The shit end of ‘free market’ capitalism

The times we are living in.

The Christchurch massacre has prompted many to reflect on the times we live in.

We have started to recognise that the culpability for this act of right-wing terrorism lies not only with the immediate perpetrator but also with all those politicians and opinion shapers who have used racism and Islamophobia to divide society and incite violence.

But why have so many of these powerful people been systematically doing this all around the world?

Because there is a powerful economic motive to do so.

We are living through the shit end of nearly four decades of a global “free market” drive by the corporate rich that has made them grossly richer and the rest of us weaker, poorer and more insecure.

The only way they can manage these stresses is to systematically divide the 99%, and set us against each other.

I put “free market” in inverted commas because markets have only been selectively freed up to suit the interests of the big corporations which continue to monopolise all areas of the global economy.

Fundamentally, pitting the exploited against each other is at the heart of the “free market” capitalist offensive (they prefer to call it “reform”). 

Through the systematic outsourcing and casualisation of work, the large corporations that run Australia have managed to shift a majority of workers away from permanent full-time employment. They have also subcontracted the employment of 45% of workers to small and medium enterprises.

This is not only a huge cost saving for the big corporations and but it has also laid the ground for wage stagnation, huge corporate wage theft and the general weakening of workers’ bargaining power.

In a his article in the Journal of Industrial Relations, detailing the impact of neoliberalism on the Australian working class, Josh Bornstein, from labour law firm Maurice Blackburn, said: “The share of economic output distributed to employees in the form of wages and superannuation has declined.

“In 2017, Australian workers received the lowest share of total output since the Australian Bureau of Statistics began gathering quarterly GDP data in the 1950s — just 47% of GDP. That which labour has lost is reflected in an increase in corporate profit share…

“Since 2015, an unprecedented spate of ‘wage theft’ scandals engulfing major firms, including 7-Eleven, Myer, Caltex, Dominos, Woolworths, Coles and many well-known restaurants, suggests that a significant proportion of award workers are not paid their minimum entitlements.

“It is apparent from the scale of abuses that have been exposed that business models have been constructed that rely on the systemic underpayment of award workers. Underpayment is particularly acute in some franchise operations and parts of the hospitality and food processing sectors. A significant proportion of its victims are temporary migrant workers, a particularly vulnerable segment of the workforce.”

Not content with the super exploitation of migrant workers, the corporate rich and their politicians and media hacks are now trying to blame recent migrant workers for the pain and insecurity so many workers experience.

This is why violent racism and misogyny is on the rise: it is in the grubby material interests of the corporate rich.

When it comes to increasing their profits and market share, history tells us, they have absolutely no scruples.

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