"I want us to end discrimination and finish the fight for real equality in our country today," David Cameron said yesterday. Isn't it wonderful to live in a country that is more tolerant and open than ever before?
But what did the Prime Minister mean by "real equality"?
The Prime Minister spoke about tackling wealth inequality, yet his record so far is hardly promising. During his five years in Downing Street, price inflation has outstripped wages, raising the cost of living for the poorest. House prices have rocketed, preventing young people from buying a home. The single biggest driver of economic inequality in Britain today is a monetary policy that drives up the value of those with assets, and leaves those without behind.
This is happening as a direct consequence of the government's fiscal and monetary policy. Artificially low interest rates have stoked asset price inflation, while £375 billion of quantitative easing has pumped public money into failed banks – debasing the currency, and transferring wealth from the poor to the rich. At the same time, the Chancellor has doubled the national debt, unfairly leaving the next generation to foot the bill for his overspending.
Without monetary reform, the next five years will be no different from the last. House and stock prices will keep rising, benefitting those who already own assets, and freezing out those who don't. Productivity – the real engine of prosperity – will continue to stagnate. Unsustainable, debt-fuelled economic growth will continue enriching the elite at the expense of the majority. As long as credit stays cheap, Cameron's words will be cheap too.
Subsidies for certain sectors, and crony corporatism, have helped create vested interests and rent seekers. If you think that the Private Finance Initiative helped enrich various corporate interests with a claim on future tax revenue, wait until you see what the new Infrastructure Commission gets up to. Lobbyists are already rubbing their hands with glee.
Greater equality means tackling head on the cosy cartels that have rigged the corporate banking sector, the energy market and much else. We need a return to sound money and balanced budgets. And we need to break open the greatest cartel of them all – the political cartel in Westminster which has rigged our politics like the bankers rigged Libor.
"A revolutionary text ... right up there with the Communist manifesto" - Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
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