Poverty and inequality

Locking horns with the Tory government SJW Tue, 01/16/2018 - 19:59
Clay Cross

Rosalind Robson begins a two-part article on the 1972 struggle over council house rents in the Derbyshire town of Clay Cross.

Clay Cross Labour council’s defiance in the face of a Tory government which wanted to increase council house rents, and the council’s determination to keep rents low, is a landmark event in British labour movement history and deserves to be better known.

Obamacare undermined

Submitted by Matthew on 13 December, 2017 - 10:49 Author: Rhodri Evans

As well as legislating for a big redistribution of income from workers to the rich, the US Republicans' "tax reform", now (mid-December) being pummelled into final shape to unite versions from the two houses of Congress, undermines "Obamacare".

Socialist Worker (US) reports that the "reform" promises "a further crisis of the health care system caused by the repeal of the Obamacare mandate requiring individuals to buy insurance.

Trump’s government for the rich

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 1:46 Author: Gerry Bates
Grad protest

Donald Trump's tax overhaul was passed early on Saturday 2 December in the US Senate. Although the bill will now need to be reconciled with the House-passed version, it is likely to include tax cuts which will make the rich and US corporations much richer, while also punishing the working class and the poor.

The reality surrounding Florida’s fantasy

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 1:12 Author: Luke Hardy

When Walt Disney planned “the Florida Project” (the plan that would become Walt Disney World Resort) he deliberately located it in a state with cheap land and compliant politicians who would allow him to own land beyond the park.

Disney wanted more than his fantasy kingdom with themed hotels, he also wanted a corporate-controlled futuristic city where anyone who would not fit in with the magic kingdom's fantasy could be kept out.

Reverse the inequality spiral!

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 12:57 Author: Colin Foster
Reverse the inequality spiral

The share prices of big companies (the FTSE 100) continue to rise. Top bosses' pay dropped a bit between 2015 and 2016, but is on a long-term trend to rise faster than workers' wages, and stood at £3.45 million in 2016 (median pay for FTSE 100 CEOs). The average profit rate of UK firms (outside finance and outside the North Sea oilfields) recovered entirely a long time ago from its dip in 2008-9, and is now around 13%, compared to 8% in 2001.

How the 0.1% rule

Submitted by martin on 23 November, 2017 - 9:54 Author: Martin Thomas
plutocracy

"How does a political party dedicated to the material interests of the top 0.1 per cent of the income distribution win and hold power in a universal suffrage democracy?", asks columnist Martin Wolf in the Financial Times (21 November 2017).

It is indeed the question of questions about the politics and economics of today's social system. Wolf is a former right-wing Labourite who recounts that in the early 1970s he shifted "from social democracy to classical liberalism. I remain such a liberal today".

Seize their wealth!

Submitted by Matthew on 8 November, 2017 - 8:58 Author: Cathy Nugent
Seize their wealth

Another day, another revelation. The super-rich avoid paying tax.

The leak of 13.4 million data files (the “Paradise Papers”) to the Süddeutsche Zeitung in Germany, shared with media around the world, has shone a light on the pathologically anti-social behaviour of the rich pile up their wealth and refusing to contribute to the financing of hospitals, schools and the care of the old, sick and disabled.

Claw back the wealth!

Submitted by Matthew on 3 July, 2017 - 12:01 Author: Editorial

Under pressure to do a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, the Tories have found £1 billion extra for public services in Northern Ireland, the equivalent pro rata to £29 billion in England. They have also sneaked through a huge pay rise for the Queen, from £43 million in 2016 to £82 million in 2019. On 28 June they voted down Labour’s proposal to lift the public sector pay limit.
More pressure — strikes, demonstrations, rallies — can make them budge on that, too.

Grenfell: the powerful are still not listening

Submitted by Matthew on 3 July, 2017 - 11:46 Author: Charlotte Zalens

So far all 95 tower blocks which have had their cladding tested since the fire at Grenfell in Kensington, west London, have failed fire safety standards. These buildings are potentially as dangerous for their tenants as Grenfell was. Many hundreds of buildings are still to be tested.