By Robin Clapp
At their annual semi-secret get together in Davos, Switzerland last week, 3,000 bankers, industry chiefs, media moguls and capitalist politicians met to deliberate the state of world affairs.
Their primary concerns were not that 900 children worldwide still die every day from drinking polluted water, or that climate change scientists have warned that 2015 was the warmest year ever recorded.
Nor were they embarrassed that under their ownership of the world economy the wealth gap has now widened to such mind-boggling proportions that just 62 multi-billionaires own the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion people across the globe.
This shocking report on inequality from Oxfam, concerned them far less than the news that their private casinos, more commonly known as the world’s stock markets, had been experiencing difficulties that were undermining their profits and prospects.
These self-declared masters of the universe were forced to conclude that their system isn’t working properly. Pumping the banks full of money through Quantitative Easing has merely created more debt and inflated asset prices.
The much-lauded recovery from the 2008 economic crash is unstable and without real foundation. Now, slowing growth in China, recessionary trends in Europe and plunging oil prices, are all creating a perfect storm of global gloominess.
But once again it’s the working class and the poor who will be expected to pick up the tab for capitalism’s failures. Our living standards haven’t risen during the so-called recovery. On the contrary, savage cuts to jobs, wages and conditions are the new normal.
People know this system doesn’t deliver for them and their families. What is needed instead is an alternative for the 21st century – a socialist system, where the real wealth creators, the 99%, control and own the wealth produced, thus providing the 1% represented at Davos with their final redundancy notices.