Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Report on the Economic Crisis Forum -Sacramento

The Economic Crisis, The Budget & The University

 A forum on  the economic crisis and the cutbacks at the university was held  Oct.13,2009. At  Sacramento State University  for over  120 students, faculty, and community members, as a part of   CFA’s week of action against the  university budget cuts, furloughs and lay offs.

Speaking representing  the Sacramento Chapter of  Democratic Socialists of America  in the forum  Dr. Duane Campbell argued political actions taken and not taken in the next 12 months may well determine the structure of our economy, our health care system, and our unions for the next two decades.  He urged participants to see the new film, Capitalism: a Love Story by Michael Moore.

 Campbell noted   that the unemployment rate is  currently over 10% in California.  Nationally, unemployment  for African Americans  is over 15.4%,
for Latinos  it is over 12.7%. For African Americans and Latinos under 25 years of age; it is over 25%.
That is young people in the   African Americans and  Latino communities are in a Depression !!!
            “If you go down the street and rob a 7/11 store, you will get 5-7 years in prison.” Said Campbell.
“The major bankers, finance capitalists in the U.S. robbed the bank last year  – and the federal treasury.  They took hundreds of billions of dollars – and you and I will have to pay for it.    Goldman Sachs alone took $10 Billion.  For this, for example,  Ken Lewis of Bank of America received an 81 million dollar pension. “  They have not even been punished.  One thing we should do is arrest the top 100 executives and CEO’s of these companies, give them a fair trial, and throw them in jail.  Until we arrest some people – there will be no real changes.”

The California Faculty Association (SEIU/NEA/ AFL-CIO) has organized protests and forums on campuses around the state.  They are working  with Assembly Majority Leader Torrico to  passing a specific tax on oil companies to fund higher education in the future AB 656.

Speakers at the forum  on the Economic Crisis  included, Prof Paul Burke, Co-Chair Sac. Progressive Alliance; Dr. Duane Campbell, Democratic Socialists of America; Kristina Lee, Pres. Campus Progressive Alliance; Kevin Wehr, Pres. CFA (AFL-CIO).  

Materials and graphics from United for a Fair Economy were shared and
the following readings were suggested:
Paul Krugman.  The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008.  (2009)
Dean Baker,  Plunder and Blunder; The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy.  (2009)
Nomi Prins.  It takes a Pillage; Behind the Bailouts, Bonuses, and Backroom Deals         from Washington to Wall Street.  (2009)
William Grieder,  The Soul of Capitalism; Opening Paths to a Moral Economy.  2003.
Justin Fox.  The Myth of the Rational Market: a history of Risk, Reward and Delusion on Wall Street. (2009)
 Jeff Faux, The Global Class War: How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost our Future- and What it Will Take to Win it Back.  (2006)
Duane Campbell. Choosing Democracy: a practical guide to multicultural education. 4th. (2010)

Web resources.
United for a Fair Economy;
Center for Economic and Policy Research.

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