Much as I admire the tireless work done by the Rowntree Trust, there are times when its desire to avoid controversy gets a little silly. In particular, I’m referring to its tendency to write about poverty as if it might be an indiscriminate virus.
These are the main factors that create poverty:
* Macro-economic and fiscal mercantile globalism
* Credit given to those who can’t handle it
* Familial culture
* Media-based materialism
* Low IQ
* Neoliberal ideas about social stability
* Welfare dependency
* Sheer idleness
* Drink and drugs
* Mental illness.
Many things on that list are far from being mutually exclusive. But it beats me why the JRF seems so desperate to make poverty’s existence seem accidental. It’s almost as if they want the history books to say ‘1347 – Black Death, 1666 – Great Plague, 2010 – Perishin’ Poverty’.
This graph appeared in the Observer at the weekend, using data compiled by the FT and the Bank of England:
You will note there 3 occasions when average wage buying power dips into the negative zone:
* 19th century free trade
* Post 1929 Wall Street Crash
* Post 2008 globalist banking crash
And it won’t take you long to grasp that our latest foray into the Red is easily the deepest one yet recorded.
All three produced an unparalleled increase in the level of poverty, and each of the three contains one of the prongs that make up the neoliberal trident: mercantilism, bourse capital, and globalist banking.
What makes the latest cock-up unique is that it is the only one where we have seen the likes of the eurozone, the Fed, the G7, Brussels, Berlin and Draghi’s ECB openly argue for deliberate wage depression as the best way to deal with it.
Several socio-genetic factors ensure there will always be poverty. But overlay upon that canvas a provably dysfunctional econo-political model, and you will get poverty on a hitherto unimaginable scale.
So the next time someone tells you this is all just a blip and by 2017 everything will be entirely back to normal, show them the graph above.
History is littered with daft ideas: monarchy, repressive religion, military glory, imperialism, stock markets, Aryan superiority, feminism, socialism and neoliberalism. The only likely good idea for an intelligently brutish pack species is mutualism…where competition and cooperation can exist side by side.
Between 1952 and 1971, much of the West signed up to that mutualist capitalist model. We saw the fastest economic growth in the history of mankind, and the highest ever scores for social contentment.
Until we accept this and update that model, nothing will ever be normal again.