SEP public meeting
The crisis in Detroit: The socialist response
20 October 2009
The working class of Detroit is facing depression conditions, with official unemployment approaching 30 percent in the city and more than 17 percent in the metro area. The lineup of tens of thousands of people outside of Cobo Hall earlier this month seeking housing assistance was only the latest incident revealing the deep social crisis that is ignored and concealed by the media and political establishment. (See “The socialist answer to unemployment and poverty”)
The disastrous situation facing hundreds of thousands of people in the city and surrounding suburbs is not the product of individual failings—it is the result of the failure of the capitalist two-party system.
Many Detroit residents voted for Barack Obama looking for change. One year after his election, however, Obama has only deepened the right-wing policies of his predecessor. He has pushed through the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler, demanding massive wage and job concessions from auto workers—intended as a new benchmark for the working class as a whole. The Obama administration has handed out trillions of dollars to the banks, while his so-called “stimulus program” has generated a total of 400 jobs in the entire state of Michigan.
The experiences of Detroit—its rise during the heyday of auto manufacturing and its subsequent economic collapse—incorporate the history of American capitalism. This public meeting will review the origins and character of the social crisis in Detroit, and explain the socialist response.
Thursday, November 5
Wayne State University
McGregor Conference Center, Room J
495 Ferry Mall