Poverty and inequality

Vote Labour then Remain

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 10:40
Author

Editorial

Eleven years on from 2008, inequality is spiralling, the signs are that we’re heading for another crash, and mainstream ruling-class politics is veering away from neo-liberalism only towards the nationalist right.

The working classes of the world need a political movement which fights for socialism as working-class self-emancipation, as a full-scale change of society to social ownership and democratic control of productive wealth.

It needs socialists who focus on agitating and educating positively for socialist ideas, not merely on nay-saying and reactive opposition to day-to-day bourgeois

Letters

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 10:16

I wish people would stop talking about “the top 1%” or the “1% v the 99%.” Why should they be regarded as being “the top”?

They are a completely useless parasitic layer on society. Billionaires have not “earned” or “created” their wealth.

It would take someone earning a median wage of £25,000 40,000 years to make £1 billion, assuming they paid no taxes and spent none of their money on essentials such as food, shelter and clothing.

According to the OECD in 2012 the top 0.6% of world population (consisting of adults with more than US$1 million in assets) or the 42 million richest people in the

Replacing Universal Credit

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 09:14

Fourteen million people, a fifth of the population, live in poverty.

“Four million of these are more than 50% below the poverty line, and 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford basic essentials...”

That was Philip Alston, the United Nation “Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights”, reporting on Britain a year ago.

He added: “Various sources predict child poverty rates of as high as 40% by 2022...

“Homelessness is up 60% since 2010, rough sleeping is up 134%.... Food bank use is up almost four-fold since 2012, and there are now about 2,000 food banks in the UK, up from just

How Labour should end austerity

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 07:31
Author

Chris Reynolds

Since 2010 austerity has ground down working-class living standards for the benefit of the ultra-rich. Life has been made meaner and more insecure.

Boris Johnson now says he will end austerity. But that is all a matter of previously-budgeted money being “recycled” and called expansion, and random promises to try to win a general election after which he will be free to do his right-wing worst for five years.

The NHS and social care have been squeezed so that waiting lists expand and A&E wait times explode. Hospitals routinely run at the upper limit of capacity, so that an epidemic, or an

Socialism is more than public funding

Published on: Wed, 29/05/2019 - 09:00
Author

Ruth Cashman

Socialism: where has it actually worked? Momentum and their hot new video are here to explain.

You Are A Socialist

Where has socialism ever worked? ?

Posted by Momentum on Thursday, 9 May 2019

And where has socialism worked? Everywhere!

Everywhere? Yes, that’s right everywhere! Doesn’t it seem a bit weird that socialism has worked everywhere and everything is still so shit? And what are fighting for now?

I’m pretty sure the video has got some details wrong here. We probably should have been warned when socialism as “pooling our resources” and “working together” was illustrated by Momentum

The roots of inequality

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 11:48
Author

Matt Cooper

On 14 May, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) launched its Deaton Review into inequality in Britain. The broadcast and print news outlets carried interviews about the five-year study into the nature and causes of inequality in the UK, with the Nobel laureate Professor Sir Angus Deaton in the chair and a budget of £2.5 million supplied by the charitable Nuffield Trust.

The research promises to be wide-ranging, looking at inequality not just in incomes, but also in other areas such as health, wealth, political participation and opportunity. The first motivation for the report is that the UK

Letters

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2019 - 11:46

Inequality and the super-ego

If my review of The Inner Level left readers thinking that it presented a narrow, economistic view of mental illness, then I apologise for writing a poor review. Thanks to Ian Townson for prompting me to write this correction.

Wilkinson and Pickett stress that their research is not a “theory of everything” and do not claim that income inequality is the only driver of mental distress. They describe a broad statistical trend within which our human drama plays out. There are outliers in the data where there must be powerful countervailing factors. For example, Italy

Why students are depressed

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2019 - 07:54
Author

Stuart Jordan

A recent survey of university students has found alarming rates of anxiety, self harm and substance abuse. Of the 38,000 students surveyed by the Insight Network, 87.7% said they struggle with anxiety, 50.3% have thoughts of self-harm, and 44.7% use alcohol or drugs to deal with their problems. Rates of mental distress are highest among second and third year students.

There are some reasons that we can rule out as being the cause of this mental distress.

Students are under pressure, but not any more so than students in other countries. In fact, British universities tend to be generous with

Caring for the NHS

Published on: Wed, 01/05/2019 - 11:29
Author

Simon Nelson

Mark Thomas’ show Check Up: Our NHS at 70 is a whistle-stop and funny tour of what is wrong with underfunding, short staffing and the creeping privatisation of the NHS.

In some ways this is Mark Thomas at his softest, and probably on a topic on which he is on very safe ground.

But the takeaway message is that inequality, low incomes, poor housing, cuts to social care and local authority services have all combined with the dismantling of the NHS to make the health outcomes for the poorest significantly worse.

In Kensington and Chelsea, the residents around the Grenfell tower had a life

Inequality makes us mentally ill

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 10:17
Author

Todd Hamer

One of the most ubiquitous products of advanced capitalism is mental illness. Despite our relative comfort, our god-like technology and our unprecedented freedom, something about the world we live in makes us miserable and anxious.

Depression, anxiety, addiction and psychotic disorders are on the rise at an alarming rate. The most comprehensive survey from the USA found that 46% of 18-75 year olds report a history of mental illness. World Health Organisation research puts the figure at 55%. Suicide is now the most common way to die for men aged 18-30. Depression is the leading cause of

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