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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 January 2019

'Fat Cat Friday' shows where all the money's gone: take the wealth off the 1%!

Billionaire Bezos would be nothing without his workers, photos reynermedia, Steve Jurvetson, Scott Lewis, all CC, photo reynermedia, Steve Jurvetson, Scott Lewis, all CC

Billionaire Bezos would be nothing without his workers, photos reynermedia, Steve Jurvetson, Scott Lewis, all CC, photo reynermedia, Steve Jurvetson, Scott Lewis, all CC   (Click to enlarge)

Kris O'Sullivan, Birmingham Central Socialist Party

I hadn't even received my first paycheque of the new year when the average chief executive of a FTSE 100 company had already 'earned' more than my entire annual salary - in less than three days!

Workers can see more and more how much society is rigged against us, and in favour of a powerful super-rich elite.

Top bosses received a staggering 11% hike in their already-absurd levels of pay and bonuses, according to the High Pay Centre. With average wages only rising by 2.6% last year - below inflation - so many of us only have the prospect of wage stagnation, precarious work and pension cuts to look forward to, year in and year out.

The 'fat cat' statistics come out every January. The sheer inequality and exploitation they reveal is truly grotesque. But 'Fat Cat Friday' is only possible because of capitalism.

Fat cat day has become a routine, put in the spotlight once a year by the union leaders and then forgotten. But pay inequality is an issue all year round, and trade union struggle can combat it!

Top bosses earn as much as 133 of their average employees - or 386 workers on the minimum wage. Are they seriously saying that if the boss spent a day on a golf course, it would have the same impact as hundreds workers refusing to do their jobs?

Of course not. If workers didn't come in, everything would stop. The profits taken by the shareholders and execs are produced by the workers, not by themselves.

Success?

So why do the Tories and Blairites see all this is as an acceptable thing - even a success story? For overworked and underpaid NHS staff, teachers and council workers it's not. For the young people on zero-hour contracts and the minimum wage with no prospect of secure housing it's not.

The Socialist Party says workers are the wealth creators - while the fat cats are just the wealth takers. We say the working class should control that wealth, not the super-rich. That's why, to everyone reading this, I extend the invitation to join us.

Not just to point out the flaws of capitalism - but to help us fight to replace it with a society based on collective ownership and planning of wealth for the good of all, not the profit of the elite. A socialist society.


While the rest of us suffer austerity and choices between eating or heating, the fat-cat bosses were enjoying lavish pay packets in the region of 4 million each last year!

Meanwhile, millions of workers across the UK are still experiencing annual wages 760 lower than they were a decade ago, before the crisis, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The solution isn't to tweak the overinflated 'incentives' for the bosses, but to overthrow the rotten capitalist system that creates such grotesque inequality in the first place.

Rob McArdle, Coventry East Socialist Party

The average top CEO is paid 133 for every 1 earned by their employees. Twenty years ago, the ratio was 45 to 1. They receive more than 1,000 an hour.

This grotesque greed is justified by self-serving money-gluttons who preposterously claim they are irreplaceable, and so worth every penny of their bloated pay packets! Meanwhile, the wages and conditions of the workers who actually create the wealth are constantly under attack.

These are the fat cats who bankroll the Tories and Blairites.

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), responded to the findings by calling for "big reforms to bring fat cat pay down to earth." That's OK. But it doesn't go nearly far enough.

Such confirmation of the inequalities rampant in austerity Britain should stimulate mass action by the whole labour movement, including the TUC and Labour councils, to create the conditions for a general election now.

Tony Mulhearn, Liverpool Socialist Party

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 9 January 2019:


What we think

Brexit vote round two: Corbyn must fight for a socialist alternative to the Tory deal and bosses' EU


News

Tories Out. End austerity. Mass working-class action for a general election

'Fat Cat Friday' shows where all the money's gone

Javid's migrant 'emergency'

Death in a doorway: struggle can end homelessness

Them & Us

What we saw


Workplace news

PCS Left Unity assistant general secretary election rerun

Far right attack on Manchester rail workers' picket line - trade union fightback needed

Grayling's attacks on rail workers wages 'un-fare'

Solid strike by Arriva bus drivers

Ferry workers protest against 2.45 an hour pay

UCU Wales suspends FE strike action


German revolution 100 years on

Heroic martyrs of German Revolution


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Disruption of Leeds Socialist Party meeting shows need for unions to lead real struggle

Bringing socialist ideas into movements on women's rights

Tremendous effort sees Socialist Party smash fighting fund target in 2018

NHS funding crisis: Tory 'super-plan' is a super-con!

Linking LGBT+ rights to the fight for socialism

North Tyneside Campaigning to save our footbridge

Carmarthenshire council: Unison demands no-cuts budget


International socialist news and analysis

Protests continue to rage in Sudan

Blocked for years, but the Socialist Party of Nigeria is now standing in elections


Opinion

Theatre review: Women of Aktion - the heroic story of how World War One was ended

The Socialist Inbox


 

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