by Angel Guerra Cabrera
The great Chilean mass rebellion scored a very important victory yesterday. What had been expected for days is now a fact: the approval in both houses of Congress of the right of the 11 million members of the Pension Fund Administrators (AFP) to withdraw for one time 10 percent of what they have been paid, equivalent to some 20 billion dollars. Some argue that this is not the most ideal solution for the social drama these people are experiencing, but most see it as very important economic aid to stave off devastation. More to come at a time when the government of President Sebastián Piñera has plunged the country into one of the worst situations on an international scale due to its disastrous management of the pandemic. It has also been incapable of adopting social plans that would mean real support for large sectors of the population that have been greatly affected economically by the confinement, that had already been lacking in the past, since the coronavirus has served to aggravate and expose in raw form the damage caused to layers of the society by neoliberal policies. In the face of the pandemic, Piñera’s government only sought to save the profit share of its friends in the largest economic groups, but even that has not been achieved, given the great damage the disease is doing to the economy.Read More »
by Alfredo Saad-Filho
The spectacular failures of Brazil, the UK and the USA during the COVID-19 pandemic offer valuable lessons on what must never happen again: wish away the virus, minimise the potential impact of a pandemic on public health and the economy, delay inevitable lockdowns, the list goes on. They also shed a powerful light on the root causes of the devastation.
The first step is to recognise the immensity of the catastrophe (see Table 1).
Table 1: The impact of the pandemic
|Cases per million
|Deaths per million
|GDP growth in 2020 (estimate)
In summary, the human disaster in our selected countries is unlikely to be compensated by a shallower economic downturn – quite the contrary, they are likely to do worse than average – dismantling the argument that protecting the economy should be a priority and ‘if some pensioners die [as a consequence], too bad’.Read More »
BRITAIN’S communists have warned Labour not to join the “new cold war hysteria” led by the US against China and Russia.
“Labour should develop a genuinely independent foreign policy for Britain,” Communist Party international secretary John Foster told a two-day meeting of its political committee on Thursday night.Read More »