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Workers Vanguard No. 1078

13 November 2015
The closing date for news in this issue is 10 November.


Workers Vanguard

As de Blasio Launches “Affordable Housing” Scam

Real Estate Barons Devour New York

Two years after New York City’s liberal Democrat Bill de Blasio rode his mantra of a “tale of two cities” into City Hall, low wages, rotten schools and racist cop terror are as much a daily fact of life as under his predecessor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Nothing looms as large on the index of misery as housing—for the tens of thousands without any; for the predominantly black and Latino families in the dilapidated, rat-infested projects; for those terrorized by landlords into abandoning apartments that have been home for decades; for nearly everyone else seeking a roof over their heads without mortgaging their first-born child.

With rents rising as fast as ugly glass towers, the most visible sign of the housing crisis is the swelling number of homeless. In the financial capital of U.S. imperialism, the official homeless population (those in shelters) reached a record 60,000 this summer—enough to overfill Yankee Stadium. Untold more sleep in the parks, streets, subways and, if lucky enough, their cars. It has long been a truism that thousands of workers are a missing paycheck away from the streets. Today, the ranks of the homeless include many holding one or more regular jobs. Among them are some 300 full-timers on the NYC payroll.

Enter the “affordable housing” plan de Blasio rolled out this summer. A New York Times editorial (11 August) lauding the effort proclaimed the “vital importance” of “saving a city of stable, integrated neighborhoods where people of ordinary means are permanently embedded.” This lofty vision has zero reality, as is clear from a look at NYC schools, which are among the most segregated in the country. The relief offered to hard-pressed working people by de Blasio’s housing scheme will prove just about as illusory.

The plan centers on “inclusionary zoning,” by which a portion of new housing is to be offered to low- and middle-income earners at below market rate. In fact, it’s a giant windfall for developers. Those who choose to build will be handsomely rewarded with tax breaks and other government subsidies. The developers previously raked it in under mogul-mayor Bloomberg’s own inclusionary zoning policy. And to what effect? Units deemed affordable made up less than 2 percent of housing growth between 2005 and 2013, less than population growth. In San Francisco, similar regulations have not stopped rents from even surpassing those in New York. (read on)

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· Για Εργατική Πάλη Ενάντια στην ΕΕ και το Ευρώ!
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· Rejetez la capitulation de Syriza devant l’UE ! C’EN EST ASSEZ !

· Repudiate Syriza’s Sellout to the EU! ENOUGH!

· Αποκηρύξτε το Ξεπούλημα του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ στην ΕΕ! ΑΡΚΕΤΑ!

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· Militant Strike Wave in China (Chinese)

· Deklarasyon ng mga Prinsipyo
  at Ilang Elemento ng Programa

Latest Archival Postings

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· Cuadernos Marxistas No. 3
  Chile: Lecciones del Frente Popular (1975)

· L’agonie meurtrière de Bourguiba (janvier 1984)

· Répression antisyndicale en Tunisie
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· Le coup d'Etat de Ben Ali et la menace intégriste
  (janvier 1988)

· Near East, 1950s:
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  (August 2000)

About the ICL

V.I. LeninLeon TrotskyThe International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is a proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist tendency committed to the task of building Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international. Our aim is the achievement of new October Revolutions—nothing else, nothing other, nothing less. The ICL bases itself on Marxist historical, dialectical materialism and seeks in particular to carry forward the international working-class perspectives of Marxism developed in the theory and practice of the Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and L. D. Trotsky and embodied in the decisions of the first four Congresses of the Communist International as well as key documents of the Fourth International such as the Transitional Program (1938) and "War and the Fourth International" (1934). We also look to James P. Cannon, a leader of the early American Communist Party who was won to Trotskyism and went on to become a principal founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), working in close collaboration with Leon Trotsky. The origins of the ICL are in the Spartacist League/U.S., which began as the Revolutionary Tendency in the SWP and was bureaucratically expelled in 1963. Our ICL "Declaration of Principles and Some Elements of Program" was modeled on the Declaration of Principles adopted at the 1966 founding conference of the SL/U.S.

Adopted at the Third International Conference of the ICL in early 1998, the declaration presently exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Greek, Korean and Tagalog. In this post-Soviet period, marked by a deep regression of proletarian consciousness, we continue to be guided by Trotsky's statement that "the task of the vanguard is above all not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow; it must swim against the current." Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!