Tax the Rich or Abolish Capitalism
The capitalist class increased its wealth during the world pandemic. The World Inequality Report said that 2020 saw the steepest increase in billionaires' wealth on record.
Meanwhile, 100 million people sank into extreme poverty, the report from the Paris based World Inequality Lab said:
"The richest 10% of the population now takes 52% of global income and the poorest half just 8%"
The 228-page report, whose authors are part of a group founded by social reformer and economist Thomas Piketty, also said that since 1995, billionaires' wealth had risen from 1% to 3%.
"While the wealth of billionaires rose by more than €3.6tn (£3tn), 100 million more people joined the ranks of extreme poverty," said Mr Chancel, one of the authors of the report, noting that extreme poverty had been previously falling for 25 years.
The report concluded that:
* On average, an individual from the top 10% of the global income distribution earns €87,200 per year
* An individual from the poorest half of the global income distribution makes just €2,800
* The poorest half of the global population barely owns any wealth, possessing just 2% of the total
The researchers found that the world's 52 richest individuals saw the value of their wealth grow by 9.2% per year for the past 25 years, well above less wealthy social groups.
Tax the rich?
To help redress the imbalance, the economists call for a "modest progressive wealth tax on global multi-millionaires" in order to redistribute wealth. They also call for tougher action on tax evasion.
They can "call all they like". Capitalist governments and politicians do not exist to redistribute wealth like some latter day Robin Hood.
The economists do not go to the root cause of the problem. The reason why the capitalist class gets its wealth in the first place is their ownership and control of the means of production and distribution. Their private ownership to the exclusion of the world's majority allows them to exploit.
Workers are forced to sell their labour power as a commodity in exchange for a wage or salary. The world's working class are paid less in wages and salaries than the wealth they produce. "Surplus Value" Marx called it.
It is because of their class ownership, protected by the machinery of government, including the armed forces that the capitalist class live off the unearned income of rent, interest and profit.
Professor Piketty and those at the world Inequality Lab want the impossible. They want distribution on the basis of the private ownership of the means of production and distribution by capitalist states who act as "the executive of the bourgeoisie" and by politicians who job is to serve the interest of the capitalist class not the working class.
The right conclusion - the socialist conclusion - to take from this vast and obscene inequality of wealth is to abolish capitalism and to replace the profit system with common ownership and democratic control of the means of production by all of society.
Only the world working class can establish socialism. And this requires conscious and democratic action in socialist political parties. Until then the rich will get richer and the rest of the population will get second best or nothing at all.
Object and Declaration of Principles
The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.
Declaration of Principles
THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN HOLDS:
1. That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (ie land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced.
2. That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess but do not produce and those who produce but do not possess.
3.That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.
4. That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of race or sex.
5. That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.
6. That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organise consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.
7. That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.
8. The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.