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Remembering Glenn Shelton, 1952-2016

by Dianne Feeley and David Finkel
May 17, 2016

Glenn Shelton, a retired president of Michigan Mailhandlers Local 307 who never stopped fighting for the rights of working people, and a member of Solidarity, died March 24 after a battle with cancer. He was preceded in death by his wife Rosemary Jackson-Shelton only weeks earlier. We mourn these losses.

Glenn hoped to be remembered as someone who “loved his people, his family and his friends,” and as “the type of person who showed us that we can fight what is evil in the world without forgetting to be loving and kind.” Indeed, as Barbara Harvey put it, “Glenn was right up there among the finest union officers. I loved him dearly for the beautiful person that he was.”

Solidarity’s message to his family concluded by saying “Glenn shared and embodied our movement’s hope for a better, more equal, more just and democratic world. While we will miss him greatly, we know that the memory of good and righteous people is a blessing to us all.”

Glenn is survived by his mother, Audrey Shelton, his brother, Gerald Shelton, sister Eloise Shelton-Rome and a large family of relatives and comrades.

U.S. Labor: What's New, What's Not?

by Kim Moody
May 1, 2016

We all know that there’s something different about today’s working class. One obvious difference is that today’s working class produces fewer things “you can drop on your toe,” as The Economist famously put it, and more that you can’t. What’s actually changing in capitalist production in the United States?

While Marx mostly spoke of industrial workers who extracted or made goods, he did not, in fact, define the proletariat by what commodities it produced. As he wrote in Capital, “capital is indifferent to the particular nature of every sphere of production.” For Marx social classes were defined by their relations to capital...

In a sense, the current debate over just how much employment is or isn’t “precarious” misses the bigger change in U.S. working-class life over the past three decades or more: the decline in living standards experienced by the vast majority of this class. One measure of this is the fall in both hourly and weekly real wages which despite some ups and downs remain below their 1972 level. So stagnant has been the income of the working class majority that 30% of the workforce now relies on public assistance to get by. Furthermore, the labor share of income has declined in relation to capital, whose piece of the pie climbed from 18.8% in 1979 to 26.2% in 2010.

What is to be Done with the Banks? Radical Proposals for Radical Changes

from the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt
April 17, 2016

Nine years after the outbreak of the financial crisis that continues to produce damaging social effects through the austerity policies imposed on victim populations, it’s time to take another look at the commitments that were made at that time by bankers, financiers, politicians, and regulatory bodies. Those four players have failed fundamentally in the promises they made in the wake of the crisis: to moralise the banking system, separate commercial banks from investment banks, end exorbitant salaries and bonuses, and finally finance the real economy. We didn’t believe those promises at the time, and for good reason. Instead of a moralising of the banking system, all we’ve had is a long list of misappropriations that have been brought to light by a series of bank failures, beginning with that of Lehman Brothers in 15 September, 2008.

No measures designed to avoid further crises have been imposed on the private finance system. Governments and the various authorities meant to ensure that the regulations are respected and improved have either shelved or significantly attenuated the paltry measures announced in 2008-2009. The concentration of banks has remained unchanged, as have their high-risk activities. There have been more scandals implicating the fifteen to twenty biggest private banks in Europe and the United States— involving toxic loans, fraudulent mortgage credits, manipulation of currency exchange markets, of interest rates (notably, the LIBOR) and of energy markets, massive tax evasion, money-laundering for organised crime, and so on. The scandal of the Panama papers shows how banks are using the tax heavens...

May 17, 2016
by Dianne Feeley and David Finkel
Glenn Shelton, a retired president of Michigan Mailhandlers Local 307 who never stopped fighting for the rights of working people, and a member of Solidarity, died March 24 after a battle with cancer....
May 1, 2016
by Kim Moody
We all know that there’s something different about today’s working class. One obvious difference is that today’s working class produces fewer things “you can drop on your toe,” as The...
April 17, 2016
from the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt
Nine years after the outbreak of the financial crisis that continues to produce damaging social effects through the austerity policies imposed on victim populations, it’s time to take another look...

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