2000s >> 2009 >> no-1256-april-2009

Voice From The Back


Politicians of all the major political parties have “solutions” for what they call the “homeless problem”. In fact there is no homeless problem, what we have is a poverty problem. Here is a recent press story that shows that there are plenty of empty houses available if you have the money. “The number of properties in Britain lying empty is set to pass 1 million. New figures will show that Britain is on course for a record number of houses and flats lying empty. Some of the rise has been caused by home owners facing repossession. Other empty homes were bought by property developers who have since struggled to raise the money to renovate and furbish them for occupation.” (Daily Telegraph, 10 February) Inside this crazy social system fish are dumped back in to the sea, fruit is allowed to rot on the trees while millions of people starve, so it comes as no surprise to learn that people in Britain go homeless while 1 million homes lie empty.


In the movies Arnold Schwarzenegger often played the hero, but in real life he has had to bow to the realities of the capitalist system that has slumps and booms undreamed of in the Hollywood fantasy land. “Cash-strapped California is to start notifying 20,000 state workers that they may lose their jobs. A spokesman for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made the announcement after California lawmakers failed to approve a $40bn (£28.2bn) budget. California, the world’s eighth biggest economy, has been hit by the housing crisis, unemployment and falling consumer spending. ..California has already laid off state workers for two days a month, put 2,000 public projects on hold and delayed tax refunds.” (BBC News, 17 February) Inside the real world of capitalism Schwartzenegger has had to play the villain by terminating many workers means of earning a living.


The World Bank recently estimated that 2.8 million children could die by 2015 if the global financial crisis is not checked. Commenting on this the Prime Minister Gordon Brown commented: “It is as if the entire population of Rome were to die in the next five years.” (Times, 21 February) This from the leader of the Labour Party who vigorously defend the killer society that is the buying and selling of capitalism. Hypocrisy cannot go further surely when Gordon Brown suspends parliament debate because of the death of the child of one of his opponents in a vote catching move. He will not of course suspend the running of capitalism or its parliament about the possible death of 2.8 million kids.


Despite the economic crisis in the US the government recently announced an increase in its military budget. “The collision of modern American life with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression has had some strange and unintended consequences. In Alpine, Utah, for example, a school has cancelled the entire 6th grade, with the teachers at Mountainville Academy dismissed just before Christmas and the 12-year-olds merged with the 7th grade.” (Times, 21 February) That is the priorities of capitalism – keep up military expenditure to protect the owning class’s markets and sources of raw materials, but sack teachers and worsen the education of workers children.


In the most developed capitalist society on Earth we learn of this horror story. “The US jobless rate jumped in February to 8.1%, according to official figures from the Labor Department. The number of people out of work rose by 651,000 during the month. Both figures were bigger than expected. …President Obama said that the number of jobs lost so far in the recession was “astounding”. Speaking in Ohio, he added: “I don’t need to tell the people of this state what statistics like this mean,” saying that he had signed his economic stimulus package in order to save jobs. The extra 161,000 jobs added to December and January’s figures mean that almost two million jobs have been lost in the past three months.” (BBC News, 6 March) Think what this means, two million workers are being debarred from producing things that are necessary for human existence. Why? Because it isn’t profitable enough. Two million workers and their kids are being impoverished not because of some failing on their part but because of this awful society we all live in. Don’t you think it is time that those 2 million workers in the US thought of an alternative society? Shouldn’t you?

Leave a Reply