You know there’s something deeply wrong with the state of the global economy when American venture capitalist, Nick Hanauer, reaches consensus with Jeremy Corbyn, that if capitalism doesn’t change fundamentally, it will destroy itself.
The principal objective of the UK tax system, in which the poor pay a higher proportion of tax than the rich, is not to improve the collective well-being of society, but to funnel cash – largely through tax cuts – to the corporate elite. This isn’t free-market capitalism in the formal sense, but socialism for the rich – a form of state capitalism – no different in principle to the old statist economies of the former Soviet Union.
The creation of major asset bubbles exemplified by the rising costs of housing, is a consequence of deliberate Tory government policy geared towards satisfying the asset diversification needs of the super rich rather than meeting the human need for homes for ordinary people to live in. In other words, the key motivating factor shaping government housing policy is not to end the housing crisis, but to bolster the investment opportunities of the rich which will make it worse.
The Tories are pushing for a corporate takeover of the construction industry. The ‘Farmer Review’, completely pulls the rug out from small-builders and sub-contractors that have been working in the industry for more than 35 years. If the Construction Leadership Council has its way, traditional builds will be destroyed and replaced with off-site manufacturing that will collapse during the next recession, putting generations of skilled labourers out of work and onto the breadline.
The gradual privatisation of social housing has turned Britain’s housing market into a postcode lottery that unfairly marginalises those who can least afford it. Successive UK governments have applied free market economic principles which have decimated our communities. This week on Renegade Inc we are joined by filmmaker, Paul Sng, and author and sociologist, Lisa McKenzie, to discuss how to stop the great British housing slump.