Archive for February, 2009

Horrifying story out of Iowa – Capitalist exploits mentally disabled workers

February 8, 2009

This horrifying story speaks for itself. Why did it take the state of Iowa so long to act?

And our libertarian Republican friends will say state regulation is unnecessary.


Company accused of exploiting disabled; state closes home

By CLARK KAUFFMAN • • © 2009,


Des Moines Register and Tribune Company • February 8, 2009


Atalissa, Ia. — Federal police, state health inspectors and county prosecutors descended on this eastern Iowa town over the weekend, launching a major investigation into the care and treatment of a group of mentally retarded men and ordering an emergency evacuation of the men’s living quarters.


The investigation focuses on Henry’s Turkey Service, a Texas-based company that for 34 years has employed dozens of mentally retarded men who work at the West Liberty Foods meat-processing plant in Muscatine County.


Can Obama Save Capitalism?

February 1, 2009

The whole house of cards seems to be crashing. The funny thing is, the capitalists, through their greed, did it to themselves. If they had left in place the safeguards and regulations established in New Deal welfare state capitalism, this depression – brought on by the housing bubble collapse – would not be happening. Instead we would have seen the continued slow grinding erosion of working class living standards we have had since the late 70’s. Which was working out pretty well for the capitalists – inequality had reached record levels in the 90’s and 2000’s. But no, they had to completely tear down all the stabilizers built into their own system. They thought, hey there’s no Soviet Union any more, communism and socialism are dead, so we can just go hogwild and take everything we want, let the average American citizen pay the price.

Well, now we are all screwed.

Obama has to do the work of rebuilding what FDR did, in the context of a global crisis. Can he do it?

So far Obama is being very cautious. For all the Republican blathering, his stimulus plan is only half what is really needed to get the economy off the ground. And Obama has not shown any real leadership on the banking crisis. The only solution is wholesale nationalization. To buy the toxic assets of the banks through a “bad bank” is a ripoff of the taxpayer and won’t solve the real problems.

My prediction is that Obama will be forced to come back later this year with a  stimulus part 2, and that eventually they will have to nationalize the failing financial institutions, and put a moratorium on foreclosures. It would be better to do it now, and stop all this bipartisan kumbaya sh*t – just ram it through Congress. The Republicans lost. Tell them to shut the f*ck up.

We’ll get to more drastic measures eventually. But millions will lose their jobs, their insurance, their homes in the meantime.

Capitalism will eventually re-stabilize itself (under left social-democratic or right wing authoritarian bourgeois leadership), unless the working class decides to challenge the logic of the system and present an alternative program. Working class consciousness in this country exists, but barely. We are just barely conscious of ourselves as a class, and there is very little consciousness of what we need to do, who are real friends and enemies are, and why we need our own political agenda. The labor union leadership is putting forward a very mild liberal agenda compared to what the times demand. It time to start thinking bolder. The Employee Free Choice Act should be a done deal by now. Singlepayer health care should be a done deal. We need to start thinking in terms of systemic reforms, not small half measures. The times have changed.