...... ...................Larouche Online Almanac

Published: Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2005

Today is:

Volume 4, Issue Number 12

This Week You Need to Know:

LaRouche's New Bretton Woods Debated in Italian Parliament

by Paolo Raimondi

The Chamber of Deputies, one of the two houses of the Italian Parliament, began a discussion on March 14 of Motion 1-00320, which calls on Rome to take international action for the convening of a New Bretton Woods conference, to get the world economy and financial system out of systemic crisis.

The motion had been introduced on February 2004 by Deputy Mario Lettieri, who gained the support of about 50 parliamentarians from all the parties represented in Parliament, mostly from the opposition, but some also from the present Berlusconi coalition.The importance of the Lettieri motion is that it is an institutional act undertaken in a member nation of the G7 group, and one of the main initiators of the European Union, which publicly and officially poses the urgency of a new international financial architecture to be organized by the direct intervention of government and state leaders, as U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt acted in 1944 at Bretton Woods to rebuild the world economy after World War II. As reported fully in the following pages, in his intervention, Lettieri immediately identified Lyndon LaRouche as the initiator and the promoter, at the international level, of the campaign for a New Bretton Woods....

...link to pdf version in InDepth section


Animation Studies of the
U. S. Physical Economy

(Provided and Funded by
Lyndon LaRouche's Political Action Committee.)

The Economy

World and Nation-State

This Week in History


March 21—27, 1911

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

On March 25, 1911, an horrendous fire swept through the ten-story Asch Building in New York City's Greenwich Village. The top three floors of the building were occupied by the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, and 146 garments workers, mostly young women, died that day, when their only means of escape consisted of jumping out the windows, or hurling themselves down the elevator shafts. The exit doors had been locked, both to prevent union organizers from reaching the company's employees, and supposedly to keep the workers from stealing any of the fabric. The single fire escape collapsed under the weight of the women who were able to reach it.

There had been similar fires on a smaller scale in other factories over the past decades, but there was little public reaction and precious little legislation to protect working people. The large numbers of immigrants who had come to the "Land of Milk and Honey" were crowded into slums and had to enlist their entire families, including young children, into working long hours in order to barely survive. One-third to one-half of the working population of the United States toiled up to 12 hours daily, sometimes even seven days a week, in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. This was true in the factory towns as well as in the city slums.

Eighteen years before the Triangle fire, during an economic depression, many workers were forced to accept deep wage cuts, but others were fired and replaced by children. An Oshkosh, Wisc. newspaper attacked this practice, saying that, "with an army of idle men in our midst, children who ought to be in school are doing factory work.... Put men to work and let babies go home!" But children continued to be recruited for factory work, and the situation of their parents was also hazardous. Unions conducted some successful organizing drives, but the reaction of most business owners was epitomized by a corporate executive who stated, "If a workman sticks up his head, hit it!"

Union organizers had tried to sign up the Triangle Shirtwaist workers the year before the fire, but management fired the workers who had dared to join the union and mount a strike for better working conditions. The company then replaced them with newly arrived immigrants, who spoke a variety of languages, and were unable to communicate clearly with their fellow workers. Most of them were in their teens. It was these women who were caught in the fire. Although the building had fireproof construction which met the codes of the time, and still stood after the fire, the paper patterns, fabric cuttings, bolts of cloth, and the oil in the sewing machines, combined to create an inferno.

When the fire alarms rang close to where she lived, one young woman and her friends ran to the site of the fire. The woman was Frances Perkins, President Franklin Roosevelt's future Secretary of Labor. In 1911, she was working for the New York City Consumers League, making safety inspections of factories and bakeries. The scene, said Perkins, "struck at the pit of my stomach. I felt I must sear it not only on my mind but on my heart as a never-to-be-forgotten reminder of why I had to spend my life fighting conditions that would permit such a tragedy."

All but one of the women on the top floor were able to escape the fire by running to the roof. The building next door was occupied by New York University, and some of the law students maneuvered a ladder down from their roof and helped the women to safety. But the workers on the eighth and ninth floors were not so fortunate. The firemen rigged nets, but all the jumpers went through them, some of them cracking the sidewalks so badly that they fell through them as well. The fire horses that pulled the fire engines, trained to hold steady even during the noise of a blaze, became wild and terrified by the smashing sounds of the bodies and the blood that ran in the gutters. No one who jumped from the windows or down the elevator shafts, or who piled up against the locked exit doors, survived.

The owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, who after eight fires in nine years, still had refused to hold fire drills, were indicted on first and second degree manslaughter charges, but were acquitted by a jury. In 1914, the civil suits which were filed by some of the workers' families against the building's owner resulted in an average payment of $75 per employee.

Public shock and outrage after the fire was tremendous. During a cold rain, 400,000 people lined Fifth Avenue, as 120,000 men, women, and children marched in a funeral procession for seven unidentified victims. The Sunday after the fire, 3,500 people, including Frances Perkins, attended a mass meeting at the Metropolitan Opera House. One of the speakers was Rose Schneiderman, a leader of the Shirtwaist Makers Union, whose strike had been defeated by the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. Schneiderman spoke softly but intensely and soon the audience was completely hushed. "I would be a traitor to those poor burned bodies, if I were to come here to talk good fellowship. We have tried you good people of the public—and we have found you wanting.... This is not the first time girls have been burned alive in this city. Every week I must learn of the untimely death of one of my sister workers. Every year thousands of us are maimed. The lives of men and women is so cheap and property is so sacred! There are so many of us for one job, it matters little if 140-odd are burned to death."

The result of the meeting was the formation of a Committee on Safety, manned by prominent civic leaders. The Committee turned for help to the Consumer's League, and Frances Perkins, with her experience in safety inspections, was loaned to the group to help them influence New York's Governor Dix to initiate action by the state. Dix, in turn, referred the committee members to Al Smith, the majority leader of the New York Assembly, and Robert Wagner, the majority leader of the Senate.

The committee members feared "the hand of politics," and wanted the appointment of an executive commission of "the finest people in the state." Perkins watched with admiration as Smith convinced them to go with a legislative commission, funded directly by legislative appropriations. "These fellows in the Assembly," he said, "are good men at heart. They don't want to burn up people in factories. They just don't know anything about how to prevent it, and they don't really believe that there is any hazard until you show them. And they'll be more impressed if it is shown them by their own commission and own members."


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Ibero-Americans Tell Of Their Privatized Social Security Horror
On March 12, the weekly Internet broadcast of 'The LaRouche Show' was dedicated to an extraordinary series of interviews with six social security specialists and trade union leaders from four countries of Ibero-America, who reported on the disastrous results of social security privatization in their respective countries, and urged the United States not to make the same mistake, and to reject the Bush Administration's plan to privatize Social Security along the fascist model of Pinochet's Chile.


Nazis, Operation Condor, and Bush's Privatization Plan
by William F. Wertz, Jr.
President George W. Bush has made it clear that the model for his current drive to privatize social security in the U.S. is the privatization of social security which was implemented in Chile under the fascist dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet in 1981 by his Labor Minister José Piñera. As Lyndon LaRouche has warned, if Bush succeeds, it will be a foot in the door for fascism. This is no exaggeration, as we shall prove.


LaRouche's New Bretton Woods Debated in Italian Parliament
by Paolo Raimondi
The Chamber of Deputies, one of the two houses of the Italian Parliament, began a discussion on March 14 of Motion 1-00320, which calls on Rome to take international action for the convening of a New Bretton Woods conference, to get the world economy and financial system out of systemic crisis. The motion (see our previous issue for the full text) had been introduced on February 2004 by Deputy Mario Lettieri, who gained the support of about 50 parliamentarians from all the parties represented in Parliament, mostly from the opposition, but some also from the present Berlusconi coalition.

Breakthrough in Italy: Seven-Year Fight for A New Bretton Woods
The Italian Parliament's current discussion of the need for a new global 'financial architecture,' is the fruit of seven years of organizing—in Italy, and internationally—by the LaRouche movement. The fight began on Jan. 4, 1997, with the first major, public announcement of Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr.'s New Bretton Woods policy. LaRouche addressed a forum of the FDR-PAC in Washington, D.C. laying out a policy orientation for the second Clinton Administration, centering around two proposals: that the U.S. President convene an international conference to establish a 'new Bretton Woods system,' to put the world economy through bankruptcy proceedings and to reorganize it for productive development; and that the United States join in global projects of benefit to all mankind, with a special focus on the Eurasian LandBridge program.

Infrastructure Fix To Cost Trillions
by Mary Jane Freeman
To fix basic infrastructure in the United States and make it safe, will take a $1.6 trillion infusion over five years, says the American Society of Civil Engineers. The ASCE released its 2005 'Report Card for America's Infrastructure,' in Washington, D.C., on March 9, identifying the impact of infrastructure collapse on the economy and living conditions. The ASCE team of civil engineers' survey found that 'the overall grade for our infrastructure is a 'D,' down from the 'D+' grade' in the 2001 Report Card. A comparison of the 20012005 Report Cards reveals the extent of the collapse.


Dr.Mahathir bin Mohamad Speaks Candidly with EIR
Dr. Mahathir is the former Prime Minister of Malaysia. He was interviewed by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach in Cairo, Egypt on March 10. The questions were prepared in collaboration with Michael Billington.

Egyptians,Under Attack, Look to Malaysian Example
by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach

In times of crisis, like now, it is lawful that young people of university age become radicalized, and mobilized to seek social change. In Egypt, in addition to the political convulsions ripping through the region, there are serious problems related to the economic breakdown crisis, first among them unemployment, and especially among college graduates. Thus, it should come as no surprise that students at the University of Cairo should flock to a seminar featuring Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, the former prime minister of Malaysia, whose experience in defending his nation's economy against wild attacks by financial speculators in 1997, has made him famous.

EIR Message to Egypt:
U.S. Revolution Is On
by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Fear is gripping the Arab world. As this author experienced firsthand, during a recent visit to Cairo, developments in the region after the U.S. elections have provoked fears that the chaos sparked by the Afghanistan and Iraq wars will be exacerbated, and spread across Southwest Asia. Most pointedly, the Lebanese-Syrian crisis, which erupted with the Feb. 14 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, has made clear the Bush Administration's determination to pursue the 1996-drafted doctrine for a 'Clean Break'—the doctrine of regime change, beginning with Iraq, and proceeding to Syria, Lebanon, and Iran— and the elimination of the Shi'ite Hezbollah.

Institutional Revolt Weakens Blair
by Mary Burdman
After a wild battle in the British Parliament over the Labour Party government's awful 'Prevention of Terrorism Bill,' the political situation in Britain is now more volatile than it has been since Summer 2003, when the death of Iraq arms inspector Dr. David Kelly shook Downing Street. Although the very controversial emergency bill was passed on March 11, after a 30-hour, overnight debate which sent the bill 'ping-ponging' between the Houses of Commons and Lords, Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, had to back down on critical issues, which even hours before, they had been hotly denying they would ever yield to the opposition.

New U.S. Bases in Afghanistan: What Do They Portend?
by Ramtanu Maitra
The United States is beefing up its military presence in Afghanistan, and reports from the Indian media indicate that the United States has decided to set up nine new bases, scattered throughout the country. The locations are: single bases in Helmand, Herat, Nimrouz, Balkh, and Mazar-e-Sharif; and two bases each in Jalalabad/Khost and Paktika. According to observers, these will be set up within the context of the U.S. Global Military Plan (GMP), to be small, but flexible bases to which supplies can easily be ferried, and which can also be used as a springboard, if necessary.

Will Mexico's PRI Become a Whorehouse?
by Ruben Cota Meza
If the current president of the Mexican PRI, Roberto Madrazo Pintado, is successful in forcing his policy changes on that political party, the chances are that Mexico will sink still further into the destruction and chaos that have characterized the past quarter-century.


Threat of Financial Collapse Looms Over Budget Debate
by Carl Osgood
While the U.S. Senate is a long way from debating the necessity of a New Bretton Woods, the realities of the ongoing collapse of the global financial system, and the Bush Administration's response to it, are beginning to seep through the cracks.

Bipartisan Senate Majority Must Block Cheney's 'Nuclear Option'
by Edward Spannaus

On Tuesday,March 15, Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, flanked by over three dozen Democratic Senators, declared war on the plan of the Republican leadership in the White House and the Senate to destroy the right of extended debate ('filibuster') in the United States Senate— a right unique to the Senate, and one which is an essential component of the system of checks and balances embodied in the United States Constitution.

LaRouche Tells Democrats: Don't Let Shultz, Cheney Bully You Into Lying
The following question from a Washington area leading Democrat, came up early in the open discussion following Lyndon LaRouche's keynote to the International Caucus of Labor Committees/Schiller Institute Presidents' Day conference on Feb. 20. The e-mail was read by moderator Debra Hanania Freeman.

Probe Tightens Noose Around DeLay's Neck
by Michele Steinberg
'The Congressional enforcer for the fascist agenda of the neo-conservatives, whom everyone thought could never be touched, is currently headed toward the ropes. Texas Republican Tom DeLay, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, was targetted for his corruption by Lyndon LaRouche's political campaigns months ago, under the slogan 'Clean Up Congress without DeLay.' '


A Real Peace of Westphalia
There have been some who have attempted to dismiss Lyndon LaRouche's concept, of a new Peace of Westphalia as a model for solving today's deliberately inflamed ethnic hatreds, as impractical and idealistic. They will be surprised and heartened to read EIR's interview next week with Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, Maronite Catholic Patriarch in Lebanon, who gave the interview to EIR on March 18.

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LaRouche: `The Immortality of Martin Luther King'

Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

speaks to the Martin Luther King Day Prayer Breakfast in Talladega County, Alabama on Jan. 19, 2004


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Coverup Exposed!

The Israeli Attack On the USS Liberty

``The Loss of Liberty,"
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