From: Revolutionary Praxis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, Jan 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM
Subject: [** MAOIST_REVOLUTION **] Can Capitalism Be Fair Leaflet
To: Maoist Revolution <MAOIST_REVOLUTION@yahoogroups.com>
CAN CAPITALISM BE FAIR?
The economic problems of capitalism are deepening with living standards falling and mass unemployment rising, This system is failing to satisfy the needs of the majority of people while the bankers go on taking their multi-million pound bonuses. Yet political leaders David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband claim that they can make capitalism "responsible" and "fair" so that it works well for everyone.
In Britain today a small minority of capitalists—one percent or less of the population - own and control most of industry and commerce. This enables them to employ workers to produce goods and services to be sold. However the wages received by workers are less than the value their work has created. The part workers are not paid is the source of the profits received by capitalist shareholders. Thus by its very nature capitalism is exploitative and unfair.
Cameron and Clegg misleadingly hold up the John Lewis Partnership as an example of "fair" capitalism. This firm is a highly successful chain of department stores whose employees receive much better pay, working conditions and pensions than those employed by competitors such as Debenhams. The reason is that all of the employees collectively own the firm so there are no capitalist shareholders receiving profits. John Lewis employees are not exploited because they receive the full value they create. It shows that we don't need capitalists.
Cameron and Clegg come from families of rich capitalists. When Cameron refused to agree to the financial transactions tax proposed by EU governments he was not serving the interests of the British people. He was protecting the profits of his friends and relations in British banking and finance, an important section of the capitalist ruling class.
PENSIONS AND PROFITS
With private company pension schemes, such as at Unilever, employees and employers pay contributions into a fund which is invested in company shares and government stocks. When employees retire they receive pensions from the money accumulated, which includes profits, Except that increasingly this system is not working.
Ever since the 1990's many firms have been closing their old pension schemes to new employees and only offering inferior schemes which will pay lower pensions. One reason for this is that for many years a lot of employers did not make contributions to pension funds thus reducing their value. Also the fall in share prices in recent years has reduced the value of pension funds. Meanwhile the top executives of capitalist firms go on awarding themselves enormous salaries and pensions. Is this "fair" capitalism?
Employees of companies without pension schemes and self-employed people need to invest in personal pension schemes. They pay money to a bank or insurance company to invest in stocks and shares. Then at retirement the accumulated fund is used to buy an annuity pension. Meanwhile high management charges have been taken from the fund. Thus people often find their retirement pot is worth no more than the money they paid in and they receive only a small pension. For them, investment in capitalist firms has not worked.
It is clear that capitalism works for the capitalists but is no good for the workers.
CAPITALISM MUST GO
We can't afford to allow this rotten, exploitative system to carry on. Time to get rid of it!