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The AFL-CIO and “nationalization”

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dcsmart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:26 PM
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The AFL-CIO and “nationalization”
The AFL-CIO Executive Council, at its annual winter meeting in Miami Beach, Florida, adopted a resolution Thursday urging the Obama administration to temporarily nationalize failing banks. What is the significance of this policy statement? Does it represent a radical reorientation by the AFL-CIO, which, after all, has been throughout its history an implacable foe of socialism and defender of the profit system?

It is nothing of the sort. There is not a trace of economic radicalism, or even independent thinking, in the statement of the labor bureaucrats. Rather, the AFL-CIO has merely joined a growing list of economists and political figures from across the spectrum of American establishment politics advocating a temporary government takeover of banking giants such as Citigroup and Bank of America as a more effective means of utilizing taxpayer funds to bail out the financial aristocracy and restabilize US capitalism.

The union officials, like many others in the establishment, argue that a short-term government takeover is the best means of offloading the bad debts of the banks onto the public in order to return the banks to profitability and avert a full-scale collapse of the private banking system.

The AFL-CIO resolution is a model of political evasion and outright dishonesty. It notes that the 1999 repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall act has resulted in a "dramatic concentration of banking power," with 43 percent of US bank assets held by just four institutions—Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. The resolution does not mention that the repeal was endorsed by the Clinton administration, with whom the AFL-CIO was allied at the time. Nor does the resolution demand the breakup of these corrupt institutions, or even the reestablishment of the sort of regulatory controls that were set in place by the Roosevelt administration.

FULL ARTICLE
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/mar2009/pers-m07.shtm...
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