The rush of multi-billion pound companies appealing for state aid amid the coronavirus crisis has proven beyond doubt that capitalism is no longer fit for purpose in this day and age.
This weekend it was revealed that eastJet shareholders would receive a bumper pay-out as the airline looked for taxpayer support.
The airline has said it might need lines of credit or loans from the government to cope with the crisis despite paying its founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, £60 million amid a £174 million bonanza.
It comes as Virgin Atlantic asked staff to take unpaid leave during the crisis, even though its founder Richard Branson is worth over $4 billion.
2 months without wages.— Toby 🦚 (@TobyJPeacock) March 16, 2020
VA has about 9,000 staff from what I can see.
Richard Branson could personally pay all of these staff £500 a week and his net worth would fall from 4.1bn to 4.064bn.
His net worth would fall by 0.88%.
If you had £20 that would be a loss of 17.6p. https://t.co/TLZrk2Dco6
No ceiling, no floor
The crisis lays bare a system that has no ceiling but also no floor to prop it up in times of extreme difficulty.
In a capitalist market people and businesses can profit without limit but they have no obligation to step in when the proverbial excrement hits the fan.
And so the state has to step in.
During the financial crisis the UK government was forced to shell out hundreds of billions of pounds to keep the sector afloat.
That came on the back of reckless profiteering that left a crucial industry in a perilous position, yet there has been no consequences for the actions. In fact, most evidence suggests the system has reset.
So it should come as no surprise that big business has cowered during this pandemic.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a raft of spending measures that have effectively suspended capitalism because in times of crisis it simply doesn’t have the answers.
If only there was a politician who had warned us about that….