Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This is a letter to the Editor, printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Saturday, September 1, 2012.
In a recent talk, James Harris, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for president, underscored the idea that all gains working people have made were won through struggle, not voting. Movements for labor, civil rights, and women all won concessions from the people with power. However, the minute these gains become a reality, people with power work to reverse them. Harris argued that working people don't need health-care insurance. What we need is the lifetime right to health care for everyone who lives here, including immigrant workers. Harris argues that ultimately, the only long-term answer for working people will be a workers' government. The fundamental problem of the capitalist system is that , while working people literally create all wealth, this wealth is controlled by a tiny minority of the population that is primarily concerned with profit. A workers' government could begin to use the tremendous wealth in this country to eliminate poverty, discrimination, the destruction of the environment, and alienation.