Socialist Alternative

Capitalism Kills

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So says a report analyzing the life span of workers. The report by the Society of Actuaries found that “blue-collar workers and the poorly paid both tended to die young,” while “white-collar workers and the well-paid tended to live longer.” (NY Times, 5/6/03)

In response to this finding, corporate lobbyists pushed the House of Representatives to consider a bill in May to reduce the amount of money that businesses with union workers would have to apply toward workers’ pensions. Bill proponents are using the findings to free up billions of dollars earmarked for workers’ pensions, claiming the amount set aside is gratuitous.

Instead of addressing the problem of workers dying young, the capitalists see an opportunity to rob workers of the one solace they have in a life spent toiling for the benefit of a minute few. No mention is made in the bill of the horrendous reality of these findings. The report clearly stated that blue-collar workers would die young! Yet a bill was not prepared to counter this finding. No bill was proposed to create a national healthcare system, increase the minimum wage, or restrict workweeks, hours, and speed-ups.

The House bill would aid the capitalists by decreasing the money available to the workers who make the wealth in the first place. This bill proves with stunning clarity that the rapacious capitalists and their cronies in the hallowed halls of government will stop at nothing to increase their own profits. This bill exposes the true relationship between the majority of the population who create the wealth and those who sit idly by and reap its benefits.

We workers need to stand as one and demand universal free access to healthcare. We, too, should be entitled to reap the benefits of humankind’s amazing medical discoveries. We, too, should be able to live a long life. We should not allow the few who contribute nothing to accumulate the wealth and dictate the span of our lives. Along with the demands of healthcare we must add shorter workweeks, higher wages, and safer work conditions. All of these would increase the quality and longevity of our lives.

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