When something doesn’t sit well with the masses the solution never seems to be to reinvent it structurally or to eradicate it, instead the answer seems to lie in in ‘rebranding’ the problem. So it is that we have yet another effort to rebrand capitalism. A conference was held in London this week to discuss the concept of ‘Inclusive Capitalism’.
Paradoxically, a report was released this week by the Save The Children charity on child poverty. The report titled: ‘A Fair Start for Every Child’ reveals that children are suffering a ‘triple whammy’ of benefit cuts, parental wages that have not increased and the rising cost of living.
Such is the contradiction of our post-industrial economy. While people in the lower half of the economic scale know exactly what it is that they need to get on in life – better wages, higher minimum wage, a living wage, a reversal of benefit cuts that are affecting families in poverty and a political appreciation of the rising costs of food, fuel etc – people in the top half pontificate and indulge in conferences that ‘talk’ about how to include the poorer in reaping the benefits of capitalism.
The welfare state was established in the first place to mitigate the excesses of capitalism. State subsidies give a hand up to people, not a handout. When the welfare society is slashed and the state rolled back no amount of talking can possibly add up the sums to close the gap of inequality. FACT.
I doubt that mothers in poverty will give two hoots for this ‘socially responsible’ form of capitalism that will supposedly be ‘inclusive’ while they have to choose between eating and heating or food and clothes for the kids. Capitalism can only be ‘inclusive’ if the structures are changed. Raising people’s standards of living will cut away at the profit margin of capitalism and I doubt that many of the 1%-ers would buy into that. No amount of branding can disguise the savagery of capitalism.