by Rab Bruce’s Spider

Mastodon: @RabBrucesSpider1@Mastodon.Scot

X / Twitter: @RabBrucesSpider

The news that the handful of the very wealthiest people on the planet have seen huge increases in their personal wealth while the vast majority of humans have become poorer should come as no surprise. Wealth inequality, particularly in places like the UK and USA has always existed, but free market economics has turned it into a much wider split than ever before. Of course, wealth inequality has always existed, and examples can be seen in many ancient civilisations such as Rome, but that is no comfort when you are one of the people who is becoming poorer.

Corporate greed as well as personal hoarding of wealth is a major cause of this. Driven by financial markets to earn ever greater profits or incur the wrath of speculators and investors, businesses have adopted some very ruthless tactics, and much of the burden of providing increased profits has landed on the shoulders of ordinary employees. While company executives award themselves huge salaries and bonuses, most workers have found themselves left behind. So the rich get richer, and the poor become poorer.

The sad thing is that this way of thinking and operating is so embedded in our society that it is difficult to see how we can escape it. It would be simple to pass a law stating that no company executive should earn more than, say, 20 or 30 times the salary of their lowest paid employee, but while this would force companies to increase wages, you can just imagine the howls of outrage from the financial markets as profits took a hit. The alternative would be for the highly paid executives to cut their pay packets, but the culture of greed is so embedded, that seems unlikely in the extreme.

Nations can learn and adopt new habits and customs, especially if they are shown strong leadership and example, but with the UK verging on fascism, such leadership is non-existent. And anyone who does try to go against the orthodoxy that wealth is good is usually silenced by the media. When was the last time you heard Mick Lynch, General Secretary of the RMT Union being interviewed? His calm, reasonable and well-argued points made such an impact on people that the media have clearly decided he should no longer be given a platform to spread his heretical view that workers deserve a decent living.

I wish I had the answer to this, but the only solution I can come up with is the usual one of allowing Scotland to detach itself from the corrupt and venal UK. Whether our own wealthy elite would put up with a more socialist agenda would then be put to the test. I fear there would still be significant wealth inequality, but perhaps it would not be as egregious as the disgusting inequality gap we are currently experiencing. There is, of course, only one way to find out. One thing is for certain, things couldn’t be much worse than they are with us stuck as part of the UK.