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Deficit = £152bn. Tax avoidance in 2006 alone = between £99 -£150bn. And it’s public services that are the problem?

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2010 by chr1sr0berts

The fact that public service “waste” and public sector cuts have become the dominant theme in this election is testament to the ability of capital to dictate the very terms and frame through which the public at large are encouraged to understand and talk about politics and economics. The right have captured the territory and frames for understanding. The right wing rhetoric now that “our economy is bust” but that it’s the fault of feckless slackers in the public sector is driving me fucking insane. It’s called the “socialisation of risk and the privatisation of profit” and it is the organising principle of a neo-liberal economics…everything sacrificed to capital (profits). I think Osborne – fucking idiot though he is – completely understands that it’s his job to fuck us over and hand profits and services to private companies.

The rhetoric of “cuts cuts cuts” is problematic. Private demand has totally collapsed to the point of being almost non-existent. Most effective way to stimulate demand is public spending. And BTW, public sector spending is not some sort of black hole. It provides services, builds things, generates jobs and tax receipts, stimulates demand in private sector – public sector workers spend their money in shops and on services and leisure – and means taxpayers not paying out benefits. It’s funny how neo-liberal economists believe in the effects of “trickle-down economics” when it’s about providing the territory and environment for the rich to accumulate more and more – apparently this wealth “trickles down” …so the theory goes. Of course it doesn’t really trickle down at all, many rich people hoard their wealth by way of tax avoidance/evasion schemes and increased profits for them. However, even if it does stimulate some demand in the wider economy, their numbers are so small (but their bank balances are not) that the demand is not large enough. So, according to Cameron & Osborne’s wisdom, the “trickle down” effect is apparently in full working order when it comes to private capital despite plenty of evidence that it doesn’t work. But when it refers to public sector spending – where there is evidence that it does work – Cameron and Osborne are shouting….”We must Slash public sector”. This is part ideology and part duty: Osborne and Cameron, internalised the logic of private wealth see it as their duty to transfer public money into private hands.…and boy are they going to do it. That our electoral system allows this despite left of centre parties looking like they might garner over 55% of the vote is in part the fault of our busted electoral system; partly the fault of politicians of all stripes consistently shifting rightwards and courting the opinions of the right; all mainstream political parties have accepted the ‘logic’ of “the market” and as such, will pursue policies that foster growth at the expense of human need; … and finally, our media ecology in the UK tend to favour the ‘logic’ of the market also. This final section  – media being one of the most important factors driving the discursive shift, requires much longer and detailed analysis. A such it will be the focus of a different post.

But for now, #imnotvotingconservative

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