The Toll-Booth Economy – An extract from George Mombiot
Corporate power is the real enemy within, but none of the major parties will confront it.
By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 8th October 2014
The more power you possess, the more insecure you feel. The paranoia of power drives people towards absolutism. But far from curing them of the conviction that they are threatened and beleaguered, it becomes only stronger.
Ours is a toll-booth economy, unchallenged by any major party, in which companies which have captured essential public services – water, energy, trains – charge extraordinary fees we have no choice but to pay(14). If there is a “generational struggle to defend the principles of the free market”, it’s a struggle against the corporations, which have replaced the market with a state-endorsed oligarchy(15).
It’s because of the power of corporations that the minimum wage remains so low, while executives cream off millions. It’s because of this power that most people in poverty are in work(16), and the state must pay billions to supplement their appalling wages. It’s because of this power that, in the midst of a crisis so severe that the world has lost over 50% of its vertebrate wildlife in just 40 years(17), the government is organising a bonfire of environmental protection. It’s because of this power that instead of innovative taxation (such as a financial transactions tax and land value taxation(18)) we have permanent austerity for the poor. It’s because of this power that billions are still pumped into tax havens. It’s because of this power that Britain is becoming a tax haven in its own right(19).
To read the complete article, please visit: http://www.monbiot.com/2014/10/07/the-toll-booth-economy/