Corona pandemic though has ruthlessly ravaged the entire world, it has nevertheless done a great job to the humanity to disassemble the myth that capitalism is the only way for a decent life and those residing in the capitalist countries are the best creatures enjoying all the good things.
DESPITE launching the “plan for jobs” the Chancellor Rishi Sunak can not expect to check mass unemployment. His friends and economic advisers have been advising him to act far more decisively to prevent mass unemployment after unveiling a £30bn mini budget, but it does not appear that he would succeed in his mission. The UK has been facing the worst unemployment scenario. He announced a short-term cut in VAT from 20 per cent to 5 per cent for hospitality and tourism and also an August “eat out to help out” discount scheme.
Stressing that the country faced hardship ahead, he announced measures to revive the housing market. But these are unlikely to tackle the challenges facing the economy. It is widely believed that his “plan for jobs” is not enough to tackle the looming crisis. Chancellor believes that extending the wage support programme, which is covering the pay of 9.4 million furloughed workers, would provide people with false hope. Instead of providing continued State financing of 80% of wages up to a monthly maximum of £2,500, he told firms they would receive a £1,000 bonus for every furloughed worker taken on until next January. However, one thing is certain that his programme lacks a future perspective. By the time, his programme would start yielding result the number of unemployed people in Britain could increase to almost 15% of the working population, from 3.9%, if the country experiences a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Garry Young, a deputy director of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, said: “The new measures look to be badly timed and could precipitate a rapid increase in unemployment.” Corona pandemic though has ruthlessly ravaged the entire world, it has nevertheless done a great job to the humanity to disassemble the myth that capitalism is the only way for a decent life and those residing in the capitalist countries are the best creatures enjoying all the good things. We have been listening about the contradictions between the socialist mode of life and capitalist life style. But the protagonists of the rich and capitalist way of life have mesmerised the entire world population. This has even dictated the political-economic discourse especially of the developing economies. But revelations post corona outbreak has made it clear that capitalist economy is completely in mess and cannot buy all good things for any individual on this earth. We are literally in the world of new poor. COVID-19 has exposed rising poverty in capitalist economies like Italy, USA, UK and other capitalist countries. Reports reveal that in Italy, the families who perhaps were not in difficulty before are now shouldering a very heavy economic burden and are turning to food banks for help.
These are among the 1 million Italians who will be pushed into poverty this year as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, according to estimates from Coldiretti, the farmers’ association. The UK along with other capitalist countries have been experiencing the emergence of new poor. These are domestic workers who lost their jobs, or people who were doing precarious work but also young professionals who have a drastically reduced income. Capitalism no doubt is responsible for many things: Poverty, inequality, unemployment and even global warming. As Pope Francis said in a recent speech in Bolivia: “This system is by now intolerable: farm workers find it intolerable, labourers find it intolerable, communities find it intolerable, peoples find it intolerable.
The Earth itself – our sister, Mother Earth, as Saint Francis would say – also finds it intolerable.” For Marx, the historic role of capitalism was to reorganise production. But it is also being noticed that it has not been happening. The modern framework of capitalism is giving rise of nationalist fascism of rightist nature. As a result of it the labour which is supposed to counter capital is losing the space. As was witnessed during the corona crisis, all previous social classes have been transformed into the working class, and all means of production have been usurped by the ever-dwindling group of owners of “capital”. No doubt, this situation is best suited for a proletarian revolution but the odds are arduous. If the poor are the people who cannot hope to get more income from the market, then it follows that the way to get them more income is through channels other than the market.
That means through social benefits provided by a robust welfare State. But the situation of the welfare states has been most precarious. As of 2017, 20% of UK people live in poverty including 8.3 million working-age adults, 4.6 million children and 1.9 million pensioners. Being in poverty means different things to different people. Just under half (49%) of those in poverty are in “persistent poverty.” That’s one of the reasons we have so many possible ways of measuring it. Different measures of poverty capture different things—some are just about people’s incomes and some define material essentials people need for a decent standard of living.Poverty rates fell in the years after 2010, as the UK recovered from the financial crisis, but are now showing signs of rising again.
There are two main reasons; relative and absolute low income, and a further specific measure called ‘material deprivation’ for children and pensioners. An estimated 14 million people in the UK are in relative low income, or 12.5 million in absolute low income. Since 2010, relative low income has generally risen while absolute low income has generally fallen Analysis by the Resolution Foundation think tank has shown that the total benefits people report receiving don’t match the actual amount of Government spending on benefits. It is believed that austerity has undermined two decades of anti-poverty policy. In fact Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was against the austerity law. According to a study around seven per cent, around 4 million, of the UK population are in deep poverty. This means that their income is at least 50% below the official breadline. Even in USA the poverty has been on increase. Between 2017 and 2018, people aged 25 and older without a high school diploma was the only examined group to experience an increase in their poverty rate. (IPA)