Well the numbers keep coming in. The first number, 6.25%, is the rate the United States economy contracted in the Fourth Quarter of last year . That is the quickest rate since the early 1980’s. It also means we are officially in a recession in case you needed that Bureau of Government Statistics to tell you that.
The second number, 50, 000, is the number of troops President Obama plans to leave in Iraq after he “withdrawals” in 16 months. He says that these troops will be “non-combat”. What does that mean? Perhaps they will be teaching yoga lessons. In any case they are going to need lots of places with big walls and machine-gun turrets to protect the yoga instructors and this may give those testy Iraqis an excuse to say that the US hasn’t left their country.
10.6% is the current official unemployment in the state of Michigan, the highest in the country. The actual number is much higher of course as the body that collects these numbers only counts those who are on unemployment. I know dozens of unemployed people and yet only a few of them receive any sort of aid. For black folks, even officially, the number is much higher. Thankfully the State of Michigan is giving its beleaguered workers an added incentive to look for work- it has trimmed the welfare roles by 13% in the last quarter as well. Toughen up Michigan!
The final number, 2,293,157, is the last released statistic for the number of Americans in prison (Dec, 2007). If we aren’t going to have jobs, school or welfare we need prisons to house those that would tussle over the scraps left to them. Again, the rate for black folks (and Hispanics) is much higher than for white people. For whites it is 107 per 100,000, for Hispanics 276 and for blacks 815! Welcome to post-racial America.
These are the number comrades and they do not lie. Workers are in a world of shit. Resistance is not an option to reverse these indicators of the crisis; it is an imperative.
Side note: I just returned from a fantastic road trip through the hills and hollows of Southern Ohio. I’ll have a report up with plenty of photos this weekend.
Another side note: I have only two rules when it comes to comments. one) you can’t comment for the sole reason of being a jerk and I get to decide and two) no anonymous comments. Easy.