Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/710/14178
The Socialist 21 March 2012 |
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Them & Us
Super rich suffer cash piles
It seems that 'Broke Britain' ain't so broke. Cash holdings of big companies in Britain are standing at £731 billion. That's cash sitting in banks not being invested because of 'lack of confidence in the market'. The deficit for 2010/11 was £110 billion. So the cash lying idle could pay it off nearly six times over. In other words it could not only pay it off and end the cuts but also create millions of jobs by investing in infrastructure and public services, funding free education for all, etc, etc. But where's the point in that?
Topshop owner and tax dodger, Sir Philip Green, turned 60 recently. You're probably hoping he had a lovely day - chocolate cake, new aftershave and a nice meal with the family. No, no, no - that just won't do. Green held a joint party with his daughter, who turned 21, in the exclusive Rosewood Makayoba resort in Mexico. A DJ doesn't cut it for this birthday duo - they flew Stevie Wonder, Robbie Williams and Michael Bublé to perform at the event. Sausages on cocktail sticks wouldn't suit the crowd either - guests, including Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow, were treated to caviar and £225 a bottle champagne. Even the toilets couldn't be mundane and were glammed-up with mirrored walls and luxury black toilet paper. All a steal at a mere £6.5 million. You can see why the millionaire's government saw fit to make him their 'efficiency czar'.
The Guardian recently quoted a risk and compliance officer at a major bank as saying: "I remember in my first few weeks I sat down with one of the structures products guys. He was selling so-called PFI deals, where local authorities buy a complicated financial instrument to pay for, say, a hospital. I asked him: where's the benefit for the local authorities in this? He was aghast. 'What are you, a socialist?'" Quite.
The austerity imposed on Greece by the Troika is having devastating consequences for working class and poor people in the country. 40% funding cuts to hospitals have led to a massive increase in infectious diseases including malaria and tuberculosis. An increase in prostitution and drug use as well as the closure of needle exchange services has meant a big increase in HIV/Aids too - in 2011 the number of sufferers increased by 1,250%. Families are struggling to buy food to the extent that teachers no longer expect children to do PE because many are too weak.
Goldman Sachs - "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity" - typifies the dog eat dog nature of capitalism. Recent revelations by an ex-employee show that there is nothing 'moral' about Goldman Sachs and the other great firms that really rule the world, despite what David Cameron would have us believe. Goldman Sachs is "toxic", customers are "Muppets", etc. It helped to build the colossal debt mountain before 2007. It 'earned' revenues of $29 billion last year and distributed more than $12 billion to its staff in pay and bonuses, as much as the GDP of Albania!