BTS 12/8/08: Sounds Like Socialism - Auto Industry; Economic Crisis & Recovery; Venezuelan Elections

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The economic crisis has prompted a lot of discussion about capitalism and socialism, bailouts, nationalization, and government takeovers. We hope to shed some light on these theoretical issues over the next period. Today we begin with the crisis in auto. Are the debates in Congress on the future of the auto industry really about rescuing auto or attacking labor for their hard-won gains of half a century? Auto workers are in DC today demanding a voice in the restructuring to include green production of rail and auto, healthcare for all and more - while workers in Chicago at Republic Windows and Doors are on day four of occupying their factory – shut down without notice. The workers are occupying to force the company and its main creditor to meet their obligations to the workers Archway and Mother’s cookies are also shuttered because of the credit crunch, and the surge in unemployment means a surge in the uninsured as well. We talk to Dianne Feeley, UAW member and retired auto worker about the bailout and response and to Jack Rasmus about the continuing crisis, the surge in unemployment and a feasible recovery program.

Plus: Martin Sanchez, Venezuelan Consul talks to us about Pres. Chavez’ attempt to throw out term limits in the recent elections and perspectives for Grassroots organization, what they call Popular Power and Participatory Democracy. And we’ll ask all our guests to differentiate between social democratic reforms and socialism, now part of our mainstream discourse.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Dianne Feeley is a retired auto worker in the parts industry and member of UAW, Dianne has written widely on the crisis in Auto.

2. Jack Rasmus currently teaches Economics and Politics at St. Mary’s College in California. He is the author of the 2006 book, The War at Home: The Corporate Offensive From Ronald Reagan To George W. Bush, and he has two books in the works: Epic Recession and Global Financial Crisis, and The Trillion Dollar Income Shift. Jack writes widely on U.S. economic and domestic policy topics, in "Z" magazine, Critique, In These Times, Amandla, Against the Current, the Dispatcher, and other periodicals. His published articles are available at his website,

3. Martin Sanchez is the Consul General of the Venezuelan Consulate in San Francisco.