Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fleece the fat cats

Who are the worse hit by the current recession ? Certainly not the contenders for the Champion's League.

Whilst listening to many economists and experts, I wondered who will suffer most. For some it will mean that there will be no bonus (13th or 14th cheque) or that the value of their shares will drop. For others, they loose their jobs. Some experts speaks of another round of possibly 150 000 jobs that will go. For them, it means possibly loosing their income, food, homes, etc.

Zwelinzima Vavi, of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU), have been pushed on radio to call off strikes of workers and do their bit to tighten the belt. His argument is simple: 'fleece the fat cats'. For him, whilst the workers have been steadily, loosing value on their salaries since 1991, the top brass have awarded themselves earnings of close to 150% annually. Whilst this analysis might a bit over the top, there is no question that the level of inequality, over the last 15 years, since 'democracy' has consistently increased between the rich and the poor.

This is a difficult conundrum: on the one hand the need to wipe out the inequality
(after all, that was the point of the struggle, right ?), on the other hand, as a nation, we need to stimulate and sustain economic growth. Indeed, we need each other and, it does not help with our current situation, when we simplistically point fingers. I however think, as a start, we have to at least affirm that it remains blatantly obscene, when those (qualified doctors, teachers, nurses, police officers, etc,) who loose their livelihood, should dampen their cry for life, when, in the same world, others earns and splash 143,438 pounds (per week!) for playing football.. (Here, I am not even referring to the gulf between the mine owners, and the dying miners.) Tonight, whilst we ask the poor to dampen their demands, two soccerclubs, Manchester United and Barcelona play for a prize money of close to 110 million Euro.

What is my point ? Maybe we need to hear Vavi on the real victims of the 'recession'. It seems, at least tonight, in Rome, that the fat cats will become fatter and have a feast...
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