The wrong people are tightening their belts.

The Cost-of-Everything Crisis continues. I think energy prices are at the root of the problem because literally everything we buy, eat, wear, travel to, travel in, use in any way requires some form of energy. Pubs, restaurants, shops, grocery stores, theatres, cinemas all have to put up prices just to keep the lights on. At home, people no longer have the Heat or Eat debate because they can’t afford to do either.

The Government is at least acknowledging the problem and doing something that at least attempts to do something about it. They are raising taxes, possibly the most un-Tory thing imaginable, I expect Jacob Rees-Mogg’s head exploded when he heard the news. They are also cutting services, a move so stereotypically Tory they could do it in their sleep. But more top earners will pay the 45% tax rate, investors will pay more tax on dividends and capital gains, and there’s a windfall tax on energy companies.

At least they are taxing some of the rich people, if only because A) there would be a bloody revolution if they didn’t spread the burden more evenly and B) the government needs money and rich people are the only ones who have any.

They haven’t gone far enough; there are still oceans of untapped wealth out there that would only require the closing of a few tax loopholes to net the government billions. Still, it’s a better effort than BoJo’s government, whose reaction to the cost-of-Living crisis was to tell pensioners to ride the bus to keep warm and put tinfoil on the radiator, and infinitely better than the Truss Government, who wanted to just give all the money to the rich people directly, because clearly the poor people couldn’t be trusted with it.

By spreading the tax burden, the Government is trying to foster the idea that we’re all in this together. The problem is, we’re really not.

The reason this crisis is so dire is that the 1% are deliberately making it worse. Stores are raising prices, not because supply is short, certainly not to pay their workers more, but in order to keep their profits up. Dividends for the Shareholder. I am not a business major, but I have always believed ‘Profit’ to be the bit left over after successfully operating your company. There used to be a concept of ploughing that money back into the company to improve operations, raise wages, employ more people, etc. Now, profit, money, is an end in itself. The value of a business, the value of a person, is now measured in purely financial terms.

We do revere, or at least respect, people who have made a lot of money. And what are the titans of industry doing these days? Well. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is firing 10000 employees and that may only be the start. Not to be outdone, Mark Zuckerberg, owner of Meta which includes Facebook and Instagram, is firing 11000 people. Finally, Elon Musk took over Twitter and a week later, fired 3700 people, half the Twitter workforce.

These three men have enough personal wealth to solve world hunger, end poverty, and could probably make a significant dent in climate change. They could lose 50% of their fortunes and have absolutely no change to their lifestyle. They each have more money than it is possible to spend. Instead, they are HOARDING their money, and forcing people into unemployment to protect, not the company, but the PROFIT.

And that’s the trend all over. They have created this crisis in their race to get all the money. It’s a Cost-of-Greed crisis. The 1% created it. the rest of us are paying for it.

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