Economic crisis

Capitalism responds to the crisis by cutting our living standards

In the real class war the government is determined that the working class will pay for capitalism's economic crisis. There will be billions of pounds worth of public spending cuts, billions cut in ‘efficiency savings' that will affect those working in the public sector and those who rely on state-funded services.

The Economic Crisis: The Only Response is the Class Struggle

All across the media, the economic experts are still debating whether the American economy is in a recession or a depression. This is hardly relevant for the working class, which is bearing the impact of the crisis. The ugly consequences of the ongoing economic collapse are there for all to see.

USA: state capitalism is running out of room for manoeuvre

There is no place to hide now. According to the December announcement by The National Bureau of Economic Research - the agency responsible for dating the beginning of a recession in the US - the American economy has been in recession since December 2007.In other words, for most of last year Mr. Bernanke, Mr. Paulson, the White House and Congress were busy denying the existence of, and trying to avoid, a recession that hadalready started!

The Economic Crisis: State Capitalism Is Running Out of Room for Manoeuvre

This is 2009 and with the new year comes a brand new president predicting that the economy will get worse before it gets better, a new congress ready to act where the past one fumbled, and a great new economic team educated at the most prestigious American institutions, with fresh ideas on how to save capitalism from catastrophe. Yet given the fact that so far the bourgeoisie has failed to contain the crisis, the odds for Obama's success are definitely not good.

WR 18th Congress Report on the British situation: Why the economic crisis hits Britain so hard

The article published in WR320 is section A of the Report on the British situation fo the 18th WR congress. The whole of this report (which also covers the class struggle, British imperialism and the political problems of the British ruling class) can be found here in ICC Online .

Thoughts on the Brighton ‘day school’ on the capitalist crisis

The crisis - what's happening and why? What does it mean for us today and how can we be prepared for future struggles? These and related questions were the topical programme for a day school held in Brighton on Saturday 29th November, organised by some of the people involved with Aufheben and local anarchist and community activists. These are the impressions of one of the ICC sympathisers who took part.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire: Victimized During the “Recovery” Workers Face a Deluge of Attacks

The ruling class likes to call the period of time that goes from one recession to another a "recovery." What was unique about this alleged period of capitalist "prosperity" was that the living conditions of the working class actually continued to deteriorate at an alarming rate.

The Sinking Ship of American Capitalism

For over a year now American capitalism has gone through a protracted economic malaise of proportions unseen since the Great Depression of 1929-35.  There isn't a month that passes without a dramatic new event in the life of the system, from head-spinning gyrations in the stock markets, to the widespread failure of the most reputable financial institutions, yesterday's symbols of capitalism's alleged vitality.  And things have just gotten worse since the summer!

Rising Inflation, Falling Production: In the Midst of a Global Economic Crisis

Since the collapse of the housing bubble at the beginning of 2007 economists and government representatives have been betting on the odds of a recession in the US economy. Currently we are mid-way through 2008 and still the ‘experts' have not made up their minds about its likelihood. Meanwhile the signs of crisis are everywhere...

All wage labour is exploitation

After a six-year campaign the TUC and the CBI, with government prompting, have recently agreed that 1.4 million temporary and agency workers should, after 12 weeks, have equal rights with full-time and permanent workers. Dave Prentis, the TUC President, said that "This is good news for agency workers, particularly those in workplaces where low pay, long hours and exploitation are the norm"...

Financial Turmoil: A Worsening Economic Crisis

On February 28th, even though he acknowledged the risk of an economic slowdown, President George W. Bush declared, "I don't think we're headed for a recession...I believe that our economy has got the fundamentals in place for grow and continue growing, more robustly than we're growing now. So we're still for a strong dollar."

Northern Rock: The inevitable state intervention

When the announcement to formally nationalise Northern Rock was finally made there was a burst of optimism... It is not, certainly, a question of the Labour party ‘going back to 1970s socialism' since the Labour government is a government of the capitalist state and nationalisations are part of the defence of the national capital in the face of the economic crisis.

Inflation meets recession

Everywhere you look, prices are going up! The prices of the energy suppliers have jumped up and so heating bills and travelling to and from work have become more expensive. There are big increases in the prices of essential foods, like bread and milk, and shoppers are getting a lot less for their money in their weekly supermarket shopping. And while prices keep going up.... wages don't.

Capitalism Kills — Workers’ Deaths Are a Cost of Production

There's plenty of evidence that capitalism the imperialist wars that are the hallmark of capitalist decadence for over 90 years, in the grinding poverty that shortens the life span of millions of people, in the diseases and inadequate medical care that afflict society,  and in the inhuman living conditions that people are forced to exist in. The month of August included several stark reminders that capitalism also kills at the workplace...

The Fundamental Contradictions Behind the Stock-market Jitters

The recent stock exchanges convulsions (see article on front page) pose the following question: whether the approaching open recession, which everyone agrees is likely, is part of the inevitable up and down pattern of the capitalist economy which is fundamentally sound, or whether it is a sign of a process of inner disintegration and breakdown, integral to capitalism, that will be punctuated by more and more violent convulsions.

Economic crisis: It won’t be over by Christmas

‘Everything is going well - it's not serious'. ‘There's no need to be disturbed'. These are the lying and hypocritical speeches of the bourgeoisie. In the last months, when the new phase of the acceleration of the world economic crisis of capitalism broke out, the so-called ‘sub-prime crisis', the bourgeoisie wanted at all costs to reassure us with ideological mystifications.

Living under capitalism in Britain today

In the pages of World Revolution we frequently refer to the attacks of the ruling class, often giving figures for the latest redundancies or the impact of the budget and other government measures. However, the true situation of the working class can only really be seen by taking a broader and longer look. This article aims to contribute to this by using official figures and a number of reports by business and voluntary organisations to try to delineate what some aspects of life are like for the working class today.

Brown premiership: Same attacks in new wrapping

As he stood outside the door of Number 10 on the day he became Prime Minister, Gordon Brown declared his commitment to change: "Change in our NHS, change in our schools, change with affordable housing, change to build trust in government, change to extend and protect the British way of life." He declared he had "listened and...learnt from the British people" and pledged to lead "a new government with new priorities" and "to reach out beyond narrow party interest."

The only answer is the class struggle

Things are looking good for working people, according to the government. Wages have risen, unemployment remains low, poverty is falling, waiting lists for hospital treatment are down, there are more doctors and nurses and standards of education keep on rising. Yes, they admit, there are social problems with unruly children, street crime and immigration, but overall things did get better under New Labour. However, if you step back from the hailstorm of statistics, all is not what it seems.

Housing Bust Presages a New Recession

Until very recently the dominant message conveyed by the bourgeois media has been one of general optimism for the continued health of the American economy. The main economic indicators pointed to a continuation of the expansion phase of the so-called economic cycle. For all of 2006, the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 3.3 percent, the third straight of year 3+ percent increase. At the same time, other leading economic indicators, such as unemployment stood officially at 4.6%, inflation at 2.5%, both of which are considered to be signs of economic health by bourgeois economists, particularly in comparison to European economies.

NHS, Budget: The capitalist state attacks our living standards

A simpler tax system in a largely neutral budget – what could be wrong with that? Nothing at all, if you believe the Chancellor and the Treasury. But no-one does. The budget robbed the poorest sections of the working class by abolishing the lowest 10p in the pound tax band to fund a small cut in the basic rate of tax. Some workers will be ‘compensated’ by tax credits, the very system that has been utterly discredited, not just because it is so complicated that many of those entitled to it don’t apply, but also because so many of those that did have been plunged into debt when the Revenue decided it had made a mistake which had to be clawed back.

The NHS is not a reform for workers to defend

Health service jobs under attack, hospital closures, inadequate services getting even worse. This has led to a discussion on the internet discussion forum about whether defending the social wage means defending the NHS. Many important questions have been raised. We aim to return to the questions raised in this discussion in a future article. For now we are reprinting an article we wrote in 1998 for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the NHS as a contribution on why we do not regard this state institution as a reform to be defended.

Unemployment in UK: The crisis can no longer be hidden

Despite the dismissive public attitude of the bourgeoisie they are aware that they are in a very difficult situation and that with the deepening of the crisis they are faced with hard choices... This is all very reminiscent of the 1960s. Then, as now, the Labour party had to manage a fundamental downward shift in the economy, due to the inescapable contradictions of the crisis. The key difference is that the crisis has developed for forty years and the contradictions are much more acute.

NHS: Investing in cuts

For the last 2 months health service trusts have been announcing job cuts, 750 at North Staffs, 400 at NHS Direct…totalling at least 6,000 so far, with estimates that the final number could reach 15,000-20,000 as the NHS battles to deal with overspending of around £700 million.


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