That's capitalism from WS61

Date:

It may come as a surprise, but the mystery around aeroplane crashes isn't what it used to be. In the mid- 1980s, research by the US navy on its fighter aircraft picked up on a problem with the electric wiring that was used, known as Kaptan. Kaptan was once thought to be safe but US Navy investigations discovered otherwise.

In certain circumstances - not uncommon in aircraft flying conditions - Kaptan can actually explode in a ball of fire. So what did the US Navy do?

They ripped Kaptan out of existing planes and have not used it since! And what about commercial aircraft? Well that's a different story it seems. Kaptan was still being installed by Boeing upto 1993 (long after the warning about Kaptan had become known). And of course a huge range of older aircraft, still in use and manufactured in the 1980s, are alive with Kaptan. Military aircraft are more valuable - is that the message?

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Currently, 24,000 people die each day of hunger or hunger-related causes - 75% of these people are children under five.

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The US Ethyl Corporation sued the Canadian government for $350 million in damages because it banned the import of MMT, a toxic chemical that causes brain damage. Under the 'free trade' provisions of the NAFTA agreement the Corporation won. The ban was lifted, millions of dollars paid and even an apology given.

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Hired by the government to advise them about floating Eircom on the stock market Merrill Lynch were well paid. On top of their fees they also got £100,415 to hire a private jet to fly them to meetings with European bankers. Seemingly, even business class on a commercial flight was not good enough for them. Meanwhile many of us wait ages for overcrowded buses each morning.

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According to the latest UN Human Development Report, Ireland spends a lower percentage of its wealth on social welfare than any other country in the EU. Damning statistics just released show that the proportion of GDP allocated for social protection in this country actually shrank as Ireland grew richer during the 1990s, so that Ireland is now ranked 17th on the poverty index of 18 industrialised countries.


This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.


This edition is No61 published in November 2000

Download the PDF file of this issue

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