There is an underlying principle found in both Trump and the Tories – how to channel more wealth to the powerful and wealthy and get away with it.
They do this under the guise of tax cuts that greatly favour the wealthy as well as pay freezes that increase profits.
Now, these tax cuts, even despite the best efforts of the media to disguise it, are detrimental to the vast majority of people and usually people realise it. Wealth is channelled away from public services which serve the ordinary people, wages are kept low and great damage is done to the standard of living of most people while the wealthy elite prosper and this creates frustration and anger.
So how do they get away with doing it?
They deploy a number of mechanisms:
- They use the media to obfuscate.
- They claim that these tax cuts and profits are great for the economy and thus good for everyone. The ship rises for everyone as the waters rise. Without this investment we all suffer.
- They distract with all manner of shallow activities that prevent people thinking – alcohol, shopping, TV, celebrities, pageant and royalty, drugs and fun.
- They generate fear – there are enemies that threaten our way of life! – Muslims, immigrants, foreigners, the EU, Eastern Europeans, terrorism. There is hysteria, exaggeration and obsession.
- They use war – we are being threatened and have to protect our national interests. It is never quite clear how Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam were really ever a real threat. But it certainly deflects attention and provides opportunities for making huge profits. Is Iran really a threat to the West? Or Russia? Or South Korea?
- They use economic recession. There is always a silver lining in every recession. Public services can be slashed, budgets cut, austerity brought in, pay cut – but at the same time there can be big tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations (to stimulate the economy!!!) and the pay and bonuses for the wealthy soar. We’re all in it together -right??
- Demonising the poor and needy – scroungers, work-shy, shysters, drug-addicts, alkies, smoking sluts and thugs who deserve all they get! Their services should be cut and they should be forced back to work. We are primed not to care. Who cares about the suicides or the kids scavenging food out of bins? The old people who can’t afford to put the heating on, the illness, homelessness, disabled and disease? They deserve it right? They’re all the same! Our compassion is misplaced.
So while our attention is distracted with Brexit and Trump, immigration and terrorism, the relentless channelling of wealth continues. The rich and powerful become ever more wealthy and powerful and the poor become poorer.
It is cynical.