Profits for a Few, Poverty for Many

September 26, 2010

Recent government statistics showing that the poverty rate hit the highest point in 15 years confirm the well know fact that, in this country whose rulers boast to the whole world of their wealth, millions of people are forced to go without the basic necessities of life.

According to the Census Bureau, nearly 44 million people – including 15.5 million children – were living in poverty in 2009. (A family of two parents and two children is considered poor by the government if it makes less than $21,954). The statistics also show that the percentage of people without health insurance rose from 15.4% to 16.7%, meaning that 4.4 million more Americans are without health coverage than in 2008.

These unconscionably high numbers don't tell the whole story because, firstly, the latest Census Bureau survey doesn't include data for 2010. During that time, millions have been thrown out of work and the general standard of living has fallen. Secondly, data were not collected on some of the most destitute and needy, such as large sections of the homeless population.

The most telling thing however, is that, while the life of the working people is reduced to a daily battle just to make ends meet and millions struggle to put food on the table, corporate profits are soaring. As for the government, it is only making things worse. Indeed, Obama – who has implemented one measure after another to divert taxpayers dollars to the private sector in the name of "encouraging" business to create new jobs – has already turned over billions of dollars to the Pentagon arms merchants, the Wall Street bankers and other monopoly capitalists.

The root of the problem is that the vast economic capacity of our country and the very labor of the people is used soley to maximize profits for the capitalists while the Democrats and Republicans insist that the task of government is to fulfill the claims which the capitalists make on the economy.

The Workers Party says that these conditions must be changed! In a country like ours, with such an advanced economic infrastructure, the people have the right to enjoy a secure economic existence and a continually rising standard of living. As a starting point, the workers and people must come out as an independent political force with the aim of creating an economy which begins from the need to guarantee all the inalienable economic rights of the people.

These include the right of every human being, simply by virtue of his/her humanity, to food, clothing and shelter; the right to a job or an income at as high a standard as possible given the vast means at our country's disposal; the right to free, comprehensive health care and education, from child care through the university, etc.