The Socialist 19 March 2014 |
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Them & Us
Recently released research by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), shows that the ever-greater concentration of wealth and income has hindered economic growth.
Contradicting its familiar 'greed is good' mantra, the capitalist institution says wealth redistribution would not only reduce inequality but would be economically beneficial. Those that come to Jesus last...
Health and wealth
The Equality Trust think tank has also added its voice to the negative impact of inequality on health, wellbeing and crime in its latest report.
The Trust says that the ever widening wealth gap between rich and poor in Britain is costing the economy a massive £39 billion a year or roughly 40% of total public spending on the NHS.
The report reckons the annual cost of inequality amounts to £622 for every person, with £12 billion lost through reduced healthy life expectancy, £25 billion lost through poor mental health, £1.67 billion lost through increased crime.
Not rocket science
The last word (this week) on the adverse effects of inequality on society goes to Nasa, the space agency.
In its report Human And Nature Dynamical (Handy) model, applied mathematician Safa Motesharri assesses the threat to civilisation by "the economic stratification of society into 'Elites' and 'Masses'", ie capitalism.
According to Motesharri, "even using an optimal depletion rate and starting with a very small number of Elites, the Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among the Masses that eventually causes the collapse of society".
But readers shouldn't despair. "Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion."
I believe that's called socialism!
Outrageously warmonger Tony Blair has received £500,000 in public funds since 2011. This 'allowance' helps ex-PMs to "meet the cost of continuing to fulfil public duties".
Given his legacy includes a situation where half of all children under five in Afghanistan are suffering irreversible harm from malnutrition, disgust at this real scrounger will be deeply and widely felt.
The only public funds Blair should access are the ones used to run state prisons, for crimes against humanity.
For a fourth successive year, millions of public sector workers face a zero or a below inflation pay increase. However, some civil servants have been treated favourably by government ministers.
Special advisors or 'spads' who, presumably, dreamt up the government's austerity measures and other reactionary policies, have seen their pay levels go stratospheric.
Welfare cutter Iain Duncan Smith has given his spad a 36% rise while Cameron's spad, Ed Llewellyn, got a 12% increase from £125,000 to £140,000, more than double the salary of a backbench MP. The list of outrageous salary increases to ministerial spads goes on.
Appropriately, spad is also a railway acronym meaning Signal Passed At Danger.
What we saw
Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle on BBC iplayer
Comedian Stewart Lee's amusing satire on the lack of policy differences over welfare cuts between Labour and the Tories