Monday, July 24, 2006

Update on Anti-Affirmative Action Michigan Civil Rights Initiative

Today several people including myself spoke on the topic of defending Affirmative Action in Michigan. We spoke at a city council meeting of the city of Mt. Pleasant that later unanamously approved a motion denouncing the racist inspired Michigan Civil Rights Initiative to ban Affirmative Action and the use of racial, ethnic, and other categories in employment, contract awards and school admissions. I mean not to create illusions among workers that pleading with capitalist governments, including liberals, will win gains for workers and the oppressed, it will not! Only mass multiracial, militant, workers struggle will win real and lasting gains. This vote was a very, very small part of a larger struggle to beat back the capitalist assault upon the gains of workers through civil rights and womens struggles. Much more needs to be done and I feel saddened that there is not a larger and more radical fight in the region where I work. Defend Affirmative Action and More! For Free, Quality Educationa For All! For Full Employment Through Multiracial Union Hiring Halls!


James Nease said...

Affirmative action is merely reverse-racism in effect. By favouring one people either by, race, religion, creed, social status, or economics, is detrimental to equality.

As society we should judge people by effort, and willingness to succeed alone, we shouldn't take any of the specific judgements I've listed above.

What affirmative action does is favour one class of citizen by inflating this class with grants, loands, scholarships, and favourtism. While overlooking academic credentials U.S society tends to do this as the great "equalizer" but it's far from the truth.

I would have no problem with minority scholarships, or scholarships on a economic need basis, but when government funding is used to boost one group of people while not caring so much about others, it's a far cry to solving the ailment of racism.

Nicholas said...

Clearly you know nothing about how affirmative action works, how limited the programs that fall under this rubric are in scope, and how few people actually benefit from it.

Aside from Affirmative action, this society certainy does not treat everybody equaly. It is not as if Affirmative action is the barrier to equaliy. First AA only comes into play when there is a pool of qualified candidates for jobs. It is a total lie that "highly qualified white candidates" were passed up by undere qualified minorities. These whites may not have recieved a job and they may have been qualified or even over qualified but qualifications mean very little and are idealized notions compared to the actual required job skills which are often more limited.

Second, whites, including some poorer whites, receive all sorts of priviledges including better schools (with technology, clean water, no lead in the pipes etc.), access to cultural capital, legacy priviledge in college admissions, safer neighborhoods, better access to job markets, and a lot more. You really shoyuld know this, I'm saddened when whites are so ignorant.

Finally, as for what you say about "when government funding is used to boost one group of people while not caring so much about others" I night direct your attention to the racist disaster that we saw in New

Kai! said...

I do have a question Nicholas...

I have friends, a select few, who are white and live in poverty and can barely afford food as it is, without using food stamps or the like. They cannot afford college, and due to "broken home syndrome," family problems, among other things, they have a very hard time maintaining good grades in school. They've applied for jobs and haven't made it because of obvious reasons, so I was just curious if you would support programs helping them?

James Nease said...

Society doesn't need to treat everyone equally only the government does, cruel fact of nature is the only thing "fair" is death, so life would be the antithesis.

You also support free education which I feel is detrimental to development. In a socialized system one can see that the only thing equal is mediocrity. There's no chance for entrepeneurship which breeds creation.

Which I can prove this with a social experiment, I give YOUR institution X amount but it has to be rationed fairly amongst workers, and the cost is split into that and R&D. In MY capitalist system since I pay more to thsoe who work harder, they compete with each othe rin a constructive manner. Eventually I capitalize more and can put more into R&D.

This scenario is applied to the school system, if it's merit based I can gain more in terms to benefit the whole.

Also isn't it naive to state that the "white establishment" has far more benefits than any other cultural class within the U.S? I can cite many examples refering strictly to economics of minorities of race, religion, and sex, that make far more and have more benefits than the male WASP.

In the case of New Orleans, as our class had the privledge of going there after the hurricane, I can say this sin't a race issue at all first hand. People from all walks of life, we'r ebeing treated equally the only thing that seperated them was again economics.

The people in the 9th ward, we'r emostly lower class citizens tnhey couldn't afford to leave the house, so it never was an issue with race, but an issue with money.

I for one thought the government SHOULD NOT HAVe helped! The governments role should be solely that of a legal system, a police force, and a military, those should be it's only functions is the protection of citizens rights and freedoms. Not to funnel federal dollars into insurance and people's property.

I think that statistics we're done that each individual household given charity alone would receive $500,000+ far more than the estimated worth of a $30,000 home with probably $20,000 in belongings. The government also funnels money in a gross amount to these people when PRIVATE sectors do a far mbetter job and it goes directly to the people.

The problem is Affirmative Actions principle, it's entire function is that of a reverse-racism machine, that leads to quotas! You're going to disagree on this issue because from your blog you adamantly support this issue so it's a waste to argue "Why it should or should not exist"

But we can argue the principle, in libertarian society it should not exist, the same as welfare, social security, and many government affiliated "social projects" The government should have no right to place one classes value over another's in a capitalist society, it therefore is not capitalist or democratic but autocratic in a way.

My society is of course the elimination of government regulation in terms of economy, victimless crimes, personal liberty, and livlihood of citizens outside protection.

James Nease said...

I also hate laptop keyboard my spelling is atrocious!

Nicholas said...

First in response to Kai (Maybe James will find this interesting too?)
The people you describe are the poor, the lower class, the lower working class, or maybe the lumpen proletariat. This means that their relationship with wage work is often tenuous at best. This means that their family, education, and other aspects of their lives reflect the tenuous or broken relationship to the world of work. Through long periods of time in this situation families loose skill, tend to live in areas like the trailer parks I've been dropping people off at in my new job as a bus driver etc. There they are economically ghettoized along with other people of their same class. In education, they are tracked as the voc. ed kids and thus their class positing is reproduced in yet another generation.

Of course I support programs for these people, I support free quality education for all and full employment for all of those people ready and willing to work. The problem is that under capitalism and the market these benefits are unevenly distributed, and those with less have an even more difficult time catching up. The myth is that everybody can make it in capitalism. The truth is that there will be a few real winners and many real losers in capitalism. If poor whites want to fix their situation they need to band together with poor blacks and the working class in demanding free education, jobs etc, this is the only thing that has really ever worked historically, and i would point to the various unemployed demonstrations from the 1930's.

A response for James will be later.

James Nease said...

You seem like a progressive in terms of fiscal policy, the question being why would you want "free" education? The government would have to hike taxes up and since it's under the government's full authority it becomes an issue of "mediocrity"

I don't like the aspect of more government control and high taxes to inhibit my income. It's not fair that I have to shell out 50%+ for programs that do not go for me.

The ailments of the worker's is not because of generations of economical repression. It's due to government interferance in the economy. Minimum wage is inherently flawed, as goods rise in price due to inflation, the wage stays the same, and forced regualtions and taxes on companies inhibit employment and raise the price of goods aswell.

The problem is not the capitalist system but the socialist ideal. Socialism has lead to misery in terms of our current economic system a "Keynesian" point of view, it fails to take into account inflation. It's goal is full employment but that leads to terrible recession and makes it tough for business to hire people (hence outsourcing, illegal workers etc.)

Historically spekaing socialism has always caused strife, you can argue as many theories, and secnarios, quote Marx and Engels till' your face turned blue, it doesn't take away the truth that socialism as a effective government cannot exist. Hell, Hong Kong produces more and has better civil rights than all of China put together!

Too many human factors, such as avarice, lust, and pride. Socialism tries to inhibit them under a guise of equality but it only breeds black markets and enables corruption.

The fact is any form of socialism be it as minor or as major, is unequal to everyone, as it favours one clas only... Working class.

We need a flat tax, small government, a monetarist policy and elimination of minimum wage and restrictions on business.

Nicholas said...

One problem is that you are conceiving everything in the context of market competition and not collective planning. Capitalism and the markets inherently create inequality even when none or very little existed before. Through competition, the perfectly competitive market as the neo-classicalists say, competitors are driven out and the market becomes oligopolistic or even monopolist. Through the constant improvements in technology (machines, techniques, the use and organization of labor) the means of production are centralized into huge facilities. Also as more machines are used the labor component becomes less and less, though continues to be the sole source of value, since labor had to create the machines and the capital in the first place. As industry develops more and more workers are made redundant in the old industries and are either forced at their own expense to try to retrain for a new market or else they join the masses of unemployed in the under class.

In the model above more investment and more freedom to business only spurs this cycle on further in different industries. As new industries develop the cycles of competition begins a new and different industries go through different cycles.

The point is that at some times the workers have more of less bargaining power against the capitalist. At all times the capitalist exploits the workers through their possession of capital and the different needs of workers and capitalists: workers live off of a wage which buys food clothing shelter and not much else. The capitalist has capital and can hold out while the workers meager savings run out and the worker is forced to work or starve. But this is not exploitation. Exploitation is the difference between the wage the worker is paid to labor and the amount of value (always greater) that the capitalist appropriates from the worker’s labor. Thus on average workers in the U.S. produce anywhere between 3 and 5 million dollars of value in their lifetime (this is a rough estimate and varies widely according to industry, and I do not have a citation for it) but the workers are paid only 1/2 to 1 million dollars over the course of their lifetime, the rest the surplus is taken by the capitalist class. Thus, capitalism is a system run for the benefit of only one class, the capitalist class! It is not an egalitarian or another other system that claims to treat people equally. In fact, the very functioning of labor markets, for capitalists, depends on inequality. Inequality of skills, of rights, of education, of endowments, some workers fight to suppress others on behalf of the capitalists etc. If none of this happened, capitalists could not function.

Finally your jingoistic libertarian phrases about education and mediocrity do not have anything to back them up. I really suprized one so young is so committed to ruling class capitalist ideology.

James Nease said...

Monopolies usualy fix themselves in a capitalistic society, when one market begins to dominate we search for another. In economic terms this is called substitution, if butter raises to $5.00 a stick, not many people can afford the butter. So Margarine a fine substitute steps in for $1.35 a stick, because everyone begins to buy margirine, you force butter on it's knees and the market is at equalibrium once more.

Yes, we do produce far more capital in good then what's paid to the workers, which I believe is summed up in the "Labour Theory of Value" which has been disproven time and time again. In a scenario that involves marginalism and opprutunity cost, it would be purely idealism to think that "effort in is reward out" we try to attain equilibrium based on consumer demand, and supply, but we need to make a profit, so we alter equilibrium to gain these margins in profit for the benefit of the company.

If we take a look back in the 0's when the Airline industry was grinding to a halt because pilots refused to fly. Because their act stopped the industry, prevented people from getting to where they need to go, and cut off the money supply to pay the wages of. So Ronald Reagan laid them off, which started the industry back up. In the name of unionism these worker's we're willing to risk the jobs and security of everyone involved in that industry!

The thing is, socialism works in cases of small communities, where the economic effects are at a bare minimum. Trying to take millions of people into socilaism leads to utmost suffering of all people. It leads to Soviet style communism, which is brutally repressive.

What I'm telling you is the intricities of supply and demand, the competitive market, and the struggle of people is beneficial to all. Any economist will tell you that, and if any economist would disagree and refrences either Adam Smith, or Karl Marx, then the person is obviously delusional and is striving for a purely ideological society.

Economics is all about fact, not theory, theory can only explain things as far as the paper trail goes, you need actual implementation and the truth is based on fact is capitalism based on implementation works best for any class.

When you hear the word "Capitalism" don't think Victorian age, don't think a global fascist state, don't think grand corruption. To do so is naive and ignorant of capitalism. It has it's ill's yes, but that is only because the government regulates it.

*You refered if I can't back up my scenario of mediocrity*

When there is no competition, there is no strife, and their is nothing to motivate, what can you accomplish? Look at WWII era U.S Society, look at any society in cases of competition, the steam vessel, the strive to preserve foods, it goes on and on. Now look at society with no competiton, look at the Soviet Union before WWII, look at it in the end days of the Cold War.

Unless there is competition, you'll face stagnation, so ultimatly in a society based around the sharing and equality of capital, and the lack of entrpeneurship you're guarenteed to fail. Sure it works finr in the beginning, it even works when there is crisis (war, disaster etc.) but when it comes to pure competition it doesn't and up and it will stagnate and decay.

Again ask any Economist.

Nicholas said...

First, monopolies do not fix themselves in capitalism, they are either forcibly broken up by the state for the “good” of the capitalist system or the state grants monopolies for special industries etc. Substitution is about prices and commodities; no one tries to corner the market on butter, but with steel or operating systems for which there is little to substitute. The monopolistic tendency in capitalism has been demonstrated many times: in the robber baron era of trusts, in telecommunications, in computer systems, and in auto, all have consolidated at different times. The workers can take advantage of these monopolized industries in revolutionary times, not at the present, in order to easily place these industries under workers control and management.

Actually you have the airline industry totally backward. It is today grinding to a halt largely because of the destructive competition brought on by your much vaunted deregulation. Before deregulation there was fewer accidents, cheaper fairs, more routes, and an over all better service provided to consumers (a very neo-classical way of putting it if I do say so myself). After deregulation, there have been fair wars, more accidents, more delays, and over all worse service. Today what, about five major carriers in bankruptcy? Also fuel costs played a factor but the seeds were sown during deregulation.

In the 80’s was the airline controllers not pilots, please learn this. The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization actually backed Reagan for pres and he fired them, not lay off permanent firing. They had every right to strike because they are such necessary workers to the industry, their departure worsened air safety and that is you buddy Reagan’s doing.

Finally, in reality socialism in small communities is what is doomed. They cannot hold out long against the relentless market. It must become a world system replacing capitalism altogether, ask any Marxist. Remember your economists are largely apologists for the existing system and contrary to your view use models that are quite divorced from reality. However with the backing of the capitalist state and class, they are powerful and influential, however usually wrong.

I may have a larger post dealing with some of the popular misconceptions and myths about the Soviet Union, the worlds first workers state and the first successful proletarian revolution.

James Nease said...

You shout worker, worker, worker all the time despite the working class is dwindling, no longer in society are we relying on people to build things we export those jobs. We are geared more to the service and professional sector here in America ever since the technology booms starting in the 80's.

The working class is being exterminated solely because it's inability to adapt. "I'm sorry you can't get a job at the steel mill, but it's because you don't have a Bachelors degree to operate the machines"

The thing is even the poorest of individuals won't even support socialism or communism in this case, nor will any economist. For the most part Marx has been sorely discredited time and time again, and historhy shows that communism or socialism in a world market is doomed to fail unless it has competition.

Butter was eample subsitution can work in any scenario! It's a problem to any monopoly.

James Nease said...

I have a question for you, when you go to the store and you buy food and you eat it do you die? I can promise you it's not the FDA that makes sure the food is without poison it takes them years to get approval. It's the market that assures this.

It would not be in Company A's best interest to kill of customers with a bad product if he is in competition with Company B and Company C. As for the Air Fare hikes, you can think public society, the billions of dollars spent in counter-terrorism, the fear of getting on a plane, the millions and milions of precautions taken and the rising cost of fuel all add to this.

Socialism stands in the way of a Monetarist like myself, it cannot control inflation properly. Take a look at all the socialized economies from past and present and look how they handle the burden of economic failings. It's far from the utopia Marx has implied.

But here's why you clutch on to it, you'radical it doesn't matter what anyone says about YOUR system, you will continue to follow it. You'll be a quick one to point out all the evil flaws in something you fight against never any good points.

You shout out and wave that banner of socialism thinking it's the cure to all ailments in civilized society, but your blinded only by what good it can offer.

So I'm going to challenge you, tell me what are the ills of socialism? What is the failing factor of communism? I wan't you to take into account the human's self-interest factor, greed, and those who lust for power, which will ALWAYS exist.

I wan't you to look at opinion polls, facts, statistics, take a look back at history, use Praexology in some cases if you must. Go through your OWN communisty and find supporters of Capitalism Vs. Socialism and compare them then report back to me.

I'm not a extremist in any definition, but I do feel it's hypocritical to spout out all the rhetoric of socialism, when 2 hours ago you just made probably 50 capitalist decisions.

Renegade Eye said...

It is not creating illusions about the system, protesting to a controlling board.

As long as people have confidence in the system, you have to use it, at this stage.

Your work is obviously very heart felt.

the flying monkeys said...

Excellent post and I would agree with Ren

Nicholas said...

Once again we really got off the topic of the post but I suppose this is inevitable

So, a popular misconcpetion about Marxist analysis is that the economy drives everything. However the point is that the economy is political and politics actually dominates the economy, as in what kind of property relations are enforced what class is in power etc. So politics and social stuf is vital. What is behind supposed tax reform or cuting of the fat so to speak are all political platforms. All of the economics field is one huge political platform for the capitalsit class.

James Nease said...

I contest I can have a Island that only has an economy and no political structure. Politics and Economics are seperate but politics tries to incorporate the economy. Only time politics and economics are ONE, is in cases of central planning and or socialization.

My party and I believe that we can destroy politics in general and run the entire country on economics alone, where government has no influence over economics and really has no role in society.

People tend to be weary of this though, have you read Jennifer Government by Max Berry? People believe by letting the economy take full control it breeds a type of corporatism, where corporations decide in place of government, there are private militaries etc. IT gets to the point that people are named after companies like "Tom McDonalds"

That of course probably won't happen but it's fun to read about post-apocalyptic and neo-Fascist states :)