Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.UK General Election Exit Polls Forecast Accuracy - Nadeem_Walayat
2.What's Next for the Gold Price? - Axel_Merk
3.UK House Prices Correctly Forecast / Predicted Conservative Election Win 2015 - Nadeem_Walayat
4.15 Hours to Save England from SNP Scottish Nationalist Dictatorship - Election 2015 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Exit Poll Forecasts Conservative UK Election 2015 Win - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Gold And Silver China’s Pivotal Role: More Questions Than Answers. Not So For Charts - Michael_Noonan
7.Conservative Win 2015 UK General Election, BBC Forecast of 329 Seats - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Investing and the Lollapalooza Effect - Niels C. Jensen
9.Gold Price Target - Rambus_Chartology
10.Gold Price Nearing An Important Pivot Point - GoldSilverWorlds
Last 5 days
Why Do We Celebrate Rising U.S. House Prices? - 24th May 15
Mario Draghi’s Slippery Downward Slope - 24th May 15
Gold : Truth is Stranger than Fiction - 24th May 15
Facebook Stock Price Forecast - 24th May 15
Make a Killing on the Coming Energy "Debt Bubble" - 24th May 15
Stock Market SPX Uptrend Inflection Point - 23rd May 15
What You Know for Certain - Huge Demand for Gold And Silver - 23rd May 15
Are We in Another Credit Bubble? And Is It Different than Before? - 23rd May 15
The “Real Flash Crash” Will Scare You to Death - 23rd May 15
Venezuela: No Rule of Law, Bad Money - 23rd May 15
Robots That Can Beat the Market by 100% - 23rd May 15
Why Shake Shack Stock Is a Bad Investment - 23rd May 15
Gold Price Primary Driver Bullish - 23rd May 15
Time To Get Real About China - 22nd May 15
Gold Lifeboat to Global Economies “Titanic Problem” Warn HSBC - 22nd May 15
One Investment Could Save Two Generations' Retirements - 22nd May 15
Investing is About Identifying Gifted and Talented Camps - 22nd May 15
One of Europe's Latest Debt Nightmares - 22nd May 15
UK Immigration Crisis Could Prompt BREXIT, Propelling Britain Out of EU Despite German Factor - 22nd May 15
America Superpower 2016 - 21st May 15
Stock Market Secular Versus Cyclical Investing - 21st May 15
Banking Stocks Break Out with Higher Bond Yields - 21st May 15
The Tech Portfolio Built to Beat the Market - 21st May 15
Gold “Less Sexy” Than Bitcoin … For Now - GoldCore on CNBC - 21st May 15
The Russia-West Rivalry in the Balkans - 21st May 15
The US Dollar and the Precious Metals Complex - 21st May 15
Gold GLD ETF Drawdown Continues Unabated - 21st May 15
Who’s Killing the Stock Market? - 21st May 15
Your Best Way to Profit from the Narrowest Market in 20 Years - 21st May 15
Government Regulation and Economic Stagnation - 20th May 15
It’s Time to Hold More Cash and Buy Gold - 20th May 15
Choppy Asian Stock Markets - 20th May 15
Countdown to Global Financial Collapse - 20th May 15
Will Interest Rates Ever Rise? - 20th May 15
How to Cash in on Amazon Stock’s Amazing Cloud Success - 20th May 15
Three Hidden Forces Pushing Crude Oil Price Back Up - 20th May 15
U.S. Housing Market Strong Numbers in Perspective - 20th May 15
Greece Debt Crisis - Obama Has A Big Fat Greek Finger - 20th May 15
Now Is the Time to Own the Oil & Gas Leaders - 20th May 15
UK Deflation Warning - Bank of England Economic Propaganda to Print and Inflate Debt - 20th May 15
Trading Gold and Silver along with the Pros - 19th May 15
Gold Ticks Higher as London Housing Market Crash Looms? - 19th May 15
Global Stock Market, Commodities Group Analysis - 19th May 15
How Stock Investors Could Profit from the Dark Net Pattern That Few Others See - 19th May 15
The Patriot Act is now USA Freedom Act - 19th May 15
Investing in Europe? 5 Critical Insights to Boost Your Portfolio Now - 19th May 15
Gold Price Trend Forecast - 19th May 15
Stock Market Continues Defying Gravity, Dow New All Time High - 19th May 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Biggest Debt Bomb in History

Detroit Bankruptcy and the Drive Toward Dictatorship

Politics / US Politics Aug 04, 2013 - 07:27 PM GMT

By: Barry_Grey

Politics

The bankruptcy of Detroit is being widely cited in the media as a model for the use of unelected officials and bankruptcy courts to rip up agreements and impose sweeping cuts on the pensions and health benefits of public employees, not only in Detroit, but in cities across the United States.

The Obama administration has rejected any federal aid to ameliorate the financial crisis of Detroit and counter the effort of state and city officials, fronting for the banks and bondholders, to use bankruptcy to gut workers’ benefits. This makes it clear that the Detroit bankruptcy is part of a broader nationwide policy that is being coordinated by the White House.


The attack on public workers is increasingly accompanied by claims that the crisis of Detroit demonstrates the unviability of democratic procedures, including elections. The financial collapse of the former center of global auto production is not, according to multiple commentators, an expression of the decay of American capitalism, but rather of a “failure of governance,” which can be reversed only by more authoritarian forms of rule and more direct political control by the banks and corporations.

The ruling class is well aware that its economic policies will provoke mass social opposition. It is preparing to meet this threat by means of repression and violence.

The current issue of Time magazine features a front-page photo of Detroit’s Renaissance Center with the headline “Is Your City Next?” The magazine notes that the bankruptcy of Detroit “will bring many changes in the way local governments function and cities grow.”

It continues: “While the broader re-rating of municipal debt that’s very likely to happen down the pike would increase borrowing costs and reduce the amount of money all cities can raise through bond issuance, it might also prompt many to shift their growth models, rein in unsustainable labor costs and partner in more innovative ways with the private sector…”

The same theme is taken up by the British Economist, which writes that Detroit is a “flashing warning light on America’s fiscal dashboard,” and adds that “many other state and city governments across America have made impossible-to-keep promises to do with pensions and health care.”

Financial Times commentator John Dizard writes that the gutting of workers’ benefits at the state and local level will become the model for the dismantling of Social Security. “The Supreme Court has already ruled that social security benefits, unlike Treasury bills and bonds, are not full faith and credit obligations of the federal government,” he writes. “Constitutional lawyers already know this; soon members of the public will as well.”

That such attacks cannot be imposed by democratic means is the subject of a growing number of commentaries. The Financial Times writes: “Think of it this way: what are the chances that the contestants in the next congressional or presidential elections would ask the voters to decide if pension and health care promises made by governments are super-priority debts? Because that is what ‘Detroit’ is all about.”

The authoritarian message obliquely hinted at in such commentaries is stated in blunt and savage terms by right-wing columnist George Will in an op-ed piece published Wednesday in the Washington Post entitled, “Detroit’s death by democracy.”

Will compares government employee unions to parasitic ichneumon fly larva that gnaw the inside of the caterpillars they infest. In his venomous hatred of the working class, he falsely equates the unions with the workers. In reality, the unions have been working hand in glove with corporations and the government for nearly four decades to impose wage cuts and concessions on the working class in Detroit and across the country. They have made clear that they are more than willing to collaborate in slashing pensions, asking only that their flow of income from union dues be assured.

Will unabashedly blames the people of Detroit for the attacks that have been leveled against them. He denounces the “myth” that deindustrialization undermined the city’s economy. “Detroit… died of democracy,” he writes, indicting the people for electing corrupt and incompetent officials.

In fact, Detroit’s crisis is an expression of the crisis and decay of American capitalism, which has been marked by the dismantling of manufacturing on the one hand, and the proliferation of financial parasitism, plundering and outright criminality on the other. Between 1972 and 2007, Detroit lost 80 percent of its manufacturing and tens of thousands of decent-paying jobs.

And while unlimited funds are made available to bail out the banks and protect the wealth of the richest one percent, the universal claim is that there is “no money” for jobs, pensions, health care or education.

Will personifies the intersection of the economic crisis and definite class interests. He is the embodiment of a highly privileged and wealthy social layer that supports the complete impoverishment of the working class and the imposition of dictatorship to accomplish it.

“At the decline of capitalism,” wrote Leon Trotsky, “the bourgeoisie is forced to resort to methods of civil war against the proletariat to protect its right of exploitation.”

Hence the erection of the infrastructure of a police state, in the form of massive and illegal surveillance programs, the militarization of police forces, the policy of extralegal drone assassinations, and the persecution of those who expose government secrets and crimes such as Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

This is what the capitalist system has to offer: mass poverty, ever-greater inequality, and dictatorship. The only force that can oppose these attacks is the working class, fighting as a politically conscious and united force on the basis of a socialist program.

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey

World Socialist Web Site

Barry Grey is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Barry Grey

© Copyright Barry Grey , Global Research, 2013

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.


© 2005-2015 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History