Labor

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Continuing from “Towards an Organized Tech Industry—Part One”, this panel will focus on the vision of what could be accomplished with more worker power in the industry, in terms of what tech workers should be organizing towards. We’ll sketch out alternatives to the current situation of how technological development is funded and organised, and outline how current struggles can tie into that larger vision.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Underfunded and deep in debt, New York City’s subway system is falling apart. Derailments, fires, electrical failures and equipment malfunctions have become everyday events, multiplying the perennial problems of overcrowding, delays and cancellations. The worst effects fall disproportionately on the working class and especially poor people of color. Meanwhile the public transit system has become a source of steady profits for Wall Street bankers and real estate barons.

The system’s workforce is also under severe stress. Their union, TWU Local 100, has a rich tradition of militancy, and with a membership that now consists largely of people of color it has the potential to play a leading role in mobilizing working-class and oppressed people in resistance.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel proposes to examine the relationship between the growth in socialism as a mainstream discourse and political platform in the United States since 2016, and the Green Party as an independent left electoral force. It asks what role the Green Party might have to play in spreading socialist political success, if any, and how the Party's platform and views might coincide with socialist ones. It also asks whether the Green Party is a place where a socialist caucus or faction has a place, what that group's perspective can or should be, and how it might develop if so.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

As our demands grow bolder—true full employment, the rebuilding of the social safety net starting with Medicare for All, an overdue green and just transition—so will the naysayers’ inevitable refrain: “How will you pay for it?”

Developments in our understanding of monetary theory and the money system has, thankfully, illuminated a path forward out of the trap of austerity: when we understand how money actually works, we know that the obstacles to bold action at a national scale on jobs, healthcare, and climate are political, not economic. So what does a post-austerity left politics look like? How does an understanding of both public and private money creation inform our national visions and our local struggles? How do we shut down liberals who insist on talking about deficits? How do we exit from financialization and crushing levels of private debt? And, ultimately, what are the strategies needed to take on the over-mighty financial sector and turn the power of money creation to democratic social ends?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

The event is about how solidarity missions between unions in Puerto Rico, USVI and the US after the hurricanes have helped to build solidarity in challenging privatization and austerity measures that harm workers and the public and, importantly, how workers in Puerto Rico are fighting back.

Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel examines the use of the history of labor and community organizing of poor and working-class black people to address issues of racial and economic inequality. Race, labor, worker exploitation, and unemployment were all intertwined and deeply impacted by the restructuring of the postwar global economy and the rise of neoliberalism. In such, this panel will discuss how black people responded successfully and unsuccessfully through grassroots organizing for labor and social justice activities. Dr. Godfrey Vincent of Tuskegee University will present the importance of The Conference of Sharp Stewards and Branch Officers (COSSABO) and organizing of Oil Fields workers in Trinidad and Tobago in the Era of George Weekes. Mr. Roger Toussaint, a former president of the New York Transit Workers Union, will present how the TWU Local 100 faced off against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. George Pataki. Dr. John Tilghman of Tuskegee University will discuss how Robert Cheeks, president of the Baltimore Welfare Rights Organization openly challenged downtown development and isolation of poor and working-class black residents from residency and employment in the Inner Harbor.

John R. Tilghman: Robert Cheeks vs. The Inner Harbor: The Rise of Neoliberalism in Baltimore

Roger Toussaint – The Case of the 2005 New York Transit Workers Union (TWO) Strike

Godfrey Vincent- A New Form Of Worker Organization: The Conference of Sharp Stewards and Branch Officers (COSSABO)

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

The State of Connecticut passed legislation to allow LVT “pilot” implementation in selected cities. A powerful pushback from rentier interests have stalled the first proposed pilot; the Philadelphia-based Center for the Study of Economics is seeking cities with less powerful interests to allow the pilot to proceed. Panelists will speculate on how these lessons could inform a similar approach in Manhattan.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Henry George is very clear on his preference that money be the responsibility of government, but since the days of Hamilton and despite President Jackson's efforts, private interests remain powerful forces in the control of money in the U.S. What would a money system designed to serve public interests look like? What is sovereign money? What role might local currencies and mutual credit exchange systems play? How should cryptocurrencies mesh with national currencies, or should they not?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Henry George transformed America’s understanding of economics so much it took Neoclassical Economics (an intentional project of elites) to counter and sideline it; yet, as economists talk and calculate over the course of 140 years, the solution to poverty still stands as close as the noses on their faces. At each economic crisis, the Henry George moment appears, then fades as adherents to his philosophy fail to advance. We see that changing in 2019-2020. We will wrap up the discussion with a story about a vacant plot of land (idle for decades) in New Jersey in a highly urbanized/valued location.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This event is all about audience participation, where the facilitator makes a comment about today’s political economy, identifies one way to look at it and encourages others to present another way. The other two panelists and the facilitator would field questions and clarify Henry George’s solution to the “primary wrong” in society, i.e., the theft of community wealth in constantly increasing land values. We may touch on the Georgist-Socialist collaboration that George foresaw where socialists latch onto the Georgist agenda as long as the socialist needs to, then move into a direction beyond his platform.