The International Labour Organization (ILO) published the latest Global Wage Report on 5 December. It shows that the countries with the largest inequality growth are Spain and United States of America. This will fill our ex-King Juan Carlos with great pride and satisfaction (non Spaniards, read note), because Spain is world leader in something at last, only comparable to the superpower U.S.
This increasing household income inequality has been caused mainly by two factors, according to the ILO report: declining wages and rising unemployment. Income inequality hurts economic growth, so the increasing inequality is prolonging the economic crisis. Therefore our rulers (International Monetary Fund, World Bank, financial elite, bankers) claim that wages must decline more and employment must be more precarious, to overcome the economic crisis.
Do you understand the reasoning? Nobody do, including our rulers, they simply lie.
Curiously, I’ve seen in social networks American people claiming that Barack Obama is a communist (also muslim, Russian agent, racist, gay, even an alien) and is leading U.S. to a communist dictatorship. It seems that isn’t happening, according to this report or according to any fact.
Barack is not one of my favorite persons, but because of different reasons; for example his kill lists, his drone terrorist strikes, his support to Israel, his Guantanamo and other torture camps, his world surveillance network, his arrogant statements about “American exceptionalism”… not because of his Obamacare.
But it seems that in U.S. many people think that any redistribution of wealth is evil, and they are outraged by any minimum attempt of redistribution. Not the majority, I guess, but this idea is enough widespread to let people and media to say it in public.
Not in Spain. Here, as in the rest of Europe, the welfare state has been working during decades and is supported by the vast majority of people, at left-wing, right-wing and in the middle.
Most essential services have been privatized already, as electricity, gas, water, fuel, transport (invariably all them are more expensive and work worse since their privatization). But not even the extreme right-wing, for example the current Spanish government, support in public to cancel public services as Health or Education.
Indeed, they don’t dare to say it in public, but do it. Our corrupt government, as the rest of European Union governments, is working hard to destroy the welfare state. The method is clear: they cut taxes for the richest, then say that there isn’t money for some public service and privatize it, then cut more taxes for the richest and privatize other public service, etc. They were so far away that it was necessary to raise taxes, but only for lower and middle classes, to raise taxes from salaries and cut taxes from capital.
But that public services weren’t a gift from our rulers. That services were built and improved during decades with public money, our money, and so that services are or were ours. Privatizing them is a crime: prevarication, embezzlement, robbery.
And they, the Spanish prime minister and the American president, are doing a good job, as the Global Wage Report shows, for the financial power. This is the only redistribution of wealth that neoliberal elite approve: from poorer to richer. It’s the class warfare.
The trouble is if they go too far and that trigger a reaction. I think it was the economist John Kenneth Galbraith who said that often, when the ruling class must choose between reforms -improving people’s life- or disaster -revolution-, they choose disaster (disaster for them, the ruling class), because they can’t control their greed and aren’t able to give up any of their privileges. He was talking about the run-up to the French Revolution of 1789, but it can be applied to this age as well.
It will not happen in U.S.A., where the Republicans will win next elections, there the rotation between Democratic and Republican parties never fails. But likely it will happen in Spain, where a new party is winning in surveys already. I hope so. 2015 is the year.
Note: This is an old joke in Spain, because Juan Carlos used the sentence “It fills me with pride and satisfaction…” in each and every speech he gave during his reign. Anyway, I’ll not blame him for that, because it’s common knowledge that he never wrote his speeches.