Hard Times – Make the Rich Corporates Pay
Written by: John G. on 20 April 2023
(Above:5,000 construction workers marched through the Brisbane CBD, pushing for the abolition of the oppressive “Fair” Work. ABC News 5 Apr 2023.)
Prices of groceries, power, petrol, rent and mortgages have gone through the roof. Home loan repayments have doubled for many. Rents are soaring.
Wages haven’t kept up with living costs. Buying-power we get to work has been going down for ages. Now it’s smacking head-on into raging inflation and pumped-up interest rates.
Workers reacted with waves of walkouts, stopworks, wildcat actions, strikes, street protests, big and little, local and statewide. People demand change.
Its time wage workers had an economy that works for us to get what we need to live and thrive.
Bankers and governments have THEIR answer to hardships people face
They rub salt into the wound.
The Reserve Bank says it’ll impose high interest rates for the next two and a half years. They’ll keep the screws on until there’s 5 or 6 percent unemployment while wages are kept a few percent behind inflation.
The people who slave away making the country’s riches will suffer at least 400,000 people out of work, casuals losing shifts, wages way behind inflation, using up our savings, and mortgage and rent costs breaking households. They’ll keep going until sales drop and prices stop going up.
The Reserve Bank, governments and business think they can shove the country through the bottom of the business cycle, scramble over broken lives of hundreds of thousands and hardships of millions, into blue skies of boom times beyond.
Why do government, banks and business inflict this on people?
It’s no big mystery. The big corporates want to get back to business making billions.
Governments try to make the system work
Governments try to make this broken system work. It doesn’t matter if its Liberal or Labor, National or Green, in and around government. Where the system works, it doesn’t work for us. The system, capitalism, works for business.
That’s always at the core of governing, managing the system for the corporates to profit – not for us to live. Liberal/National are harsh and heartless. Labor and Greens tend to look for small things which people appreciate while keeping the system working.
“Inflation still is the primary challenge in our economy, and that's what makes it the primary focus of our economic plan, and also the upcoming Budget in May. … we're working around the clock to try and give people a little bit of relief from these cost‑of‑living pressures … ” Treasurer Jim Chalmers, ABC PM, 4 Apr 2023.
The bits of relief, a handout here and there, compromise the focus on inflation by cutting what we live on. That is their goal. The hardships remain.
We’ve copped it from the Reserve Bank interest rate hikes. We’ll get it from the government’s coming budget.
A taste of government backsliding. The Federal Government abolished the union-bashing ABCC (Building Industry Commission) and the ROC (Registered Organisations Commission). They transferred the Commissions’ thugs to un-‘Fair’ Work where they keep persecuting workers and unions. A show of relief, but keep workers down.
In Covid they found billions to get over that crisis.
In the Covid emergency, Australia’s Reserve Bank was ‘… seeking to play our full role in building that bridge to the time when the recovery takes place. By doing all that we can to lower funding costs in Australia and support the supply of credit to business, we will help our economy and financial system get through this difficult period’ P. Lowe, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia 19 March 2020.
What a contrast. In 2019, hundreds of billions of dollars were found and spent quickly to support business and the financial system, and help business keep their workforce. It kept profits up but drove us into crisis faster and deeper. Now more spending could provide some relief.
People’s lives will be in tatters. Bankers, governments and big business essentially abandon us to hard times.
There is another way – for people not profits.
Everything, all goods and services we use, are made by many people working together. The big profits are made by a tiny minority, owners of a few big corporate monopolies. There’s more on this in the article ‘Profits – a system of economic crises, hardships and war’.
In good times it’s a system of socialising the work, and privatising the profits. In troubled times, the work is socialised, but the big corporates try to socialise their private losses by forcing hard times on workers.
We need a system where things are produced because we need them, not for profit.
Its only people standing up, thousands organised and acting to get rid of the profit system and the core of its profiteers, rich corporate foreign monopolies, that can bring that about.
Sentiment for change is rising onto the agenda.
We’ve been left to stand up for ourselves
It’s worth remembering the wave of public sector strikes and protests in the last year or so.
Sparks of rebellion have been firing. Bushfires are sparked by the odd ember. With hardship hitting people and hanging around for a few years, frustration and rage will flare into conflagrations of rebellion and wider organisation.
Damn them and their system. Through Covid, it became very clear. We make it all work. Where fire for change takes hold of working people, we’ll be more than they can handle.
Now’s a time to organise and act to make it work for us.
At present demands for relief, to make the rich monopolies pay, seizes the spirit of the times.
While we fight for relief for now, we have to keep our eyes on working for a future without these periodic crises, a future socialist society free of the rule of foreign multinational corporations and the destructive system of private profits.
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