Our November/December Issue Is Out!

November/December 2020 cover

Our November/December 2020 issue is being printed, and e-subscribers have received the issue.  (Not a subscriber? Subscribe here!)  Our cover story by Francisco Pérez and Luis Feliz León is posted here.  And here’s the p. 2 editors’ note:

They Disappoint; We Organize

Joe Biden squeaked out a win in the 2020 presidential election, though as we go to press, Trump still refuses to concede. (Visit dollarsandsense.org for an article by former D&S co-editor Alejandro Reuss about how unions and their members can be part of efforts to fight back against a possible GOP power-grab, which is still conceivable.)

The disappointing results for Democrats—including just barely winning against Trump, the failure to capture a majority in the Senate, and the loss of seats in the House—should raise lots of questions about the party and its strategy. How could the Biden/Harris ticket have lost Florida—which Barack Obama won twice, running as a progressive populist—when the same electorate in that state also passed a ballot measure raising the minimum wage to $15 with a supermajority? How is it possible that the supposedly left party fared so poorly in an election in which exit polls—by Fox News, even!—showed that a whopping 72% of respondents “favor switching to a government-run healthcare plan”?

There were other indications, in different parts of the country, that voters might have been receptive to candidates who supported bold progressive policies instead of catering to the mythical GOP swing voters. While the preliminary results suggest that an even greater percentage of Republicans voted for Trump than in 2016, voters passed paid family and medical leave in Colorado, a tax on the wealthy to fund education in Arizona, and drug decriminalization in Oregon.

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the disappointing results for Democrats in the 2020 election are related to their inability to articulate how they would help people who were struggling even before the current economic crisis. It is especially sobering to realize that if it weren’t for the pandemic and the economic crisis, Trump would almost certainly have defeated Biden. Even as millions of people have lost their jobs and their employer-sponsored health insurance in the midst of the pandemic, instead of getting behind Medicare for All or offering specific plans about how to deal with the economic crisis, the Democratic ticket promised little more than the limp slogan, “Build Back Better.”

According to the authors of this issue’s cover story, Francisco Pérez and Luis Feliz León, “Biden’s misplaced political calculation that people long for a return to the civility of the Obama presidency belies the reality that Obama’s policies put vast swaths of the American public in the dire straits that the pandemic has only worsened.” But the authors present a vision, drawn from solidarity economy activists, of what it would mean to truly build back better: to create “an economic system founded on collective ownership and direct democracy; one where workers control their workplaces, residents control their housing, and communities are truly in charge of their investments and governments.”

Also in this issue: the real effects of enhanced unemployment benefits, private equity cashes in on the Covid-19 crisis, land reform in the Philippines, and more!

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