The Conditions of Migrant Workers in Shenzhen: A Discussion with a Rural Migrant Workers’ Rights Activist

by Shui Mui, China Left Review (Issue # 4) — (researcher, mainly focusing on migrant workers and labor-capital relations)

In March, 2009, I interviewed a Shenzhen based migrant workers’ rights activist. The interview helps us better comprehend the current conditions of migrant workers in China.

1. Workplace Injuries

A Hong Kong NGO put out a report (Arms and Legs), which discussed workplace injuries in China. At present in Shenzhen, many factories adopted new machinery equipped with infrared technologies, which could help prevent workers’ injuries. But that didn’t mean that older machinery left the Chinese scene altogether, it just moved inland. Still, Shenzhen’s rate of workplace injuries did not decrease, they only became more intense. Many 18-25 year old workers who just started working were injured in the first few days of work. This was because at many factories there was no training for newly hired workers.

Small factories owned by local investors are well below standard. When workplace injury related incidents occur, bosses frequently jump ship. Many workers’ injuries are not covered by regulations on the books that ensure workplace injury insurance. Electronics and shoe factories use a great amount of chemicals during production, without needed measures to prevent workplace poisoning. Smaller scale factories are especially weak in this area. Most of the workers in electronics factories are women, accounting for 70-80 percent of the workforce. Their work has a great impact on their reproductive systems, and the frequency of their falling ill is quite high. This is not only a problem for individual women workers, it also affects the next generation of offspring. One of the staff at University of Science and Engineering opened a battery factory where the majority of women workers fell ill to cadmium poisoning. One of these workers gave birth to an infant with a large black stripe on its body, which no one could explain. There have emerged many new chemicals used in factories are not covered by Chinese law. It’s estimate that in the next few years, rates of factory dust related lung disease will surge. This amounts to the end of the incubation period for diseases acquired since the process of economic liberalization began. Grinder’s disease, especially prevalent among miners, has already ended countless workers’ lives. Others with the disease are simply waiting to die.

Since the labor shortage that started in 2004, it should be noted that women workers are also finding it easier to secure jobs. Because women are regarded as more physically nimble, more obedient thanks to traditional culture in the countryside, much like previous generations of women workers in Korea, factory owners are predisposed to hiring them. Furthermore, if women workers look to fight for their rights, they typically have a much harder time than male counterparts. Continue reading

Xenophoia Alert: “Anti-immigrant ‘Golden Dawn’ rises in Greece”

The rise of Greece’s Golden Dawn: Ultranationalist party raises fears as it builds a network of public aid reserved only for Greek citizens and is accused of violence against immigrants.

[Xenophobia is a most basic weapon against the working class when the capitalist and imperialist attacks are waged with great and desperate aggression.  The challenge to confront these malevolent movements, to expose their puppetmasters, and to defeat their attacks is a major challenge for the revolutionary proletariat, in Greece and everywhere. — Frontlines ed.]

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By Anthony Faiola, Washington Post,  October 20, 2012

ATHENS — At first glance, the shop on a nondescript street in this chaotic capital looks standard-issue military. Fatigues. Camouflage. Hunting gear. Deeper inside, the political message emerges. Black T-shirts emblazoned with modified swastikas — the symbol of the far-right Golden Dawn party — are on sale. A proudly displayed sticker carries a favorite party slogan: “Get the Stench out of Greece.”

By “stench,” the Golden Dawn — which won its first-ever seats in the Greek Parliament this spring and whose popularity has soared ever since — means immigrants, broadly defined as anyone not of Greek ancestry. In the country at the epicenter of Europe’s debt crisis, and where poverty and unemployment are spiking, the surplus shop doubles as one of the party’s dozens of new “help bureaus.” Hundreds of calls a day come in from desperate families seeking food, clothing and jobs, all of which the Golden Dawn is endeavoring to provide, with one major caveat: for Greeks only.

To fulfill its promise of a Greece for Greeks alone, the party appears willing to go to great lengths. Its supporters — in some instances with the alleged cooperation of police — stand accused of unleashing a rash of violence since the party rose to national office, including the stabbings and beatings of immigrants, ransacking an immigrant community center, smashing market stalls and breaking the windows of immigrant-owned shops. Continue reading

Northern Ireland: Here Comes Trouble(s) — (again)

[Typically, bourgeois Brit media characterize rebellious violence in Northern Ireland as nonsensical and anarchistic, without good or understandable cause.  This is especially true since the highly touted peace deals were consummated years ago.  But today, conditions in Northern Ireland continue to worsen for the people as the economic crisis grows.  Farmers march in protest of milk prices, mass resentment grows at plans for a celebratory visit by the hated British monarchy, provocative Orange marches are staged, and the gap between the conciliating compradors of Sinn Fein and the abused and discarded working class youth in the streets is a faultline that the powers only address with force. — Frontlines ed.]

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Police Wounded In Northern Ireland Violence

Sky’s David Blevins reports on the anarchy that emerged in Belfast as the annual Orange Order march reached an ugly end.

By David Blevins, Ireland correspondent, Sky News — Friday, July 13, 2012

Nationalist protesters face the police in Ardoyne in north Belfast after an earlier Orange parade returned back past shops in the area

At least 20 police officers have been injured during public disorder at a flashpoint in North Belfast.

Nationalist youths rioted for hours after a loyalist march on a contentious stretch of road.

The teenagers went from hurling missiles to ramming police lines with vehicles they had stolen.

Officers deployed water canon and later fired plastic bullets in an attempt to restore calm.

Police later came under gun attack. Officers escaped injury when at least 10 shots were directed at them.

Nigel Dodds, the Democratic Unionist MP, witnessed the unrest in his constituency.

“There comes a point where everybody has to stand up against people who only are interested in violence,” he said.

The Orange Order had been told it must complete its annual parade earlier than usual.

Loyalists were outraged when the Parades Commission then permitted a nationalist protest march on the road.

Tension reached breaking point when rival factions came face to face, exchanged chants and threw bottles at each other.

Not for the first time, police were caught in the middle.

Protesters clash with police in Ardoyne following an Orange Order parade in north Belfast

Gerry Kelly, a Sinn Fein member the Stormont Assembly, said: “Let’s sit down, talk this out and come to some sort of accommodation. We have had worse problems to solve.”

North Belfast witnesses similar disturbances every July but they are now being fuelled by a power struggle.

Sinn Fein had called for calm but dissident Republicans made no such appeals.

Assistant chief constable Will Kerr, the officer in charge of policing parades in Northern Ireland, encouraged “individuals and communities” affected by trouble to respond in a “calm and responsible manner”.

With the Orange Order demanding its right to walk traditional routes and Catholic residents objecting, the marching season often provides the backdrop for a period of tension on the streets.

Loyalists march to mark the victory of King William of Orange over the Catholic King James in 1690.

To some, it is tradition; to others, triumphalism and they rarely compromise.

Chinese Workers Defy the Government and Employers in Heated Riot

by

May 29, 2012

An intense protest of enraged migrant workers broke out on Tuesday in Ruian, China. The city is located in the Zhejiang, a wealthy province in China. Reuters reports that about 1,000 migrant workers proceeded to turn over an iron gate, and damaged at least a dozen cars during their protest, which was centered on a government office building.

The demonstration began in the early morning after a young worker was allegedly killed by his employer over a payment dispute. The demonstration finally ended at midday after the family of the murdered man was given 300,000 yuan in compensation, which is the equivalent of about $47,000.

Worker uprisings have been extremely common in the last decade throughout China. Just a month ago, about 200 workers threatened to protest Apple’s Foxconn factory. The protesters, who were demanding “workplace adjustments” according to Reuters, threatened to jump off the roof of the factory in a show of solidarity. Although the disagreement was quickly settled in negotiations, the incident illustrates the often tense relationship between workers in factory settings and the large corporations that run the factories. Continue reading

CPG (M-L): “The situation in Greece”

Statement of Communist Party of Greece (Marxist-Leninist):

“For Greece it is now clear that the revolutionary breakthrough of the working class and the people is irrevocably connected with the overthrow of imperialist dependence. Therefore we must exit the EU and NATO, oust the foreign bases, and break every military, political and economic bond with imperialism. The productive-economic problems of the country and foremost the debt issue cannot be seen or solved outside or before the revolutionary overthrow. It can only be seen as a whole.”

The situation in Greece

The people and the working class of Greece struggle for the overthrow of imperialist brutality and subjugation.

The situation in Greece is critical both for the people and the working class. Because of the imperialist dependence of the country, its position in the EU and the Eurozone, its military-political dependence in NATO and its military-political role as a NATO-US springboard, the social and political developments in Greece cannot be seen apart from the developments in SE Mediterranean, the M. East., N. Africa, the Balkans and the quarrels inside the EU.

All contradictions and geo-political aims of the imperialist powers in the region, along with the special but critical issue of the future of the EU, are influencing all developments in our country, having in their background the world crisis. That is the reason that Greece is in the first page of the Media something that is proportionately greater than that of other countries similar to Greece (Portugal, Ireland).

The troika mechanism and its real targets

Starting after the October 2009 elections and the troika (IMF-EU-ECB) “salvation mechanism” of May 2010 there is in motion a rapidly escalating antipopular and antilabor policy that flattens all economic-labor-social rights of the people. The imperialist powers of the EU, mainly Germany and France, aided by the strong presence of the US through the IMF, and with the pretext of the great foreign debt imposed a deeper subjugation that takes the form of a protectorate.

This mechanism gives shark loans in 3-month installments in order to pay back a portion of the huge interests. This leads to greater debt. (In 2009 the debt was 120% of GDP and now approaches 160%). But the greatest imperialist profit is not the huge amounts of money that accumulate through this loan shark imposition. The main return that they take from the country is its total destruction of any productive base, the imposition of a medieval regime as far as the labor, social, economic and political rights of the people are concerned, and the sell-out and plunder of every resource and infrastructure this country has. Continue reading

April Conference in India: “Turn the Prevailing Economic Crisis into Revolutionary Upsurge!”

Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)

 Friends,

The first Conference of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) is going to take place at a time when the imperialist forces and their props – the ruling classes of various colonial and semi-colonial countries – are going through an unprecedented economic depression resulting in a worldwide economic crisis, a condition which is of their own making. The reactionary Indian ruling classes, being agents of imperialism, have transferred the burden of the world economic crisis to the people of this country – the masses of the people who are already grappling with acute exploitation, poverty, unemployment and deprivation of the basic necessities of life. Their purchasing power has come down drastically. They have been denied the right over jal-jangal-zameen (water, forest and land resources) and other resources. Such conditions have generated disaffection amongst vast sections of people of the subcontinent manifested as a multitude of peoples’ struggles.

Despite every effort of the Indian state to hide the gravity of the crisis in which it is, the Indian economy has been severely shaken by the worldwide economic crisis due to its increasing dependence on the imperialist economy. The exploitative ruling classes, who never tire of making tall claims about outstanding ‘growth’ and ‘development’ riding on the fortunes of an export-oriented economy aided by imperialist globalisation, have lost their sleep over the present crisis. Those who used to wax eloquently of ‘development’ citing the speculative growth in the sectors of information technology, outsourcing, real estate, etc. has now been put on the dock. Due to the imperialist domination and dependence prevalent in the Indian economy, lakhs of workers have been rendered jobless and thrown out of sphere of production. Workers in hundreds of thousands have been at the receiving end of lay-offs and pay-cuts as a result of the closure of a large number of firms in the real estate industry, export-based industries, textiles, brass industry, jewellery and metal industry, mining, and so on. Now, the introduction of Foreign Direct Investment in retail trade will render more than 50 lakh people jobless by bringing Wal-mart and other imperialist players in retail business. Students particularly in the professional courses like engineering are finding little avenues of employment even through placement agencies. At the same time, however, imperialist forces such as foreign institutional investors are siphoning off the hard-earned wealth of the working people through speculative trading in the share market which are completely cut off from the real economy.

The impact of the economic crisis is evident in each and every sector of the Indian economy. The worst ever economic depression since the Great Depression in the 1930s has further deepened the agrarian crisis. As the demand of ‘Land to the Tiller’ remain yet as a tall promise with the ruling class bereft of any political will to fulfil the demand, the impact of the economic crisis on the working people engaged in agriculture has been very severe. The growing dependence of the rural masses on the agrarian sector has strengthened the landowners and moneylenders in the countryside, and has given them the opportunity to continue their exploitation and oppression. This exploitation and oppression takes the concrete form of caste-atrocities and caste-violence, the number of which is on the rise all over the country. Khairlanji, Lathor, Mirchpur incidents provide glaring evidence of this fact. More than 2.5 lakh peasants and agricultural workers have been forced to commit suicide in the last fifteen years due to the anti-peasant policies of the Indian state. In spite of this devastation, the imperialist stranglehold over Indian agriculture is being further tightened in the name of Second Generation Reforms and the Second Green revolution. Continue reading

General strike brings Greece to a standstill as public sector closes down

Protesters flood into streets of Athens

in Athens

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 5 October 2011

Greeks protesting in Athens over the austerity measures. Photograph: KeystoneUSA-Zuma/Rex Features

Greece edged deeper into chaos as workers brought the country to a standstill with a general strike.

The closure of the entire public sector – from schools to hospitals to government offices – left Athens airport looking like a ghost town and kept museums and archaeological sites shut.

Anger was evident on the faces of the protesters who flooded into the streets. “We have no work, we have no money,” they screamed, denouncing the EU and IMF which have propped up the near-bankrupt Greek economy with rescue funds. “Erase the debt! Let the rich pay. There will, there can, be no more sacrifices.”

Nearly two years after Europe‘s great debt crisis erupted beneath the Acropolis, the people on its frontline have clearly had enough. An austerity programme that has begun to resemble a bad dream of relentless wage cuts, tax increases, price rises and pension drops has crushed the middle class and sent poverty levels soaring.

Wednesday’s demonstrations, the biggest anti-austerity protest since June, were the “beginning of a battle” to eradicate further emergency belt-tightening measures announced last month.

“The government is behaving as if it has a pistol to its head,” said Stathis Anestis, a spokesman for the Confederation of Greek Unions. “It is not just that it is the poor who are forced to carry the burden of this barrage of measures,” he insisted, denouncing the terms of the €110bn (£95bn) bailout Greece received from the EU and IMF in May last year.

“It’s not just that all our hard-earned rights are being peeled away. It is that we wake up every day to another cut, another tax, another pay rise. No one can keep up!” Continue reading

New York Times: “Rioting Widens in London on 3rd Night of Unrest”

[The New York Times, the leading imperialist media organizer, reports the events in London and the crisis in Britain in terms which express contempt for the masses in rebellion, and calculations of where this is all going–in terms of the sharpening of battlefronts for the class war which is leaping out of the shadows of “normal” life.   All this from the viewpoint of the defenders, and managers, of the existing system. –Frontlines ed.]

By RAVI SOMAIYA and JOHN F. BURNS

August 8, 2011

Sang Tan/Associated Press A shop was set on fire Monday in Croydon, south London. The home secretary said there had been hundreds of arrests.

LONDON — The rioting and looting that convulsed poorer sections of London over the weekend spread Monday to at least eight new districts in the metropolitan area and broke out for the first time in Britain’s second-largest city, Birmingham, in what was developing into the worst outbreak of social unrest in Britain in 25 years.

By early Tuesday, unrest was also reported by the police in two other major cities, Liverpool and Bristol, and an enormous fire was consuming a large warehouse in the Enfield section of London.

Prime Minister David Cameron, apparently caught off guard while on vacation with his family in Tuscany, reversed an earlier decision not to cut short his holiday in the face of plunging world financial markets and boarded a plane for home to lead a cabinet-level meeting on Tuesday to deal with the turmoil.

For Mr. Cameron’s government — indeed for Britain — the rapidly worsening situation presented a profound challenge on several fronts.

For a society already under severe economic strain, the rioting raised new questions about the political sustainability of the Cameron government’s spending cuts, particularly the deep cutbacks in social programs. These have hit the country’s poor especially hard, including large numbers of the minority youths who have been at the forefront of the unrest.

Together with the inevitable pressures to restore some of the spending cuts, Mr. Cameron and his colleagues have to confront the dark shadow that the rioting has cast on plans for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. That $15 billion extravaganza will have its centerpiece in a sprawling vista of new stadiums and an athletes’ village that lie only miles from the neighborhoods where much of the violence in the last three days has taken place. With the Games set to begin in barely 12 months, Britain will have to satisfy Olympic officials that there is no major risk of the Games being disrupted, or ruined, by a replay of the rioting.

Luke MacGregor/Reuters Police officers in riot gear tried to block a road near a burning car in the northern district of Hackney, in London, where rioting continued for a third night.

Beyond these challenges is the crisis that has enveloped London’s Metropolitan Police, popularly known as Scotland Yard, on which security for the Olympics, and the immediate hopes of quelling the rioting, depend.

Even before the outbreak of violence, the police have been deeply demoralized by the government’s plan to cut about 9,000 of about 35,000 officers and by allegations that it badly mishandled protests against the government’s austerity program last winter and failed to properly investigate the phone-hacking scandal that has dominated the headlines here for much of the summer. The force now faces widespread allegations that it failed to act quickly and forcefully enough to quell the rioting at its outset over the weekend. Continue reading

Israeli Stock Market Plunges in Response to US Debt Crisis

[There is a kind of “gallows humor” among the juggling crisis-driven capitalists.  It produces lines like, “the company (corporation/financial group/empire) that fails last, wins.”  In the course of bi-partisan “debt” agreements this week to begin planning massive cuts and privatising of medical, environmental, social, educational, cultural programs, (leaving military and corporate support virtually intact), nary a word was said about the annual gift of $3 billion to Israel, as bi-partisan Congressional and Presidential support for that gift has not yet been challenged in any significant way.  But now, the Israel economy is getting into  some (relative) trouble, as the following “Voice of America” story describes.  Will the US government continue to not only maintain its largesse to the apartheid state of Israel, but multiply it, even as the remnants of New Deal economics in the US are under serious attack? — Frontlines ed.]
August 07, 2011
Robert Berger | Jerusalem
Brokers look at screens in the trading room of an investment bank in Tel Aviv, August 7, 2011

Photo: Reuters
Brokers look at screens in the trading room of an investment bank in Tel Aviv, August 7, 2011

The debt crisis in the United States, including the downgrading of the U.S. debt rating by a major agency, had a negative impact on the first day of the trading week in the Middle East. Stock markets in Dubai and Egypt dropped about four percent, and the effects were even worse in Israel.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange delayed its open by 45 minutes to avoid panic but it did not help. The market plunged by seven percent in response to the downgrade of the debt rating in the United States.

“It is a powerful shock,” economist Yaakov Sheinin told Israel Radio. He said U.S. President Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve should do something to calm world markets.

For Israel, the stock market plunge is the second shock in two days. On Saturday, a quarter of a million Israelis took to the streets to protest the high cost of living and low wages. Continue reading

Warm Memories of Food for Thought; and now, “A Country Without Libraries”

By Charles Simic
New York Review of Books (blog)
May 18, 2011
http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2011/may/18/country-without-libraries/

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. – Groucho Marx

All across the United States, large and small cities are closing public libraries or curtailing their hours of
operations. Detroit, I read a few days ago, may close all of its branches and Denver half of its own: decisions that will undoubtedly put hundreds of its employees out of work. When you count the families all over this country who don’t have computers or can’t afford Internet connections and rely on the ones in libraries to look for jobs, the consequences will be even more dire. People everywhere are unhappy about these closings, and so are mayors making the hard decisions. But with roads and streets left in disrepair, teachers, policemen and firemen being laid off, and politicians in both parties pledging never to raise taxes, no matter what happens to our quality of life, the outlook is bleak. “The greatest nation on earth,” as we still call ourselves, no longer has the political will to arrest its visible and
precipitous decline and save the institutions on which the workings of our democracy depend.

I don’t know of anything more disheartening than the sight of a shut down library. No matter how modest its building or its holdings, in many parts of this country a municipal library is often the only place where books in large number on every imaginable subject can be found, where both grownups and children are welcome to sit and read in peace, free of whatever distractions and aggravations await them outside. Like many other Americans of my generation, I owe much of my knowledge to thousands of books I withdrew from public libraries over a lifetime. I remember the sense of awe I felt as a teenager when I realized I could roam among the shelves, take down any book I wanted, examine it at my leisure at one of the library tables, and if it struck my fancy, bring it home. Not just some thriller or serious novel, but also big art books and recordings of everything from jazz to operas and symphonies. Continue reading

Greece: Determined people’s resistance to Keratea garbage project

Firebombs fly in fierce clashes over Greece dump site

Apr 15, 2011

Firebombs exploded and clouds of tear gas filled the air as helmeted riot police moved in on protesters on the edge of small Greek town Keratea, which is gripped by a rebellion against state plans to place a rubbish dump in the area. The planned landfill site has prompted several months of violent protests from residents. Protest organisers argue the proposed landfill site is too close to a residential area and would also damage an ancient site, which they say has not been properly excavated.
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Meet Keratea: Greece’s War Zone

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/20/2011

One of the more interesting “war zones” that most have never heard of is not in North Africe, nor in the Middle East, but in Greece. Meet Keratea, a small city of 15,000 people located close to Athens, where after over 100 days of struggle between authorities and the broder population, the riot police has officially decided to abdicate the city to its fate in what is the first popular mini-revolution in the developed world. From the Independent: “As explosions boom, the town’s loudspeakers blare: “Attention! Attention! We are under attack!” Air-raid sirens wail through the streets, mingling with the frantic clanging of church bells. Clouds of tear gas waft between houses as helmeted riot police move in to push back the rebels. This isn’t a war zone, but a small town just outside Athens. And while its fight is about a rubbish dump, it captures Greece’s angry mood over its devastated economy. As unemployment rises and austerity bites ever harder, tempers seem to fray faster in Greece, with citizens of all stripes thumbing their noses at authority. Some refuse to pay increased highway tolls and public transport tickets. There has been a rise in politicians being heckled and even assaulted. Yesterday, in Thessalonika, scores of activists were arrested after violent clashes with police.” Meet the new and improved face of austerity: now in a small town in Greece, which is about to default all over again, and soon in many other places in the increasingly more insolvent European periphery. Continue reading

US: the economic crisis and the choices of the bourgeois state

Must See Chart: This Is What Class War Looks Like, via dailykos.com

Media_httpi1007photob_jehng
This chart puts the class war in simple, visual terms. On the left you have the “shared sacrifices” and “painful cuts” that the Republicans claim we must make to get our fiscal house in order. On the right, you can plainly see WHY these cuts are “necessary.”

100,000 march as Greece protests turn violent

Greek police clashed with protesters in Athens as around 100,000 workers, pensioners and students marched to parliament to protest against austerity policies aimed at helping the country cope with a huge debt crisis.

Riot police fired rounds of teargas and flash bombs at protesters hurling petrol bombs, choking the main Syntagma Square with smoke and sending crowds of striking protesters running for cover.

The 24-hour strike by public and private sector employees grounded flights, closed schools and paralysed public transport in the first nationwide walkout against cost cuts this year.

In the biggest march since riots in December 2008 brought the country to a standstill for weeks, Greeks marched through the streets of Athens chanting “We are not paying” and “No sacrifice for plutocracy”. Police officially put the figure at 32,000, but eyewitnesses said it was around 100,000. Continue reading

New York Times: The Crisis is much worse than we thought (and said)

[A thousand scapegoats have been whipped; arguments about whether to call it a “recession” or “depression” have been made;  disingenuous hopes have been floated; but “at the end of the day” the capitalist crisis deepens, with no credible capitalist solution at hand. Sometimes, even the New York Times, the leading propagandist/analyst of US imperialism, spills the beans.–ed.]

October 12, 2010

By MICHAEL POWELL and MOTOKO RICH

This is not what a recovery is supposed to look like.

In Atlanta, the Bank of America tower, the tallest in the Southeast, is nearly a fifth vacant, and bank officials just wrestled a rent cut from the developer. In Cherry Hill, N.J., 10 percent of the houses on the market are so-called short sales, in which sellers ask for less than they owe lenders. And in Arizona, in sun-blasted desert subdivisions, owners speak of hours cut, jobs lost and meals at soup kitchens.

Less than a month before November elections, the United States is mired in a grim New Normal that could last for years. That has policy makers, particularly the Federal Reserve, considering a range of ever more extreme measures, as noted in the minutes of its last meeting, released Tuesday. Call it recession or recovery, for tens of millions of Americans, there’s little difference.

Born of a record financial collapse, this recession has been more severe than any since the Great Depression and has left an enormous oversupply of houses and office buildings and crippling debt. The decision last week by leading mortgage lenders to freeze foreclosures, and calls for a national moratorium, could cast a long shadow of uncertainty over banks and the housing market. Put simply, the national economy has fallen so far that it could take years to climb back. Continue reading