Officially there are 15 million unemployed in the United States, the socialist candidate said. But the real number is much higher.
The only solution is to take power and organize society to meet the needs of working people, not the profits of corporations, he explained.
At the same time, we raise immediate demands, Fein added. I am for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.
The minimum wage should be raised to union scale and everyone who is unemployed should receive unemployment compensation until they find another job, no matter how long it takes.
One of the most important questions for the working class today, Fein said, is the fight for legalization of undocumented workers. This is necessary, he added, to prevent the bosses from dividing working people.
Also on the panel were the mayoral candidates for the Conservative, Libertarian, Green, and the Rent is Too High parties, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and supporters of the Michael Bloomberg and William Thompson campaigns. Bloomberg is the Republican candidate and Thompson is the Democrat.
Thompson and Bloomberg have appeared in debates, but the SWP and other parties have been excluded from these on the pretext that they have not raised enough money.
After Conservative Party candidate Stephen Christopher said he was for the rights to the unborn to live a full life, Fein took the floor and defended a womans right to choose abortion. Women must have the right to control their own bodies, he said to applause.
None of the other candidates said a word about the right to abortion. With the exception of Fein all of the candidates presented proposals to solve what they described as New York City issues.
Fein explained that his campaign presents proposals for working people in the city as part of the fight of an international class. Working people have to see ourselves as citizens of the world, Fein said. Growing unemployment, the crisis of capitalismthese arent problems that just face working people in New York, but workers all over the world.
Thats why we need to see ourselves as part of a worldwide fight of the working class, Fein said.
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