city and headed north. The well-educated migrants from around the country moved to the far suburbs. Chicago's "Polonia" sustained diverse political cultures in the early twentieth century, each with its own newspaper. In 1920 the community had a choice of five daily papers - from the Socialist Dziennik Ludowy [People's daily] (1907–25) to the Polish Roman Catholic Union's Dziennik Zjednoczenia [Union Daily] (1921–39). They all supported workers' struggles for better working conditions and were part of a broader program of cultural and educational activities. The decision to subscribe to a particular paper reaffirmed a particular ideology or institutional network based on ethnicity and class, which lent itself to different alliances and different strategies. Many ethnic European neighborhoods wanted to use family resources to achieve home ownership as a strategy. They sacrificed current consumption and pulled children out of school as soon as they could earn a wage.  By 1900, working-class ethnic immigrants owned homes at higher rates than native-born people. After borrowing from friends and building associations, immigrants kept boarders, grew market gardens, and opened home-based commercial laundries, eroding home-work distinctions, while sending out women and children to work to repay loans. They sought not middle-class upward mobility but the security of home ownership. Many social workers wanted them to pursue upward job mobility (which required more education), but realtors asserted that houses were better than a bank for a poor man. With hindsight, and considering uninsured banks' precariousness, this appears to have been true. Chicago's workers made immense sacrifices for home ownership, contributing to Chicago's sprawling suburban geography and to modern myths about the American dream. The Jewish community, by contrast, rented apartments and maximized education and upward mobility for the next generation. The 1965 Immigration law, which was signed by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, allowed more Asian immigrants and Latin American immigrants to come into America. Many Indians and Chinese came into Chicago and most settled in the suburbs. Throughout the 20th century and today, the labor movement had a strong history in Chicago. Chicago was heavily unionized. Factories were nonunion until the 1930’s. The IWW was created in Chicago in June of 1905 at a convention of 200 socialists, anarchists, and radical trade unionists from all over America. In Chicago, the American Federal of Labor and the Railroad brotherhoods were strong. There were strikes like the teamsters’ strike in 1905. It outlined a clash over labor issues and the public nature of the streets. To the employers, the streets were arteries for commerce, while to the teamsters; they remained public spaces integral to their neighborhoods.

After WWII in Chicago, veterans and more immigrants came from Europe. Many immigrants from Europe were the Displaced Persons from Eastern Europe. They created a postwar economic boom. This caused huge housing tracts on Chicago’s Northwest and Southwest Sides. Many post war images of Chicago was recorded by street photographers like Richard Nickel and Vivian Maier. During the 1950’s, in the postwar desire for new and improved housing was aided by new highways and commuter train lines, many middle and higher income Americans started to move from the inner city of Chicago to the suburbs. There was the restructuring of the stockyards and steel industries after 1950. This led into massive job losses in the city for working class people. The city population shrank by nearly 700,000. The City Council devised "Plan 21" to improve neighborhoods and focused on creating "Suburbs within the city" near downtown and the lakefront. It built public housing to try to improve housing standards in the city. As a result many poor human beings were uprooted from newly created enclaves of Black, Latino and poor in neighborhoods such as Near North, Wicker Park, Lakeview, Uptown, Cabrini–Green, West Town and Lincoln Park. The passage of civil rights laws in the 1960s also affected Chicago and other northern cities. In the 1960s and 1970s, many middle and upper income Americans continued to move from the city for better housing and schools in the suburbs. There was growth of office building in the 1960’s in the midst of massive social movements. Mayor Richard J. Delay was mayor from 1955 to 1976. Daley was part of the Chicago’s Democratic machine politics. He dominated the Cook County democratic Central Committee. Daley used his influence to build in the Loop, the city-0owned O’Hare Airport (which became the world’s busiest airport displacing Midway Airport’s prior claims). Several neighborhoods near downtown and the lakefront were gentrified and transformed into “suburbs within the city.” Daley was filled with controversies from black people and other groups of people. The police in Chicago used discriminatory practices.  In the Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park and Humboldt Park communities, the Young Lords under the leadership of Jose Cha Cha Jimenez marched and held sit ins to protest the displacement of Latinos and the poor. After the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968, major riots of despair resulted in the burning down of sections of the black neighborhoods of the South and West sides.  There were the famous protests against the Vietnam War at the 1968 Democratic National Convention held in Chicago. Daley allowed the police to be police brutality in street violence with televised broadcasts of the Chicago police’s beating of unarmed protesters. Daley yelled at Senator Abraham A. Ribicoff (D-Conn.) after Ribicoff courageously exposed Daley’s Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago. A federal commission, led by local attorney, party activist Dan Walker, investigated the events surrounding the convention and described them as a "police riot."  Afterwards, anti-war activists Abbie Hoffman, Jeffery Rubin, Bobby Seale, and others of the “Chicago Seven” were convicted of crossing state lines with the intent of inciting a riot. Bobby Seale was gagged in a seat while he was on trial, which was wrong. Their convictions were overturned on appeal. Richard Daley continued his mayor ship of Chicago until his death in December 20, 1976. He died of a heart attack while visiting his doctor’s office. He was 74 years old when he died. When completed in 1974, the Sears Tower, now known as the Willis Tower, at 1451 feet was the world's tallest building during the 1970's. It was designed by the famous Chicago firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which designed many of the city's famous buildings.

By Timothy

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