Left Justified: How the hell did we get into this mess?

By Stanley Campbell

I kinda understand how we got into this economic mess, and I assume the government knows how to get us out of it, and how to prevent anything like what happened from happening again. And you know what they say about making assumptions.

I don’t want to be an ass, so I am inviting someone to present a workshop called “How the hell did we get into this mess? An economic workshop for the rest of us.”

Presented by Rockford Peace & Justice Action Committee and the Rockford Progressive Meetup this coming Sunday, March 7, at 2 p.m., at JustGoods fair trade market, 201 Seventh St., Bill Barclay of the Chicago Political Economy Group will lead us through some basic economic tasks to arrive at a better understanding of the American economy.

Developed and taught by CPEG’s Bill Barclay, the Economic Crisis Workshop is designed to teach, in understandable terms, how the U.S. arrived at our current economic crisis and to suggest some policies that we could adopt to reverse the economic downturn. I met Bill at a regional peace conference, where he offered this workshop, for free, to all the area peace groups.

It is a participatory workshop that has activities to enhance understanding and discussion. Participation is important; you need about two hours to complete the full workshop.

The workshop describes three causes of the economic crisis: (1) long-term growth in inequality; (2) credit, debt and financial deregulation, and (3) the U.S. dollar and the world economy. I’ve got an opinion about all three, but it is one developed by listening to the mainstream media, and they are all over the map as to causes and effects.

Exercises and dialogues are used in each case. The workshop needs participants to help with short skits, and to encourage audience participation. Please call me in advance if you can volunteer, (815) 964-7111.

The Chicago Political Economy Group (CPEG) evolved from a Political Economy study group formed at Roosevelt University in Chicago more than 15 years ago. Members of CPEG include academics, political activists and others who have a serious interest in progressive political economy.

You can go to www.cpegonline.org and see the workshop information (audience exercises, dialogues, etc.).

  Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

 From the Mar. 3-9, 2010 issue

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