Wednesday 21 March 2012

'Good for the economy' means 'good for the rich'

What does 'good for the economy' mean for the poor?

When 'the economy' is growing, the poor are unemployed or in part-time jobs, low-paid jobs, pensioners, children in families where there isn't enough money coming in and disabled. When 'the economy' is growing the poor are living in lousy flats, in areas with the highest pollution, the least well equipped, least well-built schools, nearest to the most overcrowded hospitals and with the social services under the most pressure.

When 'the economy' is growing, the rich (richest 10 per cent) own and control some 50% of all wealth. They own this in land, property, material assets and money. They own and occupy several houses, send their children to massively well-endowed private schools, use private hospitals and buy in extra help for anything and everything in order to service their lives.

When 'the economy' is 'in trouble', shrinking, the poor are unemployed or in part-time jobs, low-paid......oh hang's not that different. The low-pay poor will have less chance of being on any pay at all (unemployment goes up), the tiny margins people were working to will be cut back and all the social services, education and health will be worse. The rich will be shuffling places a little, some going up, some going down a bit - but this will be nothing more than selling off an asset or two to pay for a bit of private education or health.

So the more the politicians can get the poor to think of  the 'economy' as theirs  and that 'recovery' is good for them (as opposed to being marginally less awful) then there is less chance people will protest or defy what is happening.

The point is: everything this government is doing is about making sure that the rich keep hold of 50% of all wealth. That's all they mean when they say that this or that measure is 'good for the economy'. At the moment, they believe that high unemployment, low wages and a massively cut back public sector is 'good for the economy' which means 'a good way for the top 10% to hang on to 50% of the wealth'.