Democratic Left

In this Economy, Coronavirus Needs a More Liquid Response

 The most pernicious aspect of provisioning liquidity through the CARES act is the way the act perpetuates indebtedness on working Americans for the benefit of capital. The SBA loans to small businesses, for example, are distributed by banks at varying rates of interest according to credit history and risk determinations. The two mechanisms – the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)—advance the interests of capital by stipulating payments to debt mechanisms as one such required use. In the case of the PPP specifically, 25 percent of the total loan must be used for costs other than payroll, which include interest payments on existing debt. Similar conditions apply to EIDL loans. In both cases, small businesses are offered cash–public money–for immediate needs by turning it into capital for banks. Instead of providing payments directly to small business owners and distributing money through banks, the government  perpetuates the creditor-debtor relationship and the role of money as a commodity. Under these conditions, the post-pandemic economy will not emerge as one better for workers or the poor. 

Never Can Say Goodbye To Our Best Marshal

(Few leftists in Manhattan don’t have a story about Frances Axler Goldin. Many knew her in the Metropolitan Council on Housing, the organization she founded that saved the Lower East Side from Robert Moses. Others knew her familiar face from Occupy Wall Street, or from the LGBT Pride marches where she celebrated her lesbian daughters.…

At Occupy, in 2011. Photo by Joan L. Roth.

Nationalizing Big Pharm Makes it to Network TV!

We may be in the “Socialist Moment,” as the New Republic calls it, but it was still a little startling to see one of our DL Online writers being consulted as an expert on national TV. Not on cable news, but on a top-rated comedy show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. So who was it saying last week,…

Murder in May: Kent State, Jackson State, and Cambodia

May Day was on Friday this year, as it was in 1970.  These two days, a half-century apart, have much additional in common.  Two authoritarian, emotionally unhinged presidents had used heavy doses of racism and fraudulent claims to get into office.  Richard Nixon claimed that he had a secret plan to end the Viet Nam…

Garment Industry Workers Seek International Solidarity in Wake of COVID-19

Ed. Note: Seven years after the devastating Rana Plaza garment factory collapse that killed more than a thousand people in the Dhaka District of Bangladesh and 109 years after the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in the United States, garment workers still face perilous conditions. With COVID-19, the dangers they face have increased. Inside the factories, crowded, unsafe conditions; outside,…

Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity distributes food, face masks, and hand sanitizer to garment workers. Photo by Fariya Rahman Brishty. Used with permission.

Happy International Workers Day–Virtual!

There may not be throngs of people in the streets to celebrate International Workers Day on May 1, but worker militancy has been heightened by the coronavirus pandemic.  At DSA, we keep sharing updated information and resources at our  Collaborative DSA COVID-19 Resources One Stop, and supporting frontline workers.  Relatively few people in the United States…

Four of the Chicago anarchists being hanged in Cook County Jail. |Source=[http://www.executedtoday.com/2008/11/11/1887-parsons-spies-fischer-engel-haymarket-martyrs/ executedtoday.com] |Date=1888 |Author=Unknown. |Permission=...

Socialists: Darlings or Devils of the Press

Debs himself, a half decade before running for president in 1900, received a curious respect. Leader of the dramatic 1894 Pullman Strike, arrested and put behind bars, he seemed to the Springfield (OH) Daily Democrat of 1899 as “not radical or anarchistic in his utterances, but instead plain, rational, logical and cool headed.” A rival paper in the same town called him a figure who has a “desire for the elevation of man and [wish to] ameliorate of the hard social and industrial conditions of the day.” These views were not unique.

Debs in 1895, when he ran the American Railway Union. By Miscellaneous Items in High Demand, Library of Congress - Library of Congress Catalog, via Wikimedia Commons

Lasting Legacy: Joseph Lowery and the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda

View Democratic Left Post The passing of civil rights icon Joseph Lowery on March 27 holds special meaning for me and Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America. The front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described him as Atlanta’s beloved preacher and the dean of the civil rights movement. In the NY Times obituary, he is referred…

By John Mathew Smith & www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel Maryland, USA - Joseph Lowery civil rights pioneer, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76122516