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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  November 2003

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE November 2003

Subject:

PT/TP 11-03 Editorial: Billions for war, while poverty spreads

From:

Mike Brand <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 15 Nov 2003 10:19:46 EST

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (108 lines)

Subj:   PT/TP 11-03 Editorial: Billions for war, while poverty spreads
Date:   11/11/03 11:55:58 PM Eastern Standard Time
From:   [log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent from the Internet (Details)



******************************************************************
        People's Tribune/Tribuno del Pueblo (Online Edition)
                  Vol. 30 No. 15/ November, 2003

                 P.O. Box 3524, Chicago, IL  60654
                       http://www.lrna.org

******************************************************************

 EDITORIAL: BILLIONS FOR WAR, WHILE POVERTY SPREADS

Across the board, the Bush Administration is pouring billions into
the reconstruction of Iraq, while unemployment, poverty and a
spreading anxiety over the future decimates the quality of
American life and destroys the fabric of American society. The
intention of the Bush Administration is neither humanitarianism
toward the Iraqi people nor heartlessness toward the American
people. Feeling doesn't enter into it. Their purpose is cold,
calculated maximization of profit. And if that means shifting
billions of social wealth from US society into the hands of the
capitalists so they can make billions more in Iraq while Americans
and Iraqis fall deeper into poverty, homelessness and misery, so
be it.

Let's take the case of homelessness. The Bush Administration has
allotted $100 million to build seven new housing communities in
Iraq; 20,000 new homes are slated for construction. For the
American people, the Bush Administration's current budget has
provided money for only 5,000 new low-income housing units.
Meanwhile, 75,000 poor families have been cut from Section 8
housing assistance since Bush has been in office and the
Administration has recently announced a 30 percent cut in
operating funds for public housing.

It is true that $35 million has been allocated to end "chronic
homelessness" in America (a meagre amount in itself), but the Bush
Administration's limiting of the definition of homelessness to
those with physical or mental disabilities is so narrow as to be
almost useless. Certainly it's about time those suffering from
substance abuse, serious mental illness, a developmental
disability or chronic illness should be provided for, no matter
how inadequate the funding, but this is not the totality of
homelessness in America. The needs of the millions of homeless who
are not disabled will be left unmet--families with children (who
account for 36 percent of the homeless), men and women on their
own, and the rapidly escalating number of youth on the streets, to
name a few.

The capitalists are thinking globally and in their class interests
only. To compete in the global market, they must force the value
of human labor lower and lower. To continue to maximize profit
they must create the conditions which force people to accept the
conditions dictated by global capitalism. The application of
labor-replacing technology assists in this, and their political
power achieves the rest.

In the US, the capitalists are steadily and purposively destroying
every vestige of social responsibility for the well-being of the
American people. With nothing to fall back on, the American people
are increasingly forced to accept life under the conditions most
beneficial to the capitalists. Providing public housing or
guaranteeing that every American has a home would only undermine
the capitalists' efforts, and would contradict the capitalists'
economic interests.

In Iraq, the form is different but the intention is the same. The
purpose of the war against Iraq, and of the so-called
reconstruction efforts, has been to use Iraq as an entering wedge
in opening the entire Middle East to global capital. To accomplish
this, Iraqi society has to be "reconstructed" to make it more
amenable to global investment and speculative interests, and in
the process providing billions in contracts to an array of US and
some European and favored Middle Eastern corporations. As a
result, the entire legal and political structure is being
dismantled and recreated in the image of free trade and
neoliberalism. Education, health care and housing are all being
privatized--in itself a goldmine for corporations. The Iraqi
people are being told they will have to stand on their own two
feet and not to expect anything from their government.

It is true that there is a profound discrepancy between the
billions being spent in Iraq and the paltry shameful amounts spent
on the needs of the American people. But the real discrepancy is
between the needs of the masses of the world and those of a
handful of billionaires and trillionaires now running the world.
The minority uses the wonders of technology to reconstruct a world
that benefits only their own narrow interests while billions
starve. The majority needs the wonders of technology to be used to
reconstruct a world that provides for the needs of all.

******************************************************************
This article originated in the PEOPLE'S TRIBUNE/TRIBUNO DEL PUEBLO
(Online Edition), Vol. 30 No. 15/ November, 2003; P.O. Box 3524,
Chicago, IL 60654; Email: [log in to unmask]; http://www.lrna.org
Feel free to reproduce and use unless marked as copyrighted. The
PEOPLE'S TRIBUNE/TRIBUNO DEL PUEBLO depends on donations from its
readers. To subscribe, send email to [log in to unmask] with a
message of "subscribe pt-digest".
******************************************************************

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