Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/795/18026
Them & Us
85 super-rich people in the world, in total, own as much wealth ($110 trillion) as half the world's population of 3.5 billion people.
In the US the share of income going to the top 1% has doubled since 1980 to 20%. For the top 0.1% it has quadrupled.
Capitalist investor Warren Buffet, ($53.5 billion wealth), pays only 17.7% in income tax while his secretary (on an above average salary of $60,000) pays 30% in tax.
Cost of living
Total average weekly pay increased from £439 to £476 between March 2008 and October 2013 - 8.5% over 5.5 years.
Over the same period the CPI prices index went up from 106.7 to 127.5 ie up by nearly 20%. Domestic gas and electricity prices rocketed by 50%.
Deeper in debt
Research commissioned by the homeless charity Shelter has shown that one million people have had to turn to payday loans and credit cards to pay their rent or mortgage.
Shelter also report that 9,000 people unable to pay their rent or mortgage called the charity last year - an increase of one-third.
Many more cash-strapped workers are too ashamed to ask for help from friends and family.
Shelter's chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: "Sky high housing costs, stagnating wages and the high cost of living have taken their toll."
It's not just Bangladeshi workers (where a factory collapsed last year) who have been suffering from low-wage paying, profiteering employers.
A US embassy cable, leaked by Wikileaks, showed how clothing companies, such as Levi Strauss and Hanes, paying what the embassy described as 'slave wages', decided they didn't want to implement an increase in the Haitian minimum wage to 61 US cents an hour and instead exerted their influence on the US government to persuade the Haitian government to change this to 31 US cents an hour, or $3 a day.
Even the pitifully low US federal minimum wage (which campaigners in Seattle and elsewhere are trying to force up to $15 an hour) is $58 dollars a day, almost 20 times more!
And now the weather forecast brought to you by Ukip. 'Blackening skies will be followed by pestilential plagues of frogs and locusts...'
At least it would be if Ukip's suspended councillor in Henley-on-Thames, David Silvester, was involved, judged by his ludicrous claim that extreme weather events have been caused by the government legalising same sex marriages.
Before suspending this former Tory party 'fruitcake' Ukip initially cautioned against disciplining Silvester, saying that spouting such reactionary nonsense was justified on the grounds of "free speech".
Ukip poses itself as an 'anti-establishment' party. In reality it is a vituperous nest of 'real Tory' bigots.
In The Socialist 22 January 2014:
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