Friday, August 04, 2017

Solidarity for socialism

Clause 8 of our Declaration of Principles explains:
"The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist.

This war the Socialist Party has carried on ever since our founding in 1904. Always we have attacked the parasites, their lackeys and apologists using the weapon of socialist knowledge. This work goes on and will continue until our class has completed its emancipation. We know the struggle has been long and bitter, but we are determined to wage class war as we stated.

The top 1 percent of American earners made 81 times more than the bottom half of earners in 2016, up from 27 times more in 1980, according to research by economists Thomas Piketty, Emannuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. From 1980 to 2016, the incomes of the bottom 50 percent of earners remained at about $16,000 a year, the economists concluded. The growing gap is driven by the increasing share of income that goes toward owners of capital, and by the explosion in executive pay even as worker pay stays flat. From 1978 to 2016, average, non-managerial worker pay at firms with 1,000 employees or more rose just 11.2 percent, compared with 937 percent growth in CEO pay, according to a July study by the  Economic Policy Institute. In 2016, CEOs of those firms made 271 times what their non-managerial workers made, on average, EPI found. The simultaneous stagnation of worker pay is mainly the result of a frozen minimum wage and the dramatic decline of labor unions (In the 1950s, about 1 private sector worker in 3 belonged to a union, compared to about 1 in 5 today), which ordinarily ensure workers get a larger piece of the pie,  Jacob Hacker, an inequality expert at Yale University said, explaining, “I don’t think any serious economic analyst believes immigration is a major cause of rising inequality.” He is supported by Matt Stoller, a fellow at the New America Foundation’s Open Markets program, who pointed out that “For 40 years, we’ve had an overall policy of reducing worker pay that’s not related to immigration.” The evidence that immigration depresses the pay of native-born workers is questionable to say the least. Even scholars who believe immigration contributes to inequality do not consider it a major driver of the phenomenon. It seems like just common-sense that immigrants would diminish the cost of labour by increasing the number of workers available to employers. But there are other factors such as the difficulty employers have in substituting native-born workers with immigrants who have comparable skills, due to issues like language barriers ― and the possibility that immigrant workers may simply take jobs that employers would otherwise have a hard time filling. The most recent estimates I’ve seen suggest income inequality in the United States is 0.6 percent higher than it would be without immigrants,” said Cullen Hendrix, a political scientist at the University of Denver.

Non-financial corporations have increased their profits by about $14,000 per worker in the past 30 years, according to Simcha Barkai, a University of Chicago doctoral candidate in economics who authored a 2016 study on the effects of consolidation. Again, Stoller is in agreement, saying, “Big business screws workers,” said Stoller, whose research focuses on antitrust policy. “The bigger the business, the more powerful it becomes, the more workers get screwed.” Unions have been crushed by state-level right-to-work laws, an employer-friendly National Labor Relations Board and decades of increasingly brazen employer intimidation.

Anti-immigration policies gives the employing class a chance to pit workers of different races and nationalities against one another, eroding the workers' solidarity needed to challenge the wealthy.

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