Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Report on the Economic Crisis Forum -Sacramento

The Economic Crisis, The Budget &

The University

Forum discussion of the economic crisis and the cutbacks at the university.  Oct.13,2009.  Sacramento State University.
The annual Progressive Forum was well attended by over 120 students, faculty, and community members, as a part of   CFA’s week of action against the budget cuts, furloughs and lay offs. http://www.calfac.org/headlines.html.

Speaking representing  DSA in the forum  Dr. Duane Campbell argued political actions taken and not taken in the next 12 months may well determine the structure of our economy, our health care system, and our unions for the next two decades.  He urged participants to see the new film, Capitalism: a Love Story by Michael Moore.

In California the unemployment rate is  currently over 10%.
 Nationally, unemployment  for African Americans, it is over 15.4%,
for Latinos  it is over 12.7%.
For African Americans and Latinos under 25 years of age; it is over 25%.
That is: African Americans, Latinos, and poor whites are in a Depression !!!

And,  the job picture  is going to get worse for  at least the next 4 years.
Having a severe recession is not inevitable.
It is the result of specific policy choices made by elected officials.

In the Soul of Capitalism,  William Grieder describes the  current crisis  this way,

“The conservative economic doctrine that has governed the country for a generation and  reshaped the society in many harsh ways is collapsing, though not yet fully dislodged.  We are witnessing the dying groans of a political ideology. The Market first theory failed as a governing regime essentially for practical reasons.  It did not deliver what it promised- reliable and widely shared prosperity.”
The old order is dying, but the new order has yet to be born.

Grieder  argues, 
“The U.S. has two parallel political systems.  The official one, expertly equipped and in charge, produces and distributes political opinions and ideologies from the political class. “ { and shapes the teaching of economics in universities}
The “other America”, weak, dispersed, largely non organized, scattered and passive, is the broad landscape of ordinary people. “

Speakers included, Prof Paul Burke, Co-Chair Sac. Progressive Alliance; Dr. Duane Campbell, Democratic Socialists of America; Kristina Lee, Pres. Campus Prog. Alliance; Kevin Wehr, Pres. CFA(AFL-CIO)

The California Faculty Association (SEIU/NEA/ AFL-CIO) has organized protests and forums on campuses around the state. http://www.calfac.org/headlines.html.  They are working  with Assembly Majority Leader Torrico to  passing a specific tax on oil companies to fund higher education in the future AB 656. http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a20/mainpage.aspx
Materials and graphics from United for a Fair Economy were shared and
the following readings were suggested:
Paul Krugman.  The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008.  (2009)
Dean Baker,  Plunder and Blunder; The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy.  (2009)
Nomi Prins.  It takes a Pillage; Behind the Bailouts, Bonuses, and Backroom Deals         from Washington to Wall Street.  (2009)
William Grieder,  The Soul of Capitalism; Opening Paths to a Moral Economy.  2003.
Justin Fox.  The Myth of the Rational Market: a history of Risk, Reward and Delusion on Wall Street. (2009)
 Jeff Faux, The Global Class War: How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost our Future- and What it Will Take to Win it Back.  (2006)
Duane Campbell. Choosing Democracy: a practical guide to multicultural education. 4th. (2010)

Web resources.
United for a Fair Economy; http://www.faireconomy.org/
Center for Economic and Policy Research. http://www.cepr.net/

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