If you haven’t already, please read Michael’s Demand, Don’t Succumb. Earlier tonight, at our weekly Atlanta Parsoc meeting, our group discussed this article. We agreed that organizing around these radical demands seems like a great idea, and we are eager to start working on it. Here is a summarized list of demands that Michael suggests as a response to the economic crisis:
- A moratorium on foreclosures (excluding houses valued over $1 million). Allow homeowners to refinance their mortgage to an amount and rate that they can afford.
- A moratorium on layoffs, and no cuts in workers total pay. If workers hours are cut, they must receive an increase in their wage to maintain their total pay.
- Owners of any business with over 20 employees or $5 million in assets must continue operating, despite any reduction in profits or losses, OR hand over their business to the workforce and surrounding community.
- To reduce unemployment, all workers have their work week cut by 10%, without reducing pay- creating an incentive for firms to hire more workers.
There are more details in the essay, including an idea about how communities can use participatory meetings to determine how mortgage write down amounts will be allocated throughout the community.
The point is that we are eager to actually work towards these demands because we think they are great reforms, and we think we can struggle for them in the context of also raising awareness of our alternative economic vision, parecon. We also think that this campaign could be more effective than many people might think, as we suspect working people across the country are ready to make some radical demands.
I’m writing this post to see who else out there in the Z community wants to organize around these demands, or perhaps a similar set of economic demands that we prefer? Such an ambitious plan must be a nationally organized campaign– are there others out there who are interested? Please comment or e-mail me. We need to discuss how to move forward.