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by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

The great euphemism of the day is “austerity” a word deployed by the rich and their servants, like President Obama, “to distract people from the fact that the country’s so-called ‘economic and deficit crises’ could be easily corrected if the wealthy are appropriately taxed and the military budget cut.” Austerity distinguishes between the rich and powerful from the poor and expendable.

 

The Real Expendables: Austerity Is Community Choking

by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

Expendables need not be involved and have no place in discussions of the funneling of millions of their public dollars into the hands of private contractors.”

Last week in DC and Baltimore expendable communities fighting similar problems dealt with similar struggles to overcome similar obstacles. Some call it austerity but what is ultimately another global attack on the potential of the poor is simply a choking off of resources that might benefit surplus populations, the expendables. No, not the hyper-action hero movie expendables, this is not about Stallone and company – although Schwarzenegger has at least a cameo in this one too – this is the traditional expendables, the Black, the Brown, the poor. Against what can only be said to be a continued war on youth in DC supporters of the grassroots non-profit Empower DC gathered to discuss and organize methods of response to the private contractors who have more say over the direction – even existence of – public education than do city residents. And in Baltimore supporters of Youth Justice Sunday rallied against a similar preference of those in power to de-fund education and job creation in favor of enriching private contractors who are to build more jails for Black youth.

Saturday Empower DC closed its most recent month-long campaign with an activist gathering and information session. Those in attendance learned more about the on-going struggle with city officials who routinely exclude residents from discussions involving the closing and relocation of schools. Activists and city residents presented videos and testimonies describing the crippling impact on them of the teacher firings and school closings brought on by the presumed out-going Mayor Adrian Fenty and his definitely departing schools chancellor Michelle Rhee – and may the expendable of Newark survive her there. The videos showed concerned parents being kept out of nominally public meetings on these subjects and explaining the many obstacles now faced by poor residents whose neighborhood schools are routinely de-funded, closed and/or relocated. But their testimonies indeed make sense considering that expendables need not be involved and have no place in discussions of the funneling of millions of their public dollars into the hands of private contractors who will build hotels and condos for those who will soon need them and jails for the rest.

Public money is easily found for investment in private ventures to incarcerate the very people who are not deemed worthy of investment.”

In fact, this was one well-made point raised during the Youth Justice Sunday rally in Baltimore. It was noted there that the $100 plus million juvenile detention center whose planned construction will make even richer the friends of current Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley is being planned to house Black children who have not yet been born. And this too makes sense considering every real capitalist knows that risk is largely a myth. Investments are well-planned and designed with great preparation to bring about equally great returns for the “lords of capital.” Public money is easily found for investment in private ventures to incarcerate the very people who are not deemed worthy of investment for education and/or jobs and who are then more likely to fall victim to the imposed illicit trades and over-policing. These surplus or expendable people will then demonstrate their value to the national political economy by filling the cells being prepared for them right now.

But worse still is that all of this stems from what has long-been established as national public policy that is now simply continued by the Democratic party and the Obama administration who are leading the effort to shift the burden of the national economic crisis onto the very people who suffer most from it. The Obama-brand and the pleasant euphemism of austerity are deployed to distract people from the fact that the country’s so-called “economic and deficit crises” could be easily corrected if the wealthy are appropriately taxed and the military budget cut. Instead Obama prefers to set the tone by bailing out the wealthy, increasing the military budget and then attacking unionized labor, attempting to privatize education and cut social services. For the expendables this leaves few electoral options considering the political left in this country has done even less in helping develop and support alternative political movements and parties or even evoking their existence in conversation and/or press coverage.

What this does not preclude, however, is further social movement building whose seeds remain evidenced in these very gatherings themselves.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Jared Ball. Online check us out at BlackAgendaReport.com.

Jared A. Ball can be reached via email at freemixradio@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Direct download: 20101103_jb_Austerity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:27pm EDT