terça-feira, 26 de janeiro de 2010

Os economistas mediáticos, ou do regime

Tem razão quem diz que vivemos acima das nossas possibilidades: uns de nós vivem acima e outros de nós não têm possibilidades.

2 comentários:

Carlos Pires disse...

E a meio não há ninguém? E os que não têm possibilidades - estão todos nessa situação devido a desigualdades injustas ou alguns contribuíram para ela com as suas acções? E os que vivem acima das possibilidades - estão todos nessa situação devido a desigualdades injustas ou alguns contribuíram para ela com o seu trabalho meritório?

cristina disse...

The real question should have been ‘and what about those on top?’

In this world crafted by Blair(ists) at the image of some monstrous economic nightmare, it’s the ones ‘in the middle’ who paid up, and then perhaps resorted to credit to maintain the standards of living they were accustomed to.Thus the ‘living above their means’.

In fact, the system has been designed to leave virtually untouched those at the bottom and those at the top: those at the bottom perhaps out of the need to seduce them away from BNP and similar attractions come polling day, those at the top because New Labour made a point of making capital its best and most cherished ally. And allies cannot be inconvenienced – or else, who is going to fight your battles for you?
Blair had capital fighting the ‘battle of the economy’ for him. That was also why a progressive, fair-to-all taxation system proved anathema to him and his governments: increasing the tax burden on the rich would be an unthinkable choice, given the economic path Labour elected.

Thus Labour’s allies were no longer 'the people'; something Blair did not understand was that the party could always dismiss Clause 4 (i.e., ownership of the means of production) without necessarily pandering to the capitalist class as completely and comprehensively as he did. He failed to understand that his role, the role of ‘New Labour’, should have been one of a referee between capital and labour. That choosing the ‘liberal’, free-for-all, non-regulatory path would damage not just the economy which he had placed at the heart of his government strategy and choices, but ultimately society itself.

Therefore, those who are left to pay are ‘the middle’. And specifically the lower middle classes, those made of sons of the working class who, by virtue of the system and the economy mainly, have only limited upward mobility, but whom pre-1995 Labour managed to convince what a good investment the party would be as government.

And now Labour’s allies are, definitely, no longer ‘the people’ who offered Labour that ill-fated landslide – the one which allowed Blair to govern unopposed and unbridled (I always thought majority governments to be a most pernicious of democracy, and time unfortunately proved me right): the middle classes were the ones left 'in the middle' of it all. And while the ‘lower middle classes’ saw and used borrowing as a means to maintain a standard that was slipping fast, so too the upper middle classes were sufficiently inconvenienced in their affluence and status to now forsake Labour vote.

Those on top have weathered it well – for what’s a million or two among billions?

Those at the bottom, those Carlos Pires implies are there out of their own fault or because they do not ‘help themselves’, have weathered it fine too, living off expedient - e.g. benefit fraud and cash-in-hand, tax evading work; cf. also recent rise in crime rates, especially petty crime such as shoplifting - and from government handouts.

Those left ‘in the middle’, those who have always ‘helped themselves’ and worked hard all their lives for what they had, those whom New Labour has been punching in the teeth since it invented itself, those are now paying with their lost jobs, their repossessed houses, their children’s closed schools, their closed hospital departments, their failing National Health Service, their lives turned upside down, struggling not to become 'the bottom, and no light at the end of the tunnel.

Recommended read is Robert Preston’s Who Runs Britain?... and who’s to blame for the economic mess we’re in. In it, Preston analyses Britain specifically, but it seems to me that unfortunately, in this day and age of interlinked economies and of sweeping political and governance models, the 'mess' is rather generalised. Just change the names and labels, and you'll see the parallels.

Just like my father used to say, all that ever changes are the flies; the smell always remains the same.