Robbing the Poor to Subsidise the Rich

Back in 2008 we all became aware of corporate recklessness and poor governance that led to the financial crash. Against our better judgment, most people failed to object to the bailouts – the use of public funds to save bankrupt private enterprises.

That many countries around the world, Europe and America especially, let this happen with barely a murmur of complaint is both sad and laughable.

Unfortunately where we stand now is in an even worse position – no lessons have been learned, the mistakes of the corporate sector continue unpunished and worse still, the public continues to fund the recapitalisation of bloodsucking corporations through a raft of austerity taxes.

None of the fundamental problems that gave rise to the crash of 2008 have been addressed – which means that another crash is not just likely, it’s inevitable. The general public in America are paying indirectly for the Federal Reserve quantitative easing, which is still continuing. In Europe a barrage of austerity taxes are being heaped on Europeans to cover the cost of EU/IMF bailouts of the countries that foolishly used public money to prop up ruined financial institutions.

This depression/recession is, in fact, a cover for introducing even more taxes and charges and continuing the process of privatisation of national resources. The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), adopted by 23 countries (including Ireland where I live), is intended to ease private sector appropriation of national resources and restrict governance/regulation so that multi-national corporations will be increasingly free to fleece the general public.

Resources such as water become private sector charges instead of a free or publicly taxed resource. This is just one more way of transferring wealth from the poor to the wealthy; i.e., the shareholders of such corporations who collect these charges.

In Ireland, there is currently a battle between the general public and the corporate infiltrated government over public assets. Unfortunately, the Irish state now owes over 180 billion euro due to its disingenuous bailing out of the banking sector. In order to pay back the EU/IMF loans the public is now being asked to stump up extra taxes and remain quiet while public resources are sold off to the private sector.

A tiny minority of industrialists and entrepreneurs will benefit from this process, the banks will be fully recapitalised but the vast majority of Irish people will be worse off and the nation’s resources and the income they generate will no-longer belong to the nation.

Here in Ireland we are a bit slow to realise what is actually happening. The government has been quite sly about its efforts to drag us into a corporate controlled future. Unlike the French, Portuguese, Italians and Spanish, we have been slow to protest and have quietly accepted hardship. This would not have been so terrible if we were to actually benefit from some belt-tightening, which many people believed would be the case. Fortunately, finally, it seems that the water issue has begun to wake Irish people up to the fact that the belt-tightening is only going to benefit corporate interests.

Government policy is not about balancing the books and paying off public debt – it is about taking even more from ordinary citizens in order to hand it over to the corporate sector. Europe’s governments may not wear snappy uniforms or send people to their deaths, but most of them are absolutely fascist – they are, in effect, servants of the corporates that continually bribe and lobby them.

Benitio Mussolini once stated: “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”.  He could not have been more correct. Government is no longer of the people, for the people – it is the robbing of the poor majority for the sole benefit of an elite group that effectively owns the government.

Luke Eastwood was born in Scotland, lived in England, the US, and now resides in Ireland. He has had a varied career which includes Croupier, Journalist, Sub-Editor, Car Park Attendant, Illustrator, Computer Technician, Musician, Accounts Clerk, Graphic Designer and most recently as a Horticulturist. He also writes books and articles in his spare time. You can read some of his work at lukeeastwood.com. Read other articles by Luke, or visit Luke's website.