Thursday, 16 July 2009

It's a "world" rising tide of social misery


Chinese Unemployed job seekers standing in line looking for job's

Tomorrow being Friday, I have an interview at the Canning Town Jobcentre, for which I will need to spend some time in preparation; as they like to sling people off the dole if they can getaway with it. This being no fault of the workers at the Jobcentre, just the way the system has been fixed these days. I make no apology for saying fixed because that's what it is, designed in better economic circumstances to foster a pool of cheap labour by the use of sanctions. The latest method's of persuasion embodied in the recent government welfare reform bill, will mean that unemployed people will be forced to work for their benefits. Introduced by the then Work's and Pensions Secretary James Purnell this year, with willing help of the then government welfare adviser David Freud who has since joined the Tories.

Claimants will have to carry out four weeks' community work once they have been unemployed for more than a year. After two years, they will be ordered to work full-time in the community.

So this gives an indication of what's in store for the unemployed, how it will pan out is any one's guess, it may even lead to unrest in this present climate of job losses, but one thing is clear, that's no "surprise" that the government are only too willing to be "punishing people for being poor" - and on behalf of capitalism.

The rate of unemployment in London is 7.6%. This is almost 1 percentage point higher than the North East of England which has a rate of 6.7% for the same period. London's total of 301,000 unemployed is more than the totals for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland combined, more than the entire English Midlands and more than the North West and North East of England combined.
There are enormous variations between the different boroughs in London, however. A letter some time ago from a National Statistician, given as a response to a Parliamentary question. Listed the numbers of claimants for Jobseekers allowance who had been out of work for two years or more in the London Boroughs. They ranged from 5 in the City of London, 60 in Kingston-upon-Thames, 65 in Hounslow and 80 in Richmond to 710 in Brent, 740 in Haringey, 805 in Tower Hamlets and a whopping 1,160 in Southwark.

Unemployment is a world wide plague set upon workers by a master class of capitalists, who own the whole means of production on a world scale. What we see and are told is that we are living in a recession, that in certain industries production has outstripped demand; the markets are glutted and the warehouses full to bursting. Orders for new cars and steel, even hospitals and houses have fallen off to such an extent that products have become unsaleable. Workers are discharged, laid off, sent to the dole office with the loss of their wages and salaries. This affects other industries, and so the depression spreads. Before you know it, there's a crisis and the unemployed are many millions and world wide as they are today. The New York Times pointed out on Wednesday that in California and a number of other states, “one out of every five people who would like to be working full time is not now doing so.”
If these unemployed and underemployed were included, the real jobless rate in the country’s most populous state, California, for example, would be 20.3 percent, according to the Times. In Oregon it would be 23.5 percent, in Michigan and Rhode Island, 21.5 percent, and in South Carolina, 20.5 percent. The figure would be just below 20 percent in Tennessee, Nevada and a number of “states that have relied heavily on manufacturing and housing.”

Scenes of distressed workers who have just lost their jobs are becoming an everyday occurrence across Australia under the impact of global recession, and after 30 years as a giant cheap labour platform for the world’s major corporations, China cannot avoid being dragged into the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s. With the economy showing rapid stagnation and rising unemployment.

My point being that the crisis of capitalism or whatever we decide to call it, is world wide.

The existence of unemployment, as regards it's constant aspect, never going away, is seen to arise from the development of the means of production under private ownership, and with regard to it's aspect of periodic severity, from unrestrained output in the wild scramble of capitalists for the surplus which results from the exploitation of the wage-workers. (1)

Unemployment is griping the world driving millions more into poverty or reliance on handouts, this will only change when workers of the world; together understand that the deep-seated ill-will of capitalism can be abolished by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of a small master class, by the conversion into the common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and under the democratic control of the whole people.

To find out more, you can click on the Queen above and go to the website of the Socialist Party part of the World Socialist Movement.


(1)From the third edition, Socialism 1941. A publication of the Socialist Party.

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