the current situation of the wealthy elite in our country and indeed even more so in our world is disgusting and something has got to change. at times i have felt physically sick when i have read of the behaviour of the rich in the wake of the 2008 crash in their own sector and their attitude to the poor. i fear if it is not legislated to change by governments in countries like the uk and usa then it is like a pressure cooker that is going to explode at some point.
today oxfam have published a report wealth: having it all and wanting more. this really is saying the same as their october report even it up: time to end extreme inequality, the statistics are mind boggling. the richest 1% own half of the global wealth. their share keeps increasing in the wake of continued governmental belief and practice in deregulation. supposedly deregulation leads to creativity and fredom for enterprise. but it's stark glaringly obvious that deregulation has created a culture of greed and self interest.
we owe it to ourselves to get informed about this. i don't know if it's just me but it seems like there is a rising anger and awareness. even though it's extremely difficult to fuly grasp the workings of (the god of) the market i have recently been helped to understand it by a few things...
supercrash - a graphic novel by darryl cunningham. this is a book yes in pictures that i wholeheartedly recommend.
capital by piketty - last year an economist who did some counting that caught bthe world's attention as it highlighted how inequality was rising but hugely problematic. it's rather a large book sadly so here's a four paragraph summary!
the new economics foundation are an amazing think tank - follow their work. think tanks have been extremely important for the rise of neoliberal capitalism. so it's a relief to find one or two who are doing the thinking on economics out of a different imagination. this paper is very important because it makes the case that inequality does not lead to flourishing in the economy. it's obvious it doesn't lead to flourishing in life as a whole!!!
ann pettifor's work is genuinely brilliant, a prophet i would say - she now works for another think tank - policy research in macro economics (PRIME) - keep an eye on their work.
the book to get your blood boiling but also highlighting so many shocking things about our society in relation to power, money, politics and privilege is the establishment by owen jones - totally brilliant. i can't recommend it enough. i have two chapters to go and will review it then.
i also try and read most things george monbiot writes as he seems to have a pretty good sense of things.
there are also growing numbers of documentaries of the superrich on their yachts and islands and castles and palaces and private estates living in their own bubble. honestly sometimes it's like watching a james bond villain - epstein and his island for example - just hideous. is it going to get to the stage where they build their own armies to defend their stuff from the rest of the world???!!! that seems to be the way it's heading.
what can be done? a lot actually! it's not hard to work out that you don't have to run society this way. we need to manage the financial sector to address it's immoral greed and that needs international as well as national involvement. it also requires separating the vested interests of the rich from government - it's all too cosy cosy. we need jobs for all and invest that way including reducing inequality. we need fair taxation that hugely shifts inequality and invests taxes in arts, education, welfare. simple! who in politics has the courage to do it? oxfam and others all have theior own take but essentially it's in this kind of direction. i don't hear a lot from the main parties. they seem afraid. who is going to rise up and have the courage to make a better society?