Wage inequality brought about by capitalism

I’d like to comment on Keith McNeill’s excellent editorial on income inequality in the Jan. 10 issue of the Times. Currently, more than 80 per cent of the world’s population live in countries where income differentials are widening, so while it is so very true that the disparity between rich and poor are at the root of the world’s social ills, I believe the problem goes much deeper. The source of the various economic policies and practices that give rise to the ever widening gaps in incomes is systemic - the direct result of a system created, designed and implemented by an elite and obscenely wealthy corporate hierarchy. These are the same people who will orchestrate mass economic depressions in order to capitalize on basement price acquisitions of competitor’s holdings. This is just how the great stock market crash of the 1920’s occurred, when literally scores of banks became insolvent (after newspapers spread rumors to the effect) only, upon their premeditated demise, to be purchased along with all of their assets for pennies on the dollar - making fortunes for some of America’s wealthiest. Of course, hundreds of thousands of people where made destitute. The jobless, hungry and homeless forced to be even more competitive, were willing to work for a pittance of their former salaries making the employers ever more profit. Don’t think for a second that dramatic economic fluctuation is always accidental. Whenever, in this system, there is a seemingly ‘surprise’ economic calamity someone is reaping millions in the process and the resultant depression that inevitably occurs in its wake is of no consequence to the powerful. Such people seek to profit from another’s loss even (and especially) at the cost of war. Their system has one objective and that is money or ‘capital.’ Hence it’s name ‘Capital-ism.’ By it’s very definition it places profit over people, capital over community and wealth over health.

I’d like to comment on Keith McNeill’s excellent editorial on income inequality in the Jan. 10 issue of the Times. Currently, more than 80 per cent of the world’s population live in countries where income differentials are widening, so while it is so very true that the disparity between rich and poor are at the root of the world’s social ills, I believe the problem goes much deeper. The source of the various economic policies and practices that give rise to the ever widening gaps in incomes is systemic – the direct result of a system created, designed and implemented by an elite and obscenely wealthy corporate hierarchy. These are the same people who will orchestrate mass economic depressions in order to capitalize on basement price acquisitions of competitor’s holdings. This is just how the great stock market crash of the 1920’s occurred, when literally scores of banks became insolvent (after newspapers spread rumors to the effect) only, upon their premeditated demise, to be purchased along with all of their assets for pennies on the dollar – making fortunes for some of America’s wealthiest. Of course, hundreds of thousands of people where made destitute. The jobless, hungry and homeless forced to be even more competitive, were willing to work for a pittance of their former salaries making the employers ever more profit. Don’t think for a second that dramatic economic fluctuation is always accidental. Whenever, in this system, there is a seemingly ‘surprise’ economic calamity someone is reaping millions in the process and the resultant depression that inevitably occurs in its wake is of no consequence to the powerful. Such people seek to profit from another’s loss even (and especially) at the cost of war. Their system has one objective and that is money or ‘capital.’ Hence it’s name ‘Capital-ism.’ By it’s very definition it places profit over people, capital over community and wealth over health.

Every so-called social program we consider a ‘benefit’ of capitalism is the result of a hard won ‘right’ workers have had to struggle for, some having paid with their lives. Today in Canada we think it normal that we enjoy such ‘benefits’ as unemployment insurance, a five day work week, overtime, statutory holidays, an eight-hour work day, workmen’s compensation, universal health care, etc. The truth is, these were very hard won victories for the common worker. In the above-mentioned cases, these victories were the work of Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas and his ‘socialist’ government. Our first Bill of rights and the first Arts council were also a part of Douglas’s socialist legacy. This fact few people, even Canadians, are aware of. It is not in the interest of capitalists to make concessions that would minimize their profits and so the battle for fairness, equality and justice still continues. Now, however, the fight is made all the more difficult as corporations have amassed tremendous power since the days of Tommy Douglas. Many multinationals record annual profits greater than the GDP of some countries so that they now control the lion’s share of the world’s wealth.

Let’s remember the golden rule of capitalism: ‘Those with the gold make the rules!’ Wars and violent conflicts erupt across the globe as corporate influenced governments seek control over the world’s dwindling resources with military spending estimates in excess of $1.5 trillion U.S. each year! Yet governments tell us there isn’t enough money to combat poverty and disease! Meanwhile less than one percent of what the world spends on weapons could put every child into school! UNICEF statistics stated that 24,000 children die each day due to poverty. At least 80 per cent of humanity lives on less than $10 U.S. per day. Some 1.1 billion people living in developed countries have no access to water. Unsafe water is considered a main cause of diarrhea killing an estimated 1.8 million children each year while close to half of all people in these countries are suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits and 2.2 million children die each year from preventable disease because they are not immunized. I ask you then, where is the so-called commitment to peace and the eradication of poverty that this system’s government profess to be committed to? As long as this current system allows people and their resources to be exploited for corporate profit then wage inequality, disparity, conflict and poverty will be unavoidable. Only when people choose to have an equitable system of common ownership of resources and the means of production for the greater good of society and not for the wealth of a minority will we have a truly sustainable, just and democratic system of government. Such a system will not be capitalist.

Tom Coles

Clearwater, B.C.