You are lucky to be on average pay
I have a question for you today! I want you to imagine a small town, even a village in England. It is run by 10 executives in their offices, who are paid an average of 115,000 pounds a year. The real work is done by the other 90 workers whose average pay is just 15,000 a year. What is the average pay across all 100 workers, who work for this hypothetical council?
While you’re thinking about that, think about what a typical worker might say if you asked about their pay. Imagine you just walked up to someone cleaning the streets. Their pay would be likely to be less than 1,000 a month, far less than the ‘average pay’ often quoted for British workers. In fact, anyone earning more than 1,250 pounds a month would be doing quite well.
In the UK, we pay council tax for services like street cleaning, getting lines painted on roads, traffic humps and all manner of things. Who decides what the money is spent on and how much we pay? The executives on an average of over 9,500 pounds a month decide. Do they really know how much the typical worker can afford? There is ‘democracy’ of course, with councillors debating such issues. They are part time politicians often earning quite good salaries that are above the average and then supplementing them with ‘expenses’ that can be as high as 4,000 pounds a month.
It isn’t just on councils that ‘average’ earnings can appear to make workers better off than they really are. Throughout British society and perhaps the world, economies tend to be top heavy. Chief executives of top companies have had their pay rises cut back in Britain, because of shareholder pressure, but they still help themselves to quite obscene bonuses and expenses. The rich in the UK and the USA have increased their wealth by an average of around 15% in the past year. People on typical earnings (as opposed to average earnings) have had pay rises of 2% or even no rise at all. The prices of essential goods and services, like housing, energy costs, fuel to get to work and most importantly food costs have rocketed. Money is essentially for the exchange of goods and services. Money isn’t wealth. Next time you are shopping in the supermarket, ask who owns the building. Who owns all the shops, hotels, clubs, cinemas and other buildings in our towns and cities? That is wealth. There is a house for sale this week for 300 millions pounds in London. Who owns that? That is real wealth. Who owns the palaces, the castles and the mansions? That is wealth.
The wealthy buy up oil, property and food to cause shortages and make you pay more for them. Is that right? Those executives on 9.5K a month do the bidding of the rich. Are they really accountable to the people? How can society be made more democratic and less centralised. How can it be made fairer for people on ‘typical’ earnings, perhaps struggling to provide for their families?
I think most people are on typical incomes or less and would agree with me that the rich and powerful must be controlled. They need to have their activities regulated by law, so they can’t speculate and force up the prices of food, oil and other essentials. Those executives too must be controlled by a democratic process that stops them empire building and acting against the interests of the people. We do need to cater for minorities like disabled people, it could happen to us one day. We have to cater for the elderly, we will all grow old one day. Do we need to spend obscene amounts of money on sport and the arts? Are we all going to become athletes and art critics? I am in favour of culture, we don’t want everything ‘dumbed’ down to a level where everybody can appreciate it. But do we need elitism? Do we need to spend millions on fine art when we have talented artists in our communities and universities, trying to get a break?
British society is sick. To fix a problem, you first of all have to at least try to understand it. Do the executives on over 100K a year, have any idea what it’s like to struggle on typical earnings of 15K a year. Do the rich understand the stress and insecurity that they inflict on the majority of the population?
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