Workers’ living standards are being pushed down as capitalists raise prices and hold down wages. While the wages share of national income is the lowest on record, corporate profits are at their highest. Big companies, especially the energy giants, are profiteering from a global supply shortage by jacking up their prices to take more money out of workers’ pockets and put it in their own.
If Australian union leaders know anything, it’s how to make themselves feel relevant within establishment circles. The public relations victory that was the Jobs and Skills Summit no doubt has the Australian Council of Trade Unions media department patting itself on the back over national press headlines such as “Bosses wedged”, “Big victory for unions”, “Bosses’ horror” and “Unions win”.
On census night a year ago, 1 million Australian homes sat vacant. Since then, rents have risen faster than at any point in the last 14 years. And house prices went up by an astonishing 25 percent in the year to December 2021.
At the heart of capitalism’s impressive economic dynamic there is a dirty secret. And it’s a BIG secret.
Capitalism comes into the world “dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt”. So concludes Marx after a lengthy account of the transition from feudalism to capitalism near the end of Capital, Volume I.
The New York Stock Exchange is perhaps the premier institutional expression of the capitalist economy. It’s hard to conjure an image of American capitalism without including the Wall Street sign at the corner of Broad, or the stone streetscape of the exchange with its US flags, or the bronze “charging bull” statue at Bowling Green.