Make GM Government Motors Again

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1909 ... October 15, 2019
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Make GM Government Motors Again

Chris Kutalik

Seven years ago, we owned General Motors (GM). With 49,000 autoworkers walking pickets to finally end the concessions, two-tier, and plant closings train of the last three decades, it’s mind-boggling to remember that the US Treasury owned GM for three years -- and managed to do virtually nothing to benefit the working class with it.

We’re in a new period in which, thanks to the efforts of tens of thousands of socialists and Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, we are actively debating nationalizing the energy grid, a massive federal jobs guarantee, an even more massive retooling and public ownership of new green industries, and more. It feels like a political act in itself to remember the lost opportunities for leverage for struggles today.

It’s also a political act to remember just how massive of a giveaway both in money and power the Obama administration and the centrists of the Democratic Party participated in while controlling all three branches of the government from 2009 to 2012.

We... have the chance over the next year to do a full-court press on several fronts -- at the ballot box, in the streets, and now on the picket line -- to organize around big ideas that can include not just nationalizing but socializing the auto industry again. The demand, if fulfilled, would save jobs, living wages, work conditions, and the planet at the same time.

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