wage – poverty – death rate

Yesterday the ILO published the Global Wealth Report 2014/2015. Wages and income inequality

As much as it is about income, it is also about inequality, and in any case it has to be read in the context of non-income. Too often we forget this side: lack of access to resources: to water, health services, food, education, even to the very basics.

Too often we forget it, and still sometimes it is remembered. These days in the Italian press:

Isn’t it remarkable that our societies can easily “cope” with poverty … – as long as for instance an increasing number of people are sleeping rough, at the train station Termini, in some way tolerated, and occasionally individually sanctioned – and “gets aware” of poverty not because of the people’s hardship but because of the “danger” they are “for society”.

Yes, this economy kills – and this is economy is not “this capitalism” but capitalism as brute system, the varieties of capitalism being especially a matter of the death rate.

But we know this, right? It had been stated in a footnote of an important work:

“Capital is said by a Quarterly Reviewer to fly turbulence and strife, and to be timid, which is very true; but this is very incompletely stating the question. Capital eschews no profit, or very small profit, just as Nature was formerly said to abhor a vacuum. With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 per cent. will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 per cent. certain will produce eagerness; 50 per cent., positive audacity; 100 per cent. will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 per cent., and there is not a crime at which it will scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged. If turbulence and strife will bring a profit, it will freely encourage both. Smuggling and the slave-trade have amply proved all that is here stated.‖ (T. J. Dunning, l. c., pp. 35, 36.)

Indeed, one of the essential statements of the detailed analysis which is still valid today.



Un pensiero riguardo “wage – poverty – death rate


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