May 2012        

Austerity for whom?

The austerity being imposed upon this country by the EU-IMF, and our own ruling establishment, is designed to transfer wealth from working people and the unemployed to finance houses to shore up the financial system that monopoly capitalism relies so much on.
     Recent research shows clearly that austerity is a redistribution of wealth upwards from those who have least to those who have most. The accompanying graph, from the Central Statistics Office, shows how austerity affected disposable income in 2010. The poorest 10 per cent saw their disposable income reduce by more than 25 per cent, the middle-income earners saw theirs reduce by between 7 and 12 per cent, while the richest 10 per cent found their disposable income increase by 8 per cent!

     In addition to this evidence, a recent survey by the Sunday Times found that the combined wealth of the richest people in Ireland increased last year from €43.6 billion to €46.7 billion. The list includes such people as Hilary Weston (retail outlets, including Brown Thomas), Denis O’Brien (telecommunications and media), John Dorrance (Campbell Soup), Liam Casey (electronics, PCH), and of course Bono, Michael O’Leary, Dermot Desmond, Larry Goodman, Margaret Heffernan (Dunne’s Stores), David Power (Paddy Power), Michael Smurfit, Tony O’Reilly, Michael Flatley, John Magnier, J. P. McManus, and the Sisk family.
     The fact is that the evidence now clearly shows what the CPI has been saying since the onset of this crisis: that the systemic response to the crisis has been to shift the burden of debt and risk onto working people’s shoulders while redistributing and transferring capital from the poorest to the richest.
     Capitalism knows no other way. There is no nicer, friendlier, alternative capitalism.

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