Showing posts with label inequality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inequality. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Capitalism is the actual source of inequality


 In signs of rising income inequality, India's richest 1% now hold a huge 58% of the country's total wealth -- higher than the global figure of about 50%, a new study showed on Monday.

 The study, released by rights group Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos attended by rich and powerful from across the world, showed that just 57 billionaires in India now have same wealth ($216 billion) as that of the bottom 70% population of the country. Globally, just 8 billionaires have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50% of the world population.

 The study said there are 84 billionaires in India, with a collective wealth of $248 billion, led by Mukesh Ambani ($19.3 billion), Dilip Shanghvi ($16.7 billion) and Azim Premji ($15 billion). The total Indian wealth in the country stood at $3.1 trillion.

 The total global wealth in the year was $255.7 trillion, of which about $6.5 trillion was held by billionaires, led by Bill Gates ($75 billion), Amancio Ortega ($67 billion) and Warren Buffett ($60.8 billion).

 In the report titled 'An economy for the 99%', Oxfam said it is time to build a human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few. It said that since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet.

http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-india-s-richest-1-own-58-of-country-s-total-wealth-oxfam-2293003

Oxfam's overall conclusions are misleading - Capitalism is the actual source of inequality, Specifically exploitation takes place at the point of production and regardless of the wage transacted.

There is no doubt that Oxfam's statistics are reliable and a valuable source.

 However, the conclusions made by Oxfam about the reasons of extreme global inequality- and the needed solution to the problem- consist a misleading message to the people. The misleading message is that the capitalist system can be improved and change towards a... "human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few".

  Oxfam points out some actual issues, such as the tax dodging by corporate companies which drive down the wages of the workers in order to maximize profit, the use of tax heavens etc. However, the heart of the problem cannot be found in theories such as the "super-charged shareholder capitalism" or "casino capitalism". The heart of inequality the capitalist system itself- the capitalist mode of production is the root of all problems.

  When Oxfam refers to the need for the creation of a "human economy", it hides the simple fact that, within Capitalism, an economy for the majority, for the working people, for the masses, isn't possible. It is also quite hypocritical from the side of Oxfam to keep calling on business leaders to play their part in building a human economy - the only part the bourgeoisie can play in Capitalism is the role of the oppressor.

 The only solution for humanity lies on the total overthrow of the capitalist system. The working people, the masses in every country, must not have illusions about a supposed "human economy" within Capitalism, because Capitalism cannot be humanized. The only way out of the misery and the huge inequalities is the struggle against the capitalist exploitative system, for a new society, where the people will be the real masters of the wealth they produce.

Dipak Kumar Bhattacharya

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Soup Kitchen Scotland

CAPITALISM IS HELL
The number of people using food banks in Scotland has risen by two-thirds. A total of 117, 689 people - including more than 36,000 children - received a three-day supply of emergency food from the organisation last year. That was a 65% increase on the figures for the previous year.

In 2011, there was one food bank in Scotland operated in partnership with the Trussell Trust. The charity said that as of April 2015, it had 50 food banks in 27 Scottish local authorities. The main reasons behind people being referred to its food banks were due to a benefit delay, low income or a benefit change.

18,000 people in Glasgow using one of its food banks in the financial year from 2014/2015, In Edinburgh, the figure was about 14,000 people and in Fife more than 10,000 required an emergency food supply.

Low income showed the biggest numerical rise, with 24,609 people referred for this reason in 2014/15 compared with 13,552 the previous year, an increase of more than 80%.

Ewan Gurr, Scotland network manager at The Trussell Trust,said: "Despite welcome signs of economic recovery, hunger continues to affect significant numbers of men, women and children in Scotland. The full extent of the problem could well be much wider as the Trussell Trust figures do not include people who are helped by other food charities [they account for only 20% of all food centres in Glasgow] or those who feel too ashamed to seek help."


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fact of the Day

A new Scottish Government report shows boys living in Scotland's most deprived communities can now expect to live to just 46 before their health starts to deteriorate.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Capitalism isn't fit for purpose

In the most deprived communities, men and women can expect to spend 22.7 years and 26.1 years respectively in "not good" health.
That compares to just 11.9 years and 12 years for men and women in most affluent parts of Scotland.
 Cancer and heart attack rates remain higher among those living in deprived areas.
Since 2008 "the admissions rate in the most deprived areas has increased at a faster rate than in the least deprived areas", leading to an increase in both relative and absolute inequality.
Dr Brian Keighley, chairman of the BMA in Scotland explained "... "for those people living in the most deprived communities the inequalities in health have never been more apparent. We cannot simply continue to argue that public health policies are working to improve the lives of Scots when the differences between rich and poor are so apparent...whilst doctors can do all they can to treat these illnesses, they will not reduce the drivers of inequality in society."



Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fact of the Day

The survey, which is based on publicly available data, breaks down wealth to an average of $51,600 per adult around the globe, but in reality only a tiny sliver of the world’s population at the wealthiest end owns 86%  of the wealth.
Some 3.2 billion individuals—two thirds of the world’s population—have less than $10,000 each, the Swiss bank found. The top of the pyramid,  numbers just 32 million people who have $1  million or more, about 41% of global wealth. Nearly half of them live in the United States.

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. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

One Law for the rich, another for the poor

Both the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Scotland have criticised the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill. The Faculty of Advocates warned that the reform will create a system where those who can afford it receive the best legal representation, while those on legal aid will suffer.

People relying on legal aid would automatically be represented by an advocate in the Court of Session, but in the sheriff court that would only happen in “exceptional” cases, it claimed. The faculty said in a statement:
“The effect of these combined measures will, in the view of the faculty, fundamentally undermine both access to justice and equality of representation...The proposal would in effect deprive individuals on low and moderate incomes and SMEs [small and medium sized businesses] with serious cases, of the right and ability to instruct an advocate. This aspect of the proposal would favour wealthy and corporate litigants, who can afford to instruct counsel, over ordinary people and would create inequality in the justice system.” (our emphasis)

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Fact of the Day

0.1% of the world population hold 81% of the wealth and the ratio of poverty to wealthy statistic went from 3:1 in 1820 to 35:1 in 1950 to nearly 80:1 today.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

We need a need-based health service

The NHS is failing to provide needs-based care in areas of blanket deprivation, GPs working in Scotland's poorest areas will tell MSPs. The GPs from The Deep End group, which represents 100 practices in the poorest parts of the country are expected to warn that the health service's approach is a "recipe for widening health inequality" when they appear before the Public Audit Committee.

The report warned that the distribution of GPs in Scotland does not reflect the higher levels of poor health and greater need in poorer areas and that "deep-seated inequalities remain between the least and most deprived communities" despite research showing higher rates of multimorbidity (more than one chronic medical condition) in patients from the most deprived areas.

This, combined with "dysfunctional links between general practice and other parts of the NHS", is "a partial explanation of 20 years of failure in addressing inequalities in health. The GPs called for more time for doctors seeing patients in deprived communities, as well as better integration with other services such as social work and addiction services. "The focus should be on sustainable development, with an emphasis on continuity and the productive power of long-term relationships."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thought for Today

Human-beings are a community animal. Individuals are biologically unique while also only being psychologically complete when acting as an element of community and integrated into its functioning. Reason, logic and scientific understanding may be used in making arguments, but it is not argument that will ultimately prevail. It is repetition, recognition and acceptance. Humans can change the way in which they live. The whole community is responsible for its total economic product and its distribution. All members of the community must have a just equity share in the community’s economic product.

In the United States one family, the Walton family of Wal-Mart, owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of Americans.

Imagine a world where the population reaps the benefits for their work. Imagine a world run as a democracy, from the bottom up, not from the top down.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

French poverty

A plea for help by the head of a French charity, struggling to cope with an “explosion” in demand, has highlighted the increase in poverty in France.

Olivier Berthe, president of Restos du Cœur (Restaurants with Heart), which hands out food parcels and hot dinners to those most in need, reported a 12 percent rise in the number of people coming through its doors, which, according to Berthe, represents an extra 100,000 compared to this time last year.  “We know that the situation we are in is going to deteriorate and we will have to take measures to manage it. If our donors do not react then we will not be able to cope,” Berthe said.

In the winter of 2011/2012 the charity distributed 115 million meals compared to just 8.5 million in 1985,
 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Education - a fail mark

Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh came joint first in Scotland, (along with Glasgow’s Jordanhill School), after figures released showed 69 per cent of S5 pupils obtained three Highers or more. A few miles away not one student left either Wester Hailes Education Centre or Castlebrae Community High with a Higher, let alone the qualifications needed for a university place.

In Glasgow, just 5 per cent of students at Govan High School obtained three or more Highers, while schools in deprived areas of Aberdeen and Dundee also performed poorly.

Meanwhile Scotland's university for the elite, St Andrews, where Prince William and Kate Middleton studied, is accused of failing to enrol students from the poorest backgrounds - only 13 students from the most deprived backgrounds of the country in 2010/11 – 2.7% of the student intake.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fact of the Day

Just five percent of the population own 80 percent of the farmland in Guatemala.

Fifty-four percent of the population lives in poverty and 13 percent in extreme poverty, according to the 2011 National Survey of Living Conditions, while half of the children under five suffer chronic malnutrition, according to UNICEF

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Scottish health apartheid

New figures revealed men in the wealthiest areas live 11 years longer than those in the most deprived parts of the country. For women, the gap is 7.5 years between the poorest areas and the most affluent. Deprived area residents have higher rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and drug and alcohol abuse as well as poorer mental health.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Poor Rich

Europe's richest families are suffering, the poor wee souls. Having had returns on investments of 8 percent in 2011 and nearly 12 percent in 2010 the annual return dropped to 3.6 percent. They could have performed better if they hadn't held so much low-performing cash, or real estate, because some stock markets and asset classes such as government bonds moved ahead strongly. Rather than speculate in shares, the rich have hoarded in the safety of bank deposits and land.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Screwing the workers


Just four years after the worst shock to the economy since the Great Recession, U.S. corporate profits are stronger than ever. In the third quarter, corporate earnings were $1.75 trillion, up 18.6% from a year ago, according to last week'si gross domestic product report. That took after-tax profits to their greatest percentage of GDP in history.  How is that possible? It’s simple: profits have surged because wages and other labor benefits are down.

Today’s economy is a market. The 1% populariSe the view that today’s economy is a fair and argue, as Margaret Thatcher put it, There Is No Alternative (TINA). The market's real invisible hands are at work insider dealing and anti-union maneuvering plus outright looting and fraud. What they all seek is power is hire strike-breakers, lobby for special favors and backing politicians pledged to act on behalf of the 1%. Firms use political leverage to make sure that anti-labour laws determine employment and working conditions. Capital-intensive industries out-source low-skill jobs to small-scale providers using non-union labor and advocate privatising public utilities largely aimed at breaking trade union power. 

Why are capitalists uninterested in the jobs crisis? The indifference to the jobs crisis isn’t simply a matter of being out-of-touch. Businesses oppose employment creation policies in order to keep wages low, even though this may limit the market for their own output. After all, without a mass reserve army of labour to decrease the demand for labor and bully the workforce into a more pliant state of submission, profitability becomes imperiled by the threat of enhanced worker power and the ensuing demand for higher wages. This is a process one can clearly see in the wake of the present crisis. Rising financial profits have reduced workers' wages and squeezed profits across the rest of the economy, according to a new TUC report. Worker wages have fallen to historic lows. Such are the true splendors of the “market"

Of course, the role of mass unemployment in suppressing wages and ensuring continued profitability necessarily extends to the global capitalist system as a whole. In 2011 the global reserve army of labour stood at some 2.4 billion people, as opposed to the 1.4 billion found in the active labour market. That is, the global reserve army of labor stood 70 percent larger than the active world labour market. “The existence of an enormous global reserve army of labour forces income deflation on the world’s workers,” Foster and McChesney explained in their book The Endless Crisis. Where labour is on the defensive, capital is on the offensive. Hence, amid rising corporate profits we see a varied global attack on labour—stretching from Brooklyn to Broxburn to Bangladesh and beyond. The class struggle must be international. The international dimension of economic power is the IMF, the World Bank and the ECB through which the U.S. and E.U. imposes imposes austerity on Greece, Spain and the rest of the world, targeting families, the elderly, the sick and the poor, as governments slash benefits. People are being pushed into poverty and no longer can afford the basics such as food, heating and education. The "invisible hand" of the market is unable, or unwilling, to satisfy the needs of society.

 Some political activists call for mobilisation against the bankers and the billionaires but socialists say don’t hate the players, hate the game.

Based on this article

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Fact of the Day

Nearly half the French people consider themselves poor or fear they soon will be, said a survey.

Salaried employees, manual labourers and independent workers felt the most exposed to poverty, while executives and professionals felt the least exposed.

 Unemployment numbers stand 10%—the worst since 1999. Youth unemployment hit 24.9%, the highest since the data series began in 1996.

Increasing misery

Jérôme Sainte-Marie, director of the political opinion department at the market research firm CSA, which had conducted the survey, was worried that France has “entered a new era.” This was now no longer a question of “lowered status but of pauperization.” Many French people not only had the impression of being “worse off than their parents or worse off than hoped,” but they worried “that they could be thrown into misery, if they aren’t already in it.”

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Facts of the Day

The world's 1,226 billionaires have more combined wealth than 3.5 billion people - half the entire planet's population. The richest 10 per cent of the world's population takes 90 per cent of the world's income.
$21 trillion is estimated to have been transferred in the tax havens - 10 per cent of all the world's privately held wealth. This is also more than 10 times the total value of development aid given to the world's poorer nations in the past 20 years.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/11/20121126134721926547.html

Monday, November 19, 2012

Facts of the Day

How many people know that out of 150 countries, the United States have the fourth-highest wealth disparity? Only Zimbabwe, Namibia and Switzerland are worse. 93% of financial wealth is owned by the richest 20% of Americans.

The richest 1% have doubled their share of America's income in 30 years. From 1980 to 2006, the richest 1% actually tripled their share of after-tax income.

Only 4% of those raised in the bottom fifth make it to the top fifth as adults. Only about 20 percent even make it to the top half. 80% of black children who started in or near the top half of U.S. income levels experienced downward mobility later in life.

According to UNICEF, among industrialized countries only Romania has a higher child poverty rate than the United States. Just in the last 10 years the number of impoverished American children increased by 30%. While 12 percent of white children live in poverty, 35% of Hispanic children and 39% of black children start their lives below the poverty line.

 For every dollar of non-home wealth owned by white families, people of color have only 1 cent. Median wealth for a single white woman is over $40,000. For black and Hispanic women it is a little over $100.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fact of the Day

In 2012, the World Economic Forum calculated that 1 per cent of the world's population - just 70 million people - own half of the world's wealth.

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/as-long-as-the-rich-can-speculate-on-food-the-worlds-poor-go-hungry-20120630-219ja.html

Summer School

Summer School 2017

Summer School 2017  21st – 23rd July Fircroft College, Birmingham   These days, con...