Sunday, 25 July 2010
Thursday, 8 July 2010
Before you carry on, try reading this article. Its about how California, the world's eighth largest economy, was brought to its knees. It was brought down by something called neo-liberalism, something which I've mentioned many times before on this blog. Neo-liberalism is a reactionary political ideology dressed up as economics which aims to make the rich richer and the rest of us poorer. Driven by the big corporations and the wealthy its a project designed to take us back to the 19th century. In populist democratic terms its appeal is lead through the fallacy that the 'free' market has all the answers. Just hand over to the market and all will be well. But that is exactly where we were in the 19th century - a small rich elite and mass poverty with no decent housing, healthcare or education.
People have fallen for the get rich quick, low taxes bullshit pedalled by the reactionary right. But low taxes only benefit the rich. For the rest of us taxes are good because they support the services we need. The rich are well aware that they can pay for education and healthcare, they don't need the NHS, state education and pensions. So why would they want to pay any taxes at all? How many people appreciate the fact that only 12% of workers in the UK earn more than £40k a year? The vast majority of us gain nothing from tax cuts whereas the rich gain thousands of pounds.
Privatisation and deregulation, which are an essential part of the neo-liberal project are designed to benefit corporations and shareholders at the expense of ordinary people. They lead to more expensive public services and workers who are paid less with poorer pensions so the corporations can make bigger profits. These neo-liberal 'economic' policies are bringing not just California but the USA to its knees, as I stated in this post last year.
There is only one antidote to this crippling malady - its called democratic socialism - politics and economics as if people mattered. It means building an alternative economy based on need rather than greed. An economy controlled by the people who work in it. Yes, I know that people think socialism has failed, because they always think of the Soviet Union. But there never has been a democratic socialist country - ever. Now its time to start building one and here is the basis for it. Unfortunately things are going to get a lot worse before people wise up, get off their arses and start doing something about it.