Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wealth trickles up, not down

 Wealth trickles up, not down, says Oxfam.  Their recent report said the most powerful companies “often use their power and position to capture economic gain for themselves,” pointing to policy changes in the U.S. and elsewhere that have become a mainstay of the major political parties and their defenders in the media, “including privatization, deregulation, financial secrecy and globalization, especially of finance.” The global oil and gas industry has resisted political changes that would respond to climate change, the report said, as one example, while the global garment sector has “consistently” used its dominant position “to insist on poverty wages.” The U.S.-based pharmaceutical industry has also pushed medical costs higher across the globe due to international trade agreements.

“The wealth of the richest 62 people has risen by 44 percent in the five years since 2010—that’s an increase of more than half a trillion dollars ($542 billion), to $1.76 trillion,” Oxfam noted. “Meanwhile, the wealth of the bottom half fell by just over a trillion dollars in the same period—a drop of 41 percent.

Since the turn of the century, the poorest half of the world’s population has received just 1 percent of the total increase in global wealth, while half of that increase has gone to the top 1 percent.”

The Oxfam report continued, “The average annual income of the poorest 10 percent of people in the world has risen by less than $3 each year in almost a quarter of a century. Their daily income has risen by less than a single cent every year.”

The biggest reason the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer—and wages for the middle-class in countries like the U.S. have stagnated in recent decades. The report said. “In almost all rich countries and in most developing countries, the share of national income going to workers has been falling… In contrast, the owners of capital have seen their capital consistently grow (through interest payments, dividends, or retained profits) faster than the rate the economy has been growing.” The term "capital" is nothing more than a laundered word meaning "I stole the labor of others. Never forget that the only and ultimate source of ALL wealth is LABOR.

The World Socialist Movement would rather see a peaceful revolution carried out with. But evidently the corrupt political establishment and big money are willing to risk a much uglier scenario, so long as they can profit in the short term. It's pretty stupid and probably insane. Some day we will look back and say, "We told you so... We told you this was going to end badly if certain systemic changes weren't made. You told us we were 'unrealistic' and 'impractical.' Well, what do you think now?" Draconian public policies dictated by oligarchs, will only lead to increased political instability and chaos. Many of the wealthy understand this, but they'd rather just loot the system while they can (and hope the whole mess doesn't blow up too soon.) We are all victims of a sophisticated, scientifically-designed propaganda machine of bread and circuses they forgot the bread...Rome did it better. Capitalism is insatiable, built upon unscrupulous greed, it’s now devouring the world. We should all unite against the tyrannical rule of capitalism. If you read up on human biology and evolution you would discover that empathy, cooperation etc. are our natural tendencies. Caring, sharing respect etc. were not nurtured bycapitalism, they were suppressed by it. It was true communism, private property is a recent historical development. For most of human history, cooperation and empathy were the dominant qualities within families, tribes, villages, cities, etc,.


anon scotland said...

Interesting article, though the reference to "wages for the middle class' is a self evident contradiction, a whole subject in itself, wage slaves like the vast majority though some of the "middle class" believing they are somehow 'better' than those a little less economically comfortable.

ajohnstone said...

The sign of a lazy blogger who does not pay enough attention to what he cuts and pastes...My to call that "middle class", "middle income" but perhaps that is even too vague. As you probably aware, the SPGB recognises only two economic classes...working class and capitalist class, but there is no doubt some argument for sociological short-hand definitions of middle class..i.e. the professions - well-paid dentists and doctors etc. But that is another debate

anon scotland said...

Fair points.