“D” Is For Plan D

In “Austerity: Why Capitalism Is Choosing Plan B,” economist and author Richard Wolff  discusses three plans the capitalist system has considered for use in its attempts to bring “recovery” to our nation’s struggling economy.

Plan A

Plan A was a “crisis response” program that was implemented and involved the government bailing out banking and insurance institutions, large corporations, and stock markets in an effort to bring economic recovery to businesses, and subsequently, to our nation. The theory behind this plan, says Wolff, was the theory of “trickle-down” economics. The saving of big business, hypothetically, would result in the creation of new businesses and jobs, the raising of  the incomes of working families, and general prosperity. “All boats rise” in this theory.

 The plan didn’t work and all boats don’t.

Plan B

Plan B is the one that we now find ourselves subject to. It is a plan of austerity that involves government and big business assault on public workers and their unions, union formation and collective bargaining, and our social service programs. It involves the lowering of taxes on the wealthy and corporations and the lowering of the living standards of the working and middle classes. This plan is best exemplified by what took place in Wisconsin this past spring.

Austerity programs in Greece brought that country to the brink of revolution.

I do not believe that the austerity programs and efforts that are being made in the United States will result in riots and violence in our streets. I do believe, though, that those efforts and their tragic effects on the working men and women and families of our nation are serving to educate us more than ever about the true nature of the government-big business system under which we live and work.

As we are educated in this way, we will be “agitated” to organize for a change in the system. That change will be brought about as we go to the polls and cast our votes for those who understand the issues of the working and middle classes and are committed to represent us at the local, state, and federal levels.

We may not have the money, but we do have the people and the vote.

Plan C

Wolff says that while government and big business have tried and are trying Plans A and B to bring about economic recovery in the U.S., there is one plan that they are not even considering. Plan C would increase taxes on corporations and the wealthy class “enough to avoid either public service cuts or wage cuts.”

Not going to happen

Plan D

Richard proposes a Plan D response to our capitalist crisis and economic repression and its recovery. That plan would “change how we organize productive enterprises in our society. Profits would be distributed by democratic decision-making of  all those who produce and depend on them, the workers and the affected communities. The twists and turns of this global capitalism system, painful as they are to endure, nonetheless also move it toward a confrontation with the alternative Plan D.”

The article concludes with this statement.

“The real question is whether the advocates and supporters of Plan D can be mobilized and focused on achieving their goals in the confrontation.”

Good question.

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Read Richard Wolff’s article, see here.

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