I've lost count of how much bailout money governments have thrown at the global financial crisis. We all remember the US$700 billion that the US Congress recently approved, but in the months before that the US Reserve had already dished out nearly the same amount in bailouts, buyouts and guarantees for bad loans.
The British government has thrown a $88 billion lifeline to its banks and now European Union leaders have approved another $2.3 trillion worth of guarantees and emergency aid to their banks. And of course there is the Australian Labor government's A$10.4 billion "economic security strategy", plus its $1.2 trillion financial guarantee for bank deposits and wholesale funding. This is not an exhaustive list of the bail-out measures and already it adds up to more than US$5 trillion!
That $5 trillion could have gone a long way to abolishing world poverty and addressing the climate change emergency. This is money that the world's richest government couldn't find to address the major crises facing humanity but is instantly shelled out to save capitalism.
Today PM Kevin Rudd rails at "extreme capitalism" but neglects to add the obvious that today's "extreme capitalism" grew out of yesterday's "normal" capitalism. And it grew to the market-knows-best chorus with which Rudd and other Labor leaders enthusiastically joined in until just a couple of months ago.
Green Left Weekly has a proposal to our readers and supporters for a $20 investment — the words "thousand", "million", "billion" or "trillion" did not drop out through a typo — that is actually worth more than the trillions of dollars of public funds that are being used to save the capitalist system from itself!
We are appealing every GLW reader and supporter to shell out the princely sum of $20 to help us catch up on our fighting fund. So far this year we have raised $164,677 but we have another $85,323 to raise by the end of this year to make our $250,000 target.
This will be an investment in preserving a voice of rationality and social and environmental responsibility amidst the worst capitalist crisis in our lifetime.
We will use half of each $20 donation to give a seven-issue introductory subscription to someone you nominate (remember to send us their name and address). This will also boost our campaign to get 350 new subscribers by the end of this year.
This is why this $20 will be a very good investment in the struggle for much-needed system change. Of course, you don't have to stop at $20 — if you can give more, please do — but we are hoping for $20 from every GLW supporter.
Send the details of the person you would like to give a introductory subscription to, along with your $20 cheque or money order, to Green Left Weekly, PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007, phone it through on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia). You can also make direct deposits into to the fighting fund at: Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 901992 or donate online at http://www.greenleft.org.au/donate.php.