|The News Line: Editorial
Friday, 5 January 2018
The answer to ‘Fat Cat Thursday’ – Socialist Revolution
THE MASSIVE gap in wealth between workers and the bosses has once again been highlighted in a new report which shows that the chief executives of the top 100 companies in the country are paid on average 265 times what a worker on the minimum wage earns.
The analysis of the pay handed out to these bosses was carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the High Pay Centre and showed they were paid an average of £898 an hour, or £3.45 million a year.
This means that, on an hourly basis, the average CEO will have earned in less than three working days more than a worker will earn in an entire year. No wonder that this has been dubbed ‘Fat Cat Thursday’, as they made more money by lunchtime on Thursday this week than workers will earn in the whole of 2018!
Stefan Stern, director of the High Pay Centre, said: ‘In the 1960s and 70s the pay ratios were much tighter, closer to those 20 times levels which were considered normal and respectable.’ He went on to ask: ‘Have the bosses got so much better since then? Has their job really got so much harder? Does the fact that some of the businesses they work for have got bigger justify the gigantic explosion in pay?’
Stern continued: ‘The answer to these questions are, respectively, no, no and no.’ In fact, what has changed is that today capitalism in a doomed attempt to stave off a world financial collapse has for the past ten years been flooding the system with trillions of worthless paper money through quantitative easing and a programme of zero-level interest rates.
All this free money has led to a massive debt and speculation binge by the capitalist class, driving up share prices to unheard-of levels. It has created masses of so-called ‘zombie companies’ that produce little if any real value but whose share price is astronomical.
On the back of this fictitious wealth, all these bosses demand their share in the form of million-pound pay and bonuses. These parasites who are presiding over a collapsed manufacturing industry and banking system are reaping huge amounts while the working class are seeing their lives destroyed through austerity.
Workers’ pay has been cut through freezes and below-inflation-level increases to levels not seen since the 1930s. Millions of workers have seen well-paid, secure jobs destroyed as a result of the crisis of capitalism, forcing them onto zero-hours contracts or becoming ‘self-employed’, existing on below-poverty-level pay and forced to rely on the charity of food banks and facing evictions as a result of all these austerity cuts to pay for the billionaire lifestyles of these ‘fat cats’ who are forever preaching the necessity of austerity cuts to keep this rotten decaying capitalist system going.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady shed her standard crocodile tears about how ‘outrageous’ it all was while making sure that she limited the demands of the TUC to getting the Tories to agree to giving trade union bureaucrats seats on company boards to ‘bring some common sense and fairness to boardroom pay’.
The TUC leaders have only one policy, to beg the Tories to help workers and to beg the bosses and bankers not to be so greedy. While these leaders beg for help, the working class is rising up against this Tory government and a capitalist system that can offer them nothing but unending poverty.
Workers, who produce all wealth through their labour only to see it expropriated in the form of profit by the capitalist class, can no longer live under this system and are reaching the conclusion that the solution to this crisis is not to put trade union bureaucrats on the board but to overthrow capitalism with socialist revolution.
Immediately, this means demanding the TUC call a general strike to bring down this minority Tory government and go forward to a workers government and a socialist society that will expropriate the bosses and bankers, consigning the fat cats to the pages of history. This is the way to end the obscenity of inequality, through socialist revolution.
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