Introduction: Why we can't afford the rich (Sayer 2016) (A different…
Introduction: Why we can't afford the rich (Sayer 2016)
For years the rich have been pulling away from the rest, those of the 1% taking more wealth and those on low incomes getting progressively less, tax havens, get banks bailed out
Austerity policies fall most heavily on the bottom , those of the top 10% are protected, the less you have to do with crises the more you sacrifice
Meanwhile a political class, increasingly populated by the rich continue to support their interests and stigmatises and punishes those on low income and welfare benefits, applauded by the media- owned by the super rich
Control much economic life, the media and politics, their consumption is excessive and wasteful, huge carbon footprints
Aren't the rich wealth creators, job creators, entrepreneurs, investors?
Extracting wealth other produce and dominate society for their own interests, very dysfunctional and inefficient.
Rich has made a remarkable combat since the 1970s- rapidly increasing their share of national income in a large number of countries
Since 1979- the majority of incomes stagnated, poorest fifth suffered a substantial loss and the rich soared ahead
Inequalities in the top 1% are greater than the 99%
Growth rates have been slower than in the post war boom, rich are increasing their share of slower growth, and keeping more of it due to massive drops in tax rates
Since the economic crises, the rich have got away with it and the financial sector is free to do the damage again
Need to look beyond people and their responsibility- need to look at their sources of wealth and power and how this is justified. Distribution of wealth is far more unequal than the distribution of income
High proportion of the rich income is unearned, more being based on power
How people underestimate inequality
People drastically underestimate how unequal their societies are, even then they think their societies are too unequal
Annual wealth growth of the super-rich could easily pay for our issues in the NHS, pensions etc.
This is a ridiculous, obscene mis-alloction of resources
Who are the rich?
The more richer, the more likely they are to be men
Forbes Rich list
The rise of neoliberalism involves a political and cultural shift compatible with its market fundamentalism, small changes in everyday life, we are increasingly nudged towards thinking and acting in ways that fit with market rationality
No injustice, just bad choices and hapless decisions.
Those unable to find jobs and relying on the welfare state are marginalised, stigmatised as actual or potential cheats
Your on your own, free to choose
We are competing individuals with no responsibility for anyone else
Neoliberalism has ushered in a shift in the economic class structure of countries it has most affected- shift in power and wealth towards the rich , also a shift in power within the rich , political system supports their interests
A different approach: 'moral economy'
Capitalism has a crisis prone nature, what underpins the economic crisis is the very architecture of our economy
The economy is a complex set of relationships between people, increasingly stretched around the world
Is it right what there doing?
Injustices of long standing economic relations
About the huge differences between what people get and what they do, need and deserve
Assessing the moral justifications of basic features of economic organisation, what the rich actually get is more to do with power, controlling assets and gaining wealth that others produce. Most of their income is unearned
Struggle over words been won by the rich and powerful, mainstream economics complies to this process, through relations that economic provisioning is organised.
The unearned economy is not looked at enough, dependence on others and across generations . Dependence can be defensible or indefensible, questions of fairness and justice, question of the MORAL ECONOMY
Because they can
Most economic patters are products of power
Because they can, just how things are, they continue on the basis of power
Capitalism treats market exchange as if its the essential feature of economic behaviour
Has little to say about money and debt, pays little attention to real economies
Capitalism: a mixed bag
Good because of its unprecedented growth of technology and science, however more exploitation
The belief in a just world
The rich are rich largely at the expense of the rest
We get paid what we deserve and deserve what we get paid
Belief in a just world is delusional, wishful thinking
People are more critical of those on the bottom than the top, as societies become more unequal there members become less critical of inequality
Rule of the rich
Economic power is political power- controlling the commanding heights of the economy. Financial sector can threaten the government
Little prosecution after the financial crisis, supporting the rich is natural to them, become unrepresentative of the population at large, they face an environment dominated by financial interests
Massive spending on luxuries distorts economies into less production of goods for the needy
E.g. driving up house prices
Massive carbon footprints, we cant afford high-carbon, high-consumption life-styles if we are to stop runaway global warming
Well being is not improved by further increases in wealth, well-being higher in more equal countries