If you are a young person under the age of 30 you probably know more about the elimination and under-funding of social services and programs for youth than your parents’ generation ever did.
It’s a recurring theme in American history: The mass media plays up the demagogy of reactionaries who use ignorance and prejudice to blame immigrants for major social ills. Reactionary politicians who rely on disunity to achieve their goals use the resulting hysteria to push through repressive measures. This makes the immigrants more vulnerable. Businesses exploit them for superprofits and to lower the living standards of the general populace. Then the demagogues blame the victims again and so it goes.
Many New Yorkers were inspired by the strike of Transport Workers Union Local 100 against the efforts of the Metropolitan Transit Authority to cut back on workers’ pensions and health care. People understood that the two-tier benefit system being insisted on by the MTA would create mistrust between veterans on the job and new workers, damaging the union’s strength and credibility.
Evo Morales is Bolivia’s first indigenous head of state in 500 years. The day before his inauguration on Jan. 22, a huge assembly of Bolivia’s indigenous people, who represent two-thirds of the country’s population, ceremonially granted him power.