That's Capitalism WS 112


If the recession is hitting everyone, who is buying the Goldvish mobile phone? This diamond-encrusted mobile costs a cool €1 million. See And you can write the cheque with a limited edition Montblanc fountain pen for $25,000 (€17,072).Nearly one in five rented homes across the 26 counties inspected last year did not meet minimum legal standards, according to the Department of the Environment. 2,854 of the 14,880 rental properties checked were found to be below minimum standards. Yet there were only eight prosecutions of landlords.

Pupils at St John’s Girls National School in Carrigaline, Co Cork have been asked to provide their own toilet paper because of cutbacks.

Green Party leader John Gormley went to a conference on climate change in the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye. If he had travelled from Holyhead by bus and train, the journey would have cost £15 each way. But John sent for a limousine from London and left the taxpayer with a bill for €2,200. This is the same Gormley who criticised the salaries paid to top RTE stars, describing them as being “completely out of touch with the reality of ordinary people’s lives.”

The Central Statistics Office says that average pay increased in the first quarter of this year. A look at how that figure is arrived at tells an interesting story. In the manufacturing sector, office workers saw their hourly pay fall by -2.3% and production workers saw theirs fall by -0.8%. However, managers got a 6.5% increase. In addition, their annual bonuses were 2.5 times that of the bonuses they received in 2006.

Coca Cola announced a profit of $2.04 billion in the second quarter of this year, up 43% from last year. In Ireland their drivers were told to take pay cuts of up to 40% or be transferred to another transport firm on similarly reduced wages.

The gap between wealthiest 10% and the rest of the USA is worse than at any time on record. Two thirds of all income gains from 2002-7 went to the top 1%. The Walton family, owners of Wal-Mart, is worth more than the bottom 100 million Americans combined.

From Workers Solidarity 112 November - December 2009

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