Panel disects economic crises
February 5, 2009 12:27 AM
In the midst of the worst economic crisis seen since the great depression, students at SF State are taking the initiative to inform others on who caused this crisis and what can be done to solve it.
On Wednesday night, students gathered in Rosa Parks for a forum titled, "Economic Crisis: Who caused it? Who can solve it?"
The event featured Todd Chretien co-author of "Independent Politics" and Deborah Goldsmith, professor of economics at City College of San Francisco. .
"More credit card debt and equity loans happened... and a housing boom went up by 50 percent," said Goldsmith, as she explained why debt played a large part in the economy's downward spiral.
The International Socialist Organization at SF State State, were participants of the forum. The event was put on by Haymarket Books, a nonprofit book distributor and publisher that focuses on economic research and social change.
"It's important to understand the roots of the crisis," said Kyle Schmaus, 23, a member of ISO, who is part of the subject teaching credential program at SF State.
"We need to understand where the blame falls...it's not on the students or the working class," he said.
Capitalism was considered to be the blame for the collapse of the financial system. The discussion came down to the fact that capitalism only helps people who own corporations while the workers below receive a small portion of the profits.
The big question of the night was "What do we replace this failed system with?"
"Nobody has any real answers," said Goldsmith when talking about the solution to the problem. She believes the governments' primary goal is to, "ensure national confidence," so the country does not go into panic.
In a time of great change, with President Barack Obama leading the country, comes a new sense of hope among millions of people. Many trust that Obama will solve the crisis with his hands tied behind his back, while some choose to look at the situation with a more realistic approach.
"Even if Obama does everything that he says he will, unemployment will still go up four to five points," said Chretien, as he explained how President Obama can only do so much to repair the damage, at such a large scale.
Jerald Reodica, 26, a political science major and a member of the ISO, expressed his frustration with the economy and the effect it has on the education system. "We've been lied to countless times."
"The cuts made on the education system are hitting brothers and sisters who are close to us all throughout the nation," he said.
Goldsmith talked about how many students have to work while in school to learn about something that is interesting to them, only to graduate, then work at a "crummy" job, that has nothing to do with their degree. "That's what capitalism does," she said.
Leaving the event, Jessica Hobbs, 28, and graduate of SF State with a degree in psychology, had a greater understanding of the reason for the recession and the debt that got the country in the situation it's in today.
"I was very motivated by the speakers and want to continue to be involved in getting the word out there about the crisis," she said.
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