(10:00PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
The AFL-CIO Executive Council, at its annual winter meeting in Miami Beach, Florida, adopted a resolution Thursday urging the Obama administration to temporarily nationalize failing banks. What is the significance of this policy statement? Does it represent a radical reorientation by the AFL-CIO, which, after all, has been throughout its history an implacable foe of socialism and defender of the profit system?
Socialism = Nationalization (in part). Every time you hear “Obama is a Socialist,” keep this in mind. Of course, it’s wrong, but it’s what we’ve been fed for so long we believe it.
It is nothing of the sort. There is not a trace of economic radicalism, or even independent thinking, in the statement of the labor bureaucrats. Rather, the AFL-CIO has merely joined a growing list of economists and political figures from across the spectrum of American establishment politics advocating a temporary government takeover of banking giants such as Citigroup and Bank of America as a more effective means of utilizing taxpayer funds to bail out the financial aristocracy and restabilize US capitalism.
When you hear ‘nationalize the banks’ from the right and center, this is what they’re wanting. They’re wanting to foist the bad debt from the bankster frauds and bosses upon you (unless you’re a bankster fraud or a boss). Period.
The AFL-CIO resolution is a model of political evasion and outright dishonesty. It notes that the 1999 repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall act has resulted in a “dramatic concentration of banking power,” with 43 percent of US bank assets held by just four institutions-Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. The resolution does not mention that the repeal was endorsed by the Clinton administration, with whom the AFL-CIO was allied at the time. Nor does the resolution demand the breakup of these corrupt institutions, or even the reestablishment of the sort of regulatory controls that were set in place by the Roosevelt administration.
“An oversight” is what you’ll hear. “It didn’t need to be said” is what you’ll hear. “Screw the underclasses” is not what you’ll hear, but it’s what’s being done and what will be done. You can count on it.
The resolution’s most significant passage asserts: “The most important goal of government support must be to get banks lending again by ensuring they are properly capitalized… In the case of distressed banks, this means the government will end up with a controlling share of common stock. The government should use that stake to force a cleanup of the banks’ balance sheets. The result should be banks that can either be turned over the bondholders in exchange for bondholder concessions or sold back into the public markets.”
Offload the debt to the sucker citizens and then sell the banks back (with clean sheets) to the very people who collapsed the system. You know it and I know it. The question is will we allow it to happen? So far, we have.
The absolute solidarity of the AFL-CIO with corporate America was highlighted by the AFL-CIO’s tribute to Paul Volcker. “We commend President Obama,” declared the resolution on financial regulation, “for convening the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, chaired by former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker, author of the G-30 report on global financial regulation, and we look forward to working with Chairman Volcker in this vital area.”
Grey points out that Volcker was in charge of the Fed when it pushed interests rates up high during the Carter years. This helped pave the way for huge cutbacks in workers. What’s more…
Volcker famously declared that the single greatest contribution of Reagan to quelling inflation in the US was his role in breaking the 1981 strike of the PATCO air traffic controllers.
Sounds like the type of guy we need advising a labor friendly government, eh? Oooops! “Team of Rivals, Team of Rivals, Team of Rivals.”
The very fact that the issue of nationalization has arisen testifies to the failure of the capitalist market system, which is unalterably defended by the union bureaucracy. All of the various schemes proposed to bail out the banks, including temporary nationalization, seek to make the working class pay for the breakdown of the profit system.
It tells you how scared the bankster fraud and the bosses are. It also tell you that they think they can get away with it. The fact that it’s possibly going to happen (and/or is happening) during an Obama administration will just add icing to the cake. The scandalous fact that a union is carrying their water for them are the candles.