About Class Matters

Class Matters is the podcast where we ask the question:

“What Would Our Country Look Like If It Were
Governed By and For the Working Class?”

Working people in the United States, to an alarming degree, have lost faith in government’s ability to serve our needs. That is an understandable outcome of nearly a half-century of bipartisan government-bashing and attacks on public goods in service to a neoliberal agenda of retrenchment, privatization, and attacks on unions and workers’ rights. If we cannot effectively address working people’s concerns with concrete, plausible programs and initiatives, those dangerous political tendencies are likely to grow in strength. 

Class Matters: The Podcast exposes the propaganda undermining worker faith in government and provides a forum to discuss a strategic road map for building a country that works for working people.  We advocate a strategy based on solidarity, or what unites us, not what divides us. Join us for in-depth, insightful discussions with union leaders and members, with academics and with activists.

Class Matters is a project of the Debs-Jones-Douglass Institute (DJDI). Named for labor champions Eugene V. Debs, Mother Jones, and Frederick Douglass, DJDI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1998 which works to promote a government and an economy that works for working people.

In our worker-led small-group trainings on the economy and health care reform, conducted primarily with union members, as well as in our other public education initiatives targeting workers and the general public, we at DJDI recognize that the propaganda effort aimed at undermining faith in government has succeeded too well on also undermining the idea of the “public” itself.  Something like historical amnesia increasingly has blocked from collective memory the fact that government has been a vehicle for improving people’s lives and providing for general security. 

Class Matters: The Podcast examines meaningful topics to workers’ lives that we sometimes hear about but that are seldom addressed with respect to their impact on workers. Among such topics are:

* Private Equity – What it is and how is it turning our basic needs for housing, health care, education and more into sources of mega-profits at the expense of our health, safety, security, and quality of life?

* Universal programs vs. Means-Tested programs – what is means testing and how does it undermine solidarity.

* What’s going on with public programs like the Postal Service, Medicare, and Social Security? How are the attacks on our public programs linked to privatization? And how is privatization subordinating our basic needs to corporate profits?

* Labor laws that are stacked against workers and our unions.

* What would a working-class political agenda look like and what strategies will we need to win?

Every topic, like everything else we do at DJDI, presumes that building broad working-class solidarity is the cornerstone of every topic and episode.  We stress the standpoint of the experiences and concerns shared broadly among the working-class.