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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 October 2017

Capitalism and human progress

Tory leader and Prime Minister Theresa May, photo Policy Exchange/Creative Commons

Tory leader and Prime Minister Theresa May, photo Policy Exchange/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

Simon Carter

How appropriate that Theresa May's speech insisting our interests were best served by free market capitalism - "the greatest agent of collective human progress ever created" - came in the same week as budget airline Ryanair cancelled over 700,000 passenger flights and bankrupt Monarch Airlines left 110,000 holidaymakers without a flight back home, along with 860,000 cancelled future bookings (see article below).

Undaunted, the prime minister continued her defence of capitalism, adding: "We should never forget that raising the living standards, and protecting the jobs, of ordinary working people is the central aim of all economic policy."

Unfortunately for May the capitalist International Monetary Fund (IMF) has produced a report pointing to slowing productivity growth, income inequality and low wage growth for putting the brakes on the UK economy - the product of neoliberal economic policy embraced by the Tories.

The report's author, Tao Zhang, says income inequality is weighing down overall global consumption, reducing it by about 3.5% over the last 15 years. "This represents an important headwind to aggregate demand," says Zhang. And whereas real wages in the UK have fallen over 10% on average since the financial crisis, the richest 1,000 individuals have doubled their wealth since 2010.

Of course, May has lauded the UK's headline unemployment figure - the lowest in 42 years. So how come poor wage growth?

According to the IMF, the capitalist 'gig economy' - with its precarious jobs, zero-hour contracts and lousy employment rights - has allowed companies to peg back pay.

So, capitalism is not so much the agent of collective human progress, but rather collective human misery.

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In The Socialist 4 October 2017:


Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events


What we think

The Tories must be driven out


Socialist Party workplace news

Royal Mail workers set for national strike action

Unison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

RMT strikes against removal of train guards spreads

University of Leeds workers walk out

ThyssenKrupp - Tata steel merger


Che Guevara

Revolutionary socialist Che Guevara 50 years on


Labour Party conference

Labour Party conference: Action against establishment sabotage still needed


Socialist Party news and analysis

Capitalism and human progress

Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

Bending the knee v Trump


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tories wreck our NHS

11,000 raised in three weeks for fighting fund

Why I joined: I wanted to change things

Chatsworth ward campaign replies to Tory MP's intervention

Surveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

Leeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'

Protest outside Ukip conference against German far-right speaker


 

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