That is, until I come across an article or a book that says what I had thunk… so eloquently… that it makes me want to retire from thinking.
I had one of these moments recently, when I came across an article my friend, Jonny Baker, referred to in his blog. It’s a piece in the Guardian about the link between poverty and neoliberalism by George Monbiot. He wrote:
“In 2012, the world’s 100 richest people became $241 billion richer. They are now worth $1.9 trillion: just a little less than the entire output of the United Kingdom. This is not the result of chance. The rise in the fortunes of the super-rich is the direct result of policies. Here are a few: the reduction of tax rates and tax enforcement; governments’ refusal to recoup a decent share of revenues from minerals and land; the privatisation of public assets and the creation of a toll-booth economy; wage liberalisation and the destruction of collective bargaining.
The policies that made the global monarchs so rich are the policies squeezing everyone else. This is not what the theory predicted. Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and their disciples – in a thousand business schools, the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD and just about every modern government – have argued that the less governments tax the rich, defend workers and redistribute wealth, the more prosperous everyone will be. Any attempt to reduce inequality would damage the efficiency of the market, impeding the rising tide that lifts all boats. The apostles have conducted a 30-year global experiment, and the results are now in. Total failure. what’s more we have created a narrative that suggests the rich deserve it! It does not have to be this way. another world is possible, another way of doing things, another way of running a society. something’s got to change. yet all we hear is about scroungers, people on welfare, cutting benefits, healthcare, the arts and so on! it’s madness.”
“As I say, I have no dog in this race, except a belief that no one, in this sea of riches, should have to be poor. But staring dumbfounded at the lessons unlearned in Britain, Europe and the US, it strikes me that the entire structure of neoliberal thought is a fraud. The demands of the ultra-rich have been dressed up as sophisticated economic theory and applied regardless of the outcome. The complete failure of this world-scale experiment is no impediment to its repetition. This has nothing to do with economics. It has everything to do with power.”
Here’s a video from the organisation I work for, Tearfund, that makes much the same point:
In this day and age, no one should be poor… particularly if it stems from the politics and policies of the rich.
But what can we do about it? Here’s a suggestion… as you may know, the G8 are coming to town, we have a chance to try and influence these government to do something about world poverty. They can change the future for millions of people who live with the day to day with hunger. But that will only happen if we get together to try and make them act. Join in a campaign to draw attention to what leaders of the world riches countries can to by clicking here: IF CAMPAIGN.
Hey, if children can solve this problem… surely they can too!