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OECD report: A system in crisis
"Society at a Glance 2014 OECD Social Indicators" doesn't sound like the most exciting document. However, many of the report's conclusions point towards a deep unease about the future direction of capitalism.
The report was commissioned by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) an organisation mainly composed of the major industrialised economies.
The Great Recession, as the authors call it, since 2008, has resulted in greater economic inequality and unemployment, while social protections have been severely weakened and absolute poverty has increased.
Moreover, the so-called 'recovery' has benefited the super-rich at the expense of the majority - the '99%'.
The report indicates that a whole generation of young people will end up on the scrap heap - what an indictment of the capitalist system! It also warns of the storing up of 'combustible materials' within society as young people - the most, energetic and combative element in society - search for alternatives to a system that has failed them.
The report's conclusions run counter to the austerity programmes being pursued by capitalist governments that make up the OECD.
It calls for greater protection of existing social spending in an era when such programmes are being attacked across the globe.
It calls for reform of the tax system saying governments should "work to broaden tax bases, reduce their reliance on labour taxes and adjust tax systems to account for rising inequality."
This is a roundabout way of saying that a greater share of wealth produced in industrialised societies should go to working people rather than the super-rich.
It flies in the face of trends in capitalism since the 1970s that have only been accelerated during the Great Recession.
However, the change that's needed will not come about from its recommendations. This can only be brought about when workers and young people build their own organisations that fight to change society.
In The Socialist 9 April 2014:
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