Daily archives: October 28, 2011

1/17 and 7/84

With impeccable timing, today we have official US government statistics saying that the top 1% of the US population have 17% of the take-home earnings. Their share has more than doubled from under 8% in 1979.

This vast gap between rich and poor, and rich and middling, has expanded fast and is now expanding exponentially faster. I have no doubt figures for the UK would show the same trend.

It also made me think nostalgically of the 7/84 Company and the play they made famous: The Cheviot, The Stag and The Black Black Oil. It had a massive effect on my teenage political consciousness when I saw it on the BBC in June 1974. There is absolutely no way the BBC would ever broadcast such a radical piece now, let alone to a prime time BBC 1 audience.

View with comments

Arrogant and Vicious Corporate Bastards

If anyone needed convincing that they should offer the Occupy protestors full and unconditional support, all doubts should be set aside by the stunning news that the average earnings rise of directors of major companies is 49%.

There is a massive squeeze at present on the living standards of ordinary people, with unemployment rising, inflation rising and salary increases substantially below inflation, plus a whole series of tax increases. Despite the mainstream media, pretty well everybody now understands that this is because their money is being paid straight into the pockets of fatcat bankers by the government. The bankers has already shown they were going to spit in our faces by maintaining the massive incomes of their executives, even at loss makers like UBS.

Those who argue that it should be left up to the shareholders to determine executive salaries are missing the point. The shareholders are, overwhelmingly, other institutions whose executives also benefit from this culture of sickeningly excessive reward, in an orgy of mutually reinforced looting.

What is so striking about this is the absolute fearlessness, the total arrogance of the 1%, safe in their control of the politicians and the power of the state. They seem to think they can trample on the little people forever, with impunity. We are approaching a stage where these people are becoming totally isolated from any bond of communality which holds together a society; are becoming in short the open enemies of the people.

They may find eventually this was not such a wise move, but for now they are so drowned in material consumption they really do not care.

View with comments