THE US GROSS domestic product (GDP) in the biggest economy in the capitalist world, has plunged by a titanic 32.9% in the second quarter, from April to June, figures released yesterday show.
The economy contracted more than in the worldwide banking crash of 2007/8, more than the Black Monday stock market crash in 1987 and even bigger than the Wall Street crash in 1929 which led to the Hungry Thirties worldwide.
This is the deepest crash in America’s history and signifies that the death agony of capitalism has reached an historic stage.
Businesses like hotels and restaurants have been some of the hardest hit, while retail, aviation and heavy industry, like steel and car manufacture have been hit so hard that many companies have gone to the wall.
Consumer spending contracted by a record 34.6%, and spending on services nosedived by 43.5%. Outlays on infrastructure such as oil rigs sank 35%, and investment in new housing collapsed by 38.7%. Exports also fell by as much as 64% in the second quarter.
During the international banking crash of 2007/8 there was a GDP drop in the US of 8.4% in the fourth quarter – this is four times worse!
As well, millions of people have lost their jobs to the pandemic. US unemployment claims have already passed 50 million.
And hundreds of thousands have lost their lives!
There are now over 150,000 dead in the US from the coronavirus. Millions have been infected and hundreds of thousands who are sick cannot get medical treatment because they have no health insurance and cannot afford even to pay for an ambulance to pick them up and take them to hospital – they have been left to die.
There is now a revolution rapidly emerging in the USA where an entire generation of youth has risen up with the Black Lives Matter movement to confront US President Trump and his brutal state forces. They have been joined by workers in cities like Portland, where Trump has already sent in federal troops. He has now threatened to do the same in cities like Chicago, and New York.
It is in this rapidly developing revolutionary situation that Trump is frightened to face a presidential election on Tuesday November 3, and has been seeking a postponement amidst rumours that he will declare any rejection of him at the polls illegal and a direct result of ballot-rigging.
The revolutionary movement of the US working class has terrified Trump.
‘I don’t want to see a crooked election,’ Trump told reporters. ‘This election will be the most rigged election in history if that happens.’
In a series of tweets earlier, Trump said he was against mass postal voting and warned that it would be ‘susceptible to foreign interference’.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have both dismissed the idea of postponing the election.
However, the situation has gone way beyond Congress and well beyond the Democrats and the Republicans. It has gone beyond for-or-against elections. A revolutionary situation has opened up in the States.
There are 18 million workers in trade unions in the US, 12 million of which are in the the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO), the US equivalent of the British TUC. It is made up of fifty-five national and international unions. The gigantic trade unions in the USA have huge power. They must now call everyone out on a general strike to bring down the Trump regime.
Such a strike will be hugely supported by the vast majority of the US working class and youth.
It will not only bring down the Trump regime, it will create the conditions for carrying out the US socialist revolution, to expropriate the bosses and bankers to bring in a planned socialist economy and completely free health care for all, along with providing jobs and a good education for every young person.
This is the only way forward. Swapping Biden for Trump is not the way forward for workers and youth. Forward to the American Socialist revolution!