Thursday, September 25, 2008

Naomi Klein: Now is the Time to Resist Wall Street’s Shock Doctrine

I am deeply immersed in Naomi Klein's (my new guru) Shock Doctrine, a 40 year history of the attempt to take back America from the New Deal. Total unregulated capitalism (Chile under Pinochet is the model) with no government interference. And for you educators – ending public education with total privatization, no more teachers unions – well, maybe "cooperative" and "collaborative" ones like the UFT/AFT. Or any union for that matter. What do you think? Are they pretty far along already? (See NYC school system, circa 2002-2008.)

And by the way. Instead of putting 800 billion into the corporate hoppers - supposedly to keep the economy humming and preventing unemployment, how about putting the money directly into people's pockets by a New Deal style WPA that would create jobs that could fix the deteriorating infrastructure, put people in many places where they are needed (London and Tokyo have so many people working at each subway stop to provide help and assistance), and goodness gracious, even enough teaching positions to cut class size.

Here is an excerpt from Klein's take on the current crisis over at the Indypendent.

I wrote The Shock Doctrine in the hopes that it would make us all better prepared for the next big shock. Well, that shock has certainly arrived, along with gloves-off attempts to use it to push through radical pro-corporate policies (which of course will further enrich the very players who created the market crisis in the first place…).

The best summary of how the right plans to use the economic crisis to push through their policy wish list comes from Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. On Sunday, Gingrich laid out 18 policy prescriptions for Congress to take in order to “return to a Reagan-Thatcher policy of economic growth through fundamental reforms.” In the midst of this economic crisis, he is actually demanding the repeal of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which would lead to further deregulation of the financial industry. Gingrich is also calling for reforming the education system to allow “competition” (a.k.a. vouchers), strengthening border enforcement, cutting corporate taxes and his signature move: allowing offshore drilling.

It would be a grave mistake to underestimate the right’s ability to use this crisis — created by deregulation and privatization — to demand more of the same.

Read the rest at the Indypendent.

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