State of the Nation 2013: social mobility and child poverty in Great Britain was published today by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.
The report finds that we live in a divided country, with disadvantage strongly shaping life chances. Two thirds of Britain’s poor children are in families where an adult works, working full-time in three quarters of those.
The rising cost of living have been identified as impacting low-income families disproportionately, with significant downward pressure on average real wages, wages which did not keep pace with economic growth before the recession, and have undergone significant cuts since. The ‘middle-class’ are being left behind by the top.
The Commission concludes that we remain a divided country, with disadvantage strongly shaping life chances. The reforms brought in to end social disadvantage have failed.
Despite the facts staring them in the face, the Commission has failed to recognise that poverty and a lack of social mobility are an inherent part of a capitalist society. Wage increases, recommended by the Commission, will not lift people out of poverty, and working class people will not be given the opportunity to escape from wage slavery. We are conned into thinking that we can climb the social ladder and better our class position. The report even recommends childcare improvements to allow parents to work more to raise income and unlock social progress. This will only increase the profits of the owning class. Social mobility is a myth.
Of course, there is no ‘middle-class’, just the working class and the owning class. The widening gap between the ‘middle-class’ and the owning class is the widening gap between the working class and the owning class. As long as the system of production for profit remains, the working class and owning class will remain in opposition, the working class fighting to improve wages and working conditions, and the owning class trying to resist any encroachment on profits. No reforms can remove this fundamental aspect of the capitalist society.
The only way to banish poverty for all and to remove the divisions that exist in our society is to end production for profit, and replace it with the common ownership of the wealth of the planet, and production based on need. The Commission would then be able to report on a global society without barriers and an end to child poverty.