In Regular Edition on March 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm
By Michael Yates
The worldwide Occupy movement that erupted in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park in September 2011 took as its watchwords, “We are the 99 %.” These words resonated with large masses of people as few others have in a long while. To understand why, it’s important to look at the context that generated it.
“We are the 99%” derived its power from the devastation experienced by so many people as a result of the Great Recession that erupted in December of 2007 and whose effects are still being felt by tens of millions of people in the United States and hundreds of millions worldwide.
In Regular Edition on September 28, 2012 at 7:05 am
By Mark Levinson
Four and a half years after the crash, the American economy sputters along. Twenty-three million workers cannot find full-time work, and the percentage of the employed population has hardly budged since it hit bottom two and a half years ago. Republicans argue that we should reduce the deficit (a disastrous policy); Democrats urge a new stimulus (a necessary step, but not sufficient to repair our economy). Missing from our national discussions about economic revitalization—even in arguments made by many of the nation’s progressive economists—is the need to restore a badly damaged manufacturing sector.
In Regular Edition on May 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm
George Orwell thought the precise and purposeful deployment of our language was the key to the kind of politics we hoped to advance. By that standard, virtually everyone—from the center to the left, from Barack Obama to Richard Trumka to the activists of Occupy Wall Street—has made a hash of the way we name the most crucial features of our society.
Exhibit A is the suffocating pervasiveness with which we use the phrase “middle class” as the label we have come to attach to not just all of those who are hurting in the current economic slump, but to the entire stratum that used to be identified as working class.