Saturday, 19 June 2010

If you want to see scroungers look up, not down

David Cameron has, in an interview with the Times, revealed exactly what a compassionate conservatism that doesn't simply attack the poor to hold up the profits of the rich looks like;
There is no way of dealing with an 11 per cent budget deficit just by hitting either the rich of the welfare scrounger … there are three large items of spending that you can't ignore and those are public sector pay, public sector pensions and benefits.
Yes, that's right. Mention the rich once and hope people are stupid enough to think that means they'll have to pay too. But it's the public sector, working people, and the poor who really deserve to suffer - the fucking scrounging mud-bloods.

If the bitter, sweary sarcasm didn't give it away, this is something that is really beginning to piss me off.

I have already previously explained why the supposed "need" for "painful cuts" is nothing more than a thin justification for class war to preserve profit and privilege. Putting the welfare of ordinary people before the vast sums of (in-reality non-existent) money is not "unsustainable." But still, dogma must prevail, and those at the top must continue to get richer at everyone else's expense.

Behind all the sums, economic dogmatism, and waffle about markets, what it boils down to is this angry rant by "libertarian" blogger Devil's Kitchen;
Listen up, parents: I already subsidise you and your ghastly offspring through Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Child Trust Funds; I pay for their bloody education and I subsidise their playgrounds; I pay because you seem to think that having a child gives you special rights to waltz out of work or take extra holiday too.

So, here's a message for you: it's got to stop. Can't afford a child on your own, without raping the wallets of those who have none? Well, don't have any damn children: I am sick and tired of being rinsed to pay for your lifestyle choices.

And if you seriously cannot even afford to feed the little bastards, then I suggest that you be forced to give them up for adoption, so that parents who want children and who have the required cash to fulfill this most basic of needs can get on with doing so.

I just don't see why the hell I should be forced to pay for any of it.
According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, "a couple with two children need to earn £27,600" so that they can "afford a basic but acceptable standard of living." Between us, my fiancĂ© and I earn that amount now, but only because we both work full time in fairly decent jobs. And even now, without children, neither of us could afford to go part-time.

Since the median household income in Britain is £24,700, DK's ideology prices over half of the population out of reproducing. Probably more if we didn't have a minimum wage.

If you can't see how callously stupid this idea is because you're a right-libertarian and lack basic human empathy and compassion, consider the economics. This would see a vast majority of the working class stop reproducing - you're advocating that the people who do the menial and low-paid jobs effectively cease to exist. Unless, of course, you want to return to that much cheaper form of state welfare known as the poorhouse.

Is there a better solution to this than state welfare? Almost certainly, and I'd say it was the kind of social organisation that we would see within anarchist communism. Whatever the case, though, it won't be the market.

In theory, delightful thing that is, it should be. As Adam Smith noted, "in order to bring up a family, the labour of the husband and wife together must, even in the lowest species of common labour, be able to earn something more than what is precisely necessary for their own maintenance." If it wasn't, then "it would be impossible for him to bring up a family, and the race of such workmen could not last beyond the first generation."

But, of course, one of the demands of obscene profit is extreme short-termism. In the kind of "free" market the right advocate - i.e. freedom for capital, not for people - this simply would not happen. Hence why it has never existed.

Balanced against the ideological desire to not have to maintain the poor, is the practical need to do so just enough that their labour can be siphoned off into profit by the parasites of the ruling class.

So, when the austerity budget is announced on Tuesday 22nd June, George Osborne will not be scrapping the welfare system. He will, however, be reducing it as much as he possibly can. If they could, they would no doubt see us back in the workhouse, or under the absolutist rule of the bosses that existed before workers organised and fought back.

Public services and welfare are not the key to society's ills, but they are concessions won from a corporatist system growing fat off our labour. And, until we can dismantle that system, they are necessary.

Something to bear in mind when you're asked to believe that "public sector pay, public sector pensions and benefits" are the problem.