Global labour figures point to rising tide of joblessness

From World Socialist Web Site

By Alex Messenger
5 May 2010

New figures released by the International Labour Office (ILO) and the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) underscore the scale of joblessness throughout the G20 countries and the limited impact of various government stimulus measures.

The global economic crisis has thrown tens of millions of workers—especially those in the youngest and oldest cohorts—into permanent unemployment, the reports indicate. Labor and employment ministers, meeting last month for a G20 summit in Washington, responded to the OECD and ILO reports with vague recommendations for their governments to pursue “inclusive active labour market policies” and aim for a “higher equilibrium of progress” on employment issues.

According to ILO estimates, if governments in the 20 largest economies had not increased their spending in the period 2009-2010, employment would be only 1 percent lower than it is now. It means that without government action, the rise in official unemployment in the G20 would have been 55 million, rather than 34 million. But the ILO concedes that its calculations take into account not only “extraordinary” stimulus spending (crisis measures) but also both unemployment insurance (to which workers contribute) and increased demand for normal social security payments. In other words, the positive employment impact of the trillions the G20 has spent on stimulus—not to mention the far greater amounts governments have spent on bank bailouts—is likely to be considerably less than 1 percent of total employment. Regardless of the effectiveness of stimulus programs—measures in fact dominated by infrastructure spending for big business—the working class will foot the bill for those programs via severe cutbacks to social spending.

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Because of the astronomically high rates of unemployment and under-employment among transgender/transsexual people general economic issues are trans-issues.

If we move beyond identity politics we might find common cause with other minority groups that are also discriminated against. During his final year Martin Luther King moved beyond the simple issues of race into including a class analysis and discovered that poor black people and poor white people had many common issues.

Privilege takes many forms and class privilege often tops others in erasing discrimination. In the words of Cindi Lauper, “Money changes everything.”

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Religious Right anti-gay “May Day” event an epic fail

by Chrislove

Religious Right wingnuts evidently had high hopes for yesterday’s event at the Lincoln Memorial called “May Day 2010:  A Cry To God For A Nation In Distress.”  It apparently cost $70,000 to put together and was lined with evangelical stars – from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council to Pete LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality to right-wing favorite and former Presidential candidate Alan Keyes.  The purpose of the event?  To “reach the heart of God” and repent of America’s wicked ways (AKA voting a pro-gay, pro-choice Democrat into the White House).  Here’s a description of the event, lifted from May Day 2010’s website:

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Maybe they can pray away George Rekers’s being queer.

Why is it that the louder these bigots rant about homosexuality the more likely it is that they are paying a male sex worker to let them suck his cock?

How self hating is that one?

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