The nation of Haiti was hit with a
devastating earthquake. The governments of Cuba and Venezuela responded
within hours with medical brigades, firefighters, fuel and supplies,
and there has been massive sympathy, generosity and volunteerism from
workers around the world. What a difference compared to the response
from the United States. The U.S. government has pledged assistance
in the way of one hundred million dollars – less than is spent on the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in just two days.
Just one year ago, in the midst of the meltdown on Wall Street,
millions of Americans, many of whom had never voted before, came out
for Barack Obama, energized by his message of hope and change. His
victory marked a turning point in U.S. politics, a clear rejection of
Bush’s blatantly anti-worker and imperialist policies. The streets
overflowed with joy and the promise of a new era. Around the world,
cries of “yes we can!” could be heard as a collective sigh of relief
swept the planet. The Bush years were over! Surely things would now get
better! But what is the reality?
With our own NHS once again under attack, not least from the Tories who see huge profits for their big business
chums in the private healthcare sector once they are back in office, many health workers have been
looking at the debate taking place in the USA over the future of their
healthcare system. Paul Poposky from In Defence Of Marxism takes a stateside look at how things are actually shaping up and whether Obama is delivering on his election promises.
The U.S. has elected a new president,
Barack Hussein Obama. Along with the dramatic turn in the economic situation,
this marks a definite turning point in the history of the country and of the
world. Big illusions have been created that Obama will provide “change”. What
American workers have voted for is an end to policies that benefit the rich,
but Obama does not represent real change. In the coming years workers will
learn from real life experience that what is required is a genuine voice of the
US working class, and that can only be a mass party of labor.
Elections can reveal a lot about a country, and the fast-approaching
U.S. presidential election is proving to be no exception. Above all,
the current election shows just how much working Americans need their
own political representation. This fact is expressed and cynically
taken advantage of by Barack Obama’s campaign slogan: “Change We Can
Believe In.” Even the “old guard” represented by John McCain has had to
raise the idea of change in his campaign rhetoric.