Tuesday 1 May 2012

Inequality postscript and clarification

I don't think I fully made the point about 'continuity' in the way that I wanted to. The way continuity works is that there is a difference between a person's life experience and how it is presented back to us in the news and with 'The News'. That's to say , people have a lifetime's experience of being poor, at the bottom of the pile, or even, say, not completely poor but under constant pressure to work longer hours, under threat of unemployment etc.

What is being presented to us all at the moment and in the moment  is a 'solution' ie austerity. But what we had before and what we will  have afterwards when austerity has 'solved' the problem (perhaps) won't be fundamentally different from what we have now.  The inequality will remain, the low pay, the long hours, the insecurity. So 'the moment' is all dressed up to look user-friendly by being a 'solution' and the 'continuity', the lifetime's experience is hidden from us or at the very least silenced. It's a kind of jam-tomorrow followed by a jam-tomorrow followed by a jam-tomorrow, all offered in the hope that we won't notice that it never comes.

Meanwhile the rich and the super-rich stay rich  and indeed increase their wealth year on year. Their lifetimes are continuously stupendously rich. This too is obscured and hidden  away from us - even by calling it 'inequality' as if that is  a snapshot or an inevitable outcome on the road to our jam-tomorrow. But the reason why it isn't jam today is precisely because the rich are getting the jam by preventing the rest of us from getting it.