The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Stop Whinging, Big Business

Posted by The Futility Monster on April 7, 2010 @ 12:32

Are we in danger of handing over government to smug bastards like Sir Stuart Rose?

We’ve been treated today with another 30 “business leaders” signing the Tory-orchestrated campaign to cancel the planned National Insurance rise from 2011.

The drip-drip of this campaign clearly illustrates that someone is behind it; even more so that they’re making sure the signatories are not and have never been Tory donors. I find it hard to believe that the sudden, but steady, nature of names coming out of the woodwork all at once is purely spontaneous.

But why should anyone be surprised? Businesses in “we don’t like tax” shocker.

I find the whole thing rather grubby. Yes, we live in an globalised world, and if we try to raise taxes too highly, we will drive some out of the country. But businesses cannot vote, and so they spend their time (and money) instead trying to convince us to vote for their interests.

There’s something truly wrong about our political rhetoric if the discourse is dominated by whether we need to vote one party or the other because they will look after business more.

No. Politics is about people. People should be voting based on what’s good for people. And yes, there is some crossover. We want people to have opportunities, to have jobs to go to.

But let’s face it: in the recession, businesses have used it as a perfect excuse to make people redundant. Hundreds of thousands of people across the country now jobless, and not a National Insurance rise in sight.

Businesses are not social creatures, with a conscience about the progress of society. Capitalism’s goal is to perpetuate itself. Its actions are, at a fundamental level, about reducing costs and increasing sales. In other words, profit. In order to do that, we shouldn’t be in the least bit surprised that business will lobby for lower tax rates.

What we’re seeing here though is unprecedented. An extraordinarily partisan effort to intervene in the political process for pure self-interest.

If businesses know best, why bother with politics? Why bother with democracy? Why not form a Cabinet comprised of the top FTSE company CEOs, and let the rest of us get on with the rat race?

The answer to the question is fundamental to social democracy. Capitalism must be curbed, tamed and directed. The worst excesses removed, the abusers, the fraudsters and the free-loaders rooted out.

Businesses don’t know best (see how wrong they were over the minimum wage), and I certainly wouldn’t trust economists. They invent bollocks like the Laffer curve, which is remarkable guesswork, inspired by capitalism dogma, forced into a theory and bodged with so-called evidence.

In short, to coin an old cliché, we need a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Society is about more than just employment. It is about quality of life and of the environment. We need to consider the needs of capitalism, sure, but it must be weighed up against the general priorities of the population at large.

Let’s just hope the debate broadens out a little…

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One Response to “Stop Whinging, Big Business”

  1. […] Stop Whinging, Big Business (The Futility Monster) […]

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