Analysis

“Rich people got it good in this country”, said African-American comedian Wanda Sykes on the September 24 Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “We refuse to let them not be rich. Think about it. Broke people are about to bailout rich people. This is what is going on.”
Dear Professor Garnaut, In your recent letter to scientists and environmental groups, you asked for further input into your final report on the question of the 450ppm target and “overshoot”, and Australia’s position given the uncertainties about the outcome of future global negotiations.
Residents of Caroona, in the Liverpool Plains of New South Wales, are in their 11th week of a blockade that has stopped BHP Billiton from carrying out coal exploration on their land.
On the fateful evening of September 18, when Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Bank Chair Ben Bernanke pulled together a closed-door meeting to discuss the rapidly unfolding crisis plaguing the financial system, congressional leaders feigned shock and horror at its severity.
In even the most exploitative African sites of repression and capital accumulation, sometimes corporations take a hit, and victims sometimes unite on continental lines instead of being divided and conquered. Turns in the class struggle might have surprised Walter Rodney, the political economist whose 1972 classic How Europe Underdeveloped Africa provided detailed critiques of corporate looting.
Whether or not US Treasury secretary Henry Paulson’s rescue scheme works, one thing is already crystal clear: The capitalist system has failed spectacularly. The following editorial was published by the US Socialist Worker on September 25.
The Socialist Alliance will stand two candidates for the City of Maribyrnong in the November council elections, on a platform of “community and environment before developers’ profits”.
“Will my superannuation fund be next?” “Are my savings safe?” As working people in the developed economies watch the assets of one financial institution after another vaporise into nothingness, tens of millions are asking these dreadful questions.
As I write this column the newspapers report that United States, Canadian, European and Japanese banks have combined to inject an extra US$180 billion (A$225 billion) into global financial markets. It is the latest desperate measure to try to stem the year-old global financial crisis commonly — and misleadingly — labelled the US subprime mortgage crisis.
The Macquarie Dictionary defines plutocracy as “the rule or power of wealth or of the wealthy”. With the accession of Malcolm Turnbull, the richest person in parliament, to the leadership of the Liberal Party, this definition would seem to provide a pretty good description of Australian “democracy” also.

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