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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 April 2014

OECD report: A system in crisis

Neil Cafferky

"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.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 9 April 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

House of Thieves

Housing emergency

Break with pro-cuts Labour now

System change to save the environment

Hillsborough tragedy - the final chapter?

OECD report: A system in crisis

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Care UK strike: national union support needed

Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) elections

Build on the fighting militant traditions of the RMT

Probation workers unite to fight off no-justice vultures

Visteon: Ford makes offer

Sparks fight on!

Homes and Communities Agency strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Swansea: National Front thwarted!

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition progress update

Doncaster: March commemorates miners' strike

Save Leicester Race Equality Centre

Obituary: Pat James 1930 - 2014

Help with the Socialist sales campaign

Support the Socialist with a May Day greeting


Reviews and readers' comments

Book review: Silent Accomplice

Reviews and comments


 

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