July 20, 2022



Commentary for July 20, 2022:

So, one of the things people sometimes say to those who donít like their jobs or want better pay, better working conditions, better treatment, etc. is that you can always just quit. But thatís not really true for a lot of people, is it? In the UK, for instance, unless you have decent savings or someone willing to give you free bed and board for a few months, you simply donít have the option to walk away from a bad job; if you choose to quit, rather than being sacked or made redundant, you will not be eligible to claim unemployment benefits for several months. And so, poor people get trapped in awful jobs that make us miserable, because the alternative is financial destitution; you canít pay the rent, you canít pay your bills, you canít afford food. You fall behind on your payments, you get penalty charges, you start wracking up debt, you get into arrears, and you may even face eviction and potential homelessness. Being poor is really expensive.

But this is the kind of thing a man like Haig canít appreciate, because heís a career politician from a wealthy background, whoís never had to worry about where his next meal is coming from. Moreover, even if he had, he and his party serve the interests of capital, not the people; and capital demands cheap, disempowered labour, which is why he opposes a universal basic income, despite what studies actually show about it. And yes, real world studies show that itís actually good for the economy, because everyone has money to spend, and money being spent is what stimulates the economy, creates jobs, etc. But since it would upset the existing balance of power in favour of workers at the expense of the executive class, itís something a politician like Haig will always oppose. Heís not going to come out and say that, of course; conservatives never do. But the parties of the rich and powerful win elections by deceiving the common people into believing theyíre on our side. They never are.

Yeah, I thought I could go this whole chapter remaining politically neutral in my commentaries, but who am I kidding? Iím a socialist and I hate right-wingers like Haig. But I am doing my best to write politicians like him well, nonetheless, rather than just erecting strawmen who are easily beaten down by the heroic leftists in a rhetorical duel.

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