Workers are Essential: Billionaires are not

Hey!! Great News! The government is finally going to help the true victims of the cost of living crisis. They are going to ‘ease the burden of restrictions on CITY BOSSES pay and bonuses.’ Truly, they are the nation’s most tragic heroes.

That was Sarcasm, in case you are unfamiliar with my work.

After months of no action to actually ease the crisis or help the worst affected, aside from some ‘helpful’ suggestions pulled from a Rationing Era Ladies magazine, they will help out the people most insulated from the crisis. I don’t understand the reasoning. The only way this will help the economy is if the city boys use the money to pay their cleaner more, and let’s be honest, they won’t even do that.

The sound economic principle is: To stimulate the economy, tax the rich and give it to the poor. Not because rich people are evil, not because there is any inherent virtue to poverty. Tax the rich because they hoard the money. There’s only so much you can spend, day to day, and any extra they sock away in hedge funds and trust funds and off-shore accounts. Give money to the poor because they will spend the money rather than make-do-and-mend; new clothes, new furnishings, eating out, little luxuries, but it all keeps the money circulating.

So thank you, Rishi, for actively working to tank the economy while insulating the rich from all consequences of their own greed. The Revolution is only getting closer.

Today is a prime example of the peasants revolting. The RMT union is staging the largest strike since the 70’s. At least 50,000 workers are going out. 80% of the network will be down. They are striking over wages, working conditions and job cuts. The bosses want to cut jobs, not by firing people, but by not replacing the people who resign or retire. This leaves the people who remain doing more work, under more pressure, and not seeing it reflected in their wages.

Teachers and nurses are also threatening strikes.

Bosses try to deride the strikers, “They’re greedy, just wanting more money.” Well, yeah. Of course they want more money. The last three years have seen most people on partial wages, if they were lucky, depending the government support scheme. Meanwhile, the richest people all got EXPONENTIALLY richer. People are entitled to say “Where’s Mine?”

The word “Essential” became the buzzword of the pandemic. Only essential travel, only essential shopping, the importance of essential workers. Rail workers are essential: they keep the country moving, people and goods; without rails we are beck to the pre-industrial era. Nurses are essential, they keep you healthy, make you better and provide a human, caring face to clinical care. Teachers are essential; at best, they educate the next generation, nurturing the promise of a brighter future; at worst, they babysit the kids for six hours per day.

For years, people have swallowed the corporate line that they are lucky to have a job at all, that, as employees, we owe them something. We don’t. We exchange our services for money. If bosses demand more service, we can demand more money. It’s a contract, not a life debt.

Strikes are a nuisance, an inconvenience and an annoyance. They are also Essential if we want to continue as a modern society, honouring people’s human rights. Without them, the government might as well just formally re-institute Serfdom, since that’s what we’ll be living in anyway.

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