EVERYWHERE capitalism is crashing! Yesterday the FTSE 100 index fell to 3472.68 points making a 50 per cent crash from the FTSE’s high point of two years ago. Over £700bn has been lopped off of share prices.
On Friday night the Dow Jones index was at 6626 points. This marks a 50 per cent plus fall from the exchange’s high point.
In the US, commercial unemployment in February increased by 655,000, an unemployment rate of 8.1 per cent (not counting agriculture), with 12.5 million unemployed and the army of jobless likely to reach 20 million by the end of the year. In fact US production fell in the last quarter by 6.1 per cent.
In Britain the banks are crashing after the government guaranteed over £600bn of toxic bank debt, while the pound is down almost three cents at $1.3778.
Against the euro, the pound was down one-and-a-half cents at 1.098 euros. A collapsing pound is causing a massive inflation in the price of all imported commodities, especially food.
The Bank of England’s programme of quantitative easing, that is printing £150bn to begin with, to hand over to the banks, is putting further downward pressure on sterling and upward pressure on inflation, and will end with the collapse of sterling, Zimbabwe style.
1.97 million people in the UK are unemployed. The prediction is that unemployment will reach 3.2 million – 10 per cent of the workforce – by the middle of 2010.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), is already demanding the end of the minimum wage.
Meanwhile, Japan’s current account recorded its largest deficit on record in January, reaching 172.8bn yen ($1.8bn; £1.2bn).
Exports in January dropped a record 46.3 per cent from a year earlier to 3.28 trillion yen, the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year declines, with exports to the US hardest hit, registering a 52.9 per cent drop.
Car exports alone dropped 66.1 per cent, with semiconductor and electronic parts exports down 52.8 per cent.
After the collapse of the US and Japanese economies the prospects for UK capitalism are grim indeed.
The only hope for the ruling class is to heap the whole burden of its crisis onto the working class and the middle class, at the same time as it is helping itself to billions from the public purse.
The biggest allies of the ruling class, and the Brown government which is managing the affairs of the ruling class, is the trade union bureaucracy.
The leaders of Unite, the GMB and Unison, the major trade unions, are financing the Brown government and refusing to demand or fight for the nationalisation of the banks and the major industries under workers control, to put an end to capitalism, which is the only way to defend workers jobs.
Instead they are telling workers that the only way to defend jobs is to accept huge wage cuts and hours cuts and anything else that the boss wants to impose.
They are helping the bosses soften up the working class for mass unemployment, by telling workers that if they accept this policy ‘when the recovery takes place’ they will get their full jobs back.
This is nonsense. The nineteen thirties’ crisis led to slump trade war, fascism and then world war.
This present crisis is heading in the same way, unless capitalism is got rid of.
Bankrupt capitalism is in its death agony and must be replaced worldwide with socialism.
Union leaders that work for the bosses must be sacked. There must be a new leadership.
Every job and industry must be defended with occupations and a mass struggle to achieve their nationalisation.
The Brown government must be brought down with a general strike and a workers government brought in that will carry out a socialist revolution. This is the way forward!