Posts Tagged ‘poor’

Rich v Poor

April 15, 2015

Two rooms, in one the rich, high earners, in the other room the poor, those on benefits, low wages, zero hours. Both groups discussing the same topics.

What came across strongly was the the appalling degree of ignorance, bigotry and selfish attitudes of the rich. Do their thought processes come pre-formed from the pages of The Sun and the Daily Mail?

The poor feckless, if they worked harder they would not be poor, why did they not save, Iain Duncan Smith did not go far enough in cutting benefits.

The poor were far better informed, they complained of being stigmatised, especially by programmes like Benefit Street. What came across was desperation and fear, the fear of further changes and what these may bring. People living hand to mouth, no food, not knowing where money would be coming from to pay for food and rent, living off Oxo cubes and food banks. Unemployed being forced to waste their time and money chasing after jobs where they probably stand a better chance of winning the Lottery.

The rich think the poor do not know how to manage money. When you are poor, you spend all your time managing money, knowing where to go to pick-up-end-of-day bargains.

The rich, having paid for one house, were looking to buy a second house, to cash in on asset price rises.

Ironically the rich were saving more, cutting back on spending.

The poor wished to see more house building, but council houses, not houses for sale.

The rich thought Right to Buy a good idea. If you are struggling to pay the rent, how do you find the money to buy?

The poor wanted to see a rise in pay, a move to a Living Wage, rent controls, job security, tenancy security.

Neither group mentioned a Basic Income.

The rich thought tax credits a good idea, get people off benefits and into work.

Tax credits are not a good idea, all tax credits do is subsidise bad employers. Pay a decent wage, and workers do not need tax credits.

The top 20% of earners pay 35% of their earning in tax.

The bottom 20% of earners pay 37% of their earning in tax.

Is this fair?

The rich think they work hard.

Do the poor not work hard?

Head of Barclays in 1979 on £80,000 a year now £10 million. If workers pay increased by as much, would all be on £1 million a year.

Do not think workers work hard, then check out Maid In London, hotel rooms in London are some of the most expensive in the world, and yet hotel maids work long hours for bad pay.

Both groups thought training a good idea.

Wealth of America’s top 0.1% is about to exceed that of bottom 90%

November 12, 2014

We are facing the top 0.1% having as much as the bottom 90%.

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Every generation needs a new Revolution. — Thomas Jefferson

The top 10% having as much as the bottom 90% would be bad enough. The top 1% having as much as as the bottom 90% even worse. We are facing the top 0.1% having as much as the bottom 90%.

The wealth distribution is even more shocking if we compare the top 1% with the bottom 90% (look at the bars at the top of each graph).

Click on each graph to pull it up for closer scrutiny.

If monkeys are treated unfairly, one getting a greater reward than another they get very angry.

If children in a playground, one grabs all the toys, do we stand idly by? No, we intervene, we reprimand the greedy child, we redistribute the toys.

Why then do we stand idly by when the rich are so greedy? Why are there not riots in the streets?

The rich fear riots. More security guards employed in USA than High School teachers. London Mayor Boris has bought German water canon, but not (yet) got the authorisation to deploy.

Can we crowd fund a People’s Water Canon and use to defend the People’s Revolution?

With most things, we are satiated, we know when we have had enough. We eat a meal, we push the plate to one side when we have eaten our fill.

Money is the exception, we are never satiated, the more we have, the more we want.

When the Rachman Benyon Brothers bought the New Era Estate in Hoxton, an estate built in the 1930s to provide affordable housing, their first act was to jack up the rents. Ninety two families are facing eviction, as they will not be able to afford to pay the new rents, more in some cases than their salary.

Austerity is not working, but then it was never intended to work. It was an excuse for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services, cuts to benefits, closure of public libraries, privatisation of the health service, bedroom tax. It is all part of the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.

Speaking to the CBI, David Cameron has promised more austerity, more cuts. His clones, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have promised more of the same, whatever the Tories cut, they can cut better.

Only the Green Party are offering a genuine alternative, which is why they are barred from any discussion. Austerity is not inevitable, there are alternatives, but is is edited out of existence by the mainstream political-media establishment.

Where was Ed Miliband when activists occupied Parliament Square in solidarity with activists on the streets of Hong Kong?

The fastest growing party in Spain is Podemos, they have grown out of Occupy, they are grass roots, anti-austerity, unlike the main parties, they are not owned by Big Businesses.

In the US, whoever wins an election, is whoever spends the most money.

Why bother with an election, why not let accountants declare the winner?

And yet, if we look at USA, beyond the midterm elections, at what other measures people voted for, they voted for anti-austerity measures, measures to benefit the environment, measures to benefit people.

When Barack Obama rode into town on a wave of popularity, it was followed by six wasted years. The banks were broke, the car companies were broke. Instead of bailing them out with public money, they should have been broken up, public-controlled companies put in their place, companies that were fulfilling a useful purpose. Instead public money was thrown at them and it was business as usual.

Growth has flat lined for years, real wages have flat lined for years. A magnifying glass is taken out to magnify statistical noise and claim, we have growth. Statistical noise on wages, claimed to be a growth in wages. But who does it include, exclude the bankers, greedy property developers, and average wages are not increasing.

Jobs are increasing, but not well paid, skilled jobs, jobs you can take a pride in. The jobs that are increasing are the part-time, temporary, de-skilled, zero-hours McJobs. Jobs that rob the soul.

We are told we are all in it together.

Are we all in it together when Environment Secretary Eric Pickles spends (or to be correct we spend on his behalf) £500,000 on new limousines in three years?

Eighty five people, the richest on the planet, who could easily fit in a double-decker bus, have as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity.

Public intervention is heretical, the free market must reign, unless it is transferring public money to the banks, then the dogma, public bad private good, the arbitary, set in stone, there is no alternative, can be broken.

And yet we do have rules, we do have public intervention. We have international trade rules, international trade treaties, for example NAFTA, overseen by WTO, which transfers power from the public sector to the private sector, from sovereign governments to global corporations.

Currently TTIP, which will result in a massive transfer of power from sovereign governments to global corporations is being negotiated in secret.

Apart from it being unfair, transference of wealth from the poor to the rich, it is also trashing the planet rendering it uninhabitable.

Which brings me back to my original question, why do we tolerate it, why is there not revolution?

Also posted on Medium.

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