More wars will not help the US economy, says an American anti-war activist, as Washington beats the drums of war for an attack on Syria.
The comment comes as the tough economic hardships over the past few years have driven more than 4.3 million American families out of their homes in wide-spread foreclosures.
The increasing number of foreclosures on a daily basis has raised questions about the reality of the American Dream.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Caleb Maupin, with the International Action Center (IAC), to further discuss the issue.
The show also offers the opinions of two additional guests: Tighe Barry with the CODEPINK movement and financial analyst, Joachim Martillo.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Close to nine million homes entering the foreclosure process between January 2007 and last month; out of those 4.3 million properties ending up foreclosed upon, Caleb, this means millions of Americans have lost their lifelong savings. What is happening to them?
Well, all throughout this country you can see countless empty houses. You know home neighborhoods where entire houses are foreclosed, whole blocks that are being destroyed.
And what we are seeing is Capitalism in the United States is in a meltdown, it is at a dead end. People work very, very hard to produce but in exchange for the production they create, they only get small wages and as technology increases, the wages they get is small and it shrinks and as a result we are seeing a mass drop in the standard of living for people all throughout the United States.
For the longest time the bankers and the corporations that run the US government would go around the world beating people down and in exchange for the silence and the complicity of the people in their crimes around the world; they would offer a higher standard of living to the people in the United States.
But now we are seeing that high standard of living, that so-called American dream, is no longer in existence.
And now the only hope for millions and millions of people in the United States is to fight against the bankers and the corporations and so mass demonstrations. It actually began in Michigan to fight against foreclosures.
There was an organization called Moratorium Now that began in Michigan and it soon spread throughout the country, demanding that the right of people to stay in their homes trump the right of banks to continue making profits.
Caleb, the 25 billion dollars settlement, let us bring that issue because that is something that a lot of reports have been saying, is it going to be helpful? Has it helped? How should we view it?
That was a settlement with banks over the foreclosure abuses as you know and it has resulted in a wave of home seizures now. But a lot of people are saying that although it is inflicting short term pain on delinquent borrowers; it is making a long term housing recovery more likely. Would you agree with that?
Well, I would say, 25 million dollars is just a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of the money that has been stolen from working families all throughout the United States.
The bankers and the corporations have made trillions and trillions of dollars out of stealing peoples’ homes, luring people into bad situations and basically profiteering off peoples’ misery.
People are learning that all these foreclosure laws, all of the great legal apparatus set up has been written by the very people who were carrying out these crimes.
The government from the highest level works for the banks and the corporations and the reason there is change to this and the reason there is suddenly uproar is because the people have taken history into their own hands.
They are out on the streets in big numbers; they are demanding that things change. You know, there have been moratoriums in the past that have been passed during the great depression there were moratoriums in the United States in many states.
But it was done in response to the fact that the Unemployment Councils, Community Organizations would break the locks and take back the homes that were foreclosed.
It was done into the response that there was a large mass movement of Labor Unions and activists demonstrating against the bankers.
The corporations and the bankers do not respond to us, simply going to the ballot boxes and picking our favorite politician, they respond to the people being in the streets and fighting for justice and making clear that their system will not continue as usual unless justice is served.
I am quoting him [Obama] when he says “No action no matter how meaningful is going to, by itself, entirely heal the housing market” he said that “the settlement we talked about is a start, we are going to make sure that the banks live up to their end of the bargain” so are the banks, however, paying their fair share? Or is this just something that Obama has said but has not lived up to, Caleb?
Well, especially in election years all kinds of politicians will make promises and you never know what will result. But if we want see these bankers be accountable, it will require a mass peoples’ movement.
You know, it is very frightening that right now as so many people in the US are suffering as a result of the actions of these bankers, instead of holding the bankers accountable there is a push for a new attack on Syria. The US is mobilizing its forces and trying to beat the drums of war for an attack on Syria; but the enemy of the working people in the United States is not in Syria, it is in Washington DC and it is in Wall Street, in the halls of power, where the corporations and the bankers are destroying the future for millions and millions of people in this country and we need to make clear that attacks on Syria are not acceptable and more wars will not help the economic situation.
The people need to demonstrate, come together as one and oppose the continued attacks of the bankers and the corporations.
Ultimately if we can win a moratorium and halt the foreclosures; that would be a huge victory and it will make clear to the one percent, the Capitalist ruling class that they have to face a mass movement of millions of people if they ever want to continue these crimes.