Feeling Locked Out of the American Dream?

Published on political affairs pa, by Combined Sources, June 2, 2010.

Editor’s note: The following is the text of a pamphlet published as a pubic service by the Chelsea Fund for Education: Twenty-first century science and technology make it possible for all the world’s people to have good food, good health, good education, a good job and a fulfilling life. What stands in the way? Capitalism – an economic and political system that puts profits before people.

Q: What’s wrong with capitalism?
A: It puts profits before people.

The heart of capitalism is the drive for greater and greater profits for banks and corporations no matter what happens to our nation’s people and environment. The results of this built-in greed are horrible:  

  • • 20 million people out of work, including 25% of our young adults
  • • Exporting jobs to wherever workers are paid the least, wiping out American industry
  • • Draining the public treasury with tax breaks and bailouts for the super-rich and giant corporations.
  • • People’s needs go down the toilet. Public schools, health services, parks, libraries, and transit systems are cut back or closed.
  • • Poisoning our drinking water, air, food supply and oceans.
  • • Cutting workers’ pay and benefits, stealing pensions.
  • • Corruption of Congress and our democratic institutions by corporate dollars and lobbyists.
  • • Denying workers the right to join unions.
  • • Record levels of inequality.
  • • Greed for profits is the impetus for war – for oil, for domination of other countries’ markets and profits of military contractors.
  • • Capitalism foments racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-immigrant campaigns.

Capitalism is un-American. Instead of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it imposes a political system and economy focused on greed and the pursuit of private profits.

In a socialist economy, people come first, not profits:

  • Socialism means re-structuring our economy to be fairer and more democratic.
  • Right now Americans already produce our nation’s wealth socially. We work together in factories, offices, schools, stores, laboratories, hospitals, and on farms and construction sites.
  • What’s not decided together is how the wealth we create could be fairly distributed. In a socialist economy, there would ne social ownership and social control instead of private ownership and control.

The people would decide. The deciding factor would no longer be what’s best for corporate profit.

  • Banks, oil companies, utilities and key sectors of the economy such as steel and transportation would be publicly owned and operated.
  • Small business would still be a vital part of the process.
  • There would be enough resources freed up to fully fund public education, health care, mass transit, child care and any other priorities the American people decide on.
  • In a socialist society, people would get paid for the work they do and rewarded for the initiatives they take. The difference? No corporate big shots getting paid billions for the work that others do.
  • War, racism, sexism, and homophobia would lose their corporate sponsors.
  • Reversing climate change, developing green industries, sustainability would be top priorities. No doubt millions of young people would lead the way with such initiatives.
  • The rich and diverse multicultural American heritage could flourish in music, literature, dance, sports, film and art.

Bill of Rights Socialism:

  • Socialism in the United States would be built on the strong foundation of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights guaranteeing freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and equality for all. Other fundamental rights, such as the right to a job, health care and education could be added.
  • A socialist society would need to create organizations at the grassroots level to assure democratic controls. Americans already have great traditions of such grassroots organizations from town hall meetings to PTAs, unions, churches and charitable organizations. In a socialist society we could expand those traditions to democratize our country’s economic life.

How do we get there? … (full long text).

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