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Overproduction

Another Quack Remedy

 With the multitudinous “remedies” for the unemployed problem, one wonders why it should exist at all, or, at any rate, why it is allowed to assume the alarming proportions it does each winter. Notwithstanding stone yards and emigration, Queen’s Funds and the rest, however, the problem remains, and what is more important, increases. But at last the "first practical proposal” has been made. It emanates from that quarter from which one would anticipate “practical” proposals.

A New Cure

 In the February issue of the Socialist Standard our comrade, Dick Kent, dealt with the latest quack remedy of the Salvation Army for solving unemployment. Now comes a writer in the Daily News, an "economic expert" who traces the cause of unemployment to the wasteful expenditure of wealth. Bow your heads, ye Solomons who taught the workers that they were poor because they were robbed. Shade your eyes from the dazzling light thrown upon this, up till now, difficult problem by the economic constellation alone. Can ye not see that it is not because Dick Turpin robs you that you are poor, but because, after he has emptied your pockets, he spends the proceeds of his industry in a wasteful manner.

The Coming Slump: Does the Gold Standard Matter?

The correct answer to the question, "Why are the workers poor?" is: "They are poor because the means of production and distribution are owned and controlled by the capitalist class instead of by the whole community, and consequently so is the wealth produced by the workers." This is the starting point from which the working class should view all schemes for improving capitalist trade, currency systems, etc. It is naturally not the starting point for the defenders of capitalism. They take private ownership for granted and leave out of their enquiries any possibility of ending it. As a result, their attempts to find out why poverty, trade depression, unemployment and crises exist, and how to end them, are sterile and fruitless.

Cooking the Books: When Supply Exceeds Demand ….

The capitalist class is not a monolithic block with a single interest. They are united of course in wanting capitalism to continue and a government to enforce their ownership, but beyond that it’s a mass of often conflicting sectional interests of particular groups, industries and firms. An important role of governments is to arbitrate between these conflicting interests.

The current crisis in the British steel industry is a case in point. Tata, the India-based capitalist conglomerate which owned the Port Talbot steelworks (which shows that capitalism is international and that the Leninist theory that imperialist Britain exploits capitalist India is nonsense – they’re all in it together), wanted to dispose of it as it wasn’t making a profit. In fact it was said to have been making a loss of £1 million a day. No capitalist firm is going to put up with that for long.

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