Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/541/6258

From The Socialist newspaper, 9 July 2008

Rich get richer: Why should we pay the price!

The 'Haves and Have Yachts' lead totally different lives to the rest of us. Last year an American journalist wrote a book about how the super-rich now live in their own world of gated mansions with butlers and servants, private schools and hospitals. He called this nation 'Richistan'.

Alistair Tice

The inhabitants of this world can buy a mega-yacht for £13 million or a personalised Boeing 737 for $35 million to whisk them away to their private island in the Pacific. Here they sip 'martini on a rock'; at $10,000 a drink it comes with a diamond at the bottom of the glass! Sounds like a fantasy world? In fact one billionaire is trying to build an inflatable space hotel!

But in the non-fantasy, real world one billion people still don't have clean drinking water and two billion don't have access to sanitation. This is a 'profit before people' world where the wealth gap is growing due to globalisation, de-regulated markets and financial speculation. It is a capitalist world in which these so-called 'Masters of the Universe' have brought us to the brink of economic disaster.

Not that the super-rich are suffering. The latest World Wealth Report for Merrill Lynch shows that the number of dollar millionaires totals ten million.

Sounds like a lot, but they are only 0.0015% of the world's population. Yet these 'high net worth individuals' have assets of $40 trillion, more than the annual incomes of China, Japan, Brazil, Russia and the EU combined!

Despite the credit crunch, property crash and economic slowdown their wealth grew 9% last year and is projected to keep growing by 8% a year.

And don't think that these are all American tycoons, Arabian sheiks and Russian oligarchs. There are 494,500 dollar millionaires in Britain. London is actually the capital of Richistan due to Thatcher's de-regulation of the financial system and New Labour's light-touch tax regime. That's the tax system that forces cleaners to pay more than private equity bosses and non-doms.

In fact one third of big companies pay no tax at all!

Meanwhile living standards for the average UK household have gone down over the last five years according to a new report by Ernst & Young. After tax, mortgage and household bills, the average family has 6% less to spend on 'discretionary' purchases than in 2003.

So it's no good Gordon Brown saying he "feels our pain" of rising food and fuel costs, when his MPs vote to keep their noses in the John Lewis trough. Or chancellor Alistair Darling urging wage restraint "from the boardroom to the shop-floor" when there's a fat-cat chance of the bosses only giving themselves 2%. Mind - we could accept a 2% increase - of their salaries!

This situation is not going unnoticed. On 16 and 17 July workers in local government are taking strike action against a derisory pay offer. The Socialist Party supports all workers fighting for a decent wage. We advocate taxing the super-rich to re-distribute wealth and campaign for a new mass workers' party to achieve that.

Most of all, we believe another world is possible, where instead of the wealth and resources of the planet creating the obscenity of Richistan, democratic socialism would liberate humankind from exploitation and oppression.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 9 July 2008:

Striking back against low pay


Campaign for a New Workers Party

The working class needs its own party

CNWP conference: Wanted - a new mass workers' party


Socialist Party news and analysis

UK economy sliding into recession

Rich get richer: Why should we pay the price!

MP backs student fees campaign

Bonuses for chiefs, pay restraint for civil service workers

Government lies on public-sector pay

High farce from Boris Johnson

G8 leaders' 'world hunger' banquet

On the other side of the financial divide...


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend the NHS!

Property deals threaten private nursing homes

Cancer vaccines: who decides?


Marxist analysis: history

Terry Fields: A socialist voice that rocked Whitehall


Socialist Party LGBT

Marching against homophobia & racism


Socialist Party workplace news

Argos warehouse workers vote to strike

DWP strikes bring talks

National Shop Stewards Network Conference: Organising migrant workers

A day in the life of a call centre worker

Call centre charter: A framework for workers' rights

RMT conference discusses crisis of political representation


Shop Workers' Union Usdaw

Socialist stands for Usdaw general secretary


 

Home   |   The Socialist 9 July 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Rich:

triangleNot a budget for the working class!

triangleCovid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

triangleNews in Brief

triangleMake the super-rich pay, not the poorest

triangleRich countries hoarding vaccine is danger to us all

Tax:

triangleTories keep bailing out bosses, while piling the pain on workers and public services

triangleWhere's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

triangleBosses earn workers' annual wage in three days

triangleSuper-rich tax evasion costs 34 million nurses worldwide

Super-rich:

triangle

News in brief

triangle£1,600 less benefits if your job goes - while super-rich splash cash

triangleTake the wealth off the super-rich

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

3/3/21

Bus workers

Under attack and fighting back

3/3/21

Students

Socialist Students conference

3/3/21

Schools

Teachers demand fighting union strategy

3/3/21

Manchester

Manchester indefinite bus strike against 'fire and rehire'

3/3/21

Electricians

Sparks force bosses back but fight continues to stamp out deskilling

3/3/21

Black

Swansea BLM protest against racist police brutality

3/3/21

HMRC

HMRC: Pay deal agreed but at what cost?

3/3/21

London

Why we need socialists in London city hall

3/3/21

Brighton

Stop domestic abuse service closures in Brighton

3/3/21

Election

Determined to smash the fighting fund target to fuel election challenge in May

3/3/21

Music

Union fight to save musicians' livelihoods

3/3/21

British Gas

British Gas strike

3/3/21

Strike

RAF Leeming strike escalates

3/3/21

Strike

IT workers walkout against 'fire and rehire'

3/3/21

Bus

Victory for Judith, defend Moe

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999