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Kshama Sawant was recently elected as the first socialist city council member in Seattle in more than one hundred years, and within days of her election, this lawmaker is already stirring controversy and drawing condemnation for her radical, truly socialist policies. No private insurance companies in this version of progress!
Initially seen as a longshot candidate, Sawant refused to concede the Seattle city council election earlier this month and went on to defeat the 16 year Democratic incumbent Richard Conlin. While her campaign platform was noticeable for pulling no punches with its anti-capitalist, pro-worker bent (the $15 minimum wage is a key part of her message), her successful election has only galvanized her to promote an even more explicitly socialist agenda.
Like taking a page out of Marx’s book and urging workers to seize the means of production from the company executives at Boeing; after all, executives don’t build planes.
Sawant’s argument that workers should seize the physical assets of Boeing is (probably) not the beginning of a drive towards the widespread public seizure of private assets. It is, however, a response to decades of Boeing’s manipulation of the tax code and labor policy; this manipulation has lost the State of Washington billions in tax revenue that may or may not have been offset by the economic activity Boeing brings to the state.
“The only response we can have if Boeing executives do not agree to keep the plant here is for the machinists to say the machines are here, the workers are here, we will do the job, we don't need the executives. The executives don’t do the work, the machinists do,” she said.
Sawant says after workers “take-over” the Everett Boeing plant; they could build things everyone can use.
“We can re-tool the machines to produce mass transit like buses, instead of destructive, you know, war machines,” she told KIRO 7.
Does this make any sort of sense to any thinking person?
Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken to my joyful tidings
Of the Golden future time.Soon or late the day is coming,
Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown,
And the fruitful fields of England
Shall be trod by beasts alone.Rings shall vanish from our noses,
And the harness from our back,
Bit and spur shall rust forever,
Cruel whips no more shall crack.Riches more than mind can picture,
Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans and mangel-wurzels
Shall be ours upon that day.Bright will shine the fields of England,
Purer shall its waters be,
Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
On the day that sets us free.For that day we all must labour,
Though we die before it break;
Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
All must toil for freedom's sake.Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken well, and spread my tidings
Of the Golden future time.
reply to post by Xcathdra
Everyones read Animal Farm.
-Take it back...
That's the sort of simplistic thinking the gets people emotionally riled up while, in no way, provides an actual solution to the problem.
Fine with me, seize that Boeing campus.
Watch them move the production to Texas.
reply to post by ArchAngel_X
I think she's the first open Socialist elected in the US. Yeah, I know most Democrats believe in it, but she actually ran from a socialist party and beat a Democrat, but what she's advocating is straight up communism. Her party is Socialist Alternative ... maybe they should just call it Communist?
Seattle should be proud.
If I were Boeing, I'd be thinking about completely tearing up stakes.
What they were originally wanting was to build a new facility in another state while keeping the old in Seattle. This meant that about 500 or so jobs would be created in a different, nonunion, state. The union got angry with this and complained to the Labor Relations Board which moved to block Boeing, as if the Feds have any business telling a company where it can and cannot do business, especially after the company announced that it had no plans to shut down the Seattle facility, but the union felt it was entitled to those jobs, too.
Now, the dispute is ramping up again I guess. If they're not careful between the Feds and the union, they might simply drive Boeing overseas and everyone will lose.
Although I consider myself a (moderate) socialist I haven't been paying alot of attention to this story. After doing an admittedly scant amount of research it would seem that the Boeing plant in question is not being shut down, but rather partially moving its production out of state after the worker's union rejected a new contract offer presented by Boeing. This will undoubtedly lead to layoffs.
While I don't necessarily disagree with the idea of the workers seizing the building and means of production from Boeing as an act of protest or strike, I don't exactly sit well with this Councillor's very public and vocal calls for such an act either. I know nothing about her or her politics but she does seem to be grandstanding an awful lot given her very recent election, making waves in an effort to make a name for herself. And if such a decision is reached it should be made by the union itself and not through the urgings of an inexperienced and naive Councillor.
Machinists at Boeing resoundingly voted down mid-contract concessions yesterday and then booed the union leaders who had pushed the proposal on a shocked membership.
A group of Boeing workers marched to the union hall yesterday to vote down a surprise mid-contract concessionary agreement. (Photo: Jim Levitt)
Their contract doesn’t expire until 2016, but the company is threatening to move production of the huge new 777X aircraft out of Washington state to avoid the union.
Boeing even promised $10,000 apiece upon approval, but the workers didn’t take the bait, opposing the scheme by 67 percent.