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Posts Tagged ‘zmag.org’

“Somebody Has to Respond”

The article “Somebody has to respond” reminded me of the video we watched in class on Argentina: “Hope in hard times” and the video on the workers at the Nike plant that got shut down.  The Republic Windows and Doors factory made me think of what those workers in Argentina did to keep their suit store open.  By taking over the factory and creating a cooperative out of it, they were successful in keeping everyone’s jobs.  Perhaps this is what many companies need to start doing.  I think about the auto bailout and it’s lack of attention on the loss of jobs.  Perhaps if money was funneled to the workers to create a working cooperative, things might be more successful.   I hope at the very least that workers are able to start receiving the attention and media coverage they should be receiving.

Priorities should be set at keeping jobs for people and making sure everyone has food, health, and shelter.  Not until this becomes the focus will any proposition fix the problem.

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I’ve always liked the Buy Nothing Day campaign that adbuster’s started.  Instead of going out and celebrating black Friday in the traditional way, spend that time with your family and friends.  It’s probably a good idea with the way the economy is turning anyways.  Simplify the holidays.  Cut up your credit cards.  Instead, cook a good meal with people you enjoy being around.

I found a couple good articles.  One was on adbusters about the credit crisis.  We need to be focusing on “real wealth,” or wealth in education, health, food, shelter, etc. not investing in bad debt. These investments are not real.  I think we do need to start redefining wealth, and not until we figure that out will we be able to deal with the “triple crisis.”

Another article I found was on zmag by Vandana Shiva.  I really like her critiques on biofuel.  I think we need to start realizing that biofuel is not as economical or environmentally-friendly as we’d like to believe.  We are deforesting land to grow crops to feed the same unhealthy addiction to cars.  The crises of food, climate, and finances are all very closely linked and hopefully this is better understand with the current financial crisis.

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Targeting Unions in Colombia

Here’s another great article I found on zmag.  Conn Hallinan talks about the increase in murders of trade unionists under Uribe’s administration.  He also talks about the ties between th government, military, and multi-national corporations in these murders.  There is a major increase of foreign capital in Colombia amounting over 60 percent of national income.

This is a prime example of how multi-national corporations play a major role in supporting corrupt governments and military to push forward free market ideologies that benefit a few while increasing poverty amongst the many.  Trade unionists have been warning against this increase in foreign investment because, as Hallinan says, “it has led to the privatization of government-owned services, such as hospitals and water systems.”  This is the typical story, especially as third world nations take loans and “aid” from the IMF and World Bank, having to agree to privatize all social sectors, rid of all subsidies, and abandon tarriffs.  This money is apparently benefiting Uribe’s corrupt government where multi-national corporations like Nestle, Chiquita, and Coca-Cola are targeting unionists.

It is also interesting that the US is moving a military base to Palanquero, Colombia, an obvious defeat to the human interests of the people of Colombia.  It is more important to keep our alliances under free-trade agreements (particularly the Central American Free Trade Agreement) that give us military access rather than standing up to a corrupt government that the US (particularly the rich and corporations) benefits politically and economically from.

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