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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 January 2019
Them & Us
Them and us fishes, image Suzanne Beishon (Click to enlarge)
Yes, it's that time of year again! The annual World Economic Forum will see the planet's billionaire bosses and political lackeys gather to hobnob at the Swiss ski resort that sounds like a Doctor Who villain. So what's the state of play in 2019?
- The world's 26 richest billionaires own as much as the poorest half of humanity, says Oxfam. The earlier figure of eight billionaires was revised up last year, following new data from Credit Suisse. But the preposterous concentration of wealth is still ever greater - in 2017 it was 43 billionaires; in 2016, 61. And you could now fit them all in a stretch hummer
- Wall Street has posted over $100 billion in profits for the first time. The US's six biggest banks netted $111 billion in 2018, says Bloomberg - even before reporting their fourth-quarter results
- But the chief execs are worried! 30% expect slower economic growth this year, six times more than in 2018, says a PwC survey
- And house prices in the wealthiest areas have fallen by up to 25% in the last 12 months, caused by (the working-class revolt which was) the Leave vote, says Your Move. It couldn't happen to nicer people
Take the wealth off the 1%, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
- Meanwhile, the planet's 3.8 billion poorest actually suffered an 11% wealth reduction last year - compared to the billionaires' 12% increase, or $2.5 billion a day, says Oxfam
- 175,000 retail workers in Britain could lose their jobs this year if unions don't combat the closure of 23,000 shops predicted by Altus Group
- Surprise, surprise. Two-fifths of ex-council homes bought under Thatcher's flagship housing policy, 'right to buy', are no longer the dwellings of owner-occupiers. They are cash-cow rentals for private landlords, according to FoI data
- The Spice Girls' gender justice t-shirts are produced in a Bangladesh factory where abused and harassed women workers earn just 35p an hour. Tory-turned-Blairite Ginger Spice has a net worth of $40 million, says Time. Union organising and socialist change, not super-rich celebs, are the path to women's liberation
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In The Socialist 23 January 2019:
What we think
Corbyn: stand firm for a general election
Socialist Party news and analysis
Nationalise big pharma: end this profit-driven NHS crisis
Duke's car crash: one law for them and another for us
Racist jobs discrimination same for 50 years - unions must fight for jobs for all
Wales is Europe's prisoner capital: capitalist cutters' crimes to blame
Them & Us
Cuban revolution at 60: defend the gains and fight for workers' democracy
Workplace news and analysis
Birmingham: hostile Labour council attacks striking workers
Mass strike wins historic step towards victory in Glasgow equal pay battle
John Lewis workers count the cost of the retail crisis
Unison union higher education conference: a missed opportunity to develop a fighting strategy
Bristol Deliveroo workers walk out
PCS union: re-elect Chris Baugh for assistant general secretary
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Enfield North CLP backs no-cuts budget - now councillors must act
We need May Day greetings!
Leeds: don't let the far right divide us
International socialist news and analysis
Europe: school students strike against climate change
Poland: thousands mourn death of murdered mayor
Theatre: Rouse, Ye Women to tell story of 1910 chainmakers' strike
Non-fiction: The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg "reveals the brutal lengths capitalists will go to protect their system"
The Socialist inbox
The Socialist 23 January 2019 |
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