“Revitalizing” Industry by Increasing the Exploitation of the Workers

October 30, 2014

The cornerstone of the capitalists’ program to “restore America’s competitiveness” is the “revitalization” of American industry.

By continuing the process of introducing high technology, by investing in more robots and computerized manufacturing systems, etc. the capitalists aim to increase efficiency and raise labor productivity.

On the one hand the “revitalization of American industry” has thrown millions of workers out of their jobs and into the streets while on the other hand, the employed workers are being mercilessly sped-up and overworked.

The capitalists invariably use the introduction of new technology as an excuse for cranking up the speed of the assembly line, or combining jobs and instituting changes in work rules to sweat ever more work out of fewer and fewer workers.

Under capitalism every increase in the social productivity of labor – the introduction of new technologies, the application of science to the production process, the ever wider social organization of labor itself – is a weapon in the hands of the capitalists for increasing exploitation of workers.

Today while the capitalists are drooling at the prospect of further “rationalizing” and “modernizing” American industry, the workers are facing ever greater wage cuts, growing unemployment and misery.

While the capitalists are intent on introducing the new technologies as a means for maximizing their profits, they do not want to foot the bill themselves. And to accommodate their capitalist patrons all the politicians of the Republican and Democratic parties are calling for massive government handouts to the capitalist billionaires.

In order to “revitalize” industry, Obama is “expanding and making permanent the research and development tax credit,” and has promised the capitalists that he would provide tax cuts, including by lowering the tax rate for manufacturers to 25 percent. Obama has also implemented a “Green Energy Industrial Policy” through which the government has already siphoned off billions from the public treasury for certain target industries to help the capitalists introduce new technology. Similarly, the president is promising the capitalists that he will set up several privatization centers (“public-private partnerships”) called Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation which will further underwrite the profits of the capitalists with public funds.

So too, the Republican party is just as enthusiastic as Obama and the Democrats about giving the corporations billions for research and investments. The Republican party platform promises to provide more handouts to the capitalists through NASA and other governmental fat contracts.  Republicans and Democrats in state and local governments are also preparing handouts of tens of millions of dollars to the rich through various tax cut and privatization schemes.

All these various programs through which the government underwrites investment and modernization plans of the capitalists are carried out on the backs of the workers. In order to fork billions over to the capitalists, more and more tax dollars are extorted from the workers. While the government sponsors welfare programs for the capitalist billionaires, the social programs which benefit the working people are cut to the bone.

In carrying out their program to “revitalize American industry and make America more competitive,” the capitalists are also calling for increased “labor-management cooperation.” “Labor-management cooperation” means that the workers should help the capitalists maximize their profits by accepting even more wage cuts and concessions contracts.

Since 1973 average real wages have already been cut by 20 to 25%; in many industries workers have taken cuts of as much as 50% in wages while benefits packages, including health care, pensions, vacation time, etc. have also been drastically cut.