On Friday and Saturday last week Husis was not delivered to my door because of the postal strike, but luckily it was easy for me to just pick up a copy from Helsinki center, and in Friday’s copy there was an I DAG column by one Alf Rehn (“en medelklassig professor i företagsekonomi”), titled “Vad kommer efter medelklassen?”.
The main idea, which was appearing in big print, was this: “I Sydeuropa har medelklassen decimerats. Och enligt vissa har samma redan startat här. Först som en uttunning i den övre medelklassen, sedan som ett skifte mot den lägre medelklassen. Och sedan?”
Well, if a professor of economy has such an impression, I certainly do not feel competent to deny that it might actually be as he sees it. It just strikes me that he seems to be unable to put a name on the phenomenon. I do not claim to have read very much of Karl Marx’s writings, but what Alf Rehn is here describing seems to me to be identical with what Marx called “pauperization” (“Verelendung”). It is, after all, logical (and to the observer also obvious) that neoliberalism results in a concentration of the available money in fewer and still fewer hands while the vast majority of the population has less and less money to spend, so that also the middle class (which is usually trying to earn by selling services to the people) gets less and less money to hand. And as long as the government does not try (or succeed) to prevent the tax evasion which is practised by the rich, also the government has less and less money to spend, so that it cannot even provide jobs to people who would in fact be qualified to work in the public system.
Altogether: stagnating incomes, rising unemployment, shrinking social services and/or increasing prices for things which once were part of the public service. More and more peple will drop out of (also) the middle class and (what Alf Rehn is unable or unwilling to write) join the prekariat. As already seen by Karl Marx, and caused by neoliberalism and its believers. Basically very simple. And certainly a good reason to, e.g., promote Ha-Joon Chang (and just him because he is about these matters the easiest author to get hold of, to read and to understand). – And could you Finns now FINALLY get a bit ACTIVE about the matter (instead of continuing with this absolutely deadly habit of killing even the best idea by simply never mentioning it)!!!