The Alternative : Rebuild the World
By Eric Lerner, New Jersey WDN
In the US and in the world as a whole, there are gigantic unmet needs-- five million people a year dying needlessly of disease, two billion people undernourished, the vast majority of the world's population with adequate housing, education, or health services. There are also huge unused or wasted productive resources that could fill these needs: a hundred million workers unemployed, 20% or more of the world's factories idled, the most advanced resources squandered on arms production. What stands between those idle resources and those unmet needs is nothing more than a mountain of capitalist paper--trillions in debt, more trillions in profit-- that grip the world in an economic stranglehold. Sweep away the paper mountain of capitalism and the idle and wasted resources can rebuild the world.
Here is a balance sheet of how wasted resources can be re-directed to rebuild America, to rebuild the world, if the working class unites to do it.
International Debt service $400 Billion of dollars per year
Interest on US federal, state, personal debt $700 Billion of dollars per year
US Military spending $300 Billion of dollars per year
By wiping out the debt and by converting the high tenchology factories now producing weapons of mass destruction--aircraft carriers, fighter planes, tanks, bombers--we can redirect this $1.4 trillion dollars a year. In addition, with a 2% tax on the wealth of those in the US who have over $2 million dollars in assets (which is only 1/2% of all families) we can recover some $600 billion a year that has been stolen from us.
With two trillion a year we can:
REBUILD THE WORLD
• US Reconstruction--building schools, hospital, mass transit and 1 million new units of housing a year
$100 billion/year 2 million new jobs
• Making and exporting the machinery and goods the rest of the world needs
$200 billion year 4 million new jobs
• Hiring enough teacher to cut class size by one third
$150 billion a year 2 million new jobs
• Eliminating all tuition charges for college and universities
$30 billion a year
• A 20% wage increase for all workers (excluding management) and a 35 hour work week.
$600 billion a year 8 million new jobs
• Doubling the health and education expenditures for every developing country in the world
$400 billion a year
• Beginning a 25-year program for world reconstruction--building tens of millions of units of housing, clean water supplies, schools and hospitals
$500 billion a year 50 million new jobs around the world.