Thursday, June 20, 2013

Divided Scotland

Scotland's wealthiest households are now 273-times better off than the most deprived, according to Oxfam Scotland and the gap is widening. 
The number of workers who live in poverty has gone from 255,000 to 280,000 since 2008.
The report said that working tax credits were "effectively subsidies from the public purse to employers paying poverty wages", and that all employers should pay a living wage. Businesses paying less than the living wage cause the State between £5.9bn and £6.3bn each year.
The report explains "Experiencing poverty in this rich country is also intensely stressful. Stigmatisation through media and political rhetoric adds to individuals' sense of anguish and isolation. They, not society, nor the economy, are blamed for their poverty. Meanwhile, pressures to consume abound in a culture that elevates status and image above relationships, community contribution or care for the environment."
Judith Robertson, head of Oxfam Scotland, said she believed the existing economic model was not working. She added: "Despite decades of economic growth and a myriad of anti-poverty policies, the reality for too many Scots is a cocktail of high mortality, economic inactivity, mental and physical ill-health, poor educational attainment and exclusion from the decisions that affect them...We need to create a new prosperity that will benefit everyone in society. At the heart of this new prosperity would be community-led economies which focus on the quality and distribution of growth, creating livelihoods for the many, not profits for the few. Our economy shows this is practical and achievable. We just need the will to work together to make it happen.".
It will take a lot more than what Oxfam expects and much more than any capitalist government can be expected to deliver. It will require a socialist revolution to change society and transform the economy into one that is based upon providing for peoples needs and not to supply profits to the wealthy. 
Oxfam can identify the problem but falls short on the solution. 

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